Is there a word to describe the feeling of pieces falling into place? Can happen in a few seconds with a jigsaw puzzle. Takes longer with major steps in one’s life. This journey has come to a fork and the new path beckons.
Didn’t surprise me that retiring led to thinking about the lives I didn’t live. There were too many lives and it took too much time. A beneficial view of that is the number of lives is what it is and it took as long as it needed to. Either way focusing on the past drew attention away from plans of using Hua Hin as a base camp for travel. Also drew attention away from thinking about Thailand as a place to settle or at least as a long-term base camp. Been here since March ’10, in the apartment since August ’10, but I’ve treated it more as a place to squat while occasionally wondering what to do next.
That changed after a series of insights over a few days. After one random encounter with a Thai it was clear that learning some Thai language would be beneficial and doable. Spending more on lodging for four nights in Singapore than my month’s rent here had no ‘ouch’ factor. Enjoyed traveling by whim much more than traveling by plan. A friend who liked my photos and stories about the tea plantation in the Cameron Highlands told me about a similar area in a country far enough down on my list of places to go that I’d never get there. Subsequent research moved it high on the list. The euro zone crisis led to speculation about when would be best time to visit. Told a friend about a place I wanted to visit during my 4 week vacation in Thailand in ’09 before moving here. Came within a 20 minute longtail boat ride of it but ran out of days. So why haven’t you been there since you moved to Thailand she asked. Yeah, why the F haven’t I been there?
Oddly my interest in treating Hua Hin as the base camp as intended was followed by another door opening. What is the difference between a comfortable base camp and being settled down? A foreigner without a Thai spouse can buy a house but not the land. We can buy condos. Imagine all the reasons for not buying a condo in the US then add no zoning laws, pervasive corruption, no standards for construction and the people who do it, and the tiny chance of gaining any sort of compensation for a ripoff. I’d buy a condo only if it was with money I could walk away from. Don’t have much of that type of funds.
Would renting a better place with a kitchen and filling it with things to make life more comfortable be settled even if I’m still thinking it is base camp for now? Would getting a Thai drivers license and buying a motorbike mean this is more than a base camp? It doesn’t matter if I know the answers.