I've been following this community for a while, and in fact I attended the first Startup School conference -- and was almost certainly the only person to have arrived from the midwest via Greyhound bus. (I pestered a couple of very nice SFP alums about what they would do if they lived in a small town and had no co-founder ... I know, I know).
Startup School changed my life in an unexpected way: it finally clicked that I could change my location to make my life better.
This did not result in me moving to Silicon Valley.
Instead, for the next 7 years, I spent 9 months of each year in remote Pacific South America, doing volunteer work with friends - and surfing, quite a lot during the good season. Each year I'd return and do about 3-4 months of contract programming on-site with great teams, mostly in Ruby/JRuby and early Node.js in those years.
Since 2014 I spend most of the year back in the States, and I continue to work remotely (writing code in BEAM languages, with a smattering of native app dev in React Native) and travel with my better half.
Like pg says, lots of good projects, to really do them right, have to be companies. For that reason I can't completely rule out doing a startup, some day. But it'd have to compete with a well-hacked life, where more money doesn't buy that much, so it's not inevitable.