I never quite know what to write when the guesthouse hands me an otherwise inoffensive book that asks what my occupation is. They always try to helpfully ask if I am a student. I just look at them, puzzled, trying to figure out if they would accept traveler as an occupation. I walked away from a career in video games over a year ago now, claiming a creative sabbatical to find inspiration. Yet even now, a year after I last did any contracting work on the road, I wonder if I want to return to a world of dark, sunless rooms, long days followed by long nights, and a macho, often even masochistic culture. So as I am beginning to get tired and look forward to hanging up my backpack for a bit, I decided to see just how I feel about making games again. I signed up for a game jam, a closed time period event in which you try to make a complete video game. Usually they are a weekend long but this one is ten days long. I also set out to find the perfect conditions to create.
My perfect conditions involve an open air patio covered in palm fronds where I can view the ocean, hear the crashing waves, and feel a cooling sea breeze in the warm tropical air. I paid a bit of a premium to make sure I had internet as it is not as prevalent in this part of the world as it was back in Southeast Asia. However, a small price to pay to be comfortable while I took a hard look at my career and life choices. I blog about my development experience over at my not-often-used-this-year work site.
Unfortunately the fairly empty beaches were visited less than I intended as the sand was blisteringly hot, waves quite strong and close to shore, and I somehow got a sunburn after only half an hour in the sun for the first time in my life. The last straw was when I went one day and the local men were the cleaning up the beach, which does help the general ambiance. Their wolf whistles and cat calls every few minutes were less than pleasing. While this whistling and cat calling goes on around town as well, it is not nearly as often. For reasons I cannot fathom, some people even have horns that make wolf whistle sounds. Instead I spent half my time at the hotel pool and after I finished my project in the extra large hammocks. It is perhaps not a good sign that post-project I took a day to do nothing but recuperate and knew I could use a few more days to do so.
The loss of my smartphone last month means I didn’t have anything with me to take pictures as I encountered endless ceviches and other seafood mountains on the coast. Alas the food was often even more expensive than back in America and I wonder if getting off the coast would help that. I have booked a plane ticket to return to the United States though so I will be enjoying my last few weeks in a balmy summer before returning for the caboose of winter. After ten days of working on a game, I can say I enjoy working with my friends and creating things again but I certainly do not miss the head banging inane frustrations as challenging nor do I care to be working such long days and nights again. I’m not too sure where or what next, but it should be exciting.