On July 5th, I’m going to be leaving on a combined traveling vacation and relocation trip. With the massive preparations required to manage a three week vacation along with moving overseas, I have simply run out of time for blogging: work and planning must come first!

The vacation is going to be very exciting – traveling from Vienna to the Czech Republic, then spending some time in the Austrian Alps, then off to the Italian Alps, Venice, and then off to Ireland, and finally to New York City. New York City is not, however, the final landing place – just the final stage of the vacation. Final destination: Saint Paul, Minnesota. I’ve lived there before, and I’m quite looking forward to returning!

I also want to reflect a little on the last 12 months of my life – they’ve been incredibly eventful.
18 months ago, I began to work part time as a freelance web developer, because I was very unhappy in my job. One year ago today, I gave notice at that job, because I had decided to move to Vienna with my girlfriend for a year, and hope with fingers tightly crossed that I’d be able to survive on freelancing alone, working exclusively on long-distance contracts.

It’s been a little scary at times – and certainly an up and down year, but I can only say that it was 100% the right decision. I have had a wonderful year.

Around four months ago, I was enduring a serious “dry” period with work. Nothing was coming my way; one major client had closed up shop; and I was frustrated because I had no communication with the greater web development community. I had never worked in a professional job as a web developer, had no personal contacts within the community, and nobody to share my thoughts and interests in web development with. (My girlfriend is very supportive; nonetheless, her eyes forgivably glaze over when I talk about work!)

So I started to blog; I joined the Guild of Accessible Web Developers; I joined the Cre8asite Forums – in short, I began to seek out contact with the community.

That, too, was a great decision. I have found insight, community, learning, and met (communicated with?) wonderful people due to my blogging and forum participation. Everybody who has left a comment either at my search engine marketing blog or here has helped spur more thoughts and further dialogue on the issues. The forum at Cre8asite has also been fantastic – I’ve met communicated with incredible minds and been able to offer what I hope (and believe) is useful advice to a lot of people, stored for posterity. (That way, my advice will still be available when it becomes wrong.)

So, to everybody who reads either of my blogs, to all of the members of the Cre8asite community, I’m off on vacation – and I look forward to writing with you again in August!


Joe Dolson

Afterthought: I hope, at some point, to be able to change “communicated with” over to “met” – hopefully, I’ll get to meet some of you in person one of these days!