NomadGal's Year on the Road

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by NomadGal, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,133
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    :raabia Merry Christmas everyone!!:raabia

    [​IMG]
    Amazing what you can find at the dump! A free Christmas wreath :D

    Thank you Scot and Shannon (RimRider ADV) for the Christmas card and gift,How are you guys? Still crafting Shannon? Thank you DRDUBB (ADV) and Craig (The Blurr ADV) for the Christmas cards :raabia
    And a very special thanks to John S for the surprise present in Paypal, seeing as I've not been getting many work hours, this came in as a life saver :raabia

    For those who also sent me a card but don't see your name listed, it didn't make it here yet, but I don't mind! These cards are going to be hanging on the wall till I leave Fairbanks and then I'll box them and keep them for the rest of my life. That way I can take them out every Christmas to come, and have fond memories of my trip on the road and my stay in Fairbanks.

    Now for a totally different turn of events:
    My brother Stan offered me a very tempting job in Taiwan, namely helping him build a Hobbit-like home on a mountain top in the jungle. He's going to start in March, which means I will have to be finished with rebuilding Spirit by then. Hmmmmm, that might be a bit of a challenge. I am contemplating it though……. maybe just for 3 months and then back to Fairbanks to make the D2D

    I did however bite the bullet and applied at Home Depot! I"m tired of being broke, even though I am enjoying me time off.
    Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year!
  2. Solarmoose

    Solarmoose electric

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    808
    Location:
    Fairbanks
    Merry Christmas!
    Hope the cold isn't too obnoxious. I remember my first winter in Fairbanks
    keeping a car going. There was a steep learning curve. You still have my
    mobile # if needs arise. If you decide to take your brother up on his offer
    you can store the bike here if needed. Cee says hi!
    David
  3. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,133
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    Merry Christmas David! I would like to come by one day to say hi, not sure if Mithrandir can make it up the hill though!
    I'm loving the snow and cold, not so much my job, but oh well. Things will get better soon! Say hi to Cee as well.
  4. Cuttle

    Cuttle twisted

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    16,383
    Location:
    Mars
    Frohe Weihnachten, Esther!
  5. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,133
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    Du auch Silke!
    Ich habe grade eine Deutsche Film angeschaut. Die Frau hiess auch Silke.
    Auch einen Gl├╝ckliche Neujahr.
  6. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,133
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    Merry Christmas as well, hope you had a great one!
  7. Floyd111

    Floyd111 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    45
    Location:
    Taiwan
    who said 3 months? Hahaha!
    It would be great if it could be done that fast. Of corz, By all means, I'd like to hope so, but straw bale structures are infamously work-intense. This one should be a mid-budget self-sufficient, off-the-grid, white, gray, black water system-ed, rain and dew-collecting, solar-paneled 3 bedroom house. Roads are concrete, but any truck over 1.5 tons won't be able to make it the last 1.5km up the top. Bends are too tight, and the road pretty steep. The closest HomeBox is 25km away. We DID already rebuild 2 farm houses there in the past, taking resp. 2 months and 7 months to finish, be it those were done under 1000USD budget.
    For this project, you'd probably be looking at 6 months or so, rather than 3 months, sister. Naturally, there'll be more help, and assistance in the form of machinery at times, but this isn't a mountain cabin we'll be building. Still, considering your own dreams about having an organic home yourself one day, this should make for a great learning experience. I should have had a similar experience before myself, but regrettably, this is it, haha!
  8. Jettn Jim

    Jettn Jim This is Liv'n!!!

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,900
    Location:
    NE PA Some... PNW Some... On HIGH ADVENTURE Most!
    Hey Ester :clap MERRY CHRISTMAS!^)- I have your card sitting here ready to mail out tomorrow. :deal

    Just made it back into PA from WA... still getting settled in/ unwound/ rewound, whatever ya wanna call it? :shog
    Sounds like your ADV is goin' along weeeellll!!! Your brothers build gig sounds super fun!!! My sister and bil have a haybail building used as a bar, tack storage and guest sleeping area. Stay's super cozy with the wood stove. Excellent structure no doubt.

    Peace,
    Jim
  9. NomadBoy

    NomadBoy n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Oddometer:
    5
    Dearest Sister!

    I was kinda surprised to read about your plan to build a hobbit-like house in Taiwan. It certainly sounds very romantic and all and if circumstances were different, I'd definately tell you to go for it.

    Usually, during summertime alone, Taiwan will have at least 5 typhoons. The mountainous area which you have your eye on, regularly suffers from landslides, mudslides, earthquakes and so on, washing away roads, crops and houses. This is definately not a safe area for building a straw house. Growing vegetables there (if you want to become self-sustained) is risky, since they will likely be washed away by a typhoon. Local Taiwanese farmers know about this and for them it's a gamble every time again. Don't be blinded by idealism or romantic ideas, the reality is that you'll be risking a fortune on land that could disappear from under your eyes.

    As a tourist, your chances to work are limited, especially in rural areas. You'd have a better chance in the big cities. Also, you'd have to consider that you're not allowed to own any land as a foreigner. And if you want to build anything, it will have to be fully approved by local government (building-codes etc). I doubt a "hobbit-house" will get such approval.

    Also, keep in mind that in this rural area, nobody speaks English. Mostly, they'll speak Taiwanese and/or Mandarin, or an Aboriginal language. This will limit your communication severely. How are you going to get things accomplished, if you cannot explain to anyone what you want? That means you'll become isolated and completely dependant on the few people that you know. That will surely drive you crazy in no-time! If you're going to go to a foreign country, it's better to have more than a few friends there...

    For the people who might be wondering.... I've been to Taiwan before and am married to a Taiwanese. Though we love Taiwan, we see this is a very risky adventure.

    Have a look at this: http://www.taiwanese-secrets.com/typhoon-taiwan.html
  10. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,133
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    Haha Kenneth! You should have been NomadBro!
    Thanks for the post, however, you misunderstood my post about the hobbit house. It's not going to be mine but Stan's!
    He was offering to pay for my ticket there and some pocket money to help him built a "hobbit-like" home for him Rikki and Fela I have no intentions to live in Taiwan. However, I've seen some gorgeous photos of the country.
    So if I were to go there, it would only be for a short while.
    I do speak a few words of Mandarin :D
    Languages have never been a problem for me, I spoke Hebrew fairly fluent after having spent 6 months in Israel. I think Taiwanese might be harder, but I'd be able to learn enough to get by for a while.
  11. kitesurfer

    kitesurfer Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,775
    Location:
    north florida
    Ester, It's time for you to come clean! You've got relatives in your closet it seems. you've mentioned a father once and a brother a few post back, and now NOMADBOY. AND ...you started out in Hawaii....before you freeze to death up there, you got to give some history to this soap opera you've got us hooked on :)
  12. NomadBoy

    NomadBoy n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Oddometer:
    5
    Hmmm, I think I do have a pretty good idea what the plans are, but I guess I should have written "plan to help build a hobbit-like house". My bad. Still, I don't think this will change any of the things I mentioned.

    We've been thinking a good deal about this, and there are even a couple of other things I didn't mention about. Of course I'll gladly tell you about that next time I see you online and share some of our experiences. Meet me on Skype asap, ok?
  13. Floyd111

    Floyd111 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    45
    Location:
    Taiwan
    Most of what Nomadboy said is correct, but after having lived for 6 years in this specific mountain region, learning roads and places by heart, having met all the rurals in a 5-10km radius, our land purchase has not gone without extensive preparation and comparison. Different from rich "outsiders" that arrive from the big cities, grabbing the first available picturesque plot at top dollar, we, as locals were well-advised, -and well-warned about pitfalls of available plots. Government owned plots with private "right-of-use, plots without such a title, simply grabbed by locals, forest department owned pieces, agricultural plots too tiny or too steep to allow for legal building and agricultural plots that DO have the legal basis to develop and build a house upon. We bought the latter, after having observed the land's 4 access roads for 6 years, pummeled by dozens of typhoons and the biggest earthquake in 100 years. None of these events affected accessibility for more than 2 days in the last 10 years, and no recorded landslides around the land itself in 40 years. The land itself is in my name, so foreigners definitely CAN own land here, could so since 1989. Besides this, an agricultural dwelling like ours does not require a building permit. So far so good, not?
  14. Nomadmom

    Nomadmom Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    29
    Location:
    Zevenaar, the Netherlands
    :lol3
    Hi Esther, what do you think? Is it time to let the skeletons out of the closet?
    Tell them where you were born and where you were raised? It's a pity I moved back from India. That would have made it more interesting, hahaha.
    Anyway, you will let me know what you will do in the end: go to Taiwan or stay in Alaska.
  15. CharlestonADV

    CharlestonADV I do my own stunts!

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    751
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    :ear:ear:ear:ear:ear:ear:ear:ear:ear
  16. NomadBoy

    NomadBoy n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Oddometer:
    5
    Some info about Taiwan:

    There are many ways to get to know Taiwan. Taiwanese government welcome foreigners coming to visit the country. But there is a good way and a bad way to do this. When I was in Taiwan, like my mother, I learned some hard lessons about who to choose as friends. For example, I met a lot of washed-out English teachers coming from abroad to "live" in Taiwan, people who couldn't make it in their own country. Definately the wrong choice, unless you want to spend time drinking homebrew liquor and smoking pot all day. You don't want to put your trust in people like that! But of course, in rural areas everything is not as strict as in the bigger cities. Local governments are usually corrupt, which makes it easier to get things done, legal or not. And when you're married to a citizen, formalities become even easier. Some shifting around gets the job done.

    Mountainous areas can be beautiful. You'll see a lot of plants, especially bin-lang trees, also known as betelnut. This "softdrug" literally grows on trees and is one of the many export-products of Taiwan. Tourists definately like to visit the shops where they sell these betelnuts. Downtown, it's easy to spot these shops, because they will have pretty young ladies sitting half-naked behind a glass window. Most local truckdrivers enjoy chewing these betelnuts, it's kind of a tradition. Sometimes, together with drinking, this will lead to severe accidents on the road, so when you're in the mountains, always watch out for those blue trucks!

    If you like snakes, the mountain area is definately the place to go. No less than 50 different species live all around the island of Taiwan. But, be careful. Many of the snakes are venomous, and even if there is an anti-serum for the bite, hospitals may be far out of reach and you might die trying to get there in time. http://www.snakesoftaiwan.com/Start_Page_EN.htm Beautiful to look at, but too dangerous to get close to. Taiwan has a rich flora and fauna, and a beautiful coastline on the southern and eastern part of the island. I've been there, could show you some photos.

    As for the people: Politics are a sensitive issue. Taiwan is occupied territory that's been getting bullied and harrassed by mainland China, who claims Taiwan as their own. This led to a lot of unwelcome Chinese moving to Taiwan, so it's important to show which side you're on. Taiwanese, like other Asians, are very polite, hospitable people who will never show you directly how they feel about you. This is also the reason behind their tolerance towards their occupiers whom they share the island with.

    My wife and me both love Taiwan, and I was able to survive there due to the support of my wife. This is something very essential to know, because the biggest lesson I learned was that in some cases, you're better off putting your faith in deadly snakes and drunk truckdrivers than in some people! Again, we care deeply about you and we'd hate to see you plummit into the same misery which three others had to go through before you.
  17. just jeff

    just jeff Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,491
    Location:
    LacLaBiche Alberta Canada
    Hmmm....That seems a little melodramatic for someone going to help a friend build a house, don't you think?:deal
    Regards....justjeff
  18. timetrax

    timetrax Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    340
    I think it is to help her brother build a house....of course he is also probably her friend.:D
  19. just jeff

    just jeff Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,491
    Location:
    LacLaBiche Alberta Canada
    Ah yes, My bad!:shog
    jj
  20. NomadBoy

    NomadBoy n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Oddometer:
    5
    I understand, and were it not for the past experience of at least three other people falling for a similar wild project (and the consequences thereof) I would have been the first one to encourage her to go on with it. There's a lot more background-information I cannot go into right now, but it's better to be warned beforehand then to suffer the same fate.