I decided awhile ago to move from working to non working. It was about a year ago give or take. I knew then my time was limited doing IT and specifically IT Project Management. There’s something about it that’s demeaning and irritating, frustrating and anger producing. I realized that people should not do things that produce those results in them. I had a debt due that I had been paying for years because of my mess ups earlier. I left a marriage with debt and collection agencies hounding me. I got both credit card providers to agree to a repayment plan through a non profit debt management company. That left me having to work more years to get to a place where I would have money saved and at the end point of revolving debt. Now I’m down to a single one which gets paid in January. I will be basically debt free then with an amount of savings and retirement that will let me do a few things. I also was lucky to keep my frequent flier miles which meant I could leave and not pay much for the flights. To get to Asia one has to fly. No hitch-hiking and no driving. That can be expensive. Then one has to fly between places if other modes of transit are not available.
I decided then to retire on my own terms and I knew I had to wait until the debt God had his way with me. Divorce creates a lot of pain and hatred and little or no reconciliation when you are egotistical and narcissistic like me. I journeyed through all the steps those 5 steps which are supposed to end at acceptance. Problem was; that never happened. Still has not happened. No happy acceptance of divorce. Instead a “living with or in spite of it”. I have learned to live with it.
But the end of the story is happy dear readers.
Now I am an old guy. I spent the required years in IT and I am able to get on with a thing I am going to outline below. If I can do this, I really believe anyone can. So why do people sit at McDonalds bemoaning the lack of excitement and challenge? I don’t know. But I see them each day gathering with their senior coffee and some kind of granola bar. What the hell is that about I always wonder.
So I set out to make a change. I decided I would not go gently into that good night. I would rave and yell and shriek and be just the same way with adenture I have always been. Age is no boundary. It’s not being a millennial or nothing. We old guys just move slower but I believe many of us have adventuring and hobo spirits and they are crushed. Crushed by the Bay Area and the expenses and no way out. Manhandled by life events.
So I said “fuck that”. Fuck it all. It’s not worth it.
Go To Asia
That is what is needed. I must go to Asia. So I booked airline tickets with those miles and am flying to Narita Japan on 1 March. I’ll spend some weeks in Japan in Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Osaka.
Then I fly to Hanoi Vietnam for 6 months. I have that all booked with rooms that cost a fraction of what I spend here. I will live good and see things and not sit in some senior center wondering what happened. I will find streets to photograph and people to study and other beers to drink.
After Vietnam its Cambodia. Another gem and a cheap place. I’ll spend perhaps a year there and then its Thailand or perhaps Laos or Malaysia.
You see the “Go to Asia” thing creates choice. Instead of sitting at the corner coffee shop and wondering where it all went; I am going to find some of it all.
I believe anyone can do this but I think getting old interferes with the risk taking and challenging life ways. We get sedentary and not willing to take chances. We move slower and we think life needs to be slower. It’s not true folks. We are made of star stuff and our spirits can be indomitable warriors but we get sequestered into a place where the movement is down the block and not across the ocean.
Take it back you all. No one says you have to give it away when you turn a certain age. Find your place. Do what Chris McCandless did. Go into your wild place. It may be a city or a state or place of mind.
Don’t just sit. Move. Life is not meant to give up so don’t.
Be the brave of heart and soul and never say you won’t
Venture forth and taste that trail that hastens to meet your eyes
Time is not real and minutes or seconds do not haunt by or fly
Travel the far paths and find the poetry that inspires
Be that brave one and find the place that you see. That far shore
It’s the place you know. It’s beyond that final door
Time to risk and challenge whatever comes to be
Time to see