Dentists, Doctors and DVDs

I’m currently packing up my stuff and getting ready to leave Koh Samui.  I catch a boat to Koh Tao in about 12 hours where I will spend the next 6-8 weeks getting my divemaster certification.  I’m really looking forward to getting back in the water again. My month on Koh Samui is coming to an end and it has been a less than stellar two weeks.

Not everything is glamorous when traveling and I had my first experiences with the healthcare system abroad.  I was eating out one night and one of my fillings came out.  I don’t know how, as I was eating minced pork and nothing hard, but a chunk of it came out and I had to head to the dentist the next day.  $30 later and it was all better.  Pretty much the same service as the US but a lot cheaper.



Tooth

I continued with the Muay Thai training and have been really enjoying it.  Apart from accidentally kneeing two guys in the groin, it was going well until I kicked a guy incorrectly and cut my toe with my toenail.  Nothing major.  I went training the next day and it was fine.  The next day it was a little infected.  In hindsight, it’s probably not the best idea to walk around the gym and the dirty streets of Thailand with an open wound.  I took a couple of days off training in the hopes of it getting better but it didn’t.  On day 5 I was walking to get lunch and had a sharp pain in my groin.  I headed back to my room and checked WebMD and it said to go to the hospital immediately.  I guess the infection had spread from my foot to my lymph nodes.  I hopped in a cab and went to the hospital.  Sure enough the infection had spread.  They cleaned up the wounds, gave me a bunch of drugs, collected $300 and sent me on my way.  No kickboxing, no beach, no pool, no alcohol for 10 days.  Just rest, stay off the foot and keep it elevated.  The hospital was pretty nice and there was no wait at all.  I just walked in and saw the doctor within 5-10 minutes.

Foot

What does someone do when they can’t really do anything?  Watch a lot of dvds.  I have been catching up on a number of TV shows but it’s been a pretty boring week or so.  I am looking forward to diving and possibly kickboxing in the evening.  I have narrowed it down to 2 dive shops and am going to visit both of them and try to find housing for the next 2 months tomorrow.  It will be nice to be active once again.

 

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Belated Happy New Year

I wrote this on New Years and meant to post it but someone cut a cord and the internet went down for a couple days on my block.  I didn’t feel like carrying the laptop around so I’m just getting to it now.

Happy New Year!

This time last year I was in the cold in Canada, had a girlfriend and a job.

Tara

This year I’m on a beach in Thailand, single and unemployed.

Update-10

What a difference a year makes!

There is a lot that can be said about the past year and it was definitely one of the toughest of my life.

I wasn’t happy with my job and I made the decision in February to leave a very good career that would have allowed me to lead a comfortable life.  I decided to do something I love and go travel the world.  It took a lot of thought to get to that point and actually pull the trigger but I am glad I did.

Desk

I had a long-term relationship end twice and I learned a lot from that ordeal.  I have great friends and family who supported me throughout the year and I am truly thankful for all of them.

Going Away

I packed up my apartment and said goodbye to Baltimore after almost 8 years there.

Empty Apartment

I returned to Canada for a month and saw my family and friends.

Lincoln

 

Alberta-9

I traveled to Paris, walked 700 km through Spain, partied in Madrid and hit up Switzerland.

Paris-4

 

Day31-3

 

Update-1

I cruised the Caribbean with my family and spent some time back in the US.

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Update-7

I caught a flight to Thailand and am going to spend the next few months in Asia.

Update-9

New Years-1

A lot can happen in a year and this year has taught me to be flexible and do what feels right. Not everything happens exactly how you want it to and you might not always make the right decision but if you never take the chance you’ll never know what could’ve been.

 

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year!

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Koh Samui, Thailand

Merry Christmas everyone!  I’m writing this as I watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and stare at the ocean.  I’ve been on Koh Samui for a few days now and have managed to find a place to rent for the month.  The short term rental market is very thin right now as it is the peak season.  I ended up getting a room for the month for 24,000 baht, which is around $750 for the month.

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Apartment-5

I also signed up for a month of kickboxing classes and start tomorrow and that should be interesting.  I’m going to take one 2 hour class each evening and then look into scuba diving in the mornings.  I have yet to pick a dive shop but I should be able to narrow that down soon.

As for the rest of my time so far I have been eating far too many spring rolls and gotten a couple of Thai massages.  The massages were far more painful then I remember as they walked on me and bent me into positions I am not flexible enough for.  Apparently my calves were extremely tight from the Camino and she took no mercy as she kneaded them with her elbows.  I almost couldn’t take it.  That being said the next day I felt much better.

 

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!!

 

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MIA

December 21, 2012

Bangkok Airport

 

It’s been a while.  I apologize for the lack of communication and I resolve to be better going forward.  I’m going to sum up the last month or so and make a point of at least posting twice a week going forward.  It’s 2:30 am in Bangkok and I am waiting for a flight to Koh Samui at 7:30.

 

The last thing I wrote about was Madrid.  After Madrid, I went to Switzerland for 6 days.  This was unexpected but travel plans always change.  I spent 3 days in Geneva where I wasn’t feeling well and spent all of the time in the hotel.  From there I moved on to Zurich where I had the opportunity to explore old town and walk around the city for a few days.  The weather was cool and foggy so I didn’t get the opportunity to really see any of the scenery.

 

Update-1

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I left Switzerland to return to Baltimore for 10 days at the end of November.  Most of my time was spent enjoying my time with friends and drinking a lot.  It was great to catch up with everyone and to walk around the old office for an hour and see everyone for the first time since I quit in July.  I spent Thanksgiving watching football and was also able to see the Washington Capitals play 3 times.  It’s interesting to see some of the regular parts of my old routine that I really missed since I’ve been travelling.  Chipotle, live hockey games and sitting on the couch on a Sunday watching football come to mind.

Update-4

The Great One decided to show up to one of the Caps games.

I then flew to Miami where I met up with my parents and my uncle to board a cruise of the Caribbean.  We hit up St. Thomas, Dominica, Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Marteen.  It was great to spend time with my family but I will say I much preferred the boat days to the port days.  I’ve definitely realized that my travel style isn’t spending 4 hours in a place, fighting with people to negotiate the price of taxi that have just make up numbers out of the air or booking a tour for $100 that upon arriving you see is only $30 which means the 8 of us on the tour spent $560 to be driven 30 minutes there and back.   I may sound like I’m complaining but I just think that my current travel style doesn’t mesh with the cruise travel style.  It is definitely geared to the 60+ or married with kids crowd and there is nothing wrong with that.   I’m just not 60 or married with kids.

 

Update-5

Update-6

Update-7

I did enjoy the all-inclusive side of it and the views of the Caribbean were great.  My parents and uncle enjoyed it and I’m glad I had a few weeks to spend with them.  While on the cruise I decided to audible my travel plans away from South America and go to Asia.  I wasn’t feeling South America for whatever reason and made the decision 2 days before I was scheduled to fly to Buenos Aires.  I headed to Palm Beach for a few days with my parents while I looked into travel plans.  I was able to book a 1 way Business Class ticket using United miles on Dec 19th and had a few days to kill so I went to Scottsdale, Arizona to see a friend.  I enjoyed some great food, had a chance to see a few movies and once again probably drank too much.

Update-8

So here I am in Thailand.  I fly to the Island of Koh Samui in a few hours with the plan of renting a place for a month and getting myself back in shape.  I’ve spent the last month enjoying good food and far too much alcohol and not really walking around or doing anything physically challenging.  I’ve looked into a kickboxing gym so I think I will try that for the next month and mix in a bunch of diving when I can.

 

Thailand feels like the right place for me right now and I hope that ends up as the right decision.

 

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Madrid – Alcohol, Food and Dance

Madrid

November 2013

 

Sorry for the lack of posts but to be honest I just haven’t felt up for it.  I’m currently sitting in an expensive hotel in Geneva eating what will go down as the most expensive McDonalds meal of my life.  Basically a chicken nugget meal and a couple of hamburgers for $26 (not even the supersized version).  I’ve wasted my day in bed recovering from a bad head cold and horrible cough.  It still sucks and I’m sure it will take another few days to shake.  I didn’t go explore Geneva at all and am debating whether I stay here or head to Zurich for 4 nights.

I guess the positive is I had time to write a post on Madrid.  I really enjoyed Madrid and with the exception of the trash that was everywhere.  I spent 5 nights there with Tiara and 3 of her friends and had a blast.  I was able to take in a Musuem, eat Paella, catch a Flamenco show and drink large quantities of alcohol until 4 in the morning.  The latter is probably the reason I am trying not to cough all over my computer as I write this.

On the 10th Tiara and I checked out the Museo del Prado, which is the largest art museum in Spain and has something like 20,000 items in it.  We didn’t attempt to see all of it but a few images stuck out as being more than a little weird.  The Virgin Mary squeezing milk from her breast into the mouth of ta priest from across the room comes to mind as does a pair of paintings of an obese 6 year old.  Apparently if you were fat enough back in the 1500’s a painter was commissioned to paint a portrait both in clothes and nude.  Overall the museum was very interesting and I personally enjoyed the sculptures the most.  The cost was 14 euros and it was worth it.

We then proceeded to start drinking at the hotel bar while we waited for her friends, Alicia, Indira and Tanya.  We met a couple random people there and were told to keep it down so we must have been having a good time. They pour a very stiff drink in Spain.  We then wandered the streets until the wee hours of the morning.

Madrid-1

We quickly transitioned to Spanish time, which had us eating Paella at 3pm and then doing dinner closer to 10pm the next day.  The Paella was good but apparently the place the girls ate at in Barcelona was much better.  We walked around the plazas and eventually created our own little bar crawl.

Madrid-2

 

The third night we took in a Flamenco show.  As bad as it is to say, the video below sums up my knowledge of the Flamenco prior to seeing the show.

After seeing the show it will go down as probably the best thing I saw in Madrid.  It was definitely worth the 50 euro admission and we all agreed it was excellent.

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The last night we laid low and saw Gravity at the theatre then had some drinks and met a pair of Swiss nurses who were couchsurfing with an Italian in Madrid.  There were lots of questions about couchsurfing and travel.  It turns out Wednesdays nights are dead in Madrid so the night was over relatively early (2am).

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It is hard to believe I will be back in Baltimore, albeit temporarily, in just a few days.  I have been thinking a lot about my return the past few days.  I am definitely a slightly different person than I was in August and my life is much different now.  Things don’t always work out how you would like to but I think travel teaches you to roll with the punches.  My time in Spain, both the Camino and Madrid, allowed me a lot of time to think and I was able to meet some interesting and supportive people along the way.  I’m currently in a country I had no plans to visit just a week or so ago.   I don’t know what life has in store for me in the upcoming few months but I’m sure it will work itself out.

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