C40's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
bryan
Posts: 1068
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:01 am
Location: mostly Bay Area

Re: C40's Journal

Post by bryan »

C40 wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:32 pm
Flair Espresso maker[/url], which costs $160 and up. (I finagled one for half that in exchange for promotion. It's worth full price though. I've used it nearly every day for about 2 years).
Somehow I missed that you use this! Is it the PRO, signature, or classic? It's actually what I plan on having in my van too; though I plan on only buying the brewhead+stem/piston and building the assembly and lever mechanism. I may start with the aeropress first though, since I already have it and am on a timeline with the build now.

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2541
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am

Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 »

bryan wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:29 pm
Somehow I missed that you use this! Is it the PRO, signature, or classic? It's actually what I plan on having in my van too; though I plan on only buying the brewhead+stem/piston and building the assembly and lever mechanism. I may start with the aeropress first though, since I already have it and am on a timeline with the build now.
I bought the Classic (which was all that existed at the time). About a year ago, I visited the guy who does their social media and some other stuff, and he gave me pieces to convert it to the Signature. I think the main difference between those two is that the signature can fit the bottomless style portafilters.

Quantummy
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:39 pm

Re: C40's Journal

Post by Quantummy »

@C40 thanks so much for the detailed description of what you use! I'm starting with a grinder and milk steamer along with aeropress for now. Cheers!

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2541
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am

Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 »

.

LONG-TERM LIFE PLAN - EVENTUALLY

My long-term expectation is to set up my own domain somewhere, likely in the U.S., and settle in. I’m thinking that will be property/home that I own. My main focuses there would be:
  • Starting and enjoying projects (garden, building things, fixing things, and so on - various types of ‘flow’ activities)
  • Establish some hobby incomes or simple work that I enjoy
  • Building a social circle
  • Setting up “home” in ways that I like
… and then, I hope, living there a long time



BUT NOT READY NOW…

I’m still thinking through some things, like:
  • What parts of the country / what cities …
  • Normal house in city?… Some ‘alternative’ home (tent/yurt, cabin, tinyhouse, earthbag, etc.)
  • Will the money work out? In most scenarios, I’d need to earn some more income to make sure I cover the costs of land/house/bills. Would work better in a few years when I’m getting $10k per year from my retirement accounts through the IRA ladder I started in 2017.
And, maybe mainly, I’m just not sure I feel ready for it yet.



CURRENT LIVING ISSUES

I’ve been living in Portland with some friends for about 4 months now. In many ways, it has gone great. But in some, not so good. There’s friction living with others. Here, most of it is from observing the behavior of my roommates, and not between me and them. I’ll spare you the details.

One day I thought “If I had more money, I wouldn’t be here” and thus that carried/included a “so maybe I should do something else”.

(The “Lentil Buddy” stuff has gone quite well. I may post some details about it)



GO TO ASIA??

Living in Southeast Asia or south of the U.S. is a phase of life I’ve been considering since back when I was still working. Lately, when I thought of it, it was along the lines of “that’s something I used to think about doing”, and didn’t consider doing ‘now’, mainly because it’s far away, and language barriers.

I learned a bit about the language barrier thing when I spent a winter in Mexico. First - that I can feel very much like a stranger. But also - that I feel it would work out ok if I just stay in the same spot for significant time.

I’ve recently met a bunch of people who have lived in Asia, or still sort of do and are just back for the summer. Eventually my thinking changed from the “I used to think about doing that” to “hmmmm, maybe I should now”.

Then I went through what I think Nassim Taleb wrote about in ones of his books: I could feel myself deciding I’d do it, knowing that it wasn’t a thought out logical choice, and knowing that over the next few weeks I’d think about it logically and of course conclude that I should do it.
At this point I’ve decided to go. I’m still at the point where it’s possible to change my mind though…



SOME REASONS TO DO IT:
  • Low cost of living. Sounds like <$600/mo would be doable. <$1,000 very very easy.
  • Nice weather. Sort of.
  • Nice beaches in some places
  • Could have very simple life (in some ways. Not entirely)
  • Very easy to start romantic relationships.
  • Would be another another interesting/fun phase of life.


SOME REASONS NOT TO DO IT: (or, things that may bother me)

I think the main two are:

1 - Won’t have long-term continually ongoing friendships. This is something important to me now.

—> Right now, it doesn’t feel important to me at all to establish a “forever” kind of romantic relationship. I’m cool with shorter ones (in the range of months), and Asia may be particularly fun for that.
—> Traveling more or less continually in the van was eventually a problem in this department. I think Asia may work ok if I do a good job of being social, and I stay in places for 3+ months at a time, and come back to the places I like numerous times.


2 - Won’t be able to do hobbies/projects that require sizeable physical materials/space (like gardening, building things, etc.) I’ve had a lot of enjoyment doing these kinds of things in Portland, and I’ll miss not being able to do them.

—> So - what would I do there?
  • Online work (I’ve been meaning to and have just recently started ramping up one that I’ve been doing for years. Could probably find more to try out)
  • Photography work? (for tourists? Money potential is likely not so high, possible issues with ‘working’ there. But I’d like to keep at shooting portraits)
  • Focus on fitness. (been doing great this summer and I’d like to keep that rolling. Gyms are pretty cheap in S.E.A.)
  • Read
  • Calligraphy
  • Make friends, girlfriends, etc.

Some other potential issues:
  • Would need to be highly minimalist (a benefit of this is it keeps me from spending a lot of money on hobbies like motorcycles, building things, etc.)
  • Cultural/infrastructure annoyances
  • Bad air quality?
  • Annoyed by visa renewing, maybe by frequent moving?
  • Really spicy food?
  • Poor logic among people in some of these countries(?)
  • Limited education, particularly of women(?)
  • Dangerous drivers
  • Dirtyness/trash/smells?


OTHER OPTIONS:
  • Go ahead with home base - alternative style. Buy land. Build something (yurt or other nice tent, tiny/small house, dirtbag home, etc.). Start big garden and other hobbies. Fairly low cost for a home. Possibly very low ongoing costs
  • Go ahead with home base - normal house. ~$100k plus. Then focus heavily on establishing (hobby) income.
  • Rent an apartment or house somewhere. Test out income ideas. If decent income started, buy a house. If poor income results, change to cheaper way of living or get an engineering job
  • Go to Mexico for winter. Van or possible just Motorcycle (and rent a cheap apartment). Either way, settle in at one area and make friends. No flights. Visa length 6 months and super easy. Very low likelihood that I’d want to stay down there through summer. Could be possible that I’d go back for more winters.
  • Travel in van more. Go slow. Add high top to van for better ergonomics. (don’t feel like doing this one)
  • Stay with my friends longer. Keep trying to help improve their communication/relationship skills so it’s less annoying. Zero rent, so possibly the cheapest option.
Going to Asia or Mexico are the cheapest options that include having my own ‘normal’ home to myself.



I’ve also started thinking about actions to prepare for leaving to Asia. I may post about those fairly soon. For now, I’d like input on the decision process. I will make another thread asking for input on Asia (where to go, what the people are like, what living there is like, etc)

slowtraveler
Posts: 880
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:06 pm

Re: C40's Journal

Post by slowtraveler »

I haven't figured out quoting yet so I'll reply based on my experience, living mostly in Northern Thailand.

So - what would I do there?

---working online could work out, working in any visible way like taking pictures for tourists could get you deported without a work permit in Thailand.
---Gym I go to is 60baht per visit and has everything. Much less crowded than USA gyms.
---Friends are easy to make here. One thing is that most people are more nomadic than in US so friends will come and go more often.

Some other potential issues:
Would need to be highly minimalist (a benefit of this is it keeps me from spending a lot of money on hobbies like motorcycles, building things, etc.)
--helpful but not essential, you can rent a home for a few hundred dollars a month.
Cultural/infrastructure annoyances
--public transport is often better than USA, cultural is much harder. Internet for example is much better and cheaper here, especially with a 6 month prepaid sim.
Bad air quality?
--some months, some cities
Annoyed by visa renewing, maybe by frequent moving?
--Vietnam would be easy, Thailand you should do a multi entry visa while still in the states then a student or work visa after.
Really spicy food?
--ask for not spicy. Lol. You can also buy a small cooker at Tesco for like $30 and some utensils for $10 then cook yourself.
Poor logic among people in some of these countries(?)
--some, but also in every country. 25% of the population in my city are not Thai. You can live amongst foreigners or Thais, up to your preferences.
Limited education, particularly of women(?)
--Most go to university these days in the cities. If you decide to live in the country side, maybe.
Dangerous drivers
--Different style. Motorbikes may be safer because of the high awareness here. Driving is more of a flow than everyone fighting each other here but still very dangerous.
Dirtyness/trash/smells?
--I find it cleaner than most western cities but there are some dirty areas. Smells can be stronger due to less developed sewage systems. The dirtiest bathroom I ever went to was a portapotty in Cali. There's cockroaches, rats, and mosquitos in abundance here but also in the states if you know where to look.

It really depends on your passport(s) and what you're looking for. Most seem to like Thailand for travel but not living here too long due to the racism and visa difficulties. Taiwan and Vietnam I keep hearing good things about. China and Philippines are highly polarizing. People either love or hate them.

rube
Posts: 662
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: C40's Journal

Post by rube »

I agree with Bigato. I have visited quite some SE Asian countries, some just for holiday and some for work/living up to 6 months. In some countires I could probably live well for months or longer. Others, might be nice for a few weeks but not for a (very) long time (for me personally).

Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1510
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: C40's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

slowtraveler wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:23 pm
I haven't figured out quoting yet so I'll reply based on my experience, living mostly in Northern Thailand.
Looking at the post you are interested in quoting, click the quotation mark button " in the upper right hand corner. It will take you to a page where the post has been quoted for you. Then edit out all the text that isn't relevant so everyone doesn't have to read it again. You can also start a new post and then use the quotation mark button but that method requires you to paste in the quote you want to use.

Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1510
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: C40's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

C40 wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:46 pm
[*] Dirtyness/trash/smells?[/list]
I've only been to Vietnam and Hong Kong and only on vacation so I didn't see that much. I don't think it is anything you won't be able to handle but it will be different than the US. In Hanoi in the old part of town it smelled like sewage and garbage in a lot of places. There was a lot of trash on the ground but it did seem like people were cleaning it up all the time. I think it is just what happens when there are a ton of people living very closely with very old infrastructure. Hong Kong was much more modern and cleaner but it had urban smells like dumpsters and urine. It wasn't any dirtier than any other urban area I've been in though, for example downtown New Orleans and Chicago are just as bad if not worse.

The air quality seemed good enough in both.

In Vietnam you will see things like bloody meat being sold from a piece of cardboard on the sidewalk. It's not up to modern food safety standards. Having to see it isn't that bad and probably something good to be exposed to. I definitely didn't buy any of it though.

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2541
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am

Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 »

When you guys say to travel around asia for a couple months to figure it out - do you mean to do that to see if I want to stay in the area at all, or to do that to figure out which places I'd like to stay longer?

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 1083
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: C40's Journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Both, I would guess. First figure out if it's your cup of tea, and then figure out which region you like to drink your tea the most.

Planning on doing exactly this next fall (or this fall if I get canned at work). Going to visit Thailand for 60 days, Vietnam for 30, Indonesia for 30, and Malaysia for 60. The biggest reason is cheap accommodations when renting by the month. We plan on spending 30 days in Chiang Mai and another 30 exploring other parts of Thailand (islands, south etc). Might make it into Laos and Cambodia as well, all of this is very loosely planned. Then we will know which areas we like, which we don't, and what might make sense when we use geographical arbitrage in the future.

User avatar
Ego
Posts: 4809
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:42 am

Re: C40's Journal

Post by Ego »

Most people go with relatively fixed itineraries. They have a ticket into Bangkok, a ticket out of Singapore and six weeks to see as much as possible. You don't have that problem. You can buy a one-way ticket and book a few nights in a hotel in Bangkok then wing it. Southeast Asia is a place where winging it is very easy.

We did what 2Birds plans to do. We got to know the major areas the first time we visited in 2005 then stayed longer in a few places the second time. Our favorite hostel in Bangkok SUK11 closed not too long ago. We've stayed there at least 20 times over the years as Bangkok is the crossroads. Hostels with private rooms are common in the region. They are great places to meet other travelers and talk about places to go and how to get there.

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2541
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am

Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 »

Thanks for the input, everyone :-)

A very brief update from a Starbucks while I'm waiting for images to upload on a Craigslist ad and for my tea to cool enough to drink.

  • I've left Portland. Loaded up all my stuff and the motorcycle in/on the van. I'm expecting to stay with some family in Denver and probably Phoenix for a bit, and try to sell my van, motorcycle, and maybe a couple bicycles. The main reason for not doing that in Portland is to drop off my other belongings in Denver, where the rest of my unused things already are. This way, I'll have everything in once place.
  • I'll have some last things to sort out before going to Asia. (Visa rules, bank stuff, vaccinations?, what exactly to take, etc)
  • I had a pretty good time in Portland, but right now I'm considering my jaunt there mostly a failure. Mainly, I ended up not wanting to live with my friends there. More on that later.

Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1510
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: C40's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

Congratulations on making a decision and taking the steps to make it happen. I've always admired your ability to act decisively. Good luck with your move. I hope you enjoy Asia.

Wads
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:50 pm

Re: C40's Journal

Post by Wads »

Congrats C40!

I'm looking forward to your Asia reports. Chaing Mai is a potential FIRE location for myself.

wolf
Posts: 1052
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: C40's Journal

Post by wolf »

Wow, I'm looking forward to read your reports of Asia. I find that you live a very interesting life. First working, then vanliving and travelling and then living in Portland. And now Asia! :-)
Besides your lifestyle, did you do a half-year financial summary (with all those great charts)?

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 1083
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: C40's Journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

That's exciting news! Trying to navigate the vaccination requirements ourselves, and it's hard to figure out what you really need vs. what is nice to have for different parts of SE Asia. Please let us know if you iron it all out.

User avatar
Ego
Posts: 4809
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:42 am

Re: C40's Journal

Post by Ego »

If you decide to get vaccinations consider waiting until you get to Bangkok. We got our Rabies jabs (series of 3) there for a fraction of the cost of a US travel clinic. You can email them for current prices and to ask if they have specific vaccines. It is a good place to get a Yellow Fever vaccination if you might ever go to any country that requires it. Iirc, the Yellow Fever jab is now one stick for lifetime protection. Hep B is a series of jabs over a month(?) which works well if you do out and
back trips from Bangkok.

https://www.bnhhospital.com/medical-ser ... inic-itmc/

If you don't already have one, make sure to bring a Carte Jaune from your local health department.

https://global-goose.com/immunizations-in-bangkok/

Get a price sheet from both hospitals.

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2541
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am

Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 »

Thanks Ego. I found my vaccine record, and I've emailed a couple clinics in Bangkok asking about prices and availability. If the prices seem reasonable, I won't even bother checking on prices here or trying to use my insurance (based in SD and I'm in AZ and I believe I'd be on the hook for it all myself own while out of area/coverage/network)

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2541
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am

Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 »

I sold my van today.

The costs of the van turned out to be:

Purchase/Build: $13k
Maintenance/Repairs/Upgrades: $2k
Sale: ($12k)

(not counting insurance, registration, or gas. The build does include some tools)


So it ended up costing about $3k. Owned it for 4 years. Lived in it for about 2.5.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 1771
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: C40's Journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

Well, goodbye to an old friend I guess. How many miles did you put on it over the years?

Good luck on the next chapter!

Post Reply