Although Mr. McMullen has now not worked for seven months and jokes with friends about being semiretired, he said he plans to work again.
“The idea of retirement as sitting on a sandy beach somewhere, I don’t think is on any millennial’s mind,” he said. Instead, he added, his generation is focused on seeking fulfillment, searching for the kind of career that doesn’t feel like work. His goal was to “realign life,” he said.
Before leaving San Francisco, Mr. McMullen had drinks with another former Uber employee — Alex Priest, 30, who had also become a millionaire from working at the company. As the two caught up, they discovered that they had both decided to move to Texas.
“Ninety-five percent of our conversations up to that point would be talk about the weather for five minutes and then talk about Uber for three hours,” Mr. Priest said. “This was the first conversation we’d had where we talked about Uber for five seconds and then our lives for three hours.”
Last May, Mr. McMullen purchased a San Francisco home for $1.9 million; he said the property was an investment. In Austin, where his wife has family, he also bought a home, which Zillow lists as sold for $620,000. It is in a rapidly growing neighborhood where small ranch-style homes are being replaced with multistory condos, packed two per lot.
Last month, Mr. McMullen was back in San Francisco to watch “Avengers: Endgame.” He said he saw it three times in three days with different groups of friends. Each showing fulfilled his expectations, he said.
But being back in San Francisco reminded him of why he had left and made him excited to return to Texas. “Maybe we don’t want to be there our entire lives,” he said of Austin. Still, he said, it felt like a good start.