Rialta Posted on eBay for One Dollar

I had a bunch of emails, calls and appointments to show the RV, but only one person actually showed up.  I forgot how frustrating it can be to try and sell something on Craiglist.

I went ahead and posted the Rialta on eBay with a starting bid of $1.  This will guarantee that the thing sells and provide some form of accountability for whoever places the high bid.

Here is the link to the eBay auction if you are interested in placing a bid:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220818470139

 

Time keeps on slipping…

It has been 8 days since I came back to the states, but feels like I arrived just yesterday.  This is because my life has become extremely routine; wake, eat, work, errands, eat, sleep.  Each day is no longer a new adventure.

Furthermore, it is difficult to differentiate one day in my memory from another.  What did I do Tuesday?  Worked.  Ate.  Slept.  What about last Thursday?  Worked.  Ate.  Slept.  The days seem to just run together and become forgotten in my mind.

The positives of a routine

It is a relief to be back on a routine after bumming around for 5 months.  I’ve become extremely productive, and have mostly caught up on all the work I’ve been putting off for so long.  It is also easier to incorporate a healthy diet and exercise regimen into your daily routine.

What next?

I’m currently looking for a 4-plex in Reno so I can establish my business and residence in the great state of Nevada.  Once I get that whole deal set up (~4 months) I’ll be able to hit the road again as long as I’m not spending lots of time in California.

Changing the way I travel.

While the last 5 months was tons of fun, I’d like to slow down and spend 3-6 months in each place.  3 months is enough time to get a feel for the town, make new friends, stay productive, but also short enough to always keep life exciting.

Possible domestic destinations in the coming year include Portland (again?), Colorado, Austin, and New York.  International destinations include Stockholm, Russia?, Spain/Argentina?, South America, New Zealand, Singapore?

What did I actually miss about the US?

Last week, I posted about stuff I missed in the US.  I’ll go over what I think about it after being back for a week:

Pandora: Ah yes!! I missed you!

Reliable and Unlimited Internet: I’m still grateful every moment I use the internet.

PST: I still think about what time it is for anyone that I call.

English: How convenient everything is now!  It only took a day to get re-adjusted to this.

Not Being a Foreigner/Familiarity: Like I said above, it is more convenient, but life is no longer an adventure when everything is so familiar.

Laws/Traffic: Its nice to know them all, but we still have some silly ones.

In n Out: I’ve already been twice.  Just as good as when I left.

Smoke-Free Environments: Definitely noticeable.  Way better.

USD: It only took a day to get re-adjusted.  I’ve completely forgot about currency exchange rates and all that jazz.

Condiments: Another thing that immediately goes unnoticed again.

 

Selling the Rialta!

The Rialta spent the last 5 months in storage while I was busy visiting Australia, Asia and Europe.  I came back and really didn’t have much interest in doing more trips in her.  I’d like to spend a lot more time out of the country, and I can’t really take the Rialta along with me.

I made the decision to sell before I got back to the states.  I pulled it out of storage the day after I returned, got it smogged the next day, cleaned it up and finally have it listed for sale.  I’m going to be really sad to see it go, however happy knowing that I won’t have to worry about it anymore.

I figure that if I ever want to do another RV trip in the future, I can always buy another RV and do it again.  Modding it out is half the fun!

Here is the official CL ad: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/rvs/2496392261.html

 

Things I Miss about the US

I’m excited to get back to the states in a few days, and wanted to get some last-minute thoughts down before re-adjusting to the US.  Here are some of the aspects of the US I’m excited to get back to:

Pandora

Pandora internet radio has been my favorite method to listen to and discover new music.  Even though I signed up for the paid service, I was still very disappointed when I tried to fire up Pandora in Australia.  I spent several hours trying to figure a way around it, but never could seem to sort it out.

Even though I have a library of nearly 5,000 songs, I constantly feel like I’m listening to the same old stuff over and over.  I’ve grown entirely dependent on Pandora to introduce me to new things.

Reliable and Unlimited Internet

Australia was probably the worst.  Slower internet, transfer caps, less reliability.  We were only in our house for two months, so we couldn’t really sign up for internet since you had to sign a year contract.  I tried stealing it from the neighbors but they hit their monthly bandwidth allotment, and the speed reduced to a crawl.  The library was pretty fast, however they blocked port 21 so I couldn’t have FTP access, which sometimes was a huge incontinence.

While backpacking, finding a stable and fast internet connection was a rare gem.  Sometimes they would make you pay, others were really slow at peak times, other connections were down most of the time, some also had port 21 blocked.  There is nothing more frustrating than wasting your time trying to connect to a flakey connection at a hotel when you have a bunch of work you need to get done.

When I return home, I’m going to appreciate a stable fast internet connection more than ever.

PST

Again, this problem was worse in Australia.  I was between 17 and 19 hours ahead of San Francisco.  Business hours did not line up at all, so trying to get work done that required heavy collaboration with anyone in the states took much longer.  As I traveled west, it became less of an issue.

English

The language barrier wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, however it still was a source of frustration.  It will be nice not have to ask if someone speaks English before talking to them.  Even in Scotland, I still had difficulty understanding what people were saying.

Not Being a Foreigner

Walking around, looking lost all the time, taking pictures of stuff, looking at a map and not speaking the native language were all dead giveaways that I was a foreigner.

Familiarity

Knowing what things are and where to get them is something you take for granted in the US.  We have Target, Walmart, CVS, etc.  Trying to buy seemingly simple items overseas can be a bit difficult when you have no idea where to get them.

Laws/Traffic

Can you drink on the sidewalk?  Can you cross outside a crosswalk?  Which way do the cars go?  Are there any obscure laws I don’t know about that I’m violating right now?  How fair is this random country’s judicial system?  This was never perfectly clear in each country I went into, and it will be nice to get back to a place where I am familiar with the judicial system/laws.

In n Out

“I could really go for some In n Out, animal style” has a different meaning outside California.

Unlimited Cell Phone/Text Messaging/Data Plan/GPS

I had a pre-paid plan in Australia and Asia.  I hated always having to watch my credit.  My plan in the US is more expensive, but more worry-free.

Smoke-Free Environments

Seems like everywhere I went in Europe, people were smoking.  The worst was in stuffy, crowded bars.  My clothes always wreaked of cigarettes.  Even outside, people were smoking much more often.

USD

There are two challenges that come with using a foreign currency:  1) Converting it into USD so you know how much you are spending, and 2) Identifying the coins and the notes.  In Indonesia, 8600 Rupies was 1 USD.  An ice cream bar was 20,000R.  Pounds were the hardest coins to determine value for.  They didn’t have a big number on them, and some even said “Twenty pence” spelled out in tiny letters.

Condiments

I don’t remember ever paying for condiments at a restaurant inside the US.  Outside the US, it is commonplace.  We were even automatically charged an extra dollar per person at a pizza place in Czech for “condiments” even though we didn’t use any!  Also, ketchup doesn’t quite taste the same it did in the states.

 

I left Rome and flew into Prague to meet my jet-lagged friend from SF, John.  We then proceeded to have the most epic trip of all time.

Prague, CZ

Stayed here 4 nights in the nicest hostel I’d ever been in.  Huge and completely full the whole time.  Built last year, carbon neutral – it was like a hotel that had multiple-room beds.  We went on a few bar crawls, a beer tour, and drank too much absinthe.  It was a great start to the trip.

Chesky Krumlov, CZ

We took the train to this tiny town because it had a castle with a bear moat.  We went river rafting, and as a last ditch effort to escape the sudden torrential downpour, managed to build a fire by the side of the river.

Munich, Germany

Felt like an older, more family-oriented touristy crowed here.  Once we got out of the touristy areas (went to the fair and played ping-pong), we started having a better time.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

We didn’t know how to pronounce the name until the second day we were here.  We didn’t know anything about Slovenia, but picked the capital city to visit since it seemed like it had the most going on.

I was expecting somewhat of a run-down, dirty slummy city.  What we experienced was the exact opposite.  It was beautiful, quaint, not very touristy, small, and the people were so nice.  Tons of people were rollerblading around, and we even saw a girl rollerblade into the club the night we went out.  What a cool place!

Zagreb, Croatia

We were expecting this to be just a bigger version of Ljubljana, but it was not.  Much larger city, and not very pretty.  Not as much fun, people were slightly less friendly, but we still had a great time.  The hostel had a ping-pong table, so we of course played way too many hours of ping-pong.

Vienna, Austria

This is an aesthetically pleasing city, but I found it to be somewhat bland in terms of personality.  Reminded me a lot of Munich.  The hostel was actually a student dorm, but a hostel in the summer.  Of course it had a ping-pong table.  This one was indoor, and probably the best equipment I’d ever seen.  Amazing ping-pong was played.

Leaving Vienna

I left Vienna for Edinburgh the same day John headed back to the states.  There were some troubles with the airline (EasyJet), but now I’m here with Luke at his new place in Scotland.