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Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Posted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:17 am
by slowtraveler
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.

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.

Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:18 am
by slowtraveler
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
Insurance: 0
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.

Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:46 pm
by jacob
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,

Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:59 pm
by slowtraveler

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.


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.

Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Posted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:29 pm
by slowtraveler
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.

Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Posted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:02 pm
by slowtraveler
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).

Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Posted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:04 pm
by Viktor K
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!

Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:40 am
by slowtraveler
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. .

Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Posted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:07 am
by Viktor K
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.

Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Posted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:35 am
by slowtraveler
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.

Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:33 am
by slowtraveler
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.

Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Posted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:20 am
by slowtraveler
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.

Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Posted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:47 am
by Viktor K
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.

Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Posted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:24 am
by slowtraveler
Your idea got me to download the Excel app. I've customized it to make it easy. Thanks for the inspiration Viktor.

Thought I spent almost nothing today. When counting all expenses (insurance, food, transportation,housing, phone) I get to around $33 today in spending. Slightly high due to some failed attempts to unclog a sink. Had to call in the apartment team to replace the bend. They somehow found rice, hair, and other gunk in there.

Daily base spending:
Housing excludes water and electricity: $151.52/30= $5.05
Phone includes minutes and unlimited data: 10.91/30=$.36
Insurance to cancel at end year: 235/30= $7.83
Everything else is optional except visa and clothes when they wear out.

Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Posted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:49 am
by Gilberto de Piento
I keep a little notebook with me and update my spending as I spend.
I use a piece of paper in my wallet. Writing it down makes it more real somehow too.

Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:00 am
by slowtraveler
Expenses last year included many one time expenses that likely won't repeat but still about 3 Jacobs. I should be able to safely pull the plug by my 30th bday.

I went somewhat crazy with the excel and had too many categories. Way too many. Now I've cut it down. Spending way too much on food but it's so much better than I can cook and my diet has been anything but stable.

My base expenses are $100 on housing each month. Maybe $200-500 on food. Cut out insurance. About $9 on phone/internet. $1-5 on transportation.

Got a gnarly bronchitis after my roundtrip across the Pacific. Still recovering. Work is doing well right now. Learning Thai. Not at school. May just do a border run every 3 months, going to visit an embassy soon to see what the best option is. School sounds boring and more expensive than just flying out every few months.

Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:24 pm
by Viktor K
Hope the new year goes well for you. I too have been spending a lot on food, which is a shame since food costs about half the US here. I'm getting a crockpot to cut down. How about you? Any intentions on cutting back on food spending?

Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:40 pm
by Jason
slowtraveler wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:00 am
I should be able to safely pull the plug by my 30th bday.
Good for you.

Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:35 am
by slowtraveler
I'm looking into getting a room with a kitchen. It costs 3x as much. 300 vs 100 but I think it'll pay off since food currently far exceeds that 200 usd difference. Also, I've been moving towards less expensive restaurants/street food so I'm moving slowly decreasing expenses there. I think getting a kitchen will be the big change. A tiny studio is nice but I'm realizing it's not financially optimal since I have to outsource all my cooking.

Always good to hear from you. I love the freedom but a doctor actually tried diagnosing me for wanting to pull the plug by then and barely survive when it's still in the top 10% of incomes worldwide. I'm sometimes surprised that those who are supposed to be educated are so unaware. I mean, the things people will do for $10. I think 3.5 Jacobs is enough for the long run.

Re: SlowTraveler's Journal

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:03 am
by Jason
There was a Twilight Zone episode where a beautiful woman was lying in a hospital room being diagnosed by doctors. The viewer wasn't sure what was wrong with the woman, they just knew it was serious. Then the doctors removed their masks to reveal that they were hideously deformed. At that point the viewer realized that in the eyes of the hideously deformed doctors, the beautiful woman was hideously deformed and that's why they had her in the hospital. I think the actress went on to play Marilyn in The Munsters which is pretty much the same role.

My point being, that to people here, you look great. To those living differently, you are hideously deformed. And obviously it has nothing to do with education, but with conditioning.