SlowTraveler's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
2Birds1Stone
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:07 am

I've been seeing the same in the Chiang Mai Expat FB group I'm part of. AQI in Chiang Mai is up to 180+ the last few days, with no improvement in sight.

Makes me question my plans to spend 3 months there next winter!

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:09 pm

Officially the worst air of any major city in the world this week. With air purifier, my bronchitis is gone. Just the occasional cough from the 200+ pm2.5 air now.

@2b1s
November to January is nice here. Around mid February, head to Phuket or Da Nang for clean air. The mountains surrounding the town hold the slash and burn air in. Fires from Myanmar to Laos to locally create a blanket of smog here, the tuk tuk and car pollution compounds this and the hot/dry season causes low wind so nothing clears until mid April.

Not staying in CM next year unless love keeps me here again. Lol

As an update, my wounds are healing from my accident. I returned the bike with a $12 bill, amazing place for scooter rentals, highly recommend so pm me for which is the best shop for a 125cc. Just $30 deposit instead of a passport or something expensive.

Financially, I've saved 72% of my income this year, including my bike purchase in full. I've got most of my gear now, just shoes missing and I have a full body suit. I also would benefit from some hiking shoes since my horrible grip shoes slip easily, leading to higher rates of falling and possible injury.

I'm improving with my bike, still stalling the bike daily but only one incident where it took more than 3 seconds to start the bike again. 5 seconds is agonizingly long with traffic behind me at a green light.

Now on my longest sober period of my adult life, probably since my first hit. Feels nice. I often think of how much better it is, so few experiences would improve with ganja, most are much better sober. Also, had a lot of fun at a bar for the first time with new lover. Thankful for the healing around alcohol with her. Low pressure, just enjoying life.

The smog definitely promotes laziness but still progressing and life is good overall.

Viktor K
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by Viktor K » Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:34 am

Eh, be careful man. Hopefully now better equipped you won't injure yourself so severely if/when you may have any other accident.

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:29 am

WR keeps hovering back down after the major purchase.

After a few months of constant dating, I found a woman I match with really well. We talk about everything together, travel nature every week, very happily living together now. She's already the longest relationship I've gone in Thailand without any arguments and we've talked about many, many, many things. She's awesome to me. I'm excited to see how this turns out.

Will likely travel this weekend for New Year's. Just a day or 2 of New Year's in town then some travel to a naturey town a few hours away or to the country side with her family.

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:13 am

Smoky season seems to be over.

My longest sober period in my life. Wealth keeps increasing, expenses dropping since living with my new partner. Eating practically exclusively local food has saved so much money and also caused me to lose some fat.

Life's good. I feel I get less responses when life is calm but it's happier overall.

Driven about 2 million meters since getting my new bike. Trip for new Years was very fun, bamboo rafted in a cave. Drove about 12 hours in 3 days. Girlfriend got injured slipping in bathroom and I had to carry her to the hospital but we still could finish our adventure and hike canyons, waterfalls, and rivers. It was my favorite trip so far with anyone. Still no arguments even when we disagree. I'm optimistic about this for my life.

I got scars from my previous motorcycle injury, uglier than expected. Got some maintenance on my bike done after the trip and somehow chain did not need adjusting after all the driving.

Seppia
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by Seppia » Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:54 pm

Great last update. It seems you’re very busy living, which is great news
Keep kicking ass

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:04 am

Thanks Seppia

CL inspired me to post again withal a post of his. Which I enjoyed reading, knowing that some people actually opens my journal from time to time.

I've started a blog of some of my recent adventures with the girlfriend, I'll probably post a link to it sometime this year but no rush since it includes many pictures of me and I'm still weighing that decision.

We recently made a trip to Bangkok, Pattay, Rayong, and Koh Samet. I loved the island lifestyle for a break.

I've been really happy, I think I found the right woman. There's a conflict in that we both want to travel but she's still needing to work, whereas I have location independence. Now we are just travelling weekends but hopefully, we can get a solution before the year end. She is significantly better at frugality than I, and she is a great planner for frugal yet very fulfilling trips. I have calculated that she would save me more than her salary by travelling full time with me and planning it so there is a possibility there .

Another big thing I have noticed is I dont enjoy the big bike as much as I thought I would. I love the scooter, so convinient, easy to park, move through traffic, can even pick it up if I need to. The big bike lacks the qualities thst made me love biking. Even at 500CC, I feel I'm ready for a scooter again. I'm considering selling my bike, then taking buses to the parks I want to go see, and renting a scooter locally. Possibly safer that way too. I have already seen most of the major towns within a 3 hour drive, just 1 left and at this point, I feel ready to leave the city I'm in to travel more but driving across the country sounds more tiring, biking within a city and relaxing in an air conditioned train/bus seems much more pleasant now with experience driving.

I feel a strong urge to see Vietnam, it seems so beautiful and has amazing sandwhiches. Also, splitting my time between 2 or 3 countries would eliminate the need for a student Visa, saving me more money to travel. So possibly leave Thailand a few months when my Visa finishes then come back when the Vietnam time limit approaches to return and not actually be in any country over 6 months total in a year.

I am fat now. I want to cut down my weight again with fasting. Staying home 2 days a week should make this easier. Wish me luck.

Still not exercising much. Just the long hikes and some swimming on the island but no gym time. I still dont feel enough time to really make a commitment. I know start and stop wont do much for me and other foci take priority: fasting, working, saving, selling motorbike/gear.

At ~15-22 years of expenses depending on how I count them.

Seppia
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by Seppia » Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:24 am

Great stuff.
Knowing that part of asia, I would also pick a scooter VS the 500cc bike (if I remember correctly a POS 125cc four stroke scooter was my initial suggestion).
It's cheaper, you can transport things easier than on a "real" motorbike and since you have less money invested in it it's also less of a "mental commitment".

Just be careful with the visa to vietnam, italians are only allowed 15 days on a tourist visa, and if it isn't much different for you, you may need to either plan carefully.

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:00 am

@Seppia

You were right and I was wrong. Smart man. A few reasons you were right include: turn radius, not dealing with a clutch or stalling in traffic, weight to tug around, distance from ground for ease of standing with bike, physical proximity to passenger for hugs, ease of parking, ease to pick up, ease to back up or out of a hill, comfort of arms while sitting, and having leg space to store some bags with groceries.

Still happy I had the experience. Now I am more careful with the bike since I understand how much weaker drum brakes are than the abs disc brakes.

I got very lucky with regards to my passport so I dont have that worry as much.

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Ego
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by Ego » Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:55 am

We got our 30-day Vietnam visa in Bangkok (US passport) and were able to extend it for another 30-days in Vietnam. Since then Vietnam has added an e-visa where you apply online, print out the visa and bring it with you. I don't know if that can be extended. Sixty days isn't enough time outside of Thailand to reenter. You'd have to go somewhere else for a month.

Bali is a great visa run location with cheap LionAir, AirAsia and Scoot flights (Bangkok-Denpasar for US$72 o/w). You can get the 60-day Indonesian tourist visa in Bangkok then extend it up to four times in Bali for 180-days total. Bali is cheaper than Thailand.

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:35 am

I've wanted to visit Bali for some time. Thanks foe the recommendation Ego. I'll be checking it out for sure in my travels.

Can I ask how expensive the Vietnam visa extension was?

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Ego
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by Ego » Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:40 am

I can't remember how much we paid and don't have access to Mrs. Ego's finance book right now. I know there are agents who can get it done fast but for a fee.

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:21 am

On Travel:
Slowly getting ready to leave Thailand. I feel ready to move on. Going to travel Thailand for September then October-Dec in China and Vietnam. After, Laos, south Thailand, and Indonesia for a 1-3 week trip then Taiwan. Guessing Vietnam or Taiwan will be my next choices to settle in long term. If it doesnt work out in Asia, off to Brazil or Colombia.

On Expenses:
Expenses average 754/month for the household including many luxuries since starting tracking last year. Anticipating 2k/month as travel.

Saving rate at 87% since starting tracking last year. Much better this last month.

Withdraw rate passed the fabled percent. I definitely need to pad some. Life feels boring without more options.

I also keep thinking becoming an engineer would be fun. Maybe it's all in my head.

On Biking:
I sold off my big bike, so I'm using a dilapidated, 10 year old 110cc for everything now. It sometimes slows to 10km/hr on uphills and we fear the engine will overheat but apart from that, it's better 90%of the time. A 125-150cc scooter would be perfect.

On Love:
Still with the same girl, things are good there, planning to travel the mentioned route with here. Even in Asia, Visas are harder for her than for me since I want to stay longer in certain countries than her visa exempt entry allows. All I need is the China visa.

We argue over small things more now so will see how this develops but hopeful we can get past that. The first 2 months were so peaceful.

On Health:
Slowly losing weight now. At 90kg again. Focusing on eating less and doing my best to fast twice a week but got quite sick this last week so I skipped a week of fasting where I'd be taking sips of honey all day. I just fasted today and will do so again Friday.

On Learning:
Intending to start reading as a habit now. Found many pdfs and I'd love to read them and start improving my brain again. Life has been too easy and I feel it's facilitated my thinking becoming lazier.

Right now reading one about Elon Musk, then comes one about the neuroscience of overeating, and one about investing after that.

Seppia
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by Seppia » Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:13 pm

may I ask why you're getting ready to leave Thailand? Is it just that you feel the need to be intellectually stimulated by some new situation or have you came to dislike something in Thailand?
Thanks!

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Thu Aug 01, 2019 5:44 am

Thanks for still reading along Seppia.

I felt the north was home due to the slower pace of life, being surrounded by a plethora of green mountains, and friendliness. Now, I've seen most of the mountains and healed some from my time in the fast city in the states so I'm ready for new. I've seen enough of north Thailand to know I'm already in the largest city here so all that's left is tiny towns that I could stay in for a couple of days before getting bored and moving on. I could slow travel some more but not settle anywhere else up here.

It is also getting more difficult and bureaucratic with Visas, having to report to immigration every 90 days, and rules like this. I hear in the center and south, it is becoming more xenophobic and less friendly but it is not my experience in the north. Due to expensiveness, pace of life, and most people acting less friendly in other parts of Thailand, I feel another part of Thailand would be unfit for settling down right now. Issan is cheap and friendly in many parts but lacks the simulation I seek.

I guess Da Nang or a medium sized town in Taiwan would be perfect with friendliness, fair cost of loving, new stimulating nature/culture, and an easier Visa situation. So I'm hoping to settle in either one for a couple of years. Maybe a short trip to Thailand's beaches for a few weeks in there but I can't imagine living here long term much longer. Most expats I've met who staare staying already have families here. They say they'd leave otherwise to settle elsewhere.

Viktor K
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by Viktor K » Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:16 pm

Haha stay away from China if you want to avoid the bureaucracy. Traveling through China? Check out Yangshuo, that's my only rec. Loved it there. Rent a moped, hit up all the little villages within a short ride up and down the river.

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:21 pm

We're definitely just travelling through. Yangzhou is actually where we're going. Flying to Nanning, taking some buses to get there, and then getting the hell out of there to Vietnam. Haha

Viktor K
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by Viktor K » Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:42 pm

Awesome awesome awesome. If you can get to Moon rock or moon mountain, I can't remember exact name, but it's real popular (but not crowded)...it's a long set of stairs up (like all mountain hikes in China, but the top is a real unique rock formation). The secret, though, is there's an easy to miss trail heading left, just before the main picture taking spot. And that trail is muddy, and narrow, and sometimes a little hard to know where it's going, tread carefully, but that takes you actually to the very, very top of the rock formation, which most people don't go to, and you get 360 degree views. There are even a couple pole-ladder things there that you can climb on top of if you're daring.

The trail literally says "DO NOT ENTER", but highly recommend.

A lot of people take boats up and down the river. I would also recommend taking a bike through the roads/paths north from Yangshuo. There was a little vegan hostel/restaurant that we stopped at. Made a whole day out of moped-ride up the river and then back down to Yangshuo. We stayed at Sudder Street Hostel. And the food in Yangshuo is actually good. I think because it's touristy. Some places (bars) overpriced, but the local shops were really good, just as affordable as other places, but much higher quality and more flavor than street food elsewhere in the country.

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:30 am

Thanks Viktor. I'll let you know how it turns out. I'm feeling a little more doubt about China now with the political climate. Vietnam, Taiwan, and maybe even Indonesia all seem like fun to travel between.

The lingering boredom of being in Chiang Mai with only a 110cc has motivated me. I've been reading again. Read a book about Elon Musk and now reading a book called the Hungry Brain about the neuroscience of overeating. It's actually extremely useful to overeat high value in an environment where food is a limiting factor in survival. I have a few more books planned.

Also, went to the gym. Horrible, shameful stats. Here they are. All weights are in kg and per side so 40 for rack deadlift means a total weight of 40x2 sides + 20 bar=100kg. - means the machine has assist.
88.5kg weight
Rack deadlift 40x8, 45x6
Dips 8,8, -9x12
Wide pull ups -22.5x4, -27.5x5

It's my first time not being able to do a full set of pull ups. At least it will only improve from here.

Finances are solid. Less stressed here and letting my portfolio slowly become more conservative using a sv heavy, light cash golden butterfly.

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C40
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Re: A Change

Post by C40 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:20 pm

I read through your entire journal today to see what you had to say about living in SE Asia. Thanks for sharing everything you have.

slowtraveler wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:21 am
I am choosing to take a different route. I am responsible, I have the power to consciously change any pieces of my self that I desire. My life is all my fault. It is my fault I weigh over 90kgs, my fault I date women who lie pathologically. It is my fault I let attraction build with them by spending time with them instead of cutting them off at the first sign of bullshit, going out and meeting new women instead. It is my fault my life often feels boring.
I tell you what - that was one of the best things I could possibly read in a journal.

If you want some books to read related to this kind of thinking:
- Harry Browne - How I won Freedom in an Unfree world (you can easily find a PDF of this online, free)
- Epictetus - Enchiridion
- Marcus Aurelius - Meditations
(can probably also find free pdfs of the two above, but they will probably older translations and maybe annoying to read)

I imagine the book by Jocko Willink is along these lines. It's called "Extreme Ownership". He has a podcast or two on the Joe Rogan show. IMO, Jocko can be, ahh, annoying in some ways, but probably does have really good advice on self-ownership.

And if you want a long, sort of smut level fiction book about this read some Ayn Rand. Atlas Shrugged has it for sure. Some folks say "The Fountainhead" is better. Haven't read that myself, (and I only made it about halfway through Atlas Shrugged)..

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