SlowTraveler's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
MDFIRE2024
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Location: Germany

Re: Felipes Journal

Post by MDFIRE2024 » Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:46 am

Felipe wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:25 pm
On hiking 15 miles tomorrow: Don't feel ready yet. I didn't hike once this week since my legs still ache walking a single block around the house so they're probably not fully recovered yet. I've been stretching, doing mobility work, electric stim, it helps. I'll do a short hike today (2 miles at most) to get back into the habit.
How was hiking?

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Viktor K
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Location: China

Re: Felipes Journal

Post by Viktor K » Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:34 am

Well urban jogging is pretty fun, since it gets me out of the house. But yes, once we build the climbing wall, it is going to be pretty sweet! We did a 10 mile hike today up one side and down the other side of a mountain here in the city. It was pretty awesome to be back in nature. Looking forward to hearing how your hikes go.

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:52 pm

@Viktor
10 miles is a solid first day back. Excited to hear about that wall as it comes in.

@MD
I ended up taking a group to Big Basin on Thursday. We hiked around the redwoods and up to a waterfall. It was more than 2 miles and felt quite healing since I'd been out of nature for so long but I missed the serenity of hiking alone, stepping into a picturesque view and feeling solitude. The stresses of daily life become irrelevant. Do I have water, food, decent temperature? Then I'm okay.

I notice my joints hurt more in the city than the mountains. Even when injured, walking in the forest feels way easier. I'm also realizing how much I enjoy less weight. So I'm going for a daypack with <5lbs excluding water for my next hike. Bring even less food. Maybe a pound total of bacon and cheese. A pound of gear/warm clothing. And a liter or 2 of water.

I've also made some adjustments in my plan. I don't think months of hiking on end is realistic in my current situation. That would require more free time and conditioning than I currently have. I've felt overwhelmed with other things so hiking has naturally been put on the back burner. That said, I can continue doing day hikes (5-12 hours) and do multi-days once in a while. This does not change that I want to hike Yosemite, Sequoias, Kings Canyon, and finish Skyline to Sea. With some thinking, it ends up easier. Instead of relying on close friends or public transport, I can now drive and do loops. Then drive from there back home or to the next stop. I carry more water and food easily this way and can do several day loops with a nice safety net since my car acts as a reserve of resources I don't have to carry. So Skyline to Sea gets broken into a 10 mile loop of Sunset/Berry Creek Falls one day and Waddle to Berry Creek Falls (maybe biking) another day.

Unrelated to hiking and complete ramble...
I've felt pulled in many directions. I think this will die down once I've moved out.
The main stressors that come to mind are keto (flu, learning about, adapting lifestyle-wise, experimenting with cooking), moving out (making sure work gets taken care of, next steps in business, potential risks in other countries), hiking (disappointment in adjusting plan, is there a way to permanently heal injury, survival/scuba class, clearing clutter/did I waste $ on some things won't end up using), family trip (taking care of house, yard, business), dating (enjoy what doing but already feels stressful even as it's enjoyable, dating more vs moving out and getting shit together more, planning/preparing for coming date), taking care health/hygiene, taking care my special plants, sell car, connect to family, to friends.
Last edited by slowtraveler on Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:29 pm

So 1 month later and I have moved out. I'm living in a low col area and it's quite nice. I've left my home country to see the world.

I'm a little scared of the food and water so I'll focus on restaurants and groceries as opposed to street food. I was planning on street food but after seeing a huge line of locals at one (good sign), I noticed the lady touched money and food directly but boiled the food very hot so I thought it was okay. 30 minutes later my body said no, I don't feel much sicker than I would from sleep sickness so I'll chalk it up to learning what works for me and that I lack the antibodies/acclimation of locals, just happy I'm not feeling like I'm dying.

I've already seen more temples than I can count. I like being sober again in a new environment (I seem to not crave it while traveling).

I took a long ass flight here with an 8 hour layover in China. The smog and military presence dulled my desire to return but Taiwan seems a good match since it's low col and has a more relaxed atmosphere. I'll be travelling slow (6 weeks-6months/area) depending on comfort, cost, social fit, health and focusing on 1 direct flight rather than the mess I was in flying for 2 days to save some cash.

I was planning a rtw trip but I'll be skipping west Asia so technically not flying in 1 direction till I return to the longitude but who cares?

I'm thinking to return to Central America for the holidays. 6 weeks here, $89 for a direct Taiwan flight (at 2am) then 6 weeks later to Central America. Then to Peru until winter ends for the Amazon, mother Aya, and some Andes ruins. From there to Spain.

In the coming weeks I'll get my first apartment, cuddle with and bathe elephants, hike the gorgeous mountain across from my view, and learn some culture. I'm aiming to keep expenses under 2k/month no matter where I go. I'll simply watch how much I pull out and if it is too much, I'll track down on what exactly. I know this is high but it feels much better than fighting to save every penny, plus it feels nice to beat my goals rather than lag behind them.

@Viktor, your journal was very inspiring to me. A few others had travelled as well but yours spoke to me more. Maybe age, financial phase, fascination with same areas, areas. I noticed you felt something missing in the states and without talking about plans as much, simply updated that you were in the east, on the fast track to freedom. That inspired me to simply start my dreams instead of waiting till year end, even if it cost a little more money. I'm curious, how has your health felt over there? Have you adapted to the local food/water well?

I think I may end up in Europe/ Spanish America in the end due to familiarity of culture/health but this is really fun for now.

I want to see Australia but I can't find a way to make it cost effective and I have my whole life to explore, I've already begun.
Last edited by slowtraveler on Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Viktor K
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Location: China

Re: Felipes Journal

Post by Viktor K » Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:25 am

That's awesome that you bit the bullet so to speak and went abroad. I hope you're finding it worthwhile and more interesting than the states. I think you've got a good opportunity to travel given the nature of your work, so I'm stoked that you are taking the chance to do so. It sounds like you're really embracing both the good and the bad that Asia has to offer.

That is truly a bit of bad luck with the stomach problems. I went my first 6 months in China eating street food with no issues and that was in some tiny city no one has ever even heard of. My health has been pretty good actually, aside from the occasional food bug in Shenzhen. The pollution was the main thing that affected me the first go round. This time, with Shenzhen being more liveable, I've actually had more problems with food! Thus, I've started preparing my own meals and haven't had trouble since.

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Eureka
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Re: Felipes Journal

Post by Eureka » Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:01 pm

Felipe wrote:
Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:29 pm
That inspired me to simply start my dreams instead of waiting till year end.
What you write inspires me too.

Especially all the hiking part. I guess I should just start walking right away ...

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:46 am

@Viktor
I feel 100 times better now. I walk and take public transport everywhere. The city is so alive but not overwhelming like capital cities. I'm finding my groove. Eating once or twice a day to save money since safer food and water are more expensive. I'm loving my life like I haven't in a long time. Have you figured a way to not sweat like a pig in the humid heat? I'm thinking sleeping so early and getting up early exposes me to the strongest heat so that's one idea.

@Eureka
This city has so much green and mountains that walking everywhere feels like hiking but what's stopping you now? A day hike, weekend hike, or night hike only take a couple hours. Grab some water, some clothes, and find a nature reserve on the map.

Update:
All spending today came to $50, includes housing, HI, entertainment, food, water, and transport to see the various housing options. 2 places stick out to me- both are ~$330. I'm leaning towards the area I like better (less touristy). I expect my 2k/month budget will be enough to have a damn good life travelling. I wouldn't enjoy a bigger room or any of that. I'd be okay living a little further if it was cooler. I've seen multiple rooms for <$100 but it's basically 4 walls, a bed, a sink, shower, no view, and a closet along with a further walk. I'm paying a premium for a view, central location, and nicer environment but it's within budget and I feel happier. I'm just scared of blowing all my hard work but my savings rate is on target and I'm ahead of where I expected to be at this point.

I saved so hard for so long that I now feel guilty spending so much but life feels so much better on my own and living luxuriously (to me).

I currently want to stay here the full 3 months I'm allowed but I really want to get to the beach for some reef diving. I may get an extended visa if I still feel this way later. Stay here till it's monsoon and get my ass to Europe or Taiwan. I haven't found a city I like more than this one yet but then again, I haven't lived on my own for long.

My future looks bright with many possibilities but I don't think my spending can go back to my live at home costs without a drop in life quality and if I die tomorrow, who gives a fuck if I have $20 less because I wanted to have a good time? Isn't that what money is for? To easily access the goods and services that are worth more than the time put in.
Last edited by slowtraveler on Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Viktor K
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Re: Felipes Journal

Post by Viktor K » Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:30 am

Nah, I just sweat it out. I go through more t-shirts and polos this way (my work attire), and have to wash shorts (also work attire) after a few days in a row. When I'm not at work, its gym shorts, tank tops, and flip flops, which at least helps a bit.

slowtraveler
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Re: Felipes Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:14 pm

Spending yesterday came out to:
$11 housing
$5 food
$.30 donation to street musician
$2 drinking water 2 days, soap week or 2
$8 Us health insurance-> dropping or replacing with cheaper plan at year end or maybe once have 2 months left in year and legally can without tax penalty.

I've been feeling some heartache lately. I feel happy here overall, like I'm out of a cage I'd been living in for so long, though I do feel something missing and maybe I'm looking in the wrong places, or maybe not. Maybe the only way to fill the hole is to sit in. In my past, drugs didn't help. Alcohol obviously would harm more than help from my experience. Friendship, family, love all help but are not a solution and can become stressful in their own regard if I depend on then.

I swear every day here makes me more Buddhist. Off to the temples to pray today and get some recovery focused massage.

Debating on getting a good tailor or not. I have 2 sets of clothes for this weather- shorts and tank top or light khakis and dress shirt. Merino is shit in this weather. Maybe cashmere will work better. But none are a need. If a set rips I have plenty of time to find a new one. I wash clothes daily.

I still want to see the elephant sanctuary but I don't feel like the couple hour round trip is worth it yet, same for night safari. Taking language classes does sound fun though and that may be next on my list. Student visa, business visa, or border runs are you I'd stay longer if I am going to.

Either way, I'm realizing how important self care is. Working out made the feeling so much better, it feels so good to get that energy out. The gym is kinda shit but it's rooftop and the Smith machine is all I need since I can do most lifts and weighted calasthynics on it. I'll shoot for 3 days on, 1 off. Horizontal push pull day 1, vertical day 2, legs day 3. Meditating somewhat helps but it's hard to sit still sometimes and it's not as tangible at the moment. Water helps. Eating helps but I want to lose fat so I'm letting eating less often be a good thing.

I still can't sleep passed 4am, probably remnants of jet lag.

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:56 am

I've had local mango, banana, sprouts, cabbage, and other raw produce without getting sick at all.

My lover has put multiple unknown foods in my mouth and everything turned out fine, still no sickness. I guess more sleep makes one more adaptable in new environments.

I'm paying twice as much for my studio apartment as my lover is, although hers doesn't come with a pool, gym, and all that but it wouldn't double the price. There's a kick-ass gym nearby I'm going to check out and I'll see if I can change my lease to a 2 week so I can get a cheaper home. There are 2 bedroom houses going for ~23% less than I pay but they come with a year less. Without the discount I could still get at least a 1 bedroom private home for about what I pay now. Will research this more today.

Student visas seem to be in the 1-2k range for a year, including school.

Business visa would probably be in the 250-600 range, including incorporation but actually learning the language seems worth the extra half k. Border run sounds like a pain and I could only extend 1 month with it. That would cost ~$100. Any visa actually requires a border run since I can't apply from within.

Uber into mountains is actually very cheap, cheaper than taking a cheap taxi and much more comfortable.
Last edited by slowtraveler on Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:58 am

Today I spent ~$45: 11 housing, 8 insurance, 5 food, 20 massage

Housing and insurance are the biggest daily costs that could decrease without a decrease in qol. Also, insurance is artifically high because it doesn't count the hsa deduction. That'd cut it down to 5/day.

If I get cheaper insurance and housing:
$8 housing
$3 insurance
$5 food
That's a $16 base expense and doesn't include that the housing could cover 2 people.
Adding in classes would add an average of $3/day since $1k/yr.

Even then I have $40 of wiggle room. Once I get there I'll likely decrease my anticipated spending. I thought I'd want to move faster but while I want to move homes relatively often, I don't want to leave this country for a while. I'd have to see how a student visa would play into that since I can't miss classes-not sure how many I can't miss. Maybe 3 months as is then go for a student visa if I'm still in love with this place and want to master the language.

The local University seems to offer the best deal and quality on student visas (just under 1k for a year and expedited visa) but it is on the other side of town so either a 40 minute walk one way, $1-2 for 1 type of public transport, $.30 for bus but buses here are inconsistent from what I've heard, get a bicycle, or a motorbike. Classes are twice a week for 3 hours. It would be fun learning a new writing system.

The housing website is not in English and g translate doesn't do the sub menus so I will get some help with that site soon. I'm hoping to move out of apartments since noise gets annoying in the morning and I want a space with more freedom to enjoy loud or quiet without so much carefulness.

I keep forgetting to mention that not having food subsidized or constantly around makes losing fat so much easier. I'm down a belt size without trying anything beyond don't eat when I'm not hungry.
Last edited by slowtraveler on Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Viktor K
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Re: Felipes Journal

Post by Viktor K » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:14 am

Glad to hear you're adapting, and it sounds like quite quickly. As for losing weight, I lost 15 pounds the first time I went abroad, which wasn't a goal of mine but happened anyway. This time, I didn't have as much muscle coming here but have again lost some 10-15 I would imagine, though I haven't measured it.

slowtraveler
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Re: Felipes Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:38 am

Thanks Vik

Life here and alone feels like being released from a cage after years of captivity so adapting has felt effortless. You must have a 6 pack by now. I'm still a ways away but I'll catch up.

Update:
Spending nearly identical to yesterday but I spent $3 less since I had cheaper food and massage today.

Squats and deadlifts made me hungry but I fasted after my one meal of the day.

Some emotional conflict triggered some urges to get high or eat or fight. None happened and I moved through the emotion by meditating, walking town, reading, and taking a warm shower. Will look into some workout or fighting gyms soon and see if these are cost effective soon.

slowtraveler
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Re: Felipes Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:10 am

Inverted rows and decline push ups both with weight

Spent: 15 on food (2 dates), 11 on housing, 5 on insurance counting hsa deduction, 3 on water and toothbrush and some other stuff
So 39 total and it was my favorite day so far, by far.

Ate fucking adventurous today. New foods I'd never seen. Rode on the back of a motorcycle for a while and now I'm likely to rent one to explore the town. Fuck I love this place. Still learning a lot about the customs. Strongly considering just staying in this town till my lover gets a week off then taking her to the beach. Then learning at uni when my visa free period terminates.

My home is getting eh. I already want to move but financially it does not make sense since the 2 week stay is almost as much as the 4 week. But cutting housing costs at least in half at that point if I stay and don't get too disenchanted with this town. I see some possibilities to cut housing into a quarter though.

Fantasizing about numbers I get:
$3 housing
$10-20 food
$5 transport
$5 insurance

So $23-33 a day.

None of this is strict for me. Simply a gradual refinement, a steady building, and most importantly- a focus on what brings me happiness.

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:14 am

On a non financial note: I still love hiking but exploring this town has been so much more rewarding. I see where I was just 3 months ago and damn. Leaving the house has been nothing short of life changing. I can't imagine going back.

What I considered my vices have practically melted away. A feeling of being stuck in a cage replaced with a zest for life. I haven't spent a single day in the house, I feel more social. I feel good and wake up seeing every day as a gift.
Last edited by slowtraveler on Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

slowtraveler
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Re: Felipes Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:03 pm

I have realized I am paying a premium for cleanliness.

Last night I saw a cockroach inside a home. Interesting. Couldn't kill it before it hid in the wall but unexpected still. Haven't seen that in any of the places I'm at. Assuming a small house will come with the same situation so maybe duct taping any cracks in walls can stop that once I've found a place. I'd use plaster and paint but it's a rental.

Month stays are much cheaper than week long stays but a month is a long time to stay in 1 home.

Realizing even my fancy heat clothes aren't as good as basic cotton shorts + shirt here. Brute knows his shit. Likely buying 1 set of shorts and 1 shirt at some point in the coming week. I am over long sleeves and non cotton in this weather. Cotton takes forever to dry which is why 1 set isn't enough. It won't dry overnight here.

slowtraveler
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Re: Felipes Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:15 am

Was told I could find a shirt or shorts for about $1.7 today but found $3.4 as best price and didn't like any enough to buy them today.

Is it me or are Asians badasses at spending less money. Here I am trying to ERE and I've already been told multiple ways to cut my expenses in half. How was I considered cheap back in Silicon Valley? My $11/day condo with rooftop pool and gym is expensive because the room is small and it lacks a kitchen.

slowtraveler
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My First Rat

Post by slowtraveler » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:56 pm

I was sitting in a restaurant, having a $1 mango lassi and when I finished, I got up to go to the bathroom. As I walked there, a see a fat rat dart across the floor in front of me into a pile of clutter. The long pink tail and fat central portion are what made it obviously a rat.

I felt somewhat sick. Should I let go of the drink to ensure I don't get sick? I did go to this spot because the restaurant I was just at tried charging $3 a drink and the $1 version was more than good enough. I got some comfort in knowing it was not my first time there, plenty of other ate there, and some random online article told me rats are everywhere and it's not really a problem. I relaxed, and today, I realize it is not a big deal, I am healthy.

Still haven't found a shirt/shorts I like in my price range.

Still no plans to leave the country, but quite a few within the country. Settling in for now. Going to the beach in a week or so. Entirely possible I will spend some time on the beach getting my dive master cert in a month or so. This trip is purely for fun.

slowtraveler
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Re: Felipes Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:14 am

<$40. That's a kick-ass date, including transportation to and from everywhere. A huge amount of ubering. Sushi. Some Korean ball of ice cream, cheesecake, and strawberry. Temples.

$10 housing: will get cut in half, 1/4 if we move in together.
$8 health insurance: cancel at year end, likely self insure but will compare my options and may get my new state's health insurance if it makes sense when accounting for HSA.
$1-2 phone: I can immediately cut this into a fraction and get better internet. I do need to update my security numbers then but I see $10 phone locally. Update the sim. I'll have to cancel Fi. Considering how slow I am moving, that should be okay. Airport wifi to get my Uber and I am good. I'll have to cancel Fi.
Will add in scooter at $5/day some days purely for fun, Uber actually seems the most financially efficient choice here.

And I hit my $60 average today while splurging on everything I could possibly want.

On health: feel better. Feel I may gain some weight but I eat once or twice a day so probably not. And I walk everywhere 6 days a week.

On relationships: feel good here. Simply want to keep enjoying and exploring the town and country with my love. If we keep getting closer through a week straight together, will likely move in and eventually take her around the world with me.

On wealth: keep beating targets set for self. Next year will be on fast track when lose old health insurance and the absolutely amazing Foreign Earned Income Exemption kicks in.

Towards the future: see the beach, enjoy love, settle in, find a home, likely settle down here for a while and learn the language at the local University. Also on the books is to take some salsa classes and get dive master certified once settled in. I know better than to create distance when I feel certain emotions so dive master is on hold even once settled in. If it keeps calling me strongly, I'll find a way to make it work. First thing is to settle in and listen to my gut from there. One thing at a time. Big world, many adventures. Salsa in Latin America sounds like a blast at this point.

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:02 am

Health: today was first day not working out. Very late night last night.

Wealth: on track, having old car in states sold for me soon. Likely cutting down on massages soon, or maybe not, maybe get 4 hand massages instead for shorter time.

Learned about sunk cost fallacy and denial first hand.

Relationship: My gut told me something was wrong. Thank God I listened. My poor initial judgement at least helped some others.

Likely scuba diving rest of my time once lease runs out. Maybe I can teach scuba as I travel the world. That would be easy way to get visas. Now to see how the idea compares to reality.
Last edited by slowtraveler on Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

Jason
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Re: Felipes Journal

Post by Jason » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:06 pm

Am I connecting the dots correctly here: that within the span of 72 hours, the girl that you were calling "my love" and contemplating moving in with and traveling the world with is no longer in the picture?

If so, sorry to hear. I'm assuming there was some type of bunny boiler revelation.

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BRUTE
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Re: Felipes Journal

Post by BRUTE » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:42 pm

not to shit on Felipe's dreams, but most scuba coaches/dive masters brute has met say that the incrementally more expensive trainer system is kind of a scam. they recommend staying at a lower level and not teaching, as that makes almost zero money, but just doing it for the fun of it.

slowtraveler
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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:53 pm

@Jason

Thanks for the condolences. After looking up boiler bunny I would say this is not that. More siren. And knowing myself, I should leave town before getting too deep as there is some persistence.

I keep thinking of this Buddhist quote on a tree saying: When you have a problem, don't escape it, because there is always a solution.

The answer from that is say no and then change my number, stay out of certain neighborhoods, practice some boxing, get better at motorcycling, get massages, see mountain temples, and all that till my time runs out but disappearing seems simpler and with a higher likelihood of success.

Scooters are everywhere so I can practice elsewhere. I already said no and then a closure talk ended up becoming extended, at least I slept better than the previous night. At this point, relationship is completely open due to previous deception. She still won't admit everything other involved human told me which concerns me and does not work for me.

@Brute
Please tell me more, you have so much wisdom on this travel domain. I wasted money in past on fancy wool clothing only to realize the disposable $2-5 cotton clothes are actually more effective.

Are you saying just do for fun dives without progressing to advanced, rescue, and master?

Volunteering seemed a way to at least offset cost but fun dives seem cheaper. And I'm sure practice > class time.

Cost update:
Trying to get cheaper phone service. $10 unlimited data here. But I'd lose my old number and it would not work Internationally. Right now I have $10/gb after $25 base for unlimited text and unlimited USA calls. $.20/minute international.

That's over a 100% premium for flexibility. Too exhausted right now to update it since I likely am out in 2.5 months and will keep moving countries every 3-6 months.

Likely not buying tailored clothing until wool clothes break since I already have so much clothing. Bought a $4.5 shirt.
Last edited by slowtraveler on Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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BRUTE
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Re: Felipes Journal

Post by BRUTE » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:08 am

brute knows J. Shit about diving himself. but he's met a dive master who says that after the first few levels, it's a pyramid scheme. apparently pay is terrible even at high levels, and certifications are very pricey. brute doesn't know any of the details.

dagiffy
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Re: Felipes Journal

Post by dagiffy » Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:17 pm

Brute enjoys access to a wide variety of experts and masters of certain disciplines. This is a time and money saving approach to enjoying the benefits of expertise.

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