These Pay Our Bills
Jeepers, has it been two months already? This last month has certainly flown by!
The last 30 days has been somewhat a blur for me. The first week was spent suffering with a toothache (although I couldn’t do much anyway with the horrid thunderstorms that I was trapped in). Week two involved me traveling to Malaysia to sort out some annoying Visa issues. This trip wasn’t budgeted for and my wallet took a major hit as not only did I lose money spent on accommodation and travel costs, but the second month was supposed to be when I started working again. Week 3 involved more displacement with me heading back to Bangkok and then jumping on a sleeper bus to Chiang Mai. The final week was house hunting time! I didn’t get much else accomplished as I was checked into a hotel that was quite a distance away from the city centre and the Internet was non-existent. Lovely place, but never again!
Let’s see how I went over the second month (26/9/2014 – 26/10/2014):
This month I bounced from Bangkok to Penang, back to Bangkok and up to Chiang Mai. PHEW! Although it seemed to eat up quite a number of days in travel (as well as recovery), it wasn’t a huge amount distance-wise.
In the above graph, the blue line represents my daily goal and the red line represents the actual distance traveled. Overall the travel distance increased my tally by a fifth of my final goal, which is ace! I’ve pencilled in a handful of trips which are all dependant on me pulling in my expected revenue stream as well as getting Visas approved – so hopefully I don’t have to go through the same headaches again. If all works out, I’ll achieve my goal in mid 2015.
So far Chiang Mai is the highest point I’ve been at during my whole trip – its about 300m above sea level and and it just so happens that the peak of Doi Suthep is only an 18.7km walk from my front door. I’m thinking about going for a day hike early next month but alas, its only 1,676m above sea level so I won’t achieve my goal with this mountain. Unless I jumped really, really high after summiting.
Doi Inthanon is about 80kms south from here and with a peak of 2,565m, it’ll definitely be the peak to climb. It also gets about 12,000 tourists a year so I doubt it would be a particularly difficult climb.
Ugh. Yeah, this is getting annoying. So far I haven’t seen much money coming in – mainly because I haven’t actually done any work. I only settled in my new place in Chiang Mai a few days ago and Internet there is abysmal so I’ve been checking out suitable locations to work at. So far there is an over-abundance of locations to work ranging from cafes to co-working spaces. I think I’ll be spreading my work across multiple locations for between $3 to $7 a day.
My $50 daily goal is going well, as I spent way too much in Japan I am slowly pulling down my daily average with how cheap everything in Chiang Mai is. I’m not entirely happy with some of my expenses though as I am still having to purchase items that I hadn’t expected (plus who would have thought bed linen was considered a luxury item?). But on the bright side, there aren’t any cute stores here that I’m likely to impulse purchase stuff at.
Naturally my current tally isn’t perfect – I’ve pulled the average for the whole year down to $57.71. This month I’ve averaged $48.32 a day and expect that to dramatically decrease when when average isn’t influenced by transport costs or set-up fees. Annoyingly I couldn’t find a place that would do anything less than a 3 month lease at a reasonable price so I’ve thrown a bunch of money down the drain. Plus I had to buy a bunch of stuff for the new place that will be thrown away once I leave which feels like a waste as well. Shame.
I’m thinkin’ I’ll end up spending about $15 a day over the next month, possibly more but I’m limiting my adventuring until I get my revenue stream back on its feet.
I really should have put in a bit more work into defining what ‘keep healthy’ really means but overall I’d say I’m doing well. After leaving Japan I’ve dramatically decreased in the consumption of crap food – now I’m eating 2 to 3 proper meals a day and I barely snack. On top of this I’ve been walking a lot more which is helping me catch up to the daily average that I need to achieve in order to hit my yearly goal. I’ve also decided to do my bit for the environment and stop using public transport altogether. Chiang Mai is roughly a 5km² box that you easily can walk around. Walking around in the middle of the day can be a bit painful – the sun is hot and unforgiving but so far I haven’t given in and thrown myself in the back of a tuk tuk.
In the above graph, the blue line represents my daily goal and the red line represents the accumulative number of steps taken. As you can see, I am *almost* at the point where I need to be. Whilst in Bangkok and Penang, I didn’t do much walking so my average dropped quite a bit but after arriving in Chiang Mai, I’ve been pounding the pavement a lot during the search for an apartment. Thankfully after I found a place to live, I still have to do at least 6000 steps a day to get me to food as I don’t have a kitchen. Alas, my fitbit died again and after replacing 4 fitbits in the pst, I’m never buying a replacement again. I’ll be getting an Android Wear watch when the second generation models are released. In the meantime, I’m using a $3 pedometer I purchased at Daiso. Sure, it isn’t accurate but it seems to be under-measuring my steps so that works in my favour.
Aside from keeping up on my step count, my body seems to be getting a wee bit confused with all the activity and change in diet. I know I’ve lost weight but I have no idea how much as I don’t have access to scales and the paid one I used the other day said I was 86 kilos! The last time I weighed myself I was 76 kilos which was at the end of my Japan trip, when I was at my heaviest so I assume those scales were broken. Another set of scales outside a 7-eleven tells me I’m 73 kilos, so I choose to accept that for now.
Eating Thai food has been somewhat a challenge – through trial and error I’ve realised that eating grain usually results in a somewhat messy situation a few hours later. But the temptation to eat delicious meals at 30 baht ($1.05) is way too high. Plus not having a kitchen forces me to eat out every day. I have found a couple of vegan places that work well for me but they’re also expensive in comparison so I shall continue the long search and deal with the angry belly for the time being.
Well, this month certainly has been interesting. I do miss Japan – a lot. Since I’m now settled (well, until next year), I can focus on building up funds for the next stage of the trip. I have a feeling that I’ll return to Japan at least within the next 8-12 months. Until about 3 days ago, I didn’t actually feel like I was living a life on the road. So far the past 2 months have felt like a holiday followed by a really, really, really long trip home. Bangkok certainly was crazy, but unlike massive Asian cities like Jakarta, Bangkok has a good chaos, something that would be good to immerse one’s self into for a bit. Penang on the other hand is such a lovely place – I always liken it to Bali, with money, better English and cleaner streets.
I’m pretty happy with Chiang Mai so far, especially happy to be returning to a routine again. Hopefully next month I’ll get back on track and can stop being a worry-wart again! Although this whole tooth thing is a bit bothersome – I have a feeling I may need to head back to Oz to get some dental surgery done to fix it once and for all. But that’s something I’ll deal with later. Until then I’ll focus on the task at hand and try not to overdo on all the delicious fried foods.
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