Officially Solo: Six Months Abroad Update

Welp, this morning I said goodbye to Austin, my travel companion over the last few months. We’ve traveled together on and off since February and quite simply, had an amazing time. Great guy and I wish him all the best in his future plans, which are quite lofty, but good for him. I’m not too sure when I’ll see him next, but that doesn’t worry me. We’ll keep each other updated. As for myself, I just passed 6 months on the road, actually closing in on 6 1/2, so with that, along with my new solo status and the fact that this is the 100th post on this blog, I felt it was time for another update.

Austin Perhentian Islands

Bye Austin

So much happens in a month while you’re traveling, I literally had to go back and read my 5 month update to remember where I was, my mindset and my plans at that time. It’s crazy how much changes in such a short period. Back then, I was under the impression, mistakenly, that my traveling companion, Austin, was taking off June 22nd. In actuality, it was July 22nd, so we had another month to roam Malaysia, and roam we did. Besides a solo stint in Singapore that I’ll write about soon, Austin and I did our best to see what Malaysia had to offer. Kota Bharu, Perhentian Islands, Taman Negara, Penang, Langkawi and finally, Kuala Lumpur were all on our hit list.

There really is too much to relay so I’ll stick to a few of the highlights.

  • We put our new diving certs to use in the turquoise waters off the Perhentian Islands.
  • We stayed up late night after night and watched the Dutch soccer team blow it in the Euro Cup.
  • We hiked through the world’s oldest, not to mention leech infested, jungle of Taman Negara. My shirt is covered in blood stains from those vampires.
  • We partied hard to celebrate our country’s independence on the 4th of July. Sadly, we didn’t meet any other Americans that night, but I did make it home in one piece.
  • We found a whole thriving skimboarding community on Penang.
  • We bought duty free beer on Langkawi (14% alcoholic beer exists and is gross).
  • We improved our hitch hiking skills without ever setting out with that goal in mind.
  • We actually had a kitchen at our disposal for a few days and cooked up a storm. Perhaps, the best fried potatoes I’ve ever made.
  • And finally, we drove our motorbike straight into a resort and onto the sidewalk to play soccer on their turf field and were promptly kicked out a few minutes later.
  • Oh yea, I took a lot of pictures including this one:
Me and the Batu Caves

Batu Caves: That statue is 140ft tall

As far as my future travel plans, I am now about to be on my own. I touched on this in my last update, but this time its for real, I swear. While I had thought about jumping on a sailboat, the idea may have to wait (I hate just saying that). I would still be totally down to do it, but after further research and some advice from a friend with experience, it may be much harder to set up than I originally realized. That and the fact that my schedule may have filled up for September. I have an invitation to crash at a friend’s place in Tokyo and, even better, to tag along on a hitchhiking trip through the country. Hard to pass up, especially since I found a flight that is going to cost me only $20 plus some airline miles. Regardless, I’m headed to Indonesia first and now have my 60 day visa all in order. Really looking forward to climbing some volcanoes, more diving and, of course, eating a ton of local foods. A friend of a friend lives in Bali so I’ll be starting there, crashing at his spot and seeing what happens.

The blog is still going strong with more and more visitors and I love keeping it updated. Hopefully, everyone out there is enjoying it too. But on another note, I’ve really gotten into the idea of creating a passive income stream online, which is basically some form of income that comes in while you aren’t actively managing it. Obviously, this is much easier said than done and I want to stay realistic about its potential, but, nonetheless, I’ve done a lot of research and put some work into building a few niche websites. Nothing too big, but we shall see what becomes of them. In theory, passive income sounds amazing and would allow someone to travel whenever they like. Something about that just sounds nice.

As usual, the future is looking quite appealing. Austin and I regularly joke about how hard our lives are. This is usually done after waking up at noon, grabbing a $1 bowl of amazing soup and exploring the island we happen to find ourselves on. Now what to do the rest of today…

2 thoughts on “Officially Solo: Six Months Abroad Update

  1. Phil,

    You are so inspiring! Reading your blogs makes me feel like watching The Beach again (Leonardo DiCaprio) – A favorite of mine. I love your sense of adventure and your calculated yet “tumbleweed blowing in the wind” ways of navigating through the world.


    • I claim to just “wing it” and I really do in some cases, but I always know that I’m not the first traveler to traverse the area and everything really will be alright in the end. Figuring it all out and seeing what happens is half the fun!

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