Technology, Security and Passwords

I’ve written about technology choices and alternatives before but there is one area you should consider. Or perhaps two. lets see how I go:

  1. Password Management. Hopefully you don’t use the same password for your valuable identities and you make use of a tool to help you. It really comes down to only remembering one password versus trying to jot down tens or hundreds of them. I guess it is simpler if you use the same one but its can be damned destructive. So consider a password management tool out there that runs on all your favored devices and on your ecosystems. I used LastPass for years but after some strange things with the master password I had enough and move along to something else. I think the best solutions are open source solutions because the companies engaged have a vested interest in maintaining, making it better, and working with the communities. My choice was to use Bitwarden on my MacBook and iPhone over LastPass. I like the philosophy better and the premium cost is much more friendly to your pocketbook if you go that way. And you should. Companies that sell open source software want to make profits and then pass along that to their employees and also give it back to customers in the form of upgrades of features, functions, and approaches. What you want out of all this is something secure but something that gives you access. Lets call it reasonable protection. It should not be so secure where you cannot use it. A friend once lost the password to a Linux server that was key to its use. As my friend told him then its very secure now. Even you cannot use it. So use reasonable security and protection. This is especially true if you find yourself in hotel rooms, guesthouses, coffeeshops, train stations, etc.
  2. Security. People will say its pointless to use VPN and I say to them “right”. You never know what’s pointless or useless until someone does something to you because your enter passwords in the clear at a Starbucks. Why even take the chance? I am really an advocate for VPN security too. I use ExpressVPN a lot going here and there. Its not cheap but its valuable to me and it works on all my ecosystems. It also allows me now to use certain sites which do not work for whatever reason in Vietnam or where I find myself. If you don’t believe its useful or protects you, have at it. Do your thing. I will always use and pay for VPN security services. An IBM architect once told me “don’t be stupid. VPN”.

So there you have a few tips. Use or not as you will. I will say if you vagabond around like I do both are incredibly useful. Having a password management tool besides a spreadsheet or pad of paper means not entering your password in the clear each time. It also means you don’t have to remember thousands or hundreds of them. Good ones will also generate new passwords which are powerful and then apply them to the “vault” of passwords it manages for you.

Technology is some powerful stuff for vagabonds. It will let you create value, content, connect to things like your wordpress powered blog. Just be careful out there. Be happy vagabonding and seeing the new places or like me revisiting a beautiful place like Da Nang. Here’s a little something for you of the beauty of the place. Get here if you can.

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It is so worth it!

Da Nang Vietnam is Lovely!

Its my favorite city in Vietnam to wander.  So many enticing mixes of beautiful nature, lovely river, ocean and wonderful history, culture, and restaurants and bars. The beer is always colder at the Riverfront Bar! You can sit and watch an evening steal upon you. Food is there too if you wish. I will live here next year. Its said that Da Nang is the pearl of Vietnam and its so true.

The most lovely of all cities to me in Vietnam. Stay tuned for more pictures over the next 10 days.

 

Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City!

Yesterday I did a bit of movement. First off in a cab to the Phu Quoc Airport. Then a turbo prop plane to Can Tho. Cab to see my friend Lily for lunch and beers. Then a bus ride for 4 hours to HCMC (lets not say Saigon).  Did not really sleep all that long but such is life and now will do some breakfast and hop a GRAB to the airport by 930am for my flight to beautiful and wondrous Da Nang. I get to stay in Da Nang for about 10 days and the only real thing to get done is to get my laptop keyboard fixed tomorrow and then go over and pick it up in two days with a brand new “butterfly” keyboard that hopefully lasts until I get back to the states and decide if I do a iPad instead.

So today later back to the walking no matter the weather in Da Nang. I’ll get a poncho and new umbrella on the cheap there and get outside after I check in. I feel the need for some movement and walking always takes care of that. Walking down the Han River will sure be nice again! Not sure what I will do for dinner tonight but so many choices there.

I’ll be posting daily photographs of the things my camera decides are worthy and blogging the days with the usual reflections of a life spent wandering slowly this way and that with no real goal. You won’t see lists of things to do here or great tours to do. Its not the way I roll. Instead I offer honest reflection of life and times and how it is to wander a few great countries and find the methods to a bit of happiness and joy.

You can find the other bloggers that offer your travel fix pretty easily. I do think its so cool that my buddy Mikka is walking the Camino again. He captures his days on the trail, reflections of the times spent and beautiful photographs of the journey. Here are a few places easily reachable to see his journeys. On Twitter he is here and then his blog which also is a repository for his images and stories is here. I really enjoy the daily introspection he offers when he walks the long walks. He also posts videos which you can find off of twitter and he’s very active on Mastodon.

So see you all on the flip side of a hour flight to the wondrous and beautiful pearl of Vietnam.

Final Day Out Walking

I had saved a walk here in Phu Quoc that looked interesting that would let me see part of the island I had not seen before. I could walk through the non touristy areas, see small markets and stores, and luckily an electronics store because the lightning cables seem to not last long being packed and used a lot. I found a store and bought a 2m cable for about 150k VND. If it lasts 6 months, its all good!

Then I decided to take another road which was through kind of a less traveled area and the rain held off. Then finally over a bridge to take me back to the area I stay in. I can tell when I get the walk in that makes me feel best and I had not been able to for a few days so I felt rather uncomfortable and irritable. Even more irritable than I normally am on a given day. I also did not carry the FujiFilm Camera because its not water resistant and I don’t feel like losing a camera body to water damage.

I reached this bridge I was curious about after seeing it on Google Maps. Either side looked like this. You can tell that its rainy season by the look of those grey skies.

After crossing the bridge, I was back in familiar places since I had walked there before. I did see a rather remarkable Karaoke establishment on my way back right before a torrential downpour started and I had to take shelter under the awning of a closed building.

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Pretty darned incredible! That is some building.

The rain really came down for about 30 minutes and then I was able to reach the hotel again but I was still soaked. It does not really matter though.

Tonight I will go back to this really nice Bun Cha place I visited before and also stop at the night market and get a oversized t-shirt for a friend in Ho Chi Minh City that likes to wear huge t shirts. It must be yellow and say Phu Quoc on it :-).

I also will start getting my stuff together and packed up this afternoon and evening and go out in the morning for a last walk here. I really don’t like missing days and the way Sunday is being a transit day I will probably not walk all that much.

Maybe next blog post will be from Da Nang or I will write something about HCMC when I get back for a night. Hard to say.

A day in the Life of a Wanderer

Today was a really good day folks. I went on a day long tour of the south of Phu Quoc. The main things were a beautiful yet isolated fishing village that I want to get back to and spend time just recording the moments of day and evening with the camera, the wondrous restaurants along this long, long pier. The good natured people that spent time to say hello or simply nod and smile. But more than that its a moment or two frozen between sunrise and sunset. Between a pier and child’s smile. A life spent in the hurry up lane for some and the slower speed of days that flow by with no real pattern besides the morning coffees, the day on the ocean, the afternoon spent watching with the camera, and evening with cold Saigon beers and moments to just watch as the sun dips down, seabirds careen and complain and children smile.

Then to a beautiful temple by the ocean where one could sit and contemplate that life is so wondrous and solitude and moments alone but not lonely are very good for the soul and heart. There is that beautiful tapestry of life walking the few hundred steps, seeing the monks graciously smiling and the ocean beckoning right there. So close but you are steps away. The beautiful grounds forever call and as the wanderer with no time but moments you know you can choose to return.  I can walk those steps again if I choose.

I will return to the fishing village and spend moments to see the things which cameras can capture and those things that elude it. The spiritual connections of people and the ocean, a lifetime spent walking that long pier.

Simply two beautiful but completely different places but all in one wandering glance.

Today in Phu Quoc

After the morning coffee adventure and breakfast later, I went for a walk here with the camera. Its a nice place just to stroll around. I got to meet Rose and Peace from Hanoi Vietnam by the pier and we walked together for awhile and chatted.  Here are some pictures of here and there for you. Markets, temples, lighthouses. This place is pretty cool!

I took the photographs today with the prime lens only for whatever reason. It means I use sneaker zoom :-). The lens autofocus is wicked fast and I love the aperture ring on it with its clicks. All in all the FujiFilm X-T30 is a lot of fun to use.

I signed up for a few tours for later this week to go to points north and south on the island. They were pretty reasonable and I get picked up at the hotel each day. They are group tours.

Tonight I will visit the night market and have fresh seafood for dinner. I fancy some crab I think and there are lots of restaurants to choose from that broil or BBQ the seafood.

I won’t be publishing itineraries or schedules or lists of places to go. I don’t wander around to a schedule or itinerary so everything I find is how I find it. I have no idea most days if I missed something the next block over. I have never liked writing blogposts about the 48 hours and 5 things to do myself. If others get joy, get followers, find happiness writing those, go for it. I’ll just muddle along with how I write. Sometimes I do wonder about the blogger and storyteller under all that. What are their feelings about a place, how do they eat and drink and laugh and cry on the day to day. I try to just write how I do because the blog is not a travel or lifestyle blog per se. Its a blog about this old retired guy living life in places on the slow road to nowhere in particular with moments to spare. I did away with time so it no longer exists. If I want to go back to a place I  probably will. Southeast Asia is an easy place to get around.

Welcome to Sunset at Phu Quoc Vietnam

It was a day of slow transitions. First away from the hotel in Can Tho to the airport and then about a 45 minute flight to Phu Quoc Island. I admit to being a bit tired after drinking a few beers with my friend Lily in Can Tho. We settled at a wonderful bar and restaurant right by the water in Can Tho. Since she lives there, she knows the places to eat, drink, and talk. Those happen to be the thing we did. Lily is in the tourism business and we’ve known each other about a year or so. I finally was able to make it to Can Tho to see her, party a bit, eat a few meals, and talk. Lily is a smart woman, knows her fair share of tourism, what she wants to be, and is so easy to talk to. We talked about a number of things about Vietnam. The people, the culture, history. How friendships and family are so very important to Vietnamese people. Truly enlightening.

I got here to Phu Quoc Island after 40 minutes of flying in a cool turbo-prop plane that was a really nice ride. The island is a really nice place with lots of restaurants, shops, tourists and the hotels are all over downtown. I will go exploring a bit more tomorrow but tonight I saw the night market and the most intense sunset in awhile.

See what you think. Here’s a montage of some times today and this evening as the sun decided it was time to dazzle us.

I was thinking walking along as the sun just made the sky turn those colors and the clouds danced in their response how it really is about being in the right place at the right time. I think the right place for me is Vietnam and these have to be some of the best times of my life.

So thank you Vietnam for putting on that show tonight. I was amazed and I still have a week left here to see more. Tomorrow is exploring the city, perhaps a beach or two. I have a week here to do what I do. I think Vietnam is up to the challenge. Thanks Vietnam. You rule.