Airborne and headed abroad again at long last


Leaving one paradise for another…

If I had my way I’d visit Thailand every 6 months.

Magic #6

When I came back from my last trip abroad I truly thought it’d be 6 months before I was back over seas. My thought at the time was to start in Japan or Korea and then travel slowly south through China, Vietnam & Cambodia before ending in Thailand or Bali.

Well it’s 6 years, not months, but I am currently at 60,000ft above the Pacific Ocean in seat 59B aboard United Airlines flight 879 bound for Tokyo. Tokyo is only a 6 hour layover though on my way to Bangkok. This trip isn’t exactly what I’d envisioned, but it still feels damn good to be traveling abroad again. People that know me, know I talk about traveling a lot, and that I love it… love it… LOVE IT! That doesn’t’ mean it’s easy to make happen.

Breaking Free to Travel is Hard

This trip was supposed to happen so many times and kept getting delayed for one reason or another. It almost got derailed again in the last month, but at some point you just have to turn away from all the last minute obstacles and focus on the goal and have faith in the universe conspire in your favor to take care of all the trivial stuff that can seem so important in the moment.

I talked about this in 2006 when I found it so hard to slowly extract myself from things I loved, but which at the same time kept me from something else I loved. I guess that’s one of the challenges we all have, right? Two things we really love but that are at least in part mutually exclusive. Back in 2006 while I loved my engineering career and owning a home, it wasn’t conducive the semi-nomadic live of travel my soul craved. For most I think family, friends and society at large train people to follow the cultural norms, and not do something as unconventional as quitting a 6 figure job (that I really liked) that had taken took 6 years of schooling to get, and sell a house that took 6 more years to save for and buy.

I was truly blessed by family and friends who, while most didn’t really “get it”, totally supported me “doing it” because they knew I was listening to my soul. That’s my litmus test for friends by the way, friends support you in finding your best interest and then pursuing it, not what they think your best interest is.

Getting Past the Obstacles to Travel

Once again there have been lots of last minute obstacles to breaking free for a extened trip.

I’d hoped to make this trip in January when my Spark Circus family was in Thailand bringing joy to kids I couldn’t quite get it scheduled and so I decided it would start on my birthday (April 1st). That seemed like a great way to start to kick off being 40! My Mom was even interested in joining me for a bit in Thailand, it was going to be awesome! However we ended up moving house on Maui at the end of March so the trip got pushed off at the last minute by a month.

Elena and I figured we could get settled in the new house and then maybe go to Thailand togetherthis time. Crazy right, traveling together. Well, unfortunatly the new home isn’t working out and we will be moving again. I could have delayed this trip yet again, but at some point one has to just ignore the obstacles and trust the universe to conspire to help us along.

That seems to have been the right choice since just 12 hours before my flight departing Maui we got word from our new landlords that we have a wonderful new home to move into, yay! Elena is going to have to move without me and we’ll probably have to hire movers this time, but at least most of what we own hasn’t even been unpacked from moving last month (we both hope to not move house again for a very long time — also I might have finaly been convinced I should buy house again, this time on Maui though).

I am of course sad not have Elena and/or my Mom traveling with me but I immensely thankful to both of them for there love and support that makes my wandering possible (I love you both). Also I’ll likely need to return to Thailand in about 6 months and that’ll be a better trip because this one is mostly about taking care of bussines.

Traveling with purpose

This is going to be a short trip with purpose and my current travel plan is limited to Thailand. I am of course already daydreaming about popping over to Burma or Cambodia for a week. Not both, just one and it’s just maybe for now… unless I find a way to extend my trip a couple months, LOL.

FWIW, I’ve always wanted to visit Burma and it’s gotten substantially easier to visit recently. I want to get in before it gets touristy (which is already happening). Time is running out so that’s probably #1 if I can make that happen.

I’ve also long wanted to see Ankor Wat though and I’d like to visit a friend I made while visiting Chiang Mai years ago that now lives in Phenom Penn (Mike also runs a super cool company would should check out called 17 Triggers).

As I said this trip has a purpose, that purpose is to get some major, and long over due, dental work done in Chiang Mai (I’ll detail that more in another post). Until I know exactly how long process is going to take the rest of the month is unplanned.

Finally this trip is yet another test run for working while traveling.

Nomadic Tech Work

For those that don’t know, when I got back from my second big trip abroad in 2007 I changed careers. I couldn’t see a career in Civil Engineering ever allowing me to satiate my ravenous hunger for travel. As a self-employed web developer I have the ability to quite literally work anywhere the web reaches. The logistics of working everywhere the web reaches however are not trivial.

It took a few of test trips like this to Maui before Elena and I were confident we could move our permanent home from Idyllwild, CA to Maui, HI without disrupting our business lives. That was wonderfully successful.

Working while traveling is one of the keys to modern nomadic living. If you don’t figure out how to make a living while traveling, you’re limited to traveling for as long as you can save up for while you’re not. It’s like trying to control ones weight in an endless binge and purge cycle, it’s just not going to work nor is it healthy.

You can expect a bunch of blog posts about working while traveling coming soon too.

Tokyo Arrival Below…



Arriving in Tokyo (connection to BKK)


  1. Have a great trip Jon! I have the nomad gene in dominant position too so I look forward to your updates!.

  2. Linda Brown says

    I’m so glad you are writing your travel blog again. It means you are able to travel and we can share it with you.

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