Rest, Recovery, Relaunch

I returned from Germany on October 6 to regroup and prepare for my upcoming 3-month trip to southeast Asia.  This will be the first major leg of my journey.  Chile was a test run, in a country that I'm familiar with and in a language that I speak.  (And Germany was just a normal vacation with friends.) 

I haven’t had a lot to write about these last few weeks, as I take care of some administrative things:  applying for travel visas, paying utility bills, servicing cars, researching volunteer opportunities in southeast Asia, etc. 

I have enjoyed catching up with some of you in person or online.  In our conversations, many of you have commented, "Oh, I'm so jealous" or "You're living the life I want."  

Ah, life on the road seems glamorous, doesn’t it?

Yes, sometimes it is.  I enjoy the leisurely pace of not really needing to be anywhere or do anything.  For example, last week instead of taking the bus or UBER to my destination, I just strolled across San Francisco in my flip flops, enjoying the sights and sounds (and amazing October weather).  And I’m certainly looking forward to relaxing among the islands of southeast Asia. 

But recently, there have been plenty of non-glamorous moments as I try to live "homeless" in one of the most expensive areas in the country.  I’ve changed clothes in my car, done laundry at the laundromat, eaten lunch in the grocery store, and “borrowed” WIFI while parked outside Starbucks to avoid buying a second cup of coffee.  (I'm on a budget, remember.)

I would like to publicly thank several friends who have hosted me at their homes (or boats) so that I can avoid hotels and Airbnb.  And I’m grateful to so many more friends who have made similar offers.  (Rain check?)

In a couple of days, I depart for Hong Kong, and then Thailand.  I don’t have any plan, as of yet – other than to meet my parents for dinner in Bangkok.  (Crazy, but they will be there at the same time as me!)  From Thailand, I may venture into Cambodia and/or Myanmar as well.

As for volunteering and sailing, I’ve decided to figure it out once I’m there.  In particular, for sailing, I want to make sure I meet the skipper and inspect the sailing vessel in person before hopping aboard.   For volunteering, Chile was a huge success and I expect the same from Thailand.  I am less familiar with the country, so I want to do some exploring before I commit to a certain location for extended volunteering.

See you in 2016, San Francisco!