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Old 11-17-2011, 02:27 PM   #21
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:00 AM   #22
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Sydney, Barcelona, Hawaii, Venice
Sydney would be nice as a home base for a year. Would love to explore many areas in Australia. But living in another country for a year is not in the picture. I could see a 2-3 month extended stay in Colorado or Montana. That is a more realistic goal for me.
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:10 AM   #23
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We have this sort of thing planned out as well ! We just got back from a cross-continental train journey (almost) from Toronto to California and have decided that when we pull the trigger in two years it'll be winters in SoCal (just north of LA) and summers/falls in cottage country here. Springs ? that's for travelling silly. ha
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Old 11-29-2011, 12:25 AM   #24
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Great question and I love reading all the different perspectives here. It is a great example that there is no "right" answer, but there is a "right answer" for each of us.

We have now been on the road full time for 14 months and traveled through a variety of countries. Now we are in Chiang Mai, Thailand "settling down" for 6 months. We have found a huge difference between spending a week or two in a city and staying somewhere for a few months. Staying put is a wonderful way to get to know the culture, meet locals, and get accepted by people that simply don't have the time to get to know every tourist that shows up.

This time in Chiang Mai is wonderful and has showed us that the possibility of staying in one place for an extended period of time, a year sounds nice, is a great alternative to the constant travel. Our plan after we leave here next year will be to travel more but will intersperse longer stays at times when we fall in love with a place.
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:59 AM   #25
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Now we are in Chiang Mai, Thailand "settling down" for 6 months.
Did you choose 6 months to avoid becoming a tax resident in Thailand?
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My top five
Old 11-29-2011, 02:54 PM   #26
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My top five

Like some of you... I have weekly contact with my parents who live in the same town. And as the years go by, their needs for assistance are becoming greater. With that said, I would love to travel the world, but can't.

During my 30 years working for the Feds, I did get a "taste" of other places in the world, when I would be asked to go on emergency assignments, such as wildfires, floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes. Or, on teaching assignments in Hawaii, Alaska, Northern California, Southern California, and Washington DC.

So, there are many places that I would love to go back and stay for a year. The following is my list....

1. Chena Hotsprings, Alaska. Located 60 miles south of downtown Fairbanks. I was there on a Wildland fire... Great food, the hotsprings is fantastic, and nice campsites or motel. I would love to work there for a year, just so I could see the northern lights, during the winter, from the hotsprings. They also have an "ICE" hotel in the winter! That ridge you see in the photo is where the wildfire was burning!



2. San Juan Puerto Rico, San Juan is the oldest city on US territory. I was staged there for a Hurricane assignment, for a week...Loved the history, the old forts, the food, the beaches, and the casinos.



3. Hawaii, The Big Island. I was teaching the Army basic wildland firefighting. I loved viewing the lava flows at Kalapana, having spam for breakfast, the black beaches, and the history. I would love to return and rent a Harley for a couple of days. And/or, I would love to work at the public golf course in Hilo for a year... or volunteer at Volcano National Park....



4. Washington DC, I was teaching mid-level fire training at the Washington Office. There are a 100 things to see and do that are free in the greater DC area, and over a two week period I saw maybe 10% of the free things. I loved the subway system, the museum of natural history, the Smith, the Washington Mall, the night life, and the food & night life. I would love to live in the area and have my Airstream, and Harley and just get out and see everything that's outside the greater DC area.
Pic is of the Forest Service WO....



5. New Orleans, I was there for Hurricane Katrina... So I would love to go back and volunteer to help build homes. I would want my Airstream and Harley with me, so I could return to some of the areas I was assigned to during my stay, and see how life is going now. I stayed in a motel in Brookhaven Mississippi. But during my 2 months that I was there, I got to travel around and see many areas that were destroyed...like Biloxi, to New Orleans, and everything in between, along the gulf coast.

I would love to tour the Antebellum houses, the Vicksburg National Millary Park, (I did see the Windsor Riuins, below), Mardi Gras, and go to the Elvis Festival in Tupelo. And spend some time in downtown New Orleans, and see a NFL foorball game in the Superdome.... The last time I saw the dome, it was in pretty bad shape!



I have gone on many road trips to Mexico, but have no desire to return...because of the drug issues they are having.

Anyway, that is my top five places to live... But, I must say that I LOVE where we live now! If I want to go to a Hotsprings, there is one located less then an hour from my house. If I want to go to a casino, there is one less then 15 mins. away. Beach camping is less then 3 hours to the coast. And NFL football is only a three hour drive to Oakland Ca or SF add a 1/2 hour.

Camping in the Airstream can be as close as 15 min away on Shasta Lake. So most of the things that I love in life are right here in Northern California. "There's no place like home." Yes... "There's no place".....
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:18 PM   #27
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Did you choose 6 months to avoid becoming a tax resident in Thailand?
Hi Nun, nope there was no deep financial reason or consideration for the 6 month time frame. We simply needed a place in the world we could "settle" for 6 months to launch our first book then write and launch the second. We put the vote out to our readers and they selected Chiang Mai, Thailand.

That said, we know many people who are here for a year or more and are treated as US Citizens for tax purposes and not tax obligations here under their visas.
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:07 PM   #28
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Hi Nun, nope there was no deep financial reason or consideration for the 6 month time frame. We simply needed a place in the world we could "settle" for 6 months to launch our first book then write and launch the second. We put the vote out to our readers and they selected Chiang Mai, Thailand.

That said, we know many people who are here for a year or more and are treated as US Citizens for tax purposes and not tax obligations here under their visas.
That sounds strange, what do you mean by "treated as US citizens"? If you reside in Thailand for longer than 6 months I thought you became tax resident and have to file Thai taxes for all Thai income and more importantly all foreign income brought into Thailand. The upshot might be a zero tax bill because of tax already paid to the US.....as a US citizen you always have to file wherever you live, but you'd have to file the Thai forms. Is there a special exemption for certain expats?
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:20 PM   #29
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That sounds strange, what do you mean by "treated as US citizens"? If you reside in Thailand for longer than 6 months I thought you became tax resident and have to file Thai taxes for all Thai income and more importantly all foreign income brought into Thailand. The upshot might be a zero tax bill because of tax already paid to the US.....as a US citizen you always have to file wherever you live, but you'd have to file the Thai forms. Is there a special exemption for certain expats?
That could be the "law" but I am not aware of a single person here who is paying Thai taxes on any income earned outside the country. Of course, if you work here and collect revenue in the country then taxes are paid. However for everyone here on various visas there are no tax obligations (or at least no one is asking for them or paying them). Visa issues here are fluid and can change often, but the tax obligation for people staying longer term is not widely known here - by either side I would say.
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:33 PM   #30
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That could be the "law" but I am not aware of a single person here who is paying Thai taxes on any income earned outside the country. Of course, if you work here and collect revenue in the country then taxes are paid. However for everyone here on various visas there are no tax obligations (or at least no one is asking for them or paying them). Visa issues here are fluid and can change often, but the tax obligation for people staying longer term is not widely known here - by either side I would say.
Sounds like people are just not bothering, the Thai Government might have made the calculation that it's best to not bother enforcing expat resident taxation to encourage more expat money to come into the country. But I hope US citizens are still filing US taxes and doing FBAR if necessary.I looked through your fantastic blog and I love the expenses site, but how do you manage your money from a practical standpoint, accounts, ATMs, credit cards, bills etc and how do you do your taxes?

Also if you are writing and selling books (presumably e-books) while in Thailand what is you tax situation? Sounds like your getting income from work done in Thailand......I'm just thinking here and have no experience of this.
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:52 PM   #31
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Nun, thank you for your concern.
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Old 11-29-2011, 11:15 PM   #32
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Nun, for the financial side of our lives we do all of our banking online across PayPal and our bank accounts. We use a Capital One credit card, which works great in some places (i.e. Europe) and not others (Ecuador, Thailand) where they are more cash based society. We had some issues in the first few months of our trip with the credit card putting a hold on charges, but we have worked through that and have not had an issue in almost a year. We call them every 2-3 months just to let them know that "yes, we are still traveling" and they update the note on our account.

Overall our finances are the road are no different from those when we lived in the states. We do have a mailing address, but only get 1-2 pieces of mail a month and these are scanned and sent to us. We do most of our online transactions with PayPal, which is easy and relatively cheap.

As for filing taxes, things are exactly the same as when we were in the US. We have an accountant who manages our tax filings for both us personally as well as our business. Nothing really changed on that front in terms of process.
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Old 11-29-2011, 11:17 PM   #33
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Nun, thank you for your concern.
Thanks for the info
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:04 AM   #34
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Nun, for the financial side of our lives we do all of our banking online across PayPal and our bank accounts. We use a Capital One credit card, which works great in some places (i.e. Europe) and not others (Ecuador, Thailand) where they are more cash based society. We had some issues in the first few months of our trip with the credit card putting a hold on charges, but we have worked through that and have not had an issue in almost a year. We call them every 2-3 months just to let them know that "yes, we are still traveling" and they update the note on our account.

Overall our finances are the road are no different from those when we lived in the states. We do have a mailing address, but only get 1-2 pieces of mail a month and these are scanned and sent to us. We do most of our online transactions with PayPal, which is easy and relatively cheap.

As for filing taxes, things are exactly the same as when we were in the US. We have an accountant who manages our tax filings for both us personally as well as our business. Nothing really changed on that front in terms of process.
I've been reading your excellent blog and your packing list. I'm a gear nerd so loved the section on you luggage. FYI here is how I travel.

“Ultralight” Setup « The Wheels of Chance
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:35 PM   #35
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I've been reading your excellent blog and your packing list. I'm a gear nerd so loved the section on you luggage. FYI here is how I travel.

“Ultralight” Setup « The Wheels of Chance
WOW, that is impressive. I love to see how light people can travel when they examine each item and realize exactly what they need versus feel they "might" need. It looks like you have it down to an art. Thank you for sharing as this is inspiring to see.
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Old 12-05-2011, 12:34 PM   #36
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I've been reading your excellent blog and your packing list. I'm a gear nerd so loved the section on you luggage. FYI here is how I travel.
“Ultralight” Setup « The Wheels of Chance
Thank you for sharing.
But why so heavy multi-tool and a pump?
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:25 PM   #37
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Thank you for sharing.
But why so heavy multi-tool and a pump?
I've had the multi-tool for a few years and it has everything I need. ie allen wrenches, spanners, screw driver, tyre levers, chain tool, spoke wrench etc. so i just keep using it. I haven't looked around for anything lighter. The pump is heavier than the one I take on day rides for the reason that the pump is a single point failure. Small light weight pumps tend to be fragile and I can never get the pressure to where I want it. I take a slightly heavier pump with a built in pressure gauge that is very reliable and will get me to where I need the pressure with out me having a heart attack....I also carry a rebuild kit for it.
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Old 12-07-2011, 01:35 PM   #38
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Nun, that is truly fascinating!
And helpful, as I work on winnowing down our packs for the 4 weeks we'll be on a mototaxi in January. I could not aspire to travel so lightly, but am very impressed!
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