Just a short note because I heard back from my agent that was working on getting my 1 year multiple entry retirement visa through the Cambodian Immigration system. I get my passport back tomorrow with the extension of stay 1 year retirement visa included. What this means is that I can enter and leave Cambodia as I want for the next year. It opens the remaining months I will spend here through January and then I’ll get back here in June after Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. I’ll spend a month or so here and get my Chinese tourist visa going and then visit China July and August next year. September I pay for another year of the retirement visa and then I leave for Vietnam in September. I’ll winter over in Vietnam from September through end of the year and see friends there. Planning on visiting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and taking an ecotour in Can Tho with a friend there.
The main thing here is that this gives me the ability to live and return to Cambodia but as I want. I also have a home here now in the LaLune Hotel so will always come back here and stay. The people here are so sweet and kind and do things for me like invite me to dinner and order pizza for me and just take care of things for me.
This is the big step I knew I had to have when I left in March this year. I could not get a retirement visa in Vietnam and would have had to leave every 90 days and get my visa stamped if I got the year tourist visa. That’s just too much. Cambodia is much simpler and I think they really want my retirement dollars and tourism.
So… Yay! Big milestone for me comes through tomorrow morning when I get the passport back.
Today I set out to try find a cheap little thing for my camera that I wanted. I wanted a Shutter release button that screws into the shutter on the XT2 and makes it a bit easier to use with the finger. These things cost about $9 USD and I could buy one at amazon and then have it shipped here but that would be almost $100 USD for a $9 gadget. So I figured there must be a shop here that has them. Nope. I tried about 5 camera shops and showed pictures and no one has them. I wonder where people go for smaller doodads like this here in Cambodia.
I could also buy one on Ebay but the problem is shipping time. It would get here to Phnom Penh after I left for elsewhere. I could find an online website that is here and have them ship it and I have not given up on that yet. Then I don’t pay the freight for the international shipping. But… If they don’t have them in Phnom Penh which is the big place here, I might as well wait and get it Singapore which I am pretty sure has them. It goes to show that you can get any number of T shirts or other doodads but some things just don’t show up yet I bet people buy them somewhere that I don’t know. I may go to Central Market or Russian Market tomorrow and try again.
After mission unsuccessful I walked home to the hotel. It was a warm day today and I stopped for water once at this random place with a bench. I’ve done this in so many cities on so many walks and just about every city from Osaka to Da Nang to here has a 24 hour market with a bench in the shade. If you think about it, walking to see a city is seeing the city firsthand. When you stop for the break the city gives you a microcosm view of itself. The little coffee stand next to you. The security guard smiling and nodding. The traffic hurrying up. I sat there for a bit reading nonsense on my phone about US politics and not missing it too much. Is all that BS really going on there? I feel removed by steps and stages from it all and life has boiled down to simplicity. Breakfasts in the morning and beers at night and the days spend wandering whatever city I hang my hat in. I also think when you leave like this, baggage of so many kinds remains behind and some take longer to depart the scene I found a few that persisted a longer or shorter time and I present then herewith for your disagreement.
- Guilt. I had a sense of guilty pleasure in Japan and I felt I had to pinch myself that I had finally done it. That was back in March. It was a sense of disbelief and I reckoned then it would take awhile to get red of the guilt.
- Happiness with what I have. Its also taken awhile to get happy with what I have and have not. I read so many other blogs of people that leave for a year or six months or are digital nomads or whatever. No matter what, they have to work. There are days where they can be the true wayfarer but location independent work has the word “work” in it. Mine does not. Its taken awhile get the happiness going on what I have.
- Money and tracking. This made me terribly unhappy to track my expenses yet I read hugely complex methods of tracking every last dime. I think people do it for the best of reasons but it boils down the places to the costs. Was so and so expensive? Why was lodging more here and not there? Did I really get the cost for that tour and grab tuk tuk ride? I say the hell with that. You are gonna spend what you spend whether you have that steak dinner or the Banh Mi one night. Give yourself a break. Trust yourself. Break free from the forever financial tracking. You are supposed to be experiencing life anew. I did feel I should be responsible so I did the tracking thing for a month. I did not feel good about it. I stopped.
- Being alone is not being lonely. I thought for awhile that solo travel would be a lonely thing even though I am a solitary type person. We are not slivers across the the night and I overcame that feeling after only one loneliness thing in Vietnam.
Those are some of the things which persisted that I was concerned with at one time and dropped like so many hot potatoes after awhile. I just go now. Two more weeks here means travel soon to the next place and a month there and then another month and another. Then Singapore and that travel and vagabonding. Ninety days in Malaysia. Sixty days in Thailand. A week or a month back here and then China and finally Vietnam for end of the year and the holidays.
So if you are gonna travel perhaps none of my 4 things resonate and you feel the need to track every last expense for some reason. Maybe you have guilt. These things have evaporated and when I sit out in front of my lovely little hotel in the evenings with the beer and talk with the hotel people, I have gone beyond the gap year and reset people, the digital nomads, the others. I know there is a difference because I am me and they are they and never shall we meet. There is too much difference because even a year is rushed to me and 40 countries in 90 days does not tally well with my amazing country count of 4. Four places that I experienced well months at a time. I’m convinced that this kind of travel means better times and a more relaxed endeavor.
Its about what I wanted to see on this beautiful and warm day as I sit in the hotel room thinking about the dinner time in a few hours with nothing to do and all afternoon to do it. After the 5 mile walk and the sweating and feeling that wonderful feeling that all these systems are go. And perhaps that’s the final thing. The forever walking to see places. So many years I have been doing it but now th walking is so different and I love it. Its like a final thing that I cross over and become even more as the solo traveler that I am.