IMP: H1B consular processing expiry

If you are on L1B visa (valid till 2020) and you get selected in H1B consular processing:

Can you travel outside US (e.g. South Africa in January’19 and January’20) and re-enter US on L1B after 1st Oct, 2018?Can you travel to you home country (India) and re-enter US on L1B after 1st Oct, 2018? In this case, you will not get H1B stamped at consulate (basically not activate H1B)Can you choose to retain you current L1B visa (till L1B is valid i.e. 2020) Can you chose to extend your L1B in 2020 instead of activating H1B?

If you are travelling abroad and choose to seek stamping, then all visa stamps on your passport remain valid with no impact on status. At US entry, you must explain to border control which visa you are entering under and an I-94 is processed accordingly. If there is paperwork that helps you continue your L1B, then there is no need to activate H1B until required. Consular processing for H1B is just an informal directive, not a legal order.