Chiang Mai, Day 5

Thank you, gentle readers, for indulging me in my vacation from blogging.

I hope it wasn’t too hard, sitting through the ramblings of Zdeno and The Chad-Man, but I appreciate that you gave them a chance. We all gotta start somewhere, right?

I’m sure some of you already figured it out, but for those who haven’t: Yes, Zdeno Blowhard, The Durham Report, and the Chad-Man are all my masked alter-egos, a trio of stillborn early attempts at internet fame. Let this be a lesson to any aspiring writers out there: You will likely churn through a lengthy and cringe-worthy adolescence before you ever write anything that will make another human being want to click ‘subscribe.’ And that was just the stuff I was willing to show you. The pit of mediocrity I climbed out of (and continue to climb out of, day by day) is deep, dark, and crawling with laughable creatures I can’t even bear to look at.

When I decided to move to Chiang Mai, Thailand – where I currently reside as of five days ago – I wasn’t sure what direction this blog would take. No matter what, things are going to change.

I’ll have much to say in the coming months about Muay Thai, online marketing, Thai girls, and probably many other subjects that overlap with my historical wheelhouse of fitness, money, and girls. But this blog will never be about just those things. Nor will it ever just be about travel, sex, politics or any single defined subject. As I stated in my very first post:

“This blog’s mission will be to narrate and inspire my rise from what I am – a content and conventionally successful young guy, one year into his tenure at a prestigious, but soul-destroying desk job – into what I want to be: An Artist. A Man. A genuinely happy and fulfilled person, whose life is spent creating and experiencing the sublime.”

Right now, that quest has taken me to the 2nd-floor loft of a coffee shop overlooking the closest thing Chiang Mai has to a town square, where I’m writing this post.

It is not my intention to turn Freedom Twenty-Five into a self-indulgent stream-of-consciousness travel blog, especially since I’ll be condensing this trip into a book somewhere down the line, but here’s a short breakdown of what my life is going to look like for the next three months:

Nov 15th -> Dec 28th

Chiang Mai. Living in a four-star, full-service hotel with on-site masseuse. Train Muay Thai in classes with an almost 1-1 ratio of world-class instructors to students. Learn to speak Thai for 15 hours a week. Constantly eat delicious, retardedly healthy meals for $1-4. Write like a mad man. Devour Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire, Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations and a few other heavy reads.

I may decide to finish Trig, if the mood strikes. No promises though.

Dec. 28th -> February 5th

Meet up with three friends for a debaucherous backpacking tour of Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. Pillage our way across the subcontinent. Leave villages burning in our rear view mirrors.

February -> ???

Up in the air. At the rate I’m going now, I will likely want to do another month of training and working in Chiang Mai. After that… let’s hear your suggestions. I would eventually like to make my way to southern Europe, possibly via Africa and/or Israel/Turkey. Mid-summer return to North America sounds about right, unless I become addicted to life on the road (or sick of it) before then.

I will have much more to say about the experience of uprooting my life and moving to the literal other side of the world in future posts but for now, I will just say that it is simultaneously one of the most exciting and terrifying things that I’ve ever done. Moments of, wow, what an incredible life I’m setting up for myself are interspersed with the occasional hour spent laying awake in bed wondering what the hell I’m doing.

As a seasoned veteran of the vagabonding scene, with well over half of a week under my belt, here are a few things to consider if you’re contemplating heading down a similar road:

1 – If you read books and blogs written by guys who live nomadic lives, they are almost ubiquitously positive, because no one wants to read (or write) about shitty travel experiences. It’s called a selection effect.

2 – The questions you ask yourself in quiet moments, the issues you deal with, the problems you have, will all follow you wherever you go. Street signs in a different language do not force a hard reset of your brain.

3 – Safety, security and routine are all good things. The goal of traveling is to replace old habits and routines with new ones, but no matter what, the transition will be occasionally painful. I suspect this is truer, the older you are.

4 – There are a million reasons why leaving your home country just straight-up sucks. Long flights, bad food, weak stomachs, having to be hyper-aware all the time, loneliness, feeling like an outsider, trying to understand traffic laws for a full day before it dawns on you that there aren’t any… Yes, there are many annoying and un-fun things about travel.

5 – It is far, far, FAR too early for me to say anything definitive, but… If the past four days are any indication, I’m fully expecting to have the time of my life over the coming months. I love the newness and the novelty. I love the freedom. I love that I don’t spend a single second of any day doing something unless it’s exactly what I want to do. I love that I’ve created an incredibly full and busy schedule of activities, projects and classes that are making me a better person. And even though I don’t consider myself an extremely extroverted person, I’m finding that only the barest of effort is needed to meet new people.

This is all just one man’s experience. Take it for what it is. But if you’re on the fence about taking the plunge, stay tuned and see if I sink or swim to help you make up your mind.

Oh, and a reminder: Just a few short days until the Freedom Twenty-Five Book is available wherever fine literature is sold (i.e., Amazon and The Kindle Store). Start camping out now