I’m a 50 year old computer scientist living and working in Livermore, USA. I have a great job, and make a reasonable, six-figure salary, which is enough to save on and never worry about money while living a relaxed and easy life in the great state of California. Despite that, I’ve decided to quit my job on May 31 and leave the US for parts unknown, but very likely Thailand.
Travel has never been my forte. I’ve always preferred 4 star hotels to hostels, and I never camp. And yet my plan is to throw a tent into my car and travel around the US until I’ve seen enough, visiting family and chilling out, then check out South America, and then it’s on to Southeast Asia.
How did this come about? Well, it really started in May of 2013, my first trip to Thailand, where I spent 10 days, mostly in Pattaya. I was blown away by the culture, the freedoms, the food, the sights, the women.
The culture! Temples and a feeling of gentle Buddhism pervades everything. The freedoms! Nobody is going to judge you for being a ladyboy, or for walking down the streets with a beer in your hand. You can pet a tiger and get picked up by an elephant. The fireworks are off the hook. The food! Thai food is legendary and there is a reason there are so many Thai restaurants in the USA. The sights! Temples, crowded markets, clear warm water and beaches, jungles. And the women! Ah, the women, so attractive and willing! My first day or two there, as I recall, I was able to go out on a date with a young pretty lady in Bangkok, about 23 years old. She was the first girl I asked, just an ordinary girl selling phones in a shopping mall. The chances of that going that way in the USA are obviously very low, although I’m too intimidated to even try here.
I went back 3 more times, for a month at a time, to explore Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Hong Kong, China. I became more and more desirous to spend time there, to work and live there, to expand my experiences, learn a new language. If you’ve ever been bitten by this bug, you’ll understand. If not, then I cannot explain any more than I have. There is just something about sitting in a small alley in Bangkok, sipping spicy soup, thousands of miles away from home, that just lights my soul up.
I asked my boss and there was no way to set up a telecommute or to take more time off. I didn’t want to change companies and wait for a chance to possibly transfer over there. I wanted to just go! I looked at my life, realized I could make this thing work, as I have enough money saved, and thought, hey, what grander and more challenging adventure could I make for myself?
And so here I am. Hello world indeed!