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Thread: Once in a Lifetime

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    JDX
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    Once in a Lifetime

    Hey all,

    Haven't posted in quite a while but I still browse from time to time...dreaming, if you will...555

    So I've basically just been working my tail off in the most stressful manner for the last couple years. I've traveled to a few places with the time off allotted, having been on a few cruises in the Caribbean and Mediterranean and late last year went skiing in Whistler. Even still, the short trips (max 10 days at a time) didn't relieve my stress levels and began taking a toll on my health.

    I started getting headaches more frequently, had many restless nights, and a couple months ago, began breaking out in hives. The doctors were quite certain these were all stress related. All that said, I’m in a position for the first time in my life, maybe the last, to take some real time off…and so yesterday I gave resignation notice to my employer of the last 13 years.

    I told them I would give them up to 30 days to sort things out and transfer all my projects to someone else. In hindsight, I should have just given them the standard 2 weeks but I have a lot of projects ongoing in various stages of completion and the process will be time consuming, especially since the company is not at all prepared for this. However, we have a guy from corporate flying down next week for a couple days and with luck, we can finalize everything by the end of next week so I can start the next chapter of my life.

    As part of this mid-career break, I’ve decided to travel back to SE Asia for about a month and do a little whirlwind tour. So, here’s what I have in mind:

    The trip is planned for Oct. 17- Nov. 21

    7 nights Pattaya
    7 nights Chiang Mai
    5 nights Hanoi – probably including a cruise through Ha Long Bay
    10 nights Phillipines – split somehow between AC and either Borocay or El Nido
    1-2 nights Hong Kong

    Any thoughts, comments, suggestions?
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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Stillearly's Avatar
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    Take a longer holiday 555 , when I had my career break I did three months in Asia / Oz , was fantastic

    Kaptainrob did a TR from Hanoi , he went on a cruise with https://www.aucocruises.com/ , it looked brilliant ( its on my list as well )

    enjoy and keep us updated

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    Organic AI Quarky's Avatar
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    Welcome back!

    I'd save Pattaya for the end! ..55
    My only experience was in a pie making factory managing the gravy team


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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Stillearly's Avatar
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    I would reduce CM to five nights and have two in Bangkok , before going to Vietnam.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stillearly View Post
    Take a longer holiday 555 , when I had my career break I did three months in Asia / Oz , was fantastic

    Kaptainrob did a TR from Hanoi , he went on a cruise with https://www.aucocruises.com/ , it looked brilliant ( its on my list as well )

    enjoy and keep us updated
    Thanks, SE! I thought about a longer trip, but I think a month is long enough for me. Also, one of the deals we made at work was for me to continue managing my number one client on a contract hourly basis. This works all around since I enjoy working with this one client and the client does not want to work with anyone else in the company, but they are under contract with them for the next couple years. They're low maintenance though so someone else could easily fill in for me for a month, but any longer could be a risk to my relationship with the client.

    Thanks for the link as well. Looks like a nice ship...would love to do the seaplane combo from Hanoi, although a little pricey.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Distantpeak View Post
    Welcome back!

    I'd save Pattaya for the end! ..55
    Thanks, DP! I figured you would say that!..55

    You may, or may not, have noticed from my previous trips that I like to party pretty hard early in my trip and then the back end becomes more relaxed. That was the thought in getting Patts out of my system right away and do the more scenic stuff after...55. But then there's AC as well
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stillearly View Post
    I would reduce CM to five nights and have two in Bangkok , before going to Vietnam.
    Good suggestion, SE. I wasn't too sure about length of time in CM since I've never been. If I reduce it by a couple nights I'd probably just add those nights in somewhere besides Bangkok though. Right now, I've only booked the trip over with Hong Kong as the hub.

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน MarcTwoSix's Avatar
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    I don't know your age but you will be working for a long time after this break.

    I'd take more time if you can swing working remotely for that one client.

    And this is coming from a guy that was very happy to get back to a structured work life after I took off about 18 months.

    Try and take 3 months if you can
    It will be the last time you can do that after your next job

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    I will be in Chiang Mai early in November and I make it my "home" while in Thailand, but I'm not much of a party person. CM really isn't a party town, although some of that can be found. However, it is worth seeing, if for no other reason than to say you've been there to see what it offers. These days I would find Pattaya and Bangkok boring. In past years I saw too much of that. Chiang Mai is more of a city for expats who want to set down roots. It's not too large and its easy to get around, and yet has all the amenities that large cities offer: modern hospitals, night life, good accommodation at reasonable prices, many great places to dine at a wide range of prices, and many touristy things to do. It is the big mountain behind the city that gets a lot of my attention and allows me to sample a bit of wilderness in an otherwise urban area.
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    CM has a lot to do if you like adventure type stuff. Great place to rent a motor bike and ride around the north. Best mountain biking in Asia, great food and people. Party life is around but nothing like Patts and Bangers.


    I did the Ha Long Bay cruse last April and we loved it. I did two nights but one is all you really need. We also like to party and we got a bit board on the boat for two nights. Hanoi is a great town and good place to party. We stayed at the same hotel as Captain Rob and it was a great hotel in the middle of it all. If you ride a motor bike rent a bike and ride the Ho Chi Min trail. Awsome ride and will take two days. North VN is a must do place.

    If you haven't been to Philippines before its a shit hole but the girls are nice. Borocay is nice. You may want to consider Cebu and if you do stay a few nights on Bohol. Scuba diving in the Phils is great if you like that stuff. We have a place south of Cebu city and diving with whale sharks is a great experience if you haven't done it.

    Not sure why Hong Kong but I would give that a miss however awesome place to eat if you are a foodie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcTwoSix View Post
    I don't know your age but you will be working for a long time after this break.

    I'd take more time if you can swing working remotely for that one client.

    And this is coming from a guy that was very happy to get back to a structured work life after I took off about 18 months.

    Try and take 3 months if you can
    It will be the last time you can do that after your next job
    I'm 46 and a half...55. The thing is, I wanted to travel as soon as I could but didn't want to be away for the holidays. My mom is getting up there in age so there's no telling how many more family times we'll have left to spend together.

    The one client I'll continue working with has 3 projects under construction, including a historic hotel renovation. My work for them at the moment involves going to the job site, which can't be done on a laptop...55

    My "break" will actually start sometime in the next couple weeks and will last until the end of the year, at least. I still have other work I do as well, formerly on the side, which I'll be working on over this time, with the exception of the month of travel. Many people approach me for work and I don't mind doing the small jobs myself, such as custom homes. These type of jobs are easy, fast, and pay well. I've had to turn down quite a few due to me having to spend 60 hours a week at the regular job. If I play my cards right, I may never have to go back to a regular job again.

    I'll make those decisions later, after I feel I have rested enough to clear my head.

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    Hey man, good to hear from you again. Doing the right thing. These sort of prolonged stresses can end up having long term effects on your health.

    Too bad you can't stretch it any longer, but a month is still not bad. Goes without saying, but have fun.
    Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.


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    Quote Originally Posted by OZZYGUY View Post
    CM has a lot to do if you like adventure type stuff. Great place to rent a motor bike and ride around the north. Best mountain biking in Asia, great food and people. Party life is around but nothing like Patts and Bangers.


    I did the Ha Long Bay cruse last April and we loved it. I did two nights but one is all you really need. We also like to party and we got a bit board on the boat for two nights. Hanoi is a great town and good place to party. We stayed at the same hotel as Captain Rob and it was a great hotel in the middle of it all. If you ride a motor bike rent a bike and ride the Ho Chi Min trail. Awsome ride and will take two days. North VN is a must do place.

    If you haven't been to Philippines before its a shit hole but the girls are nice. Borocay is nice. You may want to consider Cebu and if you do stay a few nights on Bohol. Scuba diving in the Phils is great if you like that stuff. We have a place south of Cebu city and diving with whale sharks is a great experience if you haven't done it.

    Not sure why Hong Kong but I would give that a miss however awesome place to eat if you are a foodie.
    I chose CM since I haven't been there before, believe it will be slightly cooler that time of year, and I would include some activities such as white water rafting, maybe zipline, and visit an elephant farm. I'll be in patts for a week prior, so this would be a more relaxing portion of the trip. Still not certain on the number of nights there though.

    Thanks for the tip on the 1 night versus two in Ha Long bay.

    I'm only going to pre-book my flight into the Philippines, maybe a couple nights hotel so I have a destination when I get there. My thought was to maybe find a girl I like and take her to one of the nicer destinations. I dunno, bad idea??...555

    I've thought about diving many times but never have. I'd want to get trained at home though before going and don't plan to do that before then. Aside from the job situation, I'll be attending my friends bachelor party and wedding which is in Vegas, in September. I'll also be taking my mom on a short golfing trip in Amelia Island when I get back from Vegas.

    The only reason Hong Kong is part of my itinerary is because my overseas flight lands there. Cathay Pacific. Maybe I'll just stay one night as the only real desire I have is to view the city from Victoria's Peak.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacon View Post
    Hey man, good to hear from you again. Doing the right thing. These sort of prolonged stresses can end up having long term effects on your health.

    Too bad you can't stretch it any longer, but a month is still not bad. Goes without saying, but have fun.
    Thanks, Bacon! Yeah, stress can be a true killer. This will still be more than twice as long as any trip I've ever taken. For most people here in the states, you really can't take that much time off unless you run your own business. Two weeks is the most for many people and the most time I've ever taken off from work over the last 30 years.
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    Lamai Beach Bum Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน bacwaan's Avatar
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    sorry to hear about the stress related illnesses Jim...you've made the right decision here mate...take a good time out and forget about work for a while...give your mind and body some rest from it all

    Your planned trip sounds great....too bad you won't have time to pop in down Samui way this time around...

    Chok Dee Fella
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    Frequent Flyer kaptainrob's Avatar
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    Hanoi is a great place to explore, eat and drink.

    For a young fella traveling solo (I assume), Ha Long Bay for just a day trip is a long way there and back by bus. Consider going by air into Hai Phong and staying at a luxury resort for a night, perhaps only doing a bus trip by return.
    Cheers, Rob.
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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน MarcTwoSix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDX View Post
    I'm 46 and a half...55. The thing is, I wanted to travel as soon as I could but didn't want to be away for the holidays. My mom is getting up there in age so there's no telling how many more family times we'll have left to spend together.

    The one client I'll continue working with has 3 projects under construction, including a historic hotel renovation. My work for them at the moment involves going to the job site, which can't be done on a laptop...55

    My "break" will actually start sometime in the next couple weeks and will last until the end of the year, at least. I still have other work I do as well, formerly on the side, which I'll be working on over this time, with the exception of the month of travel. Many people approach me for work and I don't mind doing the small jobs myself, such as custom homes. These type of jobs are easy, fast, and pay well. I've had to turn down quite a few due to me having to spend 60 hours a week at the regular job. If I play my cards right, I may never have to go back to a regular job again.

    I'll make those decisions later, after I feel I have rested enough to clear my head.
    It's awesome you are thinking about your family.
    Sometimes I think a lot of guys you run into in Thailand get so caught up in everything Thai and they forget about the real stuff at home.

    Good on you

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน MarcTwoSix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDX View Post
    Thanks, Bacon! Yeah, stress can be a true killer. This will still be more than twice as long as any trip I've ever taken. For most people here in the states, you really can't take that much time off unless you run your own business. Two weeks is the most for many people and the most time I've ever taken off from work over the last 30 years.
    Move to Canada
    I joke with my #1 guy that works for me, because apparently he's now European and doesn't work in August 555

    But 3-3 1/2 weeks is common for us on our desk

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Bacon's Avatar
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    In Oz we get 4, plus 10 public holidays. So if you don't work weekends you have 142 days off. That's almost 5 months of the year! Too bad they're not in a row.
    Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.


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    When I worked in forestry in BC I always worked extra hours when away from home for a month at a time. I got so I could do two days work in one. That gave me lots of time off for later. The planning part was what I wanted to do with my time off so I could maximize my pleasure. During trout fishing season I would take off Tuesdays and Thursdays. That allowed me to fish Saturday, Sunday and the two days in the middle of the week. Over the prime two months when the trout were most active I had a LOT of fishing, and it didn't eat into my annual family holiday trip. Damn I've had a great life!

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