“Another topic: Gratefullness – I (Owen) am so grateful for where I am. All my co-workers are back home reading my blog and envious of where I am! Not just for the weather but for all the hands-on free education Owen is receiving daily. An opportunity of a life time that very few get to enjoy. In addition to your beautiful wife and family who has expanded your experiences beyond belief. (Ray)”
Hmmmmmmm Grateful…….. I think that is not the correct word. Am I happy to be away from the cold?…… Gawwwwd YES!! The weather here is paradise. It is the most temperate in Vietnam. When you watch the news about
another typhoon killing hundreds and people losing their homes, it can be a mere 20 or 30 kilometers from here, but not here. There is some kind of phenomenon that steers storms away. I have now been here for 4 months and have only seen a week of rain. I am assuming that the beautiful trees and bushes are nourished by underground aquifers as they never wilt of brown. Yes people….. be envious… it is a great place to be and so far I do not regret it. There are things I miss for sure.. Family of course, but then I am in constant contact via the internet, so distance is not such a factor. Friends
also, but I truly hope we will still meet here or there even if for a short time in the future. Other simple things like Sausage, diet drinks, and other things that I will have to set up as a topic some time.
Ray is right about another thing… The opportunity I have had to expand my horizons through loving wife and family is something I would have never dreamed about, but here I am, sitting in the lobby of a small hotel, looking out the front door to see calm tropical blue waters, a nice breeze wafting through the doors…. And wait!!.. A young lady just passed in very sexy
attire. All I need is the cold beer in my hand to make it perfect, but it is too early.
OK… lets get back to the grateful part. Here is a bit of a flash back to the past, and maybe a bit of info I have not mentioned before.
It was a very hard decision to give everything up. Mai loved her job and was reluctant to leave. Myself? I had a decent job with adequate pay and was plodding my way towards a pension that perhaps might give me a modest life in retirement if I had no assets to back me up, but that same pension seems
to be a trap for people. It was hard to give up the free money by putting in the time. Also, I had a beautiful home filled with expensive furnishings. Giving all of that up was very hard.
I did have the opportunity of a lifetime. Not so much because of my connections here, but because in a large part to Tom McKeough. He was going to live the dream. He had met a sister in-law and fallen for her, she the same. He spoke with me at length, and had decided that upon return to Canada, he would immediately put in for retirement, settle his affairs in Nova Scotia, and return to set up house in Vietnam. I had considered, but never took seriously the same thought until he passed away in Hanoi without ever being able to fulfill the promise of returning to the gal he fell for. It was truly heartbreaking and I sometimes come close to tears when I re-live the events of his passing in my mind. Even now, I am tearing up….. Thank you Tom. You made my life possible…. I now pause until dry eyed.
Getting here was a lot of work and still is. I fell physically sick when selling off all of my life and assets. I did however, feel reborn when it was all gone. And the Education I get everyday here. HaH!! I am probably more Vietnamese than many here. I work hard at educating myself. I will want to know something and almost always get resistance. People here are set in there ways and any new or different thinking is impossible to them. I often choose a thing I want to know about and have to struggle hard to get an answer. I have spent days trying to get simple answers such as. Are they going to paint a second coat? Or, where can I go for a hot dog? The answer is there but it is damned hard work to get it. Then there is how busy life has become. There is always an issue, a problem, or a job that has to be done. It is a lot of work, this early retirement.
I guess I am living the dream sort of and am still happy of my decision so far.
But It was a lot of work getting and staying. Good for you though….. You have a connection in Vietnam if you ever want to go on a cheap and exotic holiday. How about Ray taking that position as my night reception ( free food included) Brad can become my Day receptionist and serve beers and coffee. And maybe a Vietnam experienced guy like Drifter be my motorcycle taxi guy. And Maz, maybe you in the front enticing customers into the hotel for a drink?? Ken can do a little stand up comedy. All you others just rent the rooms long term? Maybe I could relax and share the dream with all of you. He Heeeeee….. then I will be very grateful:)