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Re: C40's Journal

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:32 pm
by classical_Liberal
Sure you could've stayed in St Louis, but the whole time you'd have been dreaming about living in a van. If you had saved 2 million, you could afford a condo in Tuscon, Portland, and still be at a 1% WR rate. Then you'd think, "Wow, I have everything I could possibly want, and somethings still missing". At least in your current situation, you have to make some decisions, commit to them, and work towards your goals (even if it ends up "both", which I second as a great idea). In the end, working towards and achieving those goals is what will provide you the satisfaction you seek.

IMO, you are in a perfect situation, FI but not filthy rich, you still have skin in the game of life and have to put forth effort to keep making things better. Good luck!

Re: C40's Journal

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:54 am
by C40
Clarice wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:04 pm
"being around long-term ... lover(s)"
If you don't mind answering, what is your definition of "long term"?
Umm… I don’t really have a short definition. Mainly a relationship that lasts a significant length, where we get to feeling ‘settled-in’, know each other very well, establish a lot of trust, etc. I don’t mean a relationship that lasts forever (because I think that unlikely), but one that could or does last (many) years. For a person traveling, one way to measure is how we feel about that woman when I go back to a place. If seeing her is like ‘coming home’, or if it’s a feeling of joy and comfort to see them again, it’s probably more in the long-term realm, where if it’s more like getting to know one-another again, it’s not. (I realize that example is also touching a different scale - something like ‘depth).

m741 wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:49 am
If you don't mind my asking, why weren't you interested in living in the South? I feel like I've been dismissive of living there mostly based on political leanings, while there are some strong selling points (low cost of living, some beautiful land in Kentucky/Tennessee) - and I'm curious if you had a different perspective.
I’ll list some reasons below, being quite blunt. To some they will seem judgmental, dismissive, un-nuanced, etc. I’m sure there is more nuance and good things about the south than I was there long enough to understand

- The summers are both hot and humid. I’m cool with hot. I’m cool with humid. Both at once can be tough. I spent last summer in Oklahoma. It actually wasn’t all that bad and I wouldn’t mind living in that climate. I think it is worse further south.
- Lower average and mean intelligence (or education level and quality)
- Higher obesity rates and lower fitness
- (MUCH) higher rates of serious Christian faith
- Higher birth rates (not sure about this… higher than some areas at least)
- Way more gender discrimination, misogyny, patriarchal norms (for example, my brother and his wife lived in NC. They’d hired people to build a fence on their property. The wife gave them instructions on where to build it. The worker looked at her blankly and asked “is your husband here?”. They needed to hear the instructions from the man of the house)
- The western half of the US has way more public land with really beautiful and fun landscape, mountains/rocks/canyons, plants, etc. Also, the public lands in the south are so full of trees that I like them less. I prefer more wide-open places where you can see off in the distance.
- Ticks. LOTS of ticks. Some with lyme’s disease, thought not as much as the northeast. I’d rather not get that, and I guess I prefer my dangerous animals more like rattle snakes, which give you a warning so you can usually avoid them easily.
- Some southern cities have high racial tension (ex: St Louis, Memphis, and probably many more)
- Pretty high amounts of racism. (though other areas are high too, like rural PNW, cities like Boston (form what I read), etc.)

Here’s one example of how those come together: when I first got to Oklahoma City and was using Tinder and Bumble, I met a handful of polyamorous, bisexual, very liberal women and though ‘wow, I did not expect this’. After a couple months, I was mostly meeting conservative christian divorced single mothers (and often feeling like they are basically all the same, which is a little boring for me). I realized that probably why I met those more liberal ones at the start was that there are so few of them in OKC, so when somebody new pops up on Bumble that is not the same ol’ conservative, christian, divorced single father, they jump on it.

Another example: I spend a little bit of time in Texas. Rural Texas has both some of the southern happy-go-lucky charm, and also a big time ‘sovereign individual’ vibe. I like those. When I’d meet a stranger, they were usually really nice, and I’d be thinking “wow, people are easy to make friends with here”, and then they hand me a business card for some Christian thing or invite me to their church and I think “oh… that’s why he was being friendly”


I haven’t totally written off the south. I could still end up there. I feel like it’s a place I might like when I’m older - in large part because I have a probably very inaccurate expectation that I’ll be less social then and won’t care as much about what the people are like where I live. For now, my feeling is that I’d rather live somewhere that I like a bit more and be willing to pay like $30-50k more for a house. (though certainly not $300k more for a house in Portland, Seattle, Denver, or CA)



Augustus wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:10 pm
Nice van build! What do you think of promasters vs ford transits?
I've only been inside one a Transit for a couple minutes. I don't have an opinion on this.

suomalainen wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:45 pm
Re: Tucson/Portland, why not snowbird it? Tucson in the winter and Portland in the summer with flexibility around the shoulder seasons? At least until you find yourself wanting more permanent roots. You'll have more experiences in both places to help you make a decision.
theanimal wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:08 pm
Somewhere I hear the ghost of Dragline saying, "Do both." :)
Yeah, I might do something like that. The possibilities I’m thinking of are to either have a main home base with my friends in Portland, and go south during winter. Or have a home base in the south, and go north during summer.

For now, I’m going back up to Portland to live with my friends, because fuck it, it sounds like fun. Also, if I’m going to live with them for a straight period of time (the Portland home base thing), I figure I should do that one now while I don’t have any housing situation set up somewhere else that would have ongoing expenses or complexity.

Re: C40's Journal

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:10 pm
by m741
Thanks for the detailed response. I wasn't planning on moving to the South, but your impressions are in line with my observations from afar. I was curious if I was missing something or would feel different if I lived there but we seem to have a similar mindset and I imagine I'd feel similar to you.

Re: C40's Journal

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:10 pm
by Salathor
C40 wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:54 am
Another example: I spend a little bit of time in Texas. Rural Texas has both some of the southern happy-go-lucky charm, and also a big time ‘sovereign individual’ vibe. I like those. When I’d meet a stranger, they were usually really nice, and I’d be thinking “wow, people are easy to make friends with here”, and then they hand me a business card for some Christian thing or invite me to their church and I think “oh… that’s why he was being friendly”
In their defense, that probably IS them being friendly. If you met someone and asked them to join your social group (bike club, hiking group, craft beer fan club), wouldn't you being doing it because you were interested in spending more time with them?

Now, that said, I haven't spent any significant time in the south, so I've got no dog in this fight and I'm obviously missing the vast majority of the social signals exchanged.

Re: C40's Journal

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:27 pm
by C40
Salathor wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:10 pm
In their defense, that probably IS them being friendly. If you met someone and asked them to join your social group (bike club, hiking group, craft beer fan club), wouldn't you being doing it because you were interested in spending more time with them?

Now, that said, I haven't spent any significant time in the south, so I've got no dog in this fight and I'm obviously missing the vast majority of the social signals exchanged.
Well, you're right, they could have really been engaging with me for entirely friendly motivations, and evangelical efforts don't mean they weren't friendly. As for the evangelism part itself, in most cases it is done for other reasons, not as an attempt to spend more time with someone.

Re: C40's Journal

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:48 pm
by C40
Well, I have the wheels in motion for a next phase of life:
- Going up to Portland and living with my friends
- On the way, going fairly slow through Arizona and Utah to do a bunch of camping, motorcycle riding, etc.

When I got my lease, I paid it in full through April. After I told him I'd be leaving at the end of April, I told him that if he finds someone who wants to rent the place earlier (as soon as April 1), I could be out by then, and would be happy if he refunded me half the rent of after the new lease starts. He did find someone to rent it starting April 1 (and he also told me he'd refund the full rent amount, so that would be cool).

So, I have just two weeks to get my shit together. My main challenge is sorting out my motorcycle and gear to be ready to do a lot of riding - most of it on dirt roads and trails. The timing is odd because I'm making decisions and buying things in a hurry without the experience or full knowledge of what works well, what I want, etc. So, on some things I'm just going ahead and buying them.

As for the route up, I was considering these:
Image

I'd never been along the eastern sierra side in CA, so I was thinking about that. But.. the gas prices there are way higher, and I already know that I love Utah. So, I'll be taking something like the more eastern route on the map. Probably with a lot of meandering through AZ and UT.

I will also have a challenge of trying to relax, camp, etc. in/out of my van with a lot more stuff in it than normal. I have more stuff that I picked up from storage at my sister's place, plus some furniture that I'd like to keep. (IKEA stuff that packs pretty flat). So,.. I'll have to figure that one out.

I'm pretty excited about the possible adventures on the trip up, and about stuff I want to do up in Portland. Also, I had been feeling a lot better lately (before this Portland planning) compared to what I described some posts ago. I basically just got on with having fun and it was working. I'll write more about this after I hit the road, or once I get all my preparation work done.

My seasonal timing is turning out wonderfully. In a twelve month period, I will have three summers worth of pleasant summer-type weather (The fall in Tucson, this spring in Tucson/AZ/UT, and summer in Portland)

Re: C40's Journal

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:41 pm
by MidsizeLebowski
C40 what was your experience like/thoughts on the year in Tucson? We seem to have similar interests/leanings in taste when it comes to peers/dating and Tucson has been floated as an idea for future home base. Likely arranging an AZ/southwest tour to scout out locations this year. Read through your journal front-back over the past couple weeks, congrats on everything you accomplished and much appreciated for detailing it so thoroughly!

Re: C40's Journal

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:26 pm
by m741
Three underrated sights on your path in Northern CA are Lassen Volcanic NP, which is pretty and undertrafficked, and Lava Bed NM, which is deserted, in the middle of nowhere, and allows you to pick up some free/cheap gear and wander around in beginner-friendly caves on your own (ie, without installed lighting). That's also close to a barely-known national historic site, Tule Lake, a Japanese internment camp, which you can tour. You show up at an office and they drive you around in a cargo van for a guided tour (free). It's totally off the radar.

I'd highly recommend all three and you are going right past them.

Re: C40's Journal

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:35 pm
by C40
MidsizeLebowski wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:41 pm
C40 what was your experience like/thoughts on the year in Tucson? We seem to have similar interests/leanings in taste when it comes to peers/dating and Tucson has been floated as an idea for future home base. Likely arranging an AZ/southwest tour to scout out locations this year. Read through your journal front-back over the past couple weeks, congrats on everything you accomplished and much appreciated for detailing it so thoroughly!
I like Tucson a lot.

The weather seems good:
- Fall is great
- Winter is colder than I like but warmer than almost anywhere in the US.
- Spring is great
- Summer is hot, but I think it would be bearable.

The scenery is great. There are big mountains right around the city, so you have really nice views form in town. There is cool desert and mountain stuff to go explore. Plus more of a highland or scrub area to the east. Tucson is in the Sonoran desert, but sort of near it's edge. And 30 miles from the city you can be up at 10,000 feet or so in a coniferous/alpine forest.

Jobs seem to be shit here, so there aren't a lot of people around my age with a lot of money. Quite a lot of college students near in the middle of the city. There's a big air force base that has planes flying around all the time. A good number of people are employed at the Air force base, at military industrial companies like Ratheon, and for the border patrol. Still, (the rest of) Tucson is a fairly liberal and environmentally conscious city. Significantly more than Phoenix at least. But it's not like bleeding heart 'we're going to yell at people and have hissie fits all the time' liberal. People seem to mind their own business and nobody fucks with you. As far as big cities, it's kind of one where you can do whatever you want. You want to keep 5 RVs in your back yard? Who's gonna stop you? (In much of the city, no one). The dating here is decent but the pool is quite small for the city size.

Houses are pretty cheap, I think because there aren't many jobs. If some big employers came here, I think house prices could double.

Re: C40's Journal

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:40 pm
by C40
m741 wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:26 pm
Three underrated sights on your path in Northern CA ....
I'm going this way:
Image

Utah rules. In large part, I may go mostly to areas I've been before. Some of which I stopped at for a while and loved, and some of which I drove by and wished I stopped for a while.

There are a bunch of places I've never been and want to some time. I'm taking a patient approach, and often thinking "ahhh, I don't need to go there now, I'll leave that for some other time" (Yosemite is high up on that list)

Re: C40's Journal

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:31 pm
by m741
Ah, I missed that you'd decided. Utah is my favorite state for natural beauty. Can't go wrong there. The Eastern route is better than what you had on your previous map.

Re: C40's Journal

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:57 pm
by C40
Yeah, this way I'd go to a lot of fun areas: Zion, could go down into Escalante if I feel like it, Capital reef, Canyonlands, Moab, San Rafael Swell, etc.

The good thing is that it's nearly all really cool in Utah and the National parks are just great extras.

I'm not sure at all that this is the way I'll go, I basically just threw the map together in a few minutes as a starting point.

Re: C40's Journal

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:43 am
by Seppia
You picked the best route IMO, I've done the Utah part of your trip 6-7 times and would do it another 10.
I can't see it in the map, but make sure you take a look at the view from Muley Point (close to Mexican Hat), one of the most stunning views in my life.
https://goo.gl/maps/NdjATGjps572

Another underrated but amazing thing to do is to cross lake powell at Hall's Crossing
https://goo.gl/maps/QQjyoNPiSgn
It's not th emost efficient way, and the operation of the ferry is not that reliable, but it has a ton of charm, and that feeling of getting there and to see NOBODY for miles is unforgettable.
The view of the Charles Hall ferry spot on the southern side of the lake is what I associate with the Platonic idea of freedom.
Just google "Charles Hall Ferry". Unforgettable

Take tons of pics

Re: C40's Journal

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:51 am
by jennypenny
I've only been as far west as Wyoming. I'll have to make sure I add Utah to the next trip out. It would be easy enough to drive to Salt Lake to fly home. Is that too far north to see anything? (sorry for the hijack C40)

Re: C40's Journal

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:55 am
by Seppia
The best stuff starts in Moab* (I think Canyonlands is the most underrated of all National Parks), and from there south, but Utah is all beautiful.
Best state in the USA nature wise, and it's not close in my opinion (haven't visited Alaska and Hawaii but I've seen almost all the rest).

*I'm excluding Yellowstone which I think is the 8th wonder of the world - assming you're talking about Utah only

Re: C40's Journal

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:37 am
by RealPerson
If near Moab/Canyonlands, don't miss Dead House Point. I think it is the most spectacular vista I have ever seen.

Re: C40's Journal

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:44 am
by C40
jennypenny wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:51 am
I've only been as far west as Wyoming. I'll have to make sure I add Utah to the next trip out. It would be easy enough to drive to Salt Lake to fly home. Is that too far north to see anything? (sorry for the hijack C40)
I haven't done much in the northern parts of Utah. I remember the area around Salt Lake City as being more like it is in Idaho (which is nice, but not like these other places in Utah we're talking about). So I don't know exactly what the northern half is like. Starting from about the middle of the state north-south (slightly north of it) there is really cool stuff. And it continues all the way south.

Re: C40's Journal

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:03 am
by C40
Thanks for the recommendations folks. I'll take a look at these.

Re: C40's Journal

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:11 am
by Freedom_2018
I think it is called Dead Horse Point. Also look into the reason why it got this name while standing there and seeing the view - gives some insight into animal rights and forced Darwinism.

Re: C40's Journal

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:13 am
by TopHatFox
Haha, this is cool. What do you after FI? Have fun with people in Portland and ride my motorcycle out west. Just goes to show that cubicle living is only worth doing if it leads to something like thiiiiiiis.

Also, it's funny how much more flexible (and therefore frugal) one can be when not working 9-5. You're also more likely to think of an interesting business idea while traveling free than mentally zombified. Maybe that's part of the reason why the rich get richer. $$