The Rumspringa Plan

May 4, 2021

There comes a time when every Amish teen needs to decide whether to abandon their safe, welcoming home and go live amongst the English or become permanent members of the Amish community. And so they are given a trial period called Rumspringa where the draconian strictures of Amish life are relaxed and they can go investigate the outside world for a time. Well, I have never really lived outside the Bay Area. So my idea is to do a sort of Rumspringa myself and see if there’s anywhere that can tempt me away from my comfortable but expensive life here in Silicon Valley.

The idea is to choose a few candidate cities and, over the course of a year or so, visit each for a minimum of two weeks to really get a feel for the place (probably mostly just chill in whatever airbnb I find and see what it’s like to live and work there). A major consideration for choosing which cities to visit is what sort of indie dev scene they have. And to that end I ideally want to try to arrange to have a local guide for each city (I’ll probably resort to cold contacting people if I can’t find a guide through my network). I’m also considering the timing of these visits and I’ll try to line them up with any sort of conference/summit/expo/meetup, which means I’ll probably still have to wait a few months before I even start executing the plan.

So you’re probably asking yourself, “Adrian, what cities are you considering?” (at least those of you who have gotten past the stage of being slightly jealous of this plan who are instead likely thinking “What cities would I go to if I were doing this?”). Well I’ll tell you the cities currently on my list:

  • Vancouver
  • Austin
  • Portland
  • St. Petersburg (where a dev friend recently moved to)
  • Toronto

And here’s some places I’m considering visiting, but will almost certainly not move to:

  • NYC
  • Copenhagen
  • Melbourne

I’ll probably only go to three or four of these. But when I do, I’ll be excited to report on my experience.

If you want to suggest a candidate city I haven’t considered or have a potential guide for a city I listed, absolutely feel free to respond to this email with your suggestion!


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