SlowTraveler's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:26 am

I have been living like a hyper consumer (in my eyes).

Still within budget. Life is better than ever before (likely due to living on my own). I rebound from pain quicker than before.

Base cost around $20-30/day+ that much or more in entertainment/travel expenses.

Updating phone number is slowly happening. I am slowly transitioning to G voice.
Last edited by slowtraveler on Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:11 am

Froze old plan. $10/month for unlimited data to use WhatsApp, maps, and all the more free communication methods while on the go.

Keeping a steady decreasing of expenses as focus. Switching insurance at year end and cheaper housing are next on the list, assuming I stay in this town.
Last edited by slowtraveler on Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Viktor K
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Re: Felipes Journal

Post by Viktor K » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:40 am

The interesting thing about you moving abroad is that your work is largely independent of your resident country, excluding concerns over internet reliability. It seems you may not be super stoked on your current town, at least that's the tone I'm getting. What, then, would be your criteria for the perfect city/town in what country/culture to live in, excluding internet connectivity?

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:27 am

@Viktor
Interesting perspective. This is actually my favorite city I've been to so far. Better than SF, Athens, Honolulu, Seattle, NY, etc for me.

I think that was more of the relationship stress than my feelings on the town itself.

I am loving Asia. I do not want to leave the continent for the foreseeable future. Walking everywhere is important to me. I'd prefer slightly less tropical weather but a rain storm isn't bad when using a good jacket. My sandals probably won't cut it when monsoon hits in June, assuming I stay here and learn the language. I could always bounce to Taiwan and Australia at that time till the rains calm down.

Update:
Health: Condition had from sitting too much has mostly disappeared. Haven't touched alcohol or other drugs (not counting sugar, second hand smoke, or other socially not counted drugs). Definitely want a kitchen next month so I can cook some burgers, I miss good cheese and meat but not much else. Haven't weighed myself in a while but sure it's going down.

I eat once a day typically till I'm stuffed and done. Twice a day often when I do dates.

Relationships: Dad is sick. Time difference makes talking harder. Feel worried for him but I know there's nothing I could do to stop what happens except for convincing him to go get a scan.

Wealth: Keep beating goals. Investing has treated me well. Spending is slightly higher than expected but life quality is the highest it's ever been. Will make this more efficient in the coming months by finding lower cost housing. I e joy living on my own or with 1 more person. Do not want to couch surf at all any more.

Uber is massively cheap here. Cheaper than local shitty taxis. My app messed up one day and using grab was a hassle as it would not load our address. Got my Uber fixed very next day.

Seeing some other towns in the country soon. Likely scuba diving at some point, may get to rescue diver, may not but I am definitely seeing the reef.
Last edited by slowtraveler on Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

JeanPaul
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Re: Felipes Journal

Post by JeanPaul » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:29 am

Yeah, decent cheese is definitely the most important thing that's impossible to find in Asia (here in Japan, good meat is cheap). I thought I might find something acceptable in the Philippines, with its Spanish (and American) influenced cuisine, but definitely not.

Still, one of the underrated pleasures of living in an exotic place is the inordinate pleasure at finding familiar (overpriced) foreign goods which would be completely mundane at home. In Malaysia, that didn't happen so much, since Tesco (the real one, not like that crap in Thailand) had a pretty good regular Western selection, but here in Japan, I was thrilled when I found that an international liquor store also carried international goods like foie gras, muesli, stuffed olives, canned garbanzo beans, even some pretty mediocre Polish raspberry jam, most of which would have cost about 1 Euro at Lidl.

Since your main expense appears to be food (unusually high relative to housing costs), seems like getting a kitchen would be a huge savings.

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:34 am

Food here is still cheaper than in the states. But damn I am still spending like a madman. Savings rate is still high and I'll ere by my 30th bday.

I found a spot that offers good cheese, a good school, and a cheap home (~$170/month) that is walking distance of everything in a more fun neighborhood. I will get on all that when I return to town. Currently seeing other parts of the country so actually paying for 2 places but my stuff is at least safe and I am realizing my dream of seeing the world.

I packed way too much, I seriously want to declutter but some stuff will be very useful in colder weather. The stuff I can buy here is better anyways.

Planning to stay a year or so here, with a break in there when I get a student visa. Probably see Taiwan or some other nearby country then. Direct flight only though. I found some for under $200 so that's a good place to use some of my travel hacking points.
Last edited by slowtraveler on Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

slowtraveler
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Re: Felipes Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:08 am

Found 3 homes in funner part of town and away from temptation, but temptation has a way of following me so might as well keep cutting my base costs. They all have a kitchenette, which basically means a microwave. I'll check them all out to see if any offer a full kitchen since I am realizing my food spending is out of control here.

Also, may drop November-December health insurance since we are allowed a 2 month gap and it's been useless to me. Even going in the states, all I got was- you're kinda fat, followed by a shit consultation with a nutritionist. I fasted twice a week and lost the fat, didn't find anything useful out of it.

Jason
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Re: Felipes Journal

Post by Jason » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:08 am

I honestly don't think temptation is following you. It's omnipresent. I guess taking certain precautions, like not renting a room in a brothel could help. But ultimately, you can't flee it physically. Martin Luther suggested farting in its face. I don't know. Maybe your shit consultant knows more about that.

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BRUTE
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Re: Felipes Journal

Post by BRUTE » Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:47 pm

Felipe can simply buy an induction or gas stovetop for all his cooking needs. Tesco (was that the name?) carries them. brute doesn't remember the price, but not too much. $30-50 or so. some places don't allow gas, some do.

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:15 am

@Brute
That is a damn good idea.

I will go there to pick one up if I stay in the area. At this point, there is a chance I will run to the beach, then Taiwan, then Mexico/Peru until winter finishes, then to Spain/Italy/Iceland/Morocco, then back to Thailand once I have cooled down a bit.

@Jason
I was unaware that you could rent a room in such a place. I do not use a consultant, it was a one time meeting. But damn was she cute. If she didn't have a ring on her finger...

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:17 am

I have moved again. Same town. Now in a different area.

Last month paid $405 for housing, including electricity and water.

This month paying $170 before electricity and water. I have been told by a friend that this price is expensive and I could find a 1-2br house in that range.

I do have to spend $3-10 on towels and clothes hangers here though but I still come out way ahead and I can donate said towel and clothes hangers when I move. I have decluttered a bit but not much.

@Brute
I visited Tesco Express and did not find an induction heater. My friend has a slow cooker we could use on her next day off to make some tamarind fish. I am getting the urge to cook again now that I have tried food here so I will get a small house in the same price range and be in school in 1 month here to learn the language if I end up staying here a while.

I do not like travelling but I love seeing the world so minimalism works amazing for me, coupled with ultra slow travel of 1-12 months in a place. I feel I am finding my groove here. This lifestyle feels a better match than through hiking or living in Amurica.

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:18 am

Back to money:
If I stop eating pizza/burgers, my food cost is $2-10 per day. Of I eat American food, it is $10-20 and I get more cravings.

My weight seems to have slowly climbed back up after a drop, largely due to acclimating to the local food (not scared any more after food poisoning made me more immune) and some dating. The food here is very entertaining. I want a scooter soon to see further but a week or 2 wait seems prudent as work picked up this week.

Sobriety is easy. I feel sharper and better than in the states. Will likely start some language classes within the next month, find a cheap home with a kitchen (I want to make tamarind Tom yum or grouper), and get a student visa.

Some time in June, I am thinking to dive in Australia, then go to Taiwan, then to Italy, Morroco, Iceland, and Spain till Winter. When I will promptly flee back to Asia or South America.

I am stopping health insurance for November to December since I can have a 2 month gap penalty free and it now costs more than housing.

Projected expenses:
Food: $10-20
Housing:$5-7
Insurance: 0
Transportation:$0-7
Entertainment: $6-30
Misc: $0-10
So $21-$74 and still within budget. I feel I am burning money but I am doing amazingly on my nw. I keep beating projections.

Debating on getting tailored shorts or some basic shorts, leaning towards basic shorts. The tailors here seem to lie a lot. Selling cashmere for less than a cotton silk blend at another. Plus, any clothing can stain or rip so why bother with expensive as long as it looks decent and does the job. Realizing I could have gotten a backpack here for $3-10.

Furnished what was missing in my room for under $10 with a 5 minute walk. Realizing a cheaper towel would probably have been better. I keep learning.

I feel the novelty is a large part of what excites me. The challenge of flirting and getting to know someone in a new language. I have a hard time feeling attraction to Western girls at this moment.

I used to say I hated make up. Now, most all the girls I feel that gut reaction to wear make up. It is a funny change. Girls I think are too young for me are almost always older than me and often have kids. I want an emotionally mature woman who looks stunning that I can trust and who wants the same lifestyle as I. Still exploring for a while to find this. Praying vasalgel comes out soon.

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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by jacob » Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:46 pm

FYI: I deleted a bunch of posts in this thread.

Always, remember:
  • There's a real risk these days of getting doxxed regardless of how clever one is. E.g. how many years before there's an AI search-engine who can relate anything a person ever wrote to their name. Maybe you don't really want this out?
  • This website/forum has been used as source material at least once for a pre-HS project, suggesting that some precocious kids are reading along. With posts like the ones I deleted, it will be less likely that ERE will be used for such projects.
  • I don't want to have to get to a point where I need to block off public access or require ID's (carding) in order for people to read or post on this forum.
Everybody please consider where you are posting and the full range of your potential readership whenever you're posting. I don't want to stipulate some kind of language censorship or insist that everything stay PG-13. I don't mind occasionally "talking like a sailor" for effect. I also don't want to censor certain topics or the occasional "sailor-story". But keep in mind there are good ways to go about it and bad ways to go about it and how this forum isn't about "sailor-stories for sailors".

In particular,

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:59 pm

@Jacob

Thanks for not blocking me, I was unaware of such a readership as I thought most everyone here was far older than I. I will stay away from documenting my sailor stories for sailors.

@Jason

I wish I could have saved your words. Sweeter words have never been spoken. They helped me heal and explain with more clarity what occured during moments of stress. It helped one of the humans I conversed with better understand both our feelings as well and move towards a healthier perspective for the situation.

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:29 pm

Found good cheese but still no kitchen to cook.

Day of street food example from before yesterday:
$1.6 2 iced teas with jelly
$.6 4 spring rolls
$1.2 Noodles with eggs and other thing
$.6 Crepe

So $4 and it felt very luxurious. The most expensive item, the 2 iced teas were completely discretionary.

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:02 pm

Today was an interesting day. I started off feeling depressed. I wrote a long journal post which helped clarify my thoughts, then went for the first damn good burger I've had here.

I still feel the confusion I felt this morning over whether to stay or leave.

This morning I came to this conclusion: This sounds morbidly wasteful but I feel like going to Mexico for a month or so, recovering, connecting with family, handling something that has been nagging at me for half a decade, then heading back to Eurasia-either Italy, Thailand, or Taiwan. I am somewhat worried that seeing my family too much will move me back towards drugs, which I am very happy I have completely stopped since leaving. I have had about .8 beers since coming here.

Though, after interacting with a very charming sweetheart, I feel better. I find it interesting that interacting with either my ex or several other beautiful girls did not help much. This particular one is too endearing. A very wise woman told me I am in the wrong country if I am looking for a good girl. However, I can see how selection bias plays into her belief about this since I have found other happily coupled people here. Moreover, I don't want to depend on love for happiness, but it drives procreation, without it, we would perish. Physical intimacy without it gets boring fast. I don't even feel much of a drive for physical intimacy without it most days. I am under no illusion that it fixes everything, it tends to add more problems than it solves but it adds life to life like nothing else and it is healthier than alternative forms of increasing vitality. It makes all other joys pale in comparison even though it often magnifies the difficulties of life.

I feel more relaxed about staying or going. I need an education visa to stay long, and I took a very fun trial class yesterday.

There are 2 conflicting desires for me:
I could stay and learn the language or I could leave and see more of the world. No matter where I go, there will be a reorienting process. I can easily stay somewhere that speaks English, Spanish, or Italian (surprisingly easy to understand for Spanish speakers) but I'll have to relearn a new area every time-where to get water, food, cheap housing, etc. This process is a mix of exciting and exhausting. It is not financially efficient. There are some areas I simply want to visit for weeks (Iceland, Morocco, Australia, Mexico) and other areas I want to stay for months to years (Italy, Taiwan, Thailand).

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Viktor K
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by Viktor K » Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:04 pm

I find it interesting that you're feeling a bit restless where you are now. We actually had a similar experience our first time around in China. Besides being in a tiny, nothing-ever-happens city, we had a pretty laid back lifestyle and appreciative company. Still, after our first semester we suddenly jettisoned back to the US, a charge that was led by me. I had this idea that I would start a marijuana cultivation plant and time was of the essence! However, I think it was actually just a bit of not really being able to appreciate fully what I had in China at the time and wanting to return back to something more familiar. I wonder if the same feelings may influence your current dilemma of should I stay or should I go? Either way, I hope and am sure you'll figure out what is best for you!

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:40 am

I find some of the parallels in our journies comforting. You probably know better than I about long term travel and I'm sure it is more at play than I have been admitting to myself. I rationalize that it is a result of my off-on relationship that I keep getting sucked back into and wanting some healthier emotional support.

I'm sure in the end, I will find what works for me, nobody is forcing me to take one decision or another.

Are you recommending to stay longer and settle in past these feelings? I'm sure they will eventually pass on their own. .

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Viktor K
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by Viktor K » Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:07 am

That's impossible for me to stay. Our situations are still different because you can work from anywhere, right? A big draw for us going to China was the work-life balance. On top of that, I've got my girlfriend here with me which makes a lot of things easier like coping with culture shock and not worrying too much about a friend group. There's also a big expat community in Shenzhen, but I think there is too where you are, right?

Not to mention, I didn't stay in China, I went back, so I can't say whether or not staying is the right or wrong decision :p

I can say that when I got back to the US, shortly after I had this feeling of, "Well, is this it then? Will I ever go back?" Almost like a sense of regret? But, not quite regret. It is hard to explain. I also felt a small bit of disappointment in myself and a bit of a fraud in a way whenever people asked about me living in China. "Oh you lived in China?" "Yes, I did." "How long?" "Oh, 5 months." It just felt like such a small amount of time :p.

That trip back also helped me get a good deal of closure and improve the relationship with my mother, as well gave me some valuable time to be there while my sister grew a year older. It also made me miss what China had to offer and helped me realize how even those 5 short months in China the first time had already greatly widened my perspective.

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:35 am

There is a huge expat community here that I have not touched at all. I feel more drawn to the locals and am slowly getting the hang of language enough for basic communication. It seems you also haven't been connecting to expats as much as focusing on love and work.

I have my plane tickets for a few days in America with some friends then off to Mexico for family. After that, I am feeling called to come back to this same town.

I know what you mean, this time has flown by. 5 months is a longer vacation than most will ever take but short for a lifestyle. I feel my time back will also make me miss this life in Asia.

Malaysia and Taiwan sound cool but I feel particularly drawn to this town so I might start the student visa application process here then finish it up in Mexico or fly into Laos and finish it there before returning here.

I'm debating between staying near the school in the touristy area or staying near where I spend all my time anyways and end up walking to every day. Either way, it will be around $90-140/month for housing. Seriously wanting a kitchen to start cooking fish, noodles, spring rolls, all that good stuff.

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:33 am

Got my plane tickets for the round trip voyage. June is a good time for the Amazon, Great Barrier Reef or Europe. Or I might stay in Asia for a year learning the language. I can stay 3 months then hop to Palermo or get a student visa (which will massively help with dating since misunderstanding sucks.) Stay 1 yr 3 months, then go to Eu then back, then Aus, then back. I seriously feel this is my home now. Maybe that will change with more travel. I don't think so though since I've already seen 4 continents and dozens of countries in my lifetime. None felt like home until here. Maybe home is where the love is.

Seeing friends for a few days and then family for a couple of weeks will help clear my head. Many are very wise and seeing most of my favorite people on this trip.

Cut my hair today, using my electric shaver. God that was a horrible idea. Not the right tool for the job, couldn't cut thick globs of hair efficiently. Took an hour and a half to shave it all off and my hair ain't so thick. Haircuts here range from $2-10, maybe I'll do that or get a real set of clippers if I stay long term. The flexibility is a God send though and clippers likely won't make it on the plane. I am downsizing when I see my family. I miss having a kitchen to cook.
Last edited by slowtraveler on Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:20 am

Feel more grounded now. Looking into homes for my return, up to 300/month but central location, kitchen, ac, all the fancy stuff.

Finally got my shorts, about $5-6 for a new pair of nice shorts. Cheaper than the states. Not getting tailored soon, realizing I don't need it. Found massages for cheap, $3.5-5/hr before tip, $6-9 after tip. Temples have the cheapest rates. Also, old ladies massage better on average, for a pretty face, you pay a premium and get a crappier massage.

Work is getting a little more stressful but manageable. Excited for 2018 to start and my Feie to kick in.

Looked up teacher pay here and it is low. $1k/ month if lucky+ housing allowance. I may still go for it after paying $1k for a year of teaching to learn the language and a visa but local real estate may be a better return on investment here. Or it may be a negative return since I don't understand the language enough to read a sign, let alone a legal contract. Not taking that gamble until I read the language and get some more understanding of the local laws and business climate.

Tracking spending is bogus here. Using PC just shows a huge wad going to ATM/cash-this includes food, transport, and housing. I'm thinking to update an excel sheet daily or each time I spend money, maybe with my phone. Seems like a hassle though. Definitely want to start this when I return even if it is somewhat of a hassle.

Found clean water for <3¢/liter.

Visited big Tesco and found burners to cook food, etc. Would not be too expensive to furnish a home to have a kitchen as longitud as it has space.

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Viktor K
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by Viktor K » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:47 am

I keep a little notebook with me and update my spending as I spend. Then I just throw it into the Excel spreadsheet at the end of the month. Some things slip through the cracks, sometimes I get lazy and have to back-track, but, for the most part, I get the/good-enough picture of where the money is going.

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