JUMP TO:

Change & Moving Forward

Many of you know that my biggest challenge here in running the site is simply time.  Or rather, lack thereof.  There are just not enough hours in the day for me to enjoy writing here and enjoy answering your questions, all the while working full time travelling the world for my day job.

Well, I’m here to announce one of those two is going out the window.

Yup, this week was my last week….at work.

A bit of background:

IMG_0710

I’ve been in the IT industry since I left high school a bit over 15 years ago – straight into a full time job the Monday after high school ended.  No summer break, or college, rather – a career that started about 36 hours after the graduation ceremony.

It wasn’t entirely on accident, or due to lack of interest in going to college (I had applied and been accepted to those I was interested in).  While in high school I had a small software ‘company’ (just me) and developed some programs (this was before they were just called ‘apps’).  That caused a bit of interest in me during my senior year of high school from a variety of companies.  All of which resulted in accepting an offer at the end of my senior year…for a salary slightly more than my paper delivery route job was offering.

Timing was everything, and ultimately I don’t think one would be able to make the same leap in today’s age.  After a year of interesting work at a non-profit organization (in IT), I jumped over to the Fortune 500 world working in what at the time was one of the largest banks in the US (they’ve since been swallowed by Chase).  Within that realm I worked on fast paced mergers and acquisitions, from the IT side.  The speed of work there was mind-boggling, but incredibly fun.  80+ hour work weeks were common, but the tight-knit team I was on as we travelled constantly made it worthwhile.

One day some folks from Redmond gave me a ring with an offer I couldn’t refuse, and a few months later I found myself being relocated to Washington DC (from Seattle, oddly enough).  I’ve been with the company since – nearly 12 years.  While I rarely talked about what precisely I did in my day job – it’s actually been an ‘open secret’ to anyone willing to Google Bing my name (or, to all of the companies that have asked) – usually the very first search result in fact.  I often spoke at conferences and conventions for my day job, and over the years some of those presentations have made their way to the interwebs.  In fact, it’s not uncommon for me to go into work meetings (with people outside the company) and have folks recognize me from the DCR world.  Kinda funny.  As for inside the company, anyone within my extended team knew about the blog, as did many triathletes and runners in the company.  My bosses (and peers) over the years have been awesome and supportive.

Within my day job I’ve been in customer facing roles, essentially helping to architect and design our products for large organizations.  While living in DC I was focused on customers in that region, and while in Paris I focused on large scale datacenter customers globally (think the Verizon’s of the world, and various others in the government space).

Since graduation each of those 15 years I’ve traveled no less than 100,000 miles a year on a plane.  Though more recently, I’m averaging 200,000-350,000 miles a year on a plane.  It’s simply been a lot of flying.  No doubt the work I was doing and have done in the past has been incredibly interesting.  I’ve been places and seen things that most will never get the chance to do, because of my day job.  How many people get to travel the world to new countries every week on someone else’s dime?  A mix of places from major metropolitan and cosmopolitan cities like Cape Town, Beijing, Sydney, Rome, and countless more – to places you and I have never heard of before.  Sometimes it’s a hidden gem out there.

I’ve been to 79 countries, mostly as a result of my job.  Even my vacations I couldn’t have ever afforded without the countless miles and hotel points behind them – mostly from my work travels.

But what I didn’t love was being away from home, and being away from The Girl that much.  And more than that – the exhaustion.  Put simply: The blog is a full time ‘night’ job (and then some).  And my ‘day’ job was also a full-time job.  As I’ve alluded to on various podcasts, doing both forever was simply an impossibility.

Making Change:

Bobbie and Ray print res-100

Of course, this wasn’t some random decision we made over a plate of snails. Rather, it’s a process that The Girl and I started over a year ago (actually, about 20 months now). Yes, people could have had two children in less time than this process has taken.  That shift required an immense amount of paperwork be filed in order to be able to continue living in France doing the blog full time and also continue running her business (the CupCakery & Cake Studio locations).

As you might expect, not much happens fast in government, and that’s especially true here.  So the process plodded along, with many 2 steps forwards and 18 steps backwards moments.  The whole concept of running a website (let alone something called a ‘blog’) full time in France got looks of bewilderment and ‘Non, Très bizarre!’

So we kept trying, and finally late this past summer we got all the green lights required to make the shift.  Back about a month ago I put in my letter of resignation (a surprisingly complex affair here) and Monday was the final day.  I closed up my work laptop for the final time that afternoon.  Of course, as you saw last week – that wasn’t quite without just one last trip.  That one to Newark, Delaware over those final few days.  Like I said, not everywhere I was sent was Sydney or Singapore.

Still, I did love my day job.  Make no mistake – if there was a way I could continue doing both and find another 10-15 hours in the day – I’d be there in a heartbeat.

Going Forward:

IMG_2265

So what changes around here at the blog?  Well honestly, hopefully not too much.  At worst I might get more consistent (gasp!).  Perhaps my e-mail queue will shrink a bit.  Or maybe even the product review queue will shrink.  There are of course a ton of ideas for new things to write about, implement and do, that I’ve just not had the time to do.

Or perhaps, and much more likely – I’ll get to enjoy a bit more of what we came to Europe to do.  And get to enjoy more time with The Girl (and little Lucy of course), and seeing the parts of the world that I haven’t seen (and sharing it with you).  While I’ve no doubt been to more countries than most, I haven’t necessarily seen those places.  I’d be in for a meeting for a few hours and then gone.  The only thing I’d see would be what was between the airport and the office, save for a quick run that I might post here.

Maybe The Girl and I will take a slew of trips just to see the world.  And maybe we’ll make some more big changes…you’ll just have to wait and see.

Thanks for reading – and most importantly – thanks for supporting the blog, be it just reading as a lurker, or supporting it in other ways.  Obviously, without that support, I couldn’t have made the leap I made today.

Have a great weekend all!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.
If you would like a profile picture, simply register at Gravatar, which works here on DCR and across the web.

You can click here to Subscribe without commenting

Add a picture

*

554 Comments

  1. Fab

    Ray:
    I respect you now as a family leader. This type of decisions are the ones that creates character. Which I can read you have developed your own.Congrats and good luck. Cheers.

  2. Sebastien

    Congrats on the big decision/move! Best of luck!

  3. Mikael

    Congratulations Ray (and the Girl)! I’m glad the blog is surviving. Best of luck with everything!

  4. Sebas

    Simply awesome!

  5. Stephane

    Wow!
    Good luck Ray!

    Steph

  6. sh

    congrats ray and good luck! you’re popular in Japan as well. 😉

  7. Matt

    Hey Ray, just wanted to pass along a congratulations – you’re an inspiring guy…

    Thanks for everything you do, and best of luck!

  8. ifor

    Always was amazed you could do so much on the blog with a full time job.

    I look forward to reading a few more race reports.

  9. Jeff Gibson

    Congrats on the move. Take the opportunity while you are both young to follow your passion. As an avid reader for a number of years, I can’t imagine where you will take this once you have more time to focus. Soon we will see you as #1 on the RW Most Influential list!

  10. THIERRY

    BONNE CHANCE DANS TA NOUVELLE VIE

  11. Adam

    Congratulations Ray. Best of luck with this next chapter.

  12. AECSUSN

    Congratulations Ray! Enjoy what have earned!

  13. Ritchie champion

    Congrats Ray. Best of luck with everything in the future! Thanks for all you do (and will continue to do)!

  14. Ray –

    Congratulations on your decision! Thanks so much for your focus and passion to provide great information and insight to runners and triathletes! We really appreciate it and wish you continued success and impact!

    My best,
    Mike

  15. Ivaylo Georgiev

    Congratulations and keep rockin’ the world. Greetings from Sofia! 🙂

  16. Hannes

    Congrats Ray and all the best for your future plans!

  17. IvanP

    Ray, congrats on the big move!

    All the best,
    Lurker, poster, and fan,
    Ivan

  18. Tony Hope

    Congratulations Ray!

  19. Valerie

    Congratulations, Ray!! You deserve to actually see the countries. What better way to see them than with the love of your life?

  20. MikeB

    Congrats Ray! Best of luck to you in your future endeavors!

  21. gene

    Well deserved for a great guy! I think the only thing you’d fail at is the following item: Do nothing for a day!

  22. Congrats on the big move Ray! I’m really looking forward to what’s to come from you in the future!

  23. Alice

    Best wishes, lots of luck, Ray!

  24. Great brave step! Good luck to you and The Girl.

  25. alainquimarche

    All my best wishes for the future you will now decide. Et “bienvenue en France” 🙂

  26. Argiris

    Best wishes for the days to come!

  27. Staffan

    Best wishes and good luck with the current and coming changes! I hope your new life brings joy to you and lots of product reviews to us! 🙂

  28. Ken

    Congrats on having the opportunity to make the big change! It sounds like the day job was rewarding but a huge amount of stress and travel. I’m pretty sure that you’ll be able to pick up some consulting hours to keep yourself occupied if you start to get bored. Good luck.

  29. Walter

    Congratulations!! That’s awesome!!!

  30. Spencer

    Good for you! Follow your dream, it is well worth it

  31. Frank A

    Congratulations and well done…inspiring, in fact! Looking forward to continued well-researched and written posts and articles on your blog!

  32. Chris EchoHawk

    Congratulations on the Big Step, Ray! May your success grow even more. Quality work with the right attitude usually does!

  33. Andrew

    Great news for the rest of us, Ray! Long may you continue to share your wisdom and your life..

  34. Gabriel

    Congratulations! I took a similar decision with work a few years back and hve never regreted it. Enjoy!

  35. Hi Ray,

    Cheers from Singapore. Congrats on your big move!

    I have been supporting excellent content creators via Patreon. You might want to do the same or find another platform that allow your readers (including me) to directly support you.

  36. John Watson

    Congrats Ray! Longtime fan. Awesome move. I look forward to watching what’s in store for you and the Girl. 🙂

    – John

  37. Alex

    Good luck Ray! Your blog (actually, is more a living wikipedia of sport technology) is awesome, I’ll follow your work here more close than ever 🙂

  38. Congrats! Living the dream!

  39. Navnit

    Good luck Ray!! Big fan of you! Appreciate all your work here. I am sure you will be great whatever you do.

  40. Ingo

    Great move! Now get your own online shop and (VAT free) worldwide delivery please! More than happy to drop MSRP there than anywhere else.

  41. arthurq

    congrats, need to monetise the site but please please don’t change it!!!!

  42. Alistair Jordan

    Best of luck

  43. simonb

    Good move! I wish you all the best. Enjoy your new life!

  44. Henrik Persson

    Congrats! Now I can hopefully enjoy even more excellent reading! Please team up with some European company so I can by me a new running watch and supporting the blog.

  45. John

    Awesome and inspiring! An excellentt move forward in your journey of life. Congrats!

  46. Maarten

    Congrats on this big step!

  47. Griffin

    Chapeau Ray on positioning yourself so such a move is possible. As someone that’s been to only half the number of countries you have visited, I know that you know, there’s nothing quite like your own bed at night.

  48. Jeff D

    I’d like to add my congratulations and wish you every success in the future (although I’m pretty confident of your continued success given the fantastic blog you’ve produced in the last few years). Perhaps you’ll now have time to complete a full review of the Polar V650! 😉 …or then again….

  49. Peter

    Congratulations and best wishes for the adventures ahead!

  50. HenryS

    Congrats, your blog has been very inspirational and made me enjoy more running and cycling, will of course keep following you and supporting the site.
    Wish you all success you deserve in business and private life.

  51. Brilliant news, well done, well deserved after all the hard work you put in, best to follow your dreams. Good luck Mr Rainmaker!

  52. Mat0x4e

    Best of luck Ray !

  53. giorgitd

    Wow, congrats, Ray!

  54. Ray, Congrats on a decision well taken! One week remains to enter the lottery for a spot in the Swissman June 2016…Coach Alan’s best ever race plan for this race is legendary. The cobbles, laid around 1100 over the top of Gotthard are magical. All the best.

  55. Tony Tang

    It’s always not easy to find the right work-life balance.
    Have been enjoying a lot from your blog in the past years.

    Wish you all the best in your new chapter!

  56. Ivailo Kostadinov

    Congratulations! And a good luck.

  57. Ron Anderson

    Congrats and best of luck Ray and family!

  58. Oscar P

    I really enjoy the site and I’m happy to hear that it didn’t go out the window! It’s really amazing to see how many people you have made a connection with through this site. I want to thank the Girl because by supporting your dreams I got to enjoy this site and I’ve been inspired by your hard work, ethics and professionalism. Wish you all the best!

  59. baelati

    Congrats to The Girl as I expect you will be more often around in Paris 😉

    Keep up your excellent work

  60. Thank you for the blog. Anyone who rides, runs or swims and likes tech, finds it invaluable. If you ever need a day job, I work at an IT research firm which is always hiring analysts.

    Go Ray go! 😉

  61. Steve

    ..err…so am i reading this right…you gave up your day job, free flights around the world and a good salary for a..err…dog?

    Good luck with that bro!

  62. Congrats to your tough decision and good luck for you both and your inspiring blog!

    For several years, I am an avid reader 🙂

  63. Remko

    Good luck DC, I have been forwarding a lot of people to your site and in a social talk I/we were always really impressed how you could have managed this site with a day-2-day job as well.

  64. Dragomir Zivkovic

    Ray,thanks for staying with us!
    Good luck to you and girl!

  65. Bambang

    Carpe diem!

  66. Alasdair Gardner

    Wishing you every success, I have always marveled at your time management skills! I hope that you are able to return to the 70.3/middle distance triathlon you do so much training and I do miss the race reports!

    If you ever need a slightly less bureaucratic place to work just hop over the channel to the UK! Although Lucy may need 6 months in quarantine!

    I too hope you can have a European partnership to help you in your chosen profession.

  67. Greg

    Congrats, when is the baby due ?

  68. Stuart Brown

    Having read your site for a couple of years, it’s at the top of my history. I always wondered how you found the hours to do a full time job and do the site!

    Congratulations on the big change and positive adjustment of the work/life balance.

    Looking forward to the future of DCR

  69. Luke Moseley

    Great news, I love the blog and am looking forward to seeing what happens. Best of luck!

  70. Congratulations on your big decision! I wonder if you will still be doing some freelance tech stuff for income, like at your old job, but not as crazy/often/all over the place?

    Also would love some insight on what process you had to go through to keep your French residency – I did a very short version of that process when I got a visa for a short stay, I know you have to prove support or income in your home country etc etc etc etc etc, but it would be an interesting post for sure! (and boring, because bureaucracy, but still interesting!). How many more years till your 10 year carte de sejour?

  71. My only complaint about the blog: not enough content. Thanks for remedying this!

    Also: is this all because of the podcast with the Girl?

    • It’s been in the works since early 2014, so definitely not a last minute decision. 🙂 It just took that long for the entire process to play itself out in terms of being able to retain/shift visas here in France.

    • Barrie Gibson

      Visas ! You’d think that they’d fall over themselves to make it easy for you to stay – you are a pretty damn impressive advertisement for Paris and the french style of life.

    • Well – it seems like you deserve a break. Just don’t become Mr. Cupcake and ignore DCR.

  72. Jonathan

    Congratulations!

  73. Mike St. Louis

    Well I’m not surprised to hear this. I’m amazed you were able to do a blog and still manage a full time job.

    Good luck with everything Ray! I’m happy for you!

  74. Rob

    Congratulations Ray! Wishing you even more success in the future. Thank you very much for your awesome site and for sharing your knowledge and Parisian perspective!

  75. matt

    baby announcement in 3….2….1….

  76. Vance Harris

    Congratulations Ray

    Did the same myself in a vaguely similar way and never regretted it.

    At least you wont starve – very calorific, cup cakes, as I understand 🙂

  77. Rich Green

    So now you’ve disappeared from the GAL, does it mean we can expect your thoughts on Band 2? 😉

    All the very best for the future!

  78. I consider you to be one of the strongest and most trust worthy writers in the sports tech field right now and appreciate your decision. Hopefully this will allow you to continue to do more in-depth writing and still have a life with The Girl (and one day The Child). One note: the last time I called a full grown woman a “Girl” I was admonished by a feminist who heard me do it. You might want to change The Girl’s title to “The Woman”. All the best to you and The Woman!

  79. Rick

    right on, man!! As Matthew McConnaughey extolled, it’s time to start,”L-I-V-I-N”. Thanks for all your advice. You have helped me tremendously in my training, and product searches.

  80. GeeCee

    Ray,
    I think you should seriously consider pulling your travel stories together into a manuscript. Publishers would be fighting to sign you for a book deal.
    Congrats on the big life change. Wow, that takes some big stones…

    Mr. Kissel: I must respectfully disagree on the change from ‘Girl to Woman’ moniker. I’ve been married to my ‘girl’ for 20 years, and she’ll *always* be my girl. The feminists can sod off.

  81. Ken

    Ray,

    I hadn’t figured you out being an FTE, but in hindsight it made sense.

    Happy for you to made the call, use some time to get your bearings and see what this adventure will bring you.
    Best of luck to you and the Girl.

    Cheers,

    Ken

  82. McWoody1

    So why no mention that you’re going to college? Thats a smart and welcome decision for you as a person and for your career. Surely you won’t be majoring in IT since you could teach the course!

    All the best,

  83. iamchrisone

    “like”

  84. yuval

    thanks for devoting yourself for your readers

  85. Well I’ve always been curious as to which two hours a day you decided to sleep whilst during such a thorough job of blogging/testing/working. I guess you can up domir hours a few notches now or ride bike even more.

  86. Eyal

    Dear Ray, I wish you and the girl only the best there is, you both are very wise and brave to try to figure out, search and finally choose the path that might (for real) contribute you by self realization for better life.
    Have a great day after day ?

  87. Chris

    Congratulations on the move Ray! Seeing places like Delaware and Paris, I certainly would want to stay in Paris too. Best of luck to you and your wife, and Lucy.

    Chris from Delaware.

  88. tosin

    Late to the party! Congrats man, that’s a big deal. Seems like the podcast with the girl was kind of an prelude to this posting. It’s a huge step, but you are only going to go up. You do great work, and I’m sure based purely on the traffic you get on this site, you can tell that people appreciate what you do. Make sure you tell The Girl you appreciate her, no matter who is making more sacrifices.

  89. Michal

    Hey Ray – congrats and welcome to the next adventure… It’s like non other. Though I do have to say with your past time utilization techniques you will surely find time for the Girl, the Baby and DCR… Just don’t count on sleeping much :).

  90. David Chang

    Congrats! Your work has been amazing thus far, and I can’t wait to see what you’ll be able to do with more time on your hands. Hope you really get to enjoy some down time now, congrats again!

  91. David Chang

    Will this also give you more time to travel the world for races? Maybe come out to Asia for a 70.3 sometime in the next year?

  92. henning

    Congratulations Ray!

  93. Brett P

    Congrats on your changes! Sounds like an exciting time.

  94. Peter Gaboury

    Congrats and best of luck. I made the decision to move to France from the US 21 years ago and I have been running, biking, swimming and climbing here since and never looking back. Hoping after stopping all your traveling will give you more chances to really see France outside the touristy parts (and that’s where the country really shines !!). Keep up the great quality work on your blog and reviews. You gotta help Clever training to find a way to ship easier to France ? Looking to open up a satellite office in Paris ? Find another European partner (Wiggle ? Another ?) … The sports culture (trail running, bike clubs, hiking, races, open water swims, … ) permeates the culture and there are many technical offerings ( Withings the first coming to mind …). Seems like a big market to me …

  95. Bruce T

    Congrats Ray!
    You’re the go to source for swim, bike, run gadgets and ideas. Looking forward to reading more about your travels and time with the family

  96. Nicholas Kjellberg

    Big congrats to u both!

    Thanks for keeping up the great Work you do here on DCR!

  97. Alfie

    Good luck to you and the girl on your new phase in life! Keep following your dreams!!!

  98. IanF

    Hi Ray, I always drop in each week to ready your blog and always find it interesting and informative. Your write ups are incredibly thorough and simply awesome. So thanks heaps for the time and effort you put in.
    Congratulations to you and the family on such a big move as well as starting another new adventure.

  99. Reg

    “….at work.” PHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Great to hear your news and look forward to visiting for many years to come, just need to remember to use your links when I buy stuff on Amazon!

    All the best with your new set up!

  100. Alexander

    Congrats, Ray! Big decision, big change, and I am glad you have the choice based on the value you provide to so many of us.

  101. Andrew

    Hey now. Born and raised in Newark, Delaware (DelaWHERE?). Cool little college town. Regardless, congrats on the big change!

  102. Balazs

    Wow and congratulations. Many of us plans this move, few of us have the courage to actually do it. It is great to see someone who has this kind of courage and it is extremely interesting how you’ll get along. I wish you the best of luck!!! Good move.

  103. Eric

    Congrats Ray! Enjoy spending the time you spent at work with your other passions and hobbies.

  104. Nk

    All the best and keep the posts coming!

  105. Eike

    Many congratulations!!! I wish you two the best of luck!!

  106. André

    Doing a Ray Maker is now a “thing”: link to blog.veloviewer.com

  107. Simon Roberts

    Good on ya! Always love reading your reviews

  108. tristan

    You’re surely getting paid by Garmin now…

  109. Marcelo

    Nice! Congrats, Ray. Finding myself in a very similar stage… Same company, BTW.

    Cheers!

  110. Drew

    Hey Ray,

    Been meaning to do this for a while. Just stopped by to support the site. Love your work, always a great read.

    Have a super New years 🙂

  111. Tom

    And now we know what you were alluding to, when you said ‘And maybe we’ll make some more big changes…you’ll just have to wait and see.’

    Good luck with your new career, that as a dad. You’ll be awesome, just let things happen, we don’t need reviews ?

  112. Daniel

    Tough decision but I am sure the right one. I always wondered how you found time for such a demanding job and the in-depths reviews.
    All the best and I look forward to continuing to read your reviews and about your life.

  113. Kappa

    Just a “Thank You” for offering what I have so far found to be very helpful, unbiased information which has assisted me in deciding on various product purchases ………. all of which have lived up to expectations! My most recent was a Tacx Neo which sits in my garage, awaiting unboxing.

    Keep up the good work!