A Tale of Two Halves
My 2016 could be neatly split into two halves, with July 1 as the turning point. The first half, I worked a 9-5, riding a desk, and coming home daily to watch TV and eat dinner before bed. Every day was more or less the same.
Having gotten a taste of it in my previous travels, I had longed for adventure and excitement. I worked hard on striking it out on my own, building my own business. I put my nose to the grinder, working on my business for 3-4 hours each day after working 8 hours at my day job. My social life suffered. It was work, work, work, and virtually zero play.
After July 1, I cut the umbilical cord to my 9-5er and took the plunge into the dark side. Although a sliver of my first three months of my journey has already been summed up in my first 100 days post, there has been so much more to it.
“Bangkok Has Him Now”: The Real Reason I Haven’t Been Posting Much
I’ve been a lazy ass when it comes to updating this blog. Been having too much fun in Bangkok, not surprisingly. Bangkok is a city with organized chaos where anything and everything goes, having something for everyone… including stuff of questionable legality.
The other reason was that I had both a multiple entry Thai visa and a multiple entry Vietnamese visa, so I had been traveling back and forth between Thailand and Vietnam once each month. I wanted to take advantage of both visas because I could walk into each country whenever I felt like it. It made sense to explore wherever I could, so most of my spare time was spent traveling rather than writing.
I started making connections with successful and well-off dudes in Ho Chi Minh city as well as in Bangkok, and I’ve built a girlfriend-in-each-port lifestyle, with one in the Philippines as well.
I have far too many stories to tell and it wouldn’t fit into one blog post, but I’ve got to give you something, don’t I? Not to worry, here are some highlights:
Highlights From The Second Half of 2016
- Classic Bangkok debauchery including a threesome that sort of fell in my lap.
- Washing down bad Mexican food with cheap beer and proceeding to finish a full bottle of expensive vodka, only to have my head buried in the toilet all day the following day.
- Visiting off-the-beaten-path destinations including a 2,300 meter mountain climb to get a cafe latte overlooking Baguio in the Philippines.
- Met up with two other guys for beers in Ho Chi Minh city, in what I thought would be a short and quiet evening, only to finish the night at 8 am the next morning, with all three of us getting laid.
- Nearly getting in bar fight with a drunk Australian dude who was trying to steal a bottle from our table.
- Getting sick with the flu and having a sweet Asian girl take care of me… fetching medicine from the pharmacy and cooking egg noodle soup to soothe my throat. I don’t think any girl I’ve dated in the U.S. has done this for me.
- Riding a motorbike (with no previous experience) along a Vietnamese shoreline in Vung Tau against a stiff 50 mph cross-wind.
- Hunting for and finding craft beer in cities that aren’t well known for craft breweries.
- And the most fun part… planning my next trip to somewhere I have never been to.
Do I Have Any Regrets?
The burning question on every reader’s mind here is whether I have any regrets.
Do I regret leaving the USA, my family and friends, and everything I’ve known all my life?
Do I regret quitting my job without another steady stream of income to replace the salary I’ve given up?
While I do have some serious concerns about the sustainability of my lifestyle and business endeavors, I have no regrets, whatsoever, about my decision to leave the US on July 2016.
Sure, I’m not going to lie to you — there have been more than a few nights where I laid awake in bed, asking myself what I’m doing with my life, and how the hell am I going to make enough money to support myself in the long term.
But on the flip side, had I never taken that chance to pull the plug and travel the world, I would have regretted it all the way to my deathbed.
12 years ago, I wanted to go to Brazil, at the tender age of twenty-five. But my family talked me out of it. I let them convince me of the dangers of Brazil and their favelas just off the Rio’s beaches. I went to California and took some surfing lessons instead. While I had a good time there, I still rue the missed opportunity to go to Brazil in 2004, even to this day.
From what I hear, Brazil today isn’t what it used to be. Even if I went to Brazil tomorrow, that trip in 2004 was (and is) still a missed opportunity. In fact, my regret for not going to Brazil when I had the chance actually inoculated me against any naysayers about my decision to expatriate in 2016.
My past regrets only made my resolve stronger today.
So where do I go from here?
What 2017 Has In Store For The Masculine Expat
The only thing I can say with certainty is that 2017 will be a year full of uncertainty.
Right now I’m at the airport waiting for my flight to Chiang Mai. I plan to be there for at least a week or so, then move onto another destination. I don’t even know where I will be two weeks from now. Perhaps Udon Thani or Khon Kaen.
While I will be hitting the road hard and collecting rich travel experiences, I will launch an advertising blitz for my business hoping to gain a few more clients.
November and December, despite the holidays, were good months for my business because I gained two repeat clients willing to pay me good money for the services I provided them. Now it’s just a matter of gaining a few more clients to draw a consistent monthly income with a positive cash flow to cover my travels and living expenses.
My whereabouts through the later half of the year is wide open. I may live in Vietnam or Philippines for a little while, taking a break from Thailand.
I do miss home, and I’m thinking Thanksgiving 2017 would be a great time to visit the U.S. and reconnect with family and hometown friends.
Next Post: Why I Chose Thailand As My Base — Stay Tuned! This is a question I’ve gotten multiple times from my followers and friends, and it’s high time I reveal my inner thoughts that led me to this choice.