May, 2010 — December, 2010
During the extended expeditions I’d taken the prior two winters (2007–08 & 2008–09), Thailand had stood out as a place that I might enjoy living in. The three months I’d spent in Pattaya (the Sodom & Gomorrah of the country) had opened my eyes to a simpler, somewhat hedonistic way of living — and had me hankering for more! And because Thailand offered what’s called a Retirement Visa for people over fifty, the idea appeared do-able.
It would be a chance to break out of two decades of monk-like existence in Seattle (U.S.) where I would seemingly go years without meeting any-one interesting. In Pattaya, why, I could find a lady for a drink and a few fun games of Eight Ball within an hour. And, should we both be inclined, some extracurricular activities as well.
Nevertheless, the idea of packing up my life at age fifty-three for a move to a developing country was daunting. Besides the formidable paperwork required for the visa application, there was the question of whether I had the motivation to break out of my domestic comfort zone and once more stride off into the unknown.
It turned out to be one of the best moves I ever made.