All right, guys. Change of plans.
But first, let me back up and give you some perspective on how I think about life.
I’ve roughly sketched out the rest of my life, from now until I die (hopefully, in my early 80s). I have a basic idea of what I’d like to be getting into during each decade of my life. My internal monologue refers to them as “phases”. They’re like seasons to me.
So I have plans.
However, while I do plan, I’m also very amenable to changes. I’ve never been afraid of changes. Going in a different direction, even suddenly, doesn’t bother or scare me.
Life is dynamic. It’s not some kind of fixed construct. Things ebb and flow.
Anyway, enough of that.
Let’s get down to business.
The Next Phase Of My Life
The next phase of my life has already been sketched out.
A major aspect of it involves using Thailand as my “base” for most of the year, which will offer me an awesome springboard for international travel.
I’ll try to quickly lay out my vision.
I’d like to live in Thailand for around nine months per year.
Precisely when it’s least enjoyable to live here is precisely when it’s most enjoyable to live in quite a few other places around the world. That’s because the spring and summer here in Thailand can be very hot and wet. It is a tropical place, after all.
So the long-term plan is to spend a few months during that time somewhere else.
In my opinion, the best way to go about this is to pick one place and settle there for 2-3 months. It’s an exaggerated version of slow travel.
I’d like to pick a new place every year and essentially “live” there for a bit.
Prague one year. Budapest the next. Then maybe Barcelona. Wherever looks appealing at that time.
I don’t personally like the idea of travel in the conventional sense, where you go somewhere for a week or two and visit touristy sites. I don’t see that as authentic or even fun. It’s stressful. And it doesn’t give you any idea about what a place is actually like. To each their own, but I’m not a fan of what most people call “travel”.
However, I do quite like the idea of having Thailand as a home for most of the year, then spending time in a new “home” each year.
It’s kind of the best of both worlds. You gain the new experiences that travel offers, but you largely lose the drawbacks of conventional travel: rushing around, high costs in a short time period, and missing out on the true fabric of a place.
Spending a longer period of time in one place stretches out and reduces the costs (airfare, accommodation, etc.) and stress. And it offers a much richer and more rewarding experience.
I’m Not Ready For This Next Phase
As exciting as this next phase is, I’m not yet ready for it.
I’m guilty of trying to rush this.
Primarily, it’s a logistical problem. Also, I’m overlooking where I’m at and leapfrogging things a bit.
Regarding the latter, there’s so much here in Thailand I haven’t yet seen. Bouncing around to other countries is a really neat idea, but I think it makes sense to do more domestic exploring and really cross off those places before jumping ahead.
Regarding the former, it will be easier, logistically speaking, to get into this a few years from now.
I don’t want to execute this plan without someone being there to enjoy it with me. A big part of the enjoyment for me would be to share in these experiences with someone I love. Unless my significant other can do it with me, I’m not interested in it at all.
Oh is currently in a period of transition herself. She likes her job, but she’d like to work less and/or do something that’s more flexible. So we’re running through some ideas. Meanwhile, she’s building a little home-based business that could give her some options down the road.
Another logistical headwind is the fact that she owns a house. It’s an adorable cottage about 20 minutes away from the city center.
She’s been largely sold on a lot of the concepts I believe in, and she finds value in the lifestyle I propose and currently live. I’m the embodiment of everything I write about and believe in. And she gets it.
Well, I’ve been a vocal advocate of renting accommodation. While I would never pressure her to do anything she doesn’t want to do, she agrees with me about a house being something that makes life unnecessarily limited and difficult. She’s now trying to get rid of said house.
In addition to these issues, I’m not on the best visa for international travel. My ED visa is fantastic for living in Thailand full time, which is why I have it. But it’s not all that great for leaving the country for extended periods of time. There are better visa options in that department, which is a bridge I’ll cross when I get to it.
Lastly, we have visa considerations for Oh. The Thai passport is not as robust as an American passport for seeing the world. She’ll need pre-arranged visas for most of the places we’d like to visit. Most of the embassies in Thailand for these various countries are located in Bangkok. We’ll thus have to spend more time in Bangkok.
Bangkok’s central location and airports would also make this plan far easier and cheaper to execute on a regular basis. So it might make sense to move to Bangkok in a few years, once we’re ready for this next phase.
With all of this in mind, I’ll be spending the next few years engaging in domestic travel. At the most, I’ll visit some very close cities outside Thailand – like Singapore – in a more conventional sense. Logistically, this is all much more sensible and pragmatic.
Refocusing in this manner is awesome. I have a lot more clarity on where I’d like to be over the next few years, which will perfectly set me up for when I turn 40 and ready myself for the next phase.
These are 10 places I’m particularly interested in seeing over the next few years:
- Koh Samet
- Koh Larn
- Hua Hin
- Chiang Rai
- Koh Phangan
- Koh Chang
- Koh Lanta
I also want to and plan to spend a lot more time in Bangkok. I’ve only scratched the surface there. It’s such a massive place. Specifically, I want to stay in an outer neighborhood and “live” there for stretches, using that as a base to go on city-wide jaunts. That’ll give me a better idea about whether or not I could enjoyably live there down the road.
I just wanted to take some time today to update everyone on where things are at, and where things are going, here in Thailand.
I’m very excited about that next phase. But I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself. I’m still relatively new to Thailand, and there’s so much more to see and concentrate on in this beautiful country that I’m lucky enough to live in.
Just to clear up what changed between late 2018 and now, the Bangkok trip actually crystallized this next phase for me. I loved that BKK trip. But I felt rushed. A week wasn’t long enough, even in a city that’s located in the same country. As such, I realized that I can’t yet properly execute this next phase as I envision it. There are simply too many limitations right now.
Of course, I’ll go over any and all of these travels as they come up. I use social media to share pictures, experiences, and personal updates on my FIRE lifestyle in Thailand, so make sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook.
What do you think? This change of plans sounds pragmatic? Do you plan out your life in phases? Why or why not?
Thanks for reading.
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