I wrote this very fast so I apologize in advance for any problems with readability, grammar, or structure.

So it’s the middle of April and this is first entry that I’ve made in about four months. What makes it even worse is that I probably wouldn’t even be putting this up now if I hadn’t had someone ask if I was ever going to update my blog. I guess the answer is yes, but only to update it and not necessarily to give any interesting insight to my life right now.

So my operation went very well and a week afterwards the doctor told me that I was cleared for anything that didn’t put stress on my muscles. I don’t know how I would explain the experience, but I guess I can say that it went well enough that it wasn’t a negative experience. I did get very bored for the total six weeks that I wasn’t one hundred percent though.

While I was recovering in the hostel I did do a few good things. First I stopped smoking (again). I had quit about a year ago but the slow draw of the nicotine and my old lifestyle eventually drew me back.  So I quit again and although there’s no assurance that I will stay ‘quit’ each time seems to get a little bit easier. It’s been more than two months now.

I also have managed to keep the weight that I have lost over the last year off. When I left Dubai my weight was about 205lbs., now it’s about 157lbs. To me this is huge feat, and one that I am very proud of. I am almost skinny. J

About the end of February I left KL to join Sofiya in Thailand. The last time I had seen her was two months earlier and although we stayed in touch over the two months it was kind of tough go. We met up in Krabi, Thailand and hung out for the length of my visa. Although we kind of traveled around the area a little, we didn’t really do much sightseeing.

A couple of weeks before I left KL for Krabi a friend showed me a place where I could run. I had been telling him that I wanted to start running and wanted to know where a good spot was. So he took me to a pretty cool park with a running track that is situated under the Petronas Towers.  I could barely go around a quarter of the 1.3km track without having to walk, but I loved the experience though. I went back on my own at least four more times before I left for Thailand.

When I got to Thailand I actually started to run even more. In KL it was kind of a novelty, something that I hadn’t done in a very long time, but in Thailand I was a ‘runner’ kind of. I would get up at 6 or 630 in the morning and run nearly every day. This continued until in Koh Lanta I rolled my ankle/heel. The injury sidelined me for about three weeks and at times not only couldn’t I run, but I couldn’t even walk without a huge limp. It took some time but eventually I was able to run a little each day.

About two weeks ago I got back to Malaysia and jumped right into running nearly every day. I also found another very cool track around a lake in the botanical gardens very close to where I’m staying. So I split my running between the two tracks and sometimes run at night as well. I am having a lot of fun running and I have managed to go 4km without resting, and about 10km with breaks. This is huge and has inspired me to start doing some small races. I think I could only do a 10k at the most, but will probably start with a 5k just so I actually finish it.

So now I’m sitting in the Kuala Lumpur Airport getting ready for my flight to Taipei. It leaves in about 90 minutes. I plan on being in Taipei for up to a year while I get back into my designing… oh, and running too.

So that’s my update and I hope that it doesn’t take me three months to do another. Hopefully I’ll have a lot to write about while I’m in Taipei.

As I sit here in my hostel in Kuala Lumpur I feel like it’s time that I do an update to the blog. There are two significant things that have happened in the last two weeks since I’ve actually added a ‘real’ entry. The first is that I got a new computer and the second is that I am going in for surgery on Wednesday. Both are big to me, but maybe not that big for other people.

Somewhere during our stay in Mui Ne, Vietnam the screen on my computer was broken. Up until a few days ago I didn’t know what I was going to do, buy a new computer or have the old one fixed. The old computer has issues other than the screen so it was a real possibility that I would purchase a new one. I took the computer to a service center and they immediately told me that it was going to be very expensive, probably more than the computer was worth. I still waited for an estimate though, which came up to about $650. They were right. If the computer didn’t have all the other problems I probably would have had it fixed, but the headphone jack sometimes didn’t work, the power cord had to be replaced, and the battery only held about half a charge. There were other problems too, but those were the biggest.

After the news of how much it was going to cost I decided to buy a new computer. As luck would have it, there was a place that sold macs downstairs in the mall, so within a few minutes I was walking home with a new Mac. It’s nice but I wish that I wasn’t forced to buy it.

The first full day after arriving in KL I went to a clinic to get my problem looked at. (Normally, I’d mention the problem here, but it’s kind of personal, nothing really embarrassing, just personal, so forgive me for not telling what it is.) Anyway, I went to the clinic to verify my self-diagnosis and to hopefully get the wheels started on getting it fixed. The consultation went as I expected and I was indeed correct. The doctor gave me some options and more importantly, gave me the number of a specialist that I could talk to. I made the appointment for Saturday.

The specialist I saw was a nice guy and verified everything that the other doctor had said although he went into much more detail. The only real fix for my problem is to have corrective surgery and since I have been preparing myself for this since I first noticed the problem three weeks ago, I agreed to have surgery.

I go in on Wednesday morning for the outpatient procedure. They will administer a general anesthesia and I’ll be stuck primarily in bed for about two weeks, and be limited physically for six weeks.

One of the side benefits of this is that I had to go through some pre operation tests and although there were only three, I seem to be healthy. I also found out that I weigh only 160lbs. The last month or two I’ve would have sworn that I gained weight, but it appears that I lost about five pounds.

 

 

I just saw this on my FB feed and to be honest, I think it’s pretty accurate. To the point of being ‘way to accurate.’ For as long as I can remember I have always tended to see my self as a lone wolf, and my brother constantly tells me, ‘you’re too sensitive.’ 🙂

http://earthweareone.com/native-american-zodiac-signs-their-meaning/

Wolf: Feb 19 – Mar 20

Deeply emotional, and wholly passionate, the Wolf is the lover of the zodiac in both the physical and philosophical sense of the word. The Wolf understands that all we need is love, and is fully capable of providing it.

Juxtaposed with his/her fierce independence – this Native American animal symbol is a bit of a contradiction in terms. Needing his/her freedom, yet still being quite gentle and compassionate – we get the picture of the “lone wolf” with this sign.

In a nurturing environment the Wolf is intensely passionate, generous, deeply affectionate, and gentle. Left to his/her own devices the Wolf can become impractical, recalcitrant, obsessive, and vindictive.

So I have a little bit of a problem. Where do I go from here? I’m in Brunei right now and tomorrow morning I head to Kuala Lumpur. That is about as far as I’ve gotten so far. The problem that I’m having is what/where do I go and for how long. Although I don’t expect any replies, I’ll layout my arguments for the few places I have in mind. Feel free to comment if you feel like it.

My first thought was to go to Johur Bahru (JB) in Malaysia. This city wasn’t really on my list of places to go. I guess the spot is big for expats and people who want to be close to Singapore but pay less in rents.

I really have no feelings about JB except that it would be nice to hang out with Nicole so I put it higher on the list. Some of the other benefits would be that I want to put down some roots so I’d stay there probably at least for a few months. The roots may be shallow, but I was kind of getting excited about not living out of my backpack. I was also thinking that I could start exercising again since the apartment I was going to rent had a gym and pool and looks like it would be a perfect place to start running.

Another option that I’ve been thinking about is to head to Taiwan. It has been my plan all along to go to Taiwan as I make my way back to the US. My hesitation here though is that I feel that if I leave Malaysia now that I will never come back and I have really been enjoying myself here. In fact I could see myself living in Malaysia for years. Nearly everyone that I’ve met has told me that Taiwan is great, and since it has a 90-day visa I could probably stretch my time out there for as long as I want.

The last option is to find somewhere else in Malaysia to hang out for a month or two until I actually know what I want to do. The downside to this is, where?

So there you have it, my problem of deciding where to go and what to do. My mind is telling me to stay with JB and just not tell Nicole that I was there. Any suggestions?

It’s hard to believe it, but I don’t have a home. As I’ve posted recently I decided to leave Dubai and see a little bit of the world, at least a little bit more than I’ve seen so far. Well, tonight I am in the Dubai airport, sitting near a Starbucks and sipping a soy latte just trying to get my mind wrapped around leaving the city that I called home for seven years, permanently.

When I decided to leave in the beginning of the year I knew that this day would eventually come, so I’m not regretting leaving. It was time that I left and I feel good about what I have planned for the next year. What I wasn’t ready for was that I was going to have to say good-bye to so many friends and students. Each time I found a note that told me they are going to miss me, a little piece of my determination slipped away. Each time I shook someone’s hand and told them I was on my way, I couldn’t help feeling a little bad. Then the mere fact of the logistics of leaving kind of made me feel… for lack of proper word, hollow. The school has a process that each faculty must go through each department and facilities to verify that we are cleared to leave. The finality of getting my visa canceled along with the ‘check list’ just seemed harsh.

Looking back at my time at AUD I can actually say it I loved being here. The fact that this was my first teaching job made it probably a little harder on me than it did to others, but I wouldn’t change being here for anything. The students were so sweet and fun to be around, I think I’ll miss them the most. When I got to Dubai it was growing so much. Everywhere I went there were cranes on tops of windowless buildings, sidewalks were dirt, and it seemed that the university was the center point of the area I was in. Now, seven years later, the school is dwarfed by dozens of 100-storey buildings on three of it’s sides. There’s a metro, new malls, and luxury is everywhere. If you know me, you know that I am as far from luxury as anyone can be, so I progressively felt more left out as the years went by. Regardless how I felt, it was remarkable to see a city grow like Dubai did.

Now with the ‘Dubai door closing,’ I’m turning my attention to the future. Not much has changed since I last left a post. I am still going to Goa, India for three months, with an expectation of staying for an additional three months. The thing that will stop me from staying six months will probably be determined by if I can get an extension for my visa. I’ve been told that it isn’t hard at all, so I’m kind of planning on six months for now. My goal is to use my time to focus on web design and learning some programming languages like jQuery. Just recently though, I have thought about doing some day trips around India, so I’ll probably be traveling around as well.

The future looks so good right now. 🙂

Ken Curtis 12 years old
Is that even me? Would I like the me that I ended up becoming?

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written anything in this blog so I thought that I sit down and kind of update anyone who is interested in what I’ve been up to. There is a second reason for this post as well, I want to consolidate my own thoughts on what is about to transpire as I start the process of transitioning from Dubai to… well, to, I guess the next stage in my life.

Where am I in the process?

That is the question that I want to know for myself. As the deadline for me to leave Dubai nears, where am I in the process? Am I working on liquefying my life fast enough or will there be a panic stage that I will be forced in the last few days to make rash decisions that I will regret later? So far I’ve sold my car and my bike, which are the two big-ticket items that I was worried about. I’ve cleaned out most of my closet of clothes that I haven’t used or don’t think I’ll use while I’m on my journey. I’ve been boxing things that I’m planning on giving away to anyone that wants them. Things like picture frames, vacuum cleaner, and books. I’ve decided that I’ll give away my furniture to a sort of charity organization similar to Goodwill. I only decided to do this because they will pick it up and move it themselves, which will save me so much work, and a major headache. Then there is the throwing away of stuff that I don’t think that anyone would want. Earlier today I threw away my old Mac computer…ugg! It felt like I was throwing away an old friend. I had that computer for about 15 years and it was like my old friend. It hurt to toss it in the dumpster even though I hadn’t used it for quite a while. There will be other things that I’m sure I’ll be just as sad to toss too, but my old computer was the first. Finally, there are my TVs. Oh, it’s going to hurt to get rid of my 3d TV that I bought about a year ago. I think I have a buyer for it, but I feel like I’ll end up just broken when it’s actually gone. I’ll probably spend a good day crunched up in a fetal position in the corner of my apartment for a good week after it’s gone. -jk

I will be moving to Goa, India for at least 3 months.

This isn't a photo that I've taken... just one I found online.
This isn’t a photo that I’ve taken… just one I found online.

I have my air ticket purchased and I have just rented an apartment that is close to the beach. Honestly, this was one of the biggest issues that I had when I first decided not to go back to the US, where will I live? Fortunately, there is a web site called, airbnb that allows you to rent an apartment in nearly any country that you can think of. The only concern that I will have is making sure that I get a visa for a certain amount of time. Initially, I had decided to go to Chang Mai, Thailand, but the visas that I could get was only on a 30-day basis. You can make a visa run across the border for another 30 days at a time, but I thought that it could possibly be problematic and opted for India. Once my initial 3 months is up, I can extend my Indian visa for another 3 months. So if I decide I like it there I’ll stick around for a total of 6 months. After India I’m thinking staying 3 months in and Bali each.

What will I do?

There is a reason that I’m doing what I am. Almost everyone that I know is having a hard time understanding my decision, first to not go back to the US, and second, to spend my time in India. That reason is research and to understand this you have to understand me. I love web design. It is something that I’m the first to admit I’m not the best at, but it’s both a hobby and a means for income. If you’ve never done web before you probably won’t understand, but to me it’s almost like a solvable mystery, that only a few people are willing to invest the time to get good at. There are several programming languages that you must learn, there are standards that you must abide by, and you must have an eye for design. All of which a person can spend years trying to master, but many will never achieve. That isn’t even taking into effect that the standards and languages change nearly every year. It’s a challenge that I can’t seem to give up on and I love it.

So my first goal as an expat living in India is to get caught up on my web ability. This will take most of my time; I’m planning on spending about 8 hours a day learning and building sites.

My second goal in the upcoming year is to remake myself. I have wanted to start running for about 4 years and have only done it a couple of times. I’m hoping that with a new start of my life I will be able to redefine myself into a runner. I have always envied people who are able to run long distances and have always felt that it will be a huge regret for me if I am unable to be one of those people. After writing that I feel that I also want to say running is more of a remedy for what I really want for myself a healthy mind and body.

 

We’ll see how it turns out.

My life has always been about trying to make myself better, and the decisions that I’ve made are keeping with that belief. Will it work? Who knows, but I’m proud that I am doing something that I don’t think many people would be willing to do. Don’t be a hater and wish me luck.