The 2012 Southeast Asia Apocalypse Tour

I’ve been in Chiang Mai for over a month now. Life is grand, but the clock is ticking.

My lease is up. My month of training fees is up. The Swedish girl is gone. There’s nothing tying me here any more. I love this city, and could happily stay for a while longer. But there’s just one problem.

Bangkok is calling: Filthy, hot, smoggy, sprawling, commercialized, debaucherous Bangkok. There are a dozen reasons why I’ll probably like it a lot less than clean, cheap, civilized (yet still quite rowdy) Chiang Mai. Still, I’m more excited than a kid on Christmas morning.

I just finished an excellent book by English Teacher X, To Travel Hopelessly (HT to Ferdinand). Highly recommend it to anyone interested in travel, SEA, and well-written three-dollar books. ETX rips on Bangkok for several chapters in a way that made me ridiculously excited to see it.

Speaking of book reviews, Aaron Sleazy recently passed along a review copy of Minimal Game. Sleazy is an interesting guy worth following, and as books on Game go, Minimal Game is quite good. I recommend it, with the caveat that we’re a generation of men raised by books on pick-up, and I’m wondering if another book on pick-up is really the answer we need. Sleazy Stories is a good read too, and it’s a genre – masculine fiction – that I feel more comfortable encouraging.

I’m meeting some friends in Bangkok on the 28th, but I can’t wait that long. I have a few things to finish up here, but I should be on the road any day now. I can’t think of a lonelier place to spend Christmas morning than alone, in Bangkok, on the exact geographic opposite side of the world as my family, partying with backpackers I’ll never see again. Should be fun.

The trail I’ll be on over the next two months will be something like: Bangkok, Siem Reap, Phnomh Phenh, Ho Chi Minh, Nha Trang, Ha Noi, Luang Prang, Chiang Mai, and back through Bangkok (I’m sure I missed a few stops.) After that, I’ll be hopping around some islands – Phi Phi, Tao, Pha Ngan, Samet, Samui and Phuket.

Bali? Hadn’t thought about it before, but it recently came on my radar. Hm.

Readers with wisdom to share on any of these spots are encouraged to do so.

While I’m away, I’ll be taking a 2-3 month vacation from Freedom Twenty-Five and the internet in general. I’ve scheduled excerpts from the Freedom Twenty-Five Book every Tuesday and Thursday morning while I’m gone.

Part of the reason for this is that I’ll be backpacking without a laptop, and too busy to update. Above that though, I’ve been writing this blog for over a year, and it’s become a big part of my life. I want to take a step back, clear my head, and think about the direction of this blog, my writing, and my life. I want to go for a walk in the snow.

I will make three promises:

1) I will not 404 the Freedom Twenty-Five Blog

2) I’m writing a book about my SEA travels, which will be awesome and epic.

3) I don’t know what I will do with my future, but I do know that I will continue to write, and I will make it easy for you to find me and follow my adventures.

So remember: This isn’t good bye, it’s just see you later. At least, as long as I don’t:

– Smash my face against a songtaew fender in Bangkok because I’m too cool to wear a helmet

– Get run over by a tuk-tuk while tripping balls on happy shakes in Phnomh Penh

– Use my new-found ninja skills to beat down a gang of politically-connected Vietnamese in Hanoi and spent the next 30 years in a shit hole prison

– Pass out from bucket-sized drinks in Luang Prang and drift out to sea

– Find an awesome beach with awesome waves in indonesia, decide that the rat race isn’t for me, get an awesome job at an awesome hostel, and spend the rest of my life surfing and describing everything as awesome. Gradually forget how to use the internet

Barring all that though, I’ll be back again someday, like Frosty The Snowman. Subscribe to the RSS, follow me on Twitter, and enter your email in the mailing list (coming soon). Now please excuse me while I scream along with my own personalized lyrics to this excellent song, I’m Shipping Up To (Bangkok).