I left for Singapore on 21 January 2019 and spent a week walking all around and loved it there. Then I flew to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia and spent about three weeks there. I traveled to Melaka, Kuantan, Port Dickson and George Town for about 81 days. Then I left for Thailand. I cut that part of the trip short because Thailand was a disappoinment and Bangkok especially is a city I will never go back to. So I flew to Siem Reap from Bangkok on 14 May.
I’ve spent 31 days in Siem Reap now and tomorrow I fly off to Phnom Penh for two weeks and then leave on the 29th for Vietnam for just about 60 days. I’m getting back first to Ho Chi Minh City and plan on taking it day by day there for 3 weeks and then I catch a bus to Can Tho for a week. I will fly from Can Tho to Phu Quoc Island for a week and then off I go to Da Nang and finally Hanoi and then come back to Phnom Penh for a week and off to Laos for three weeks.
Its been an interesting 2019 travel-wise and I’ve found and lost more than a few things. I have managed to go through about 4 cameras since I’ve been gone and two cameras on this trip. That has been rather disappointing for the amount of money spent on cameras but it has reinforced my desire to learn better approaches on my iPhone using two new applications to take and edit photographs. I also decided if I did buy a new camera, my luck with cameras would probably stay the same and it would break or become defective at the worst possible moment leaving me again with my iPhone 7 plus.
Other things have come and gone as well the last months. I reached the point with my Merrill Moab shoes that I have worn the last 7 months since the last time I was in Siem Reap that they are just about done. I get about 6 to 7 months of wear out of them walking every day for 5 to 7 miles. A number of pairs of sandals have come and gone as well. I don’t believe Sandals are made for walking like I do and after seeing Birkenstock Arizona sandals only last two months if that, its reinforced my belief that I will never find shoes that approach the use of the Merrill Moab shoes.
Another thing was changing some ideas about what would happen after I visit the US early next year. At first I had no real idea what I would do and had almost decided to just fly back to San Francisco and then go back to Southeast Asia somewhere. Instead, other parts of the world called out so for six months I will see Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, and Dubai. Still not sure what happens after that but I have managed to book all the hotels or Riads in Morocco and I know the date I will leave for Turkey. My next step is to book that flight and also get my visa online for Turkey. I may stay for a month or two in Turkey. Egypt will be quicker and I may or may not do some kind of tour to maximize my time there. Dubai will be a week to kind of slow down and also decide if I will go on to India or Sri Lanka or what.
I have also managed to meet a few different retired expats and today met Monty at the coffee shop. We talked for quite a bit of time about retiring in Southeast Asia and traveling around. I also met this guy Bobby that is doing something different than retiring. He just does visa runs to places and then goes back except now Thailand is blocking that travel so he has had to find other options. Neither of these people do what I do really and while its nice to meet people on the road, I am just as thankful when the time comes to say adios. I just don’t want to exchange email addresses, facebook contacts, or whatsapp stuff. Its interesting to talk with someone but its just as nice when I leave and can walk the places I want to go without them. Its kind of reaffirmed my beliefs (not that I needed that) that my type of solo wandering just works for me. I don’t want a home or a new wife or something else. I don’t think another person could put up with me and I know I could not deal with them. I’ve heard too many arguments from people traveling together about little things. I can imagine how the big things go.
So a bunch of this and that type things. Things found and lost. People said hello to and goodbye to. Now tomorrow I say goodbye to Siem Reap and I don’t know when I will return. I’ve been here twice now and I don’t feel a desire to come back. Later in the year I will visit Kampot and Kep Cambodia for a few days before leaving for Taiwan and Philippines. I want to get back there because I really like Kampot and Kep will be a stay at a nicer resort before leaving for Taipei.
I kinda always mentally sum up the good and bad things. What I’ve gained and lost and what it all has meant. This year has been about getting back to places and finding new places and also planning on going back to the US for a few weeks. As Monty told me today he would never go back and I can see that. I could just as easily not go back too. There is nothing in America that holds or binds me to it besides my daughter who wants to see me. Truth be told the travel across the US is another thing though. Riding Amtrak almost completely across the US was another dream that I missed a few times because of work. Now there are no blockers.
And that’s a good thing I think.