Reality Sucks, or Does It?

You can ignore reality, but you can't ignore the consequences of ignoring reality. - Ayn Rand

This may not be my reality anymore, but it's still pretty great!
I was so excited to get to Vietnam, so much in fact that the logistics were not really thought out.  What was thought out was the planning of all the great things we would be seeing and how we could see it all in the 30-day time period our visa allows for.  See for yourself, we were planning to be busy!

  ~Delats crazy house and mountainside coaster
  ~Halong Bay in all its splendor
  ~Hanoi and Siagon and the crazy traffic that we feel we need to see to believe
  ~Ho Chi Minh himself, mummified in plain view in Hanoi
  ~A photography tour of Hoi An, exploring local fishing villages
  ~Beauty of Tam Coc, wonder of Sapa rice terraces
  ~Acting out what it was like for the Vietnamese, during the war, in the Chi Chi tunnels
  ~Museums, circuses, beaches, beautiful scenery, and interesting people
  ~Talking to locals and trying to get a read on how they feel about America 40 years after war

Then tragedy struck, and by that I mean a long hard look at our finances, otherwise known as REALITY!  I hate when that happens although luckily this time around we discovered it early on by my obsessive need to plan a little bit.

When we sat down to see what the next 2 months would look like we realized that with $45 visas each for a large country with multiple places to see, we were talking about loads of transportation costs. And then there is the lodging, eating, and day after day of tourist activities. We knew that we could swing it but it would leave us no opportunity to save money for our big jump to Europe!  Just not a wise decision.

You see we were planning out a few months after Vietnam when we would be in Europe, discovering all Turkey has to offer and fantasizing about where we would move to next.  It was at the point we realized, crap, we really need a bigger income stream to live the way we are living in Asia, in Europe.

I know, real genius, lightbulb moment right?!  Anyone could have told us that and we knew it, but just hadn't accepted it yet.  Thankfully, the acceptance came well before the finances got too thin to figure it out!

So onto plan M, yes M, because I haven't even discussed how many different times the "plan" has changed over the last few months!  It is part of what I love most about travel.  The feeling, the knowledge that the world is ours for the taking and that we can do whatever and go wherever we want...provided we think it through and plan just a little.

Oh yes, back to the plan.  After living day-to-day for the last nine months, we have decided to look at the next 3-6 months time as a chunk that needs to be well thought out. So after a painfully long day yesterday discussing all our options, we decided to return to Malaysia.

Penang to be exact!  Anyone who knows me will know that I am a bit distressed about it as we have already been to Penang and with a whole wide world to explore, settling down in an area I have already gotten to know is not something I like.  Most people do, but not me.  I prefer the on the go lifestyle most of the time anyway.

We decided that we could save the most money there by getting a long term (3-6 month) apartment that is fully furnished.  There are many expats and people we already know in the area, as well as cheap food, some Western amenities, and great weather to ride out the coming winter months.

On top of that we get FREE visas to enter Malaysia for 90 days, by far the best deal in southeast Asia.  Also, from this home base of sorts we can take a shorter trip to Vietnam and come back in for an additional 90 days free.

I may have had a teeny, tiny baby fit about the idea at first, but after a few hours of reflection I am content in knowing this is what is right for us, at the moment anyway.  Something I am not sure I would have seen if reality hadn't reared its ugly head.  As I was purposefully trying to think of all the positives in order to accept this new plan, I realized that the boys will benefit so much and I saw that being a bit stationary again is something they are craving.

They can make connections with other kids in person. They can take classes or attend workshops, ride bikes and skateboard and just settle in for a bit.  Likewise, I am trying to diet, which is possible but complicated when constantly traveling. So even my body will be happy staying in one place with our own kitchen.  We can actually use a blender again and have those homemade healthy smoothies.  And having a kitchen is essential to saving money on food especially with three growing boys. It's a win-win for all of us.

So, in the end, we are all excited about this new found reality. You know, the one that I was in tears about just yesterday.  I think I am getting a lot better at this accepting reality and feeling content thing.  It only took me 2 hours to feel okay with such a big change, but that is progress, believe me.  Just proof that the things that seem horrible at the time are often exactly what we need!  It just takes acceptance and an open mind to see it!

What do you think?  How do you deal with sudden changes and when reality smacks you in the face?

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  1. Im happy about the decision and I cant wait to rock Penang with you! :) But I am sorry it created some disappointment... Hey foam party at Hard Rock?

  2. Oh yeah! I need a partner in crime to attempt that, you're on!

  3. I totally hear you! We are both freelancers and after 5 months in Costa Rica, we are now doing a road-trip accross Canada, the US and Mexico this year, but our reality check is hard. Gas is expensive here and being on the road so much with 3 little girls is not always easy... We might have to go back to the drawing board... I love following your adventures!

  4. I love traveling and visiting new places with my family, Roaming all around the world with your own family gives immense pleasure as well as entire security ,safety with all kind of care and facilities.