C40's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
SavingWithBabies
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by SavingWithBabies »

I'm not bummed because I'm guessing if he was to do it again, he'd do at least some of it differently. Am I right @C40? So it's a chance to start with a blank slate later on down the road.

theanimal
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by theanimal »

I don't know. I think I'd go to an ERE museum with C40's van and Jacob's rake. The cafe would have someone preparing Seppia's recipes.


Man you must be excited. Do you feel like you did at the beginning of your van travels? Looking forward to what's ahead and moving towards an unfamiliar lifestyle? I'll be looking forward to reading your reports. I may not be far behind...

Quadalupe
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by Quadalupe »

I for one, would be happy to donate a large sack of lentils towards this lofty goal! (Also a good exhibition piece: jacobs first bag of lentils. The core of ERE, right :p)

C40, I’m curious as to why you consider your portland adventure a failure. Are you willing to expand on that? And good luck on the next step!

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 »

theanimal wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:51 am
Man you must be excited. Do you feel like you did at the beginning of your van travels? Looking forward to what's ahead and moving towards an unfamiliar lifestyle? I'll be looking forward to reading your reports. I may not be far behind...
I don't get all that excited about things like this, but I have been looking forward to it a lot. One interesting/odd way I can tell i'm looking forward to something that's coming up or that I just started: sometimes when I'm riding my motorcycle, I think "boy I hope I don't crash and die now while/after I'm getting ready to go to Asia. I used to think similar things when I started in the van: "Sure hope I don't drive off the side of the road somehow right at the start of this".

I think on a couple occasions when riding the motorcycle this DnTEL song popped into my head that goes:

"Just don't forget
That it's dumb luck that got you here
Don't fool yourself
Misfortune's waiting for the best time to appear
To make it clear
That all the courage and the talent that you had
Was just in dreams
And when you wake up
You will beg to get it back
To get it back"


These are moments of brief negative visualization (ala Stoicism), and not an enduring anxiety. When I do, I'm not particularly worried about them happening, just, I guess, reminding myself they can, hoping it's not soon, and being glad that it's not now and that things are going well. So I guess that's a sign of being excited :-P


--------------
Quadalupe wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:19 am
C40, I’m curious as to why you consider your portland adventure a failure. Are you willing to expand on that? And good luck on the next step!
I started this expecting to type a short version, but this is the whole jist of it:

- Me getting tired of observing my friends' mental illness, poor control over their lives, little agency, their poor relationship with each-other, and signs that they will continue without improving.
- Me not doing a good job of making new friends/lovers there. My motivation to do so was only about halfway. Looking at it fairly, considering how long I was there, I was doing ok and would likely have progressed well with more time. A girl that I'd met and spent time with the previous year in Portland has a boyfriend, and I didn't get to see her this time. Time with her would probably have been a 'bright light' that made me cooler with other things or at least enjoy my time more.
- Me starting up projects there (and spending ~$600 or so) that were fun all went to waste due to me leaving (other than my friends benefitting from it fairly substantially). If I'd stayed, there was decent income potential from these projects/hobbies/work and it was interesting and fun for me. The main problem here is not the project but me starting and stopping things too quickly. [Withholding details intentionally]
- Thinking/sensing that my friend may not have actually been cool with me not paying rent. He said he was. But over time I realized how many other situations he gets himself into where he says things are ok to the person but complains to others about how it's not.
- A grey PNW winter approaching. That would be fine if things were going great.


It wasn't a total bust or anything. Overall I had a decent time there, and many fun moments. Basically I just thought to myself "ehhhh, I can do better than this"


------------------------------------------

So - I'm getting closer to leaving for Asia.

The main thing I have are:
1 - Sell my motorcycle
2 - Book flights and initial accommodation
3 - Maybe apply for a 60-day visa
[And some small misc stuff in the couple weeks of wait time after #2 and 3]

I'm going to Bangkok first. I'll get some immunizations while there. I will also get a visa for the next county. I'm thinking that will be Vietnam or Indonesia. I'm becoming more familia with different countries and cities, but not doing a ton of research. I think I can figure it out as I go. I don't need to make sure I do/see the best things like someone who is going for a 2-week vacation.

For Bangkok, I have been researching what the city/people/culture are like, looking at and mapping out the the different neighborhoods and public transportation (the trains and subways). Bangkok is more expensive than other smaller cities around SE Asia, but still pretty cheap. I think, for a place to stay it looks like there are trade-offs between:
- How nice the hotel/apartment itself is
- How centrally located it is
- How close it is to the BTS/MRT stations
Availability of food is also also important. The kitchen setups range from zero (just sink in the bathroom) to a fairly set up kitchen. So, in some cases, having cheap food nearby will be really important. I expect this one would work out fine in most places.

I think I will either stay in a (comparatively) really cheap place inside the city, or stay in a pretty nice place a bit out from the popular areas - like a few stops past the Sukhumvit area on the BTS.
Last edited by C40 on Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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fiby41
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by fiby41 »

You may probably be aware that forum user Seppia only recently returned from Viet Nam where he met up with forum member slow traveller. You can go through his journal for a primer of sorts.

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 »

I have:
  • Sold my van
  • Sold my motorcycle
  • Bought plane tickets and a place to stay in Bangkok
  • Sorted out most of my administrative/logistical/and 'stuff' things sorted out
  • Been reading various books to learn about traveling/living in SE Asia, Thai culture, etc.

I leave for Bangkok in less than two weeks. :-)


Once there, I'm thinking I will:
  • Assuming I get a 30 day visa-on-arrival, go to immigration and try to extent it another 30 days
  • Decide which country/countries to go to next. Apply for visa at their embassy
  • Get vaccines
  • Go to a dentist
  • Get a vasectomy(?)
  • Have fun (explore the city, food, make friends, date, photography, etc.)

rube
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by rube »

Sound good C40! It sounds so good I am a bit jealous (except for the vasectomy part :? :lol: ).

Have fun and please let us know how you're doing once in SEA!

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Ego
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by Ego »

24 hour flight through China?

Make sure to prepare with an onward ticket. The airline probably won't check the validity of the onward ticket but chances are higher when you go to immigration to extend the visa. They've been known to do so in the past, but as slowtraveler can attest, things are constantly changing in Thailand.

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 »

Yes, through Xiemen.

I don't entirely understand the second part of your message. Are you saying that I should have a ticket for a flight out of Thailand to show when I first arrive to get my V.O.A? Or for when I extend my visa?

And - are you saying I could/should, uhhh, forge one?

I was thinking about getting one ahead of time, but:
- I'm not sure whether I'll be able to stay the 60 days instead of 30, so when would I buy it for?
- Also I'm not totally sure where I want to go after Thailand.

I haven't really looked into which airlines allow easy flight changes (like Southwest in the US does, for example)

theanimal
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by theanimal »

I believe he is referring to this (3rd paragraph): viewtopic.php?t=7586&start=480#p194278

Also, SlowTraveler recommended using best onward ticket in my journal.

RealPerson
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by RealPerson »

We have not returned to Thailand for a while but never had any entry or visa trouble. Recently, when boarding a flight from Mexico to Panama, the airline (Copa) refused to let us board until we showed that we had an outbound airline ticket. No outbound no boarding, no exceptions! First time we were ever asked that! Luckily we had one.

This was on a trip with my wife. When I travel with our (adult) son overseas, we receive noticeably more scrutiny. I imagine a single man traveling to Thailand alone might be scrutinized also.

Enjoy your trip. You will love Thailand. Gorgeous country, friendly people, fantastic food, cheap and stunningly beautiful women.

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Ego
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by Ego »

Yeah, we've had some issues recently with one-way tickets and have heard of recent problems with Thailand. When we were checking in from Medellin to Lima they would not let us on the plane without an onward ticket out of Peru, which we didn't have. I bought a bus ticket on the spot and canceled it when we landed. Same for Jordan, so I bought the cheapest Ryanair flight which was to Bucharest.... we ended up using the tickets and loving Romania. Years ago we had the same problem boarding a flight to South Africa as well. They wouldn't accept the customs paperwork and bill of lading for the van we were shipping to South Africa as proof of onward journey. We were forced to buy unrestricted tickets which the airline refunded when we arrived. It was a pain in the ass and we could have missed our flight if we didn't have a lot of time at the airport to straighten it out.

It is the check-in airline agent who is stopping people from boarding as the airline is responsible for returning your to your original destination if you are refused entry to the country. In my experience immigration almost never ask for proof of a ticket out, except when you are extending your visa.

People have been known to print fake airline confirmations but it is easy to check the validity by going to the airline website and entering the name and confirmation code which are printed on the tickets. That said, I've never heard of an airline check-in agent doing this but I have heard of people being declined a visa extension for providing a fake ticket as proof of an onward journey.

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Ego
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by Ego »

When searching flights OUT of Bangkok be sure to search both BKK and DMK as many of the budget airlines fly out of the old Don Mueang airport which is closer to the city.

Also, there are cheap international flights out of Chiang Mai, Krabi, Ko Samui, Phuket... So when searching (Google flights) type Thailand into the outbound airport field the click all. This can save you a long return train/flight to BKK to catch a flight.

For instance, $48, Chiang Mai nonstop to Hanoi on Dec 6 with Thai AirAsia or $38, Krabi to Kuala Lumpur.

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Stahlmann
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by Stahlmann »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg

were you involved in pushing corpaorate drones to be more "productive" or helping techies not getting screwed up like in above video?

if the second one, please share your ideas/resources,

wolf
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by wolf »

Make sure you don't miss Laos. It's a beautiful country with friendly people! Wish you the best in SEA. Take care of yourself and send us some impressing pictures from time to time.

singvestor
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by singvestor »

Seconding Wolf’s comment. Laos, especially the South, is where it is at. And Myanmar.

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 »

I bought an outbound ticket to Da Nang, Vietnam. So that's where I'll hang out after Bangkok.

One thing I maybe gambled on is the date. I bought it for when I expect to leave Thailand - two months after arrival. I'm expecting to arrive and get a 30-day VOA, and then extend it at the Immigration office for another 30 days. I suppose I should have researched already (and may look soon) whether the airline is going to want the outbound travel date to be before a normal 30-day VOA ends.

Cal Bronson
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by Cal Bronson »

By my calculations C40 should be settling in Bangkok right now. Hey C40, I hope it's going well. I'm definitely anxious to hear your updates; from Thailand as well as Vietnam, and wherever you go after that. I loved Saigon and I've heard great things about Danang as well as Hoi An (I'm also intrigued with Dalat). Happy trails.

Viktor K
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by Viktor K »

Highly recommend splurging on a Muay Thai fight in Bangkok.

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 »

Yep, I've been in Bangkok about ten days. I hadn't thought about really going to see Muay Thai fights. I may do that.

So far I've been:
- Exploring different parts of the city.
- Taking a lot of pictures. Mostly in Chinatown where there are a lot of lights that make shooting fun
- Doing a fair amount of dating
- Eating a lot of 'street food'

And I've got my first case of food poisoning. I think I got it from having some freshly made juice (of celery, carrot, and ginger) - sure seemed like a healthy idea in the moment. It's a relatively minor one in terms of feeling physically sick, but keeps from wanting to, say, go out on a date, or go somewhere for 3 hours where I don't know if there are public bathrooms to be found.

It's definitely interesting here so far. Some things are very different - including both things about the city, and about the people/culture.

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