August 07, 2019, Posted by: James

Second tour in ‘nam

One of the great conveniences of living in a travel hub like Tokyo, or Hong Kong, is that flights to southeast asia are really affordable.

Even though i'm planning on leaving Japan within the next 6 months, one of the main things that i'm going to miss is my bi-yearly foreign trips to random foreign countries in Asia. Not to mention the added trips across the pond to South Korea, to drink soju and feast on Korean BBQ, and Taiwan, to eat xiaolongbao and burn my tongue.

They say xiaolongbao is the hot pockets of Asia.

I went to Vietnam a month or so ago, got a cheap room at a resort on the beach, and rented a little scooter to explore the city. We were in Hoi An this time, but it's a stone's throw from Da Nang, and flights to Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi aren't very expensive.

There's something really enjoyable about spending time in a hot and tropical place, where beers cost a dollar and you can eat yourself comatose with just the spare change in your pocket.

I saw a documentary once about Paul Gauguin, and how he spent time in Tahiti presumably sipping adult beverages and throwing paint on canvas to his heart's desire. It struck a chord with me, not as an artist so much, but more as a thrifty 30-something. There's something inherently beautiful about the beach, and about the ocean. There's something attractive about a life catching fish and swimming in the sun. There's something grotesque about paying $12 for a drink in a neon-lighted city.

I exaggerate of course, there's pros and cons to city life and the beach life, but how will you know which one suits you if you don't try them out?

I imagine as more and more people around the world break into the middle class, more and more people are going to grow dissatisfied with the hustle and bustle of city life and start making their way to the beaches and mountains humanity has worked so hard to escape from.

Maybe it's a "grass is always greener" situation. Maybe the fact that we have a choice between living minimally and living in excess is the greatest triumph.

Either way, my new life goal is to buy a sailboat and see for myself.

While I literally have asia in my blood, it has become apparent to me that I have the beach in my spirit.


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