Quit our jobs, sold our home, gone riding...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by lightcycle, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. CharlestonADV

    CharlestonADV I do my own stunts. Supporter

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    There was a time when my life was amazingly uncluttered with 'stuff'. I once moved to England with a brief case, swiss army knife, camera, two duffle bags, and a motorcycle. Now I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time looking for stuff, having my stuff cleaned/serviced/repaired, getting rid of stuff, or buying different stuff.

    I admire your uncluttered lifestyle.
    EmmEff, Max Wedge, Blind Mule and 3 others like this.
  2. trevhead

    trevhead Adventurer

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    Along our travels, many people have asked us where we're going next. While we normally tell them that we make our decisions in the moment, that it always changes, and that we don't have any grand master plan for our route, that's not true at all.

    Actually, since the very beginning of our trip, our route has been laid out in detail in a single song. I'm surprised nobody's noticed yet, because we've followed it to the letter religiously. Our grand master plan for Riding the World was penned in 1976 by a fellow BMW-GS-rider-to-be, Neil Peart, in the Rush song, "Passage to Bangkok":

    GENIUS :D:D:D
  3. TheNetworker

    TheNetworker Been here awhile Super Supporter

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    Many greetings from the cold, misser and rain snowing north of Germany. I just showed the pictures of swiming market, feet massage and Thai food to Katharina - and this was pure picture porn.

    Great images - and the best you can do. Enjoy your time and do the LOOP.
  4. sasho

    sasho Dual Personality

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    This sounds like the title for a new movie :lol3:jack:imaposer
  5. mattsz

    mattsz moto-gurdyist

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    If it's fact-based, I ain't watchin' it! :yikes
  6. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    :drums :super

    But we have to enjoy Thailand first!

    That was our life too. Sometimes I think this bare-bones lifestyle was an extreme pendulum swing against that clutter. We enjoy the piece of mind that not worrying about "stuff" brings, however I think "stuff" itself isn't all bad, especially when it's a gateway to bringing people together.

    We used to have a garage full of motorcycles, but along with all the maintenance headaches, there were also track days, dirtbiking weekends, etc. I had a room full of musical instruments, but every week I'd get together and jam with my old band. That stuff I miss.

    On the other hand, I had closets full of the useless kind of "stuff". It sat there in boxes for years. We finally threw them all out in 2012, and I still don't miss any of it in 2016.

    A few years ago, a very good friend of ours bought a new house, a bigger one than the old one. I asked him why he needed such a big place for just him and his wife. He said he was running out of room for all of his stuff. When I helped him move, there were cardboard boxes with dates from over 15 years ago. I asked him what was in all the cardboard boxes. He said he didn't know, but instead of opening them and going through the exercise of sell/donate/junk/keep, it was easier for them to buy a bigger house and just move the unopened boxes from place to place.

    It sounds ridiculous, but I know how painful it was having to sit down and sift through the decades-old collection of stuff and go through the process of sell/donate/junk myself. So I'm not going to judge.

    :nod
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  7. JNXPILOT

    JNXPILOT Adventurer

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    In 1972 my wife and I moved from North Carolina to Kansas. We loaded all our stuff in a '68 Ford Fairlane station wagon with a 5x8 Uhaul trailer. In 1984 we (wife, three kids, one dog, two cats) moved back to NC. We threw away a ton of stuff, but still filled a Mayflower semi. And we threw away a ton of stuff as we unpacked. Now we're looking at downsizing for retirement. If anyone needs five tons of stuff, let me know.
    rubline, Max Wedge and Balanda like this.
  8. just jeff

    just jeff Long timer

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    Sure ship it up to me and I'll split the shipping with you!!:imaposer:imaposer:imaposer
    JJ
  9. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Updated from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/273.html

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    Well, the year 2558 is coming to a close. No, we haven't time-traveled to the future, although the blog is so far behind, it might as well be a history book. As we've noticed in all the dates we see on the newspapers and flyers around town, the Thai calendar is measured in the Buddhist Era, which is 543 years ahead of the Christian Era of the Gregorian calendar.

    In the Buddha Era Calendar, the most important days are the full moon days. That's when all the Thais and tourists come out to celebrate. And of all the Full Moon celebrations, the most visually spectacular is the one celebrated on the 12th month of the lunar calendar, Loi Krathong - the festival of lights.

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    Normally in the western world, this means werewolves. In Thailand, it means PAAAAARRRRTTTTEEEEEE!!!!

    Loi Krathong celebrations in Chiang Mai take place over several days. We heard the monks at the Wat Phan Tao, right in downtown Chiang Mai, were throwing a huge party the day before the full moon, so we dropped in.

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    This is how the Buddhist monks celebrate. Wat were you expecting?
  10. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    It does get livelier though. Outside the temple, the monks were carrying small ceramic bowls of wax with a candle inside. They were placing them all over the temple and the grounds.

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    You can donate some money to the temple and receive a Buddhist votive candle.
    Then you write your name on a tag that you stick on the underside along with a wish or prayer


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    You can hand them to a monk for them to place your candle up on the walls of the temple

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    Neda made a wish. Like a birthday wish, you're not supposed to share it with anyone else
  11. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Loi Krathong is a special occasion, so at Wat Phan Tao they organize an outdoor ceremony where novice monks practice the light waving rite.

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    Novice monks slowly walk out onto an island of candles

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    As a Buddhist sermon is delivered, they close their eyes in deep meditation

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    With paper lanterns above them and a carpet of candles around them, it's a spectacular setting for a religious ceremony
  12. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    The next evening is the actual full moon ceremony, and tens of thousands of people will spill out into the streets of Chiang Mai to celebrate. Iva, the whirlwind traveler has arrived in town from her densely packed itinerary just in time to celebrate Loi Kathrong with us. We sat down with her during the day and she regaled us with stores of where she had been in the last 10 days: the temples of Angkor Watt in Cambodia, the ruins in Ayutthaya, the beaches of Phi Phi. "So what have you guys done since I last saw you?" she asked.

    "Um. We took the train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai... Oh and we ate a lot of food. Like, A LOT of food! And... we're seeing Loi Kathrong tonight!"

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    This is the main event, releasing the Krathong into the river

    A Krathong is an offering made of banana leaf and wood shaped into a lotus flower. They are typically decorated with a candle, an incense stick, perhaps a coin and a lock of hair. The idea is to place all of your bad fortune into the Krathong and release it into the river away from you.

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    When a few people release krathongs, it seems like a deeply personal affair

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    But it's not a Festival of Lights if only a few people do it...

    When thousands of people line the shores of the river and release thousands of these lit-up krathongs, it is quite a sight! That's a lot of bad luck floating down the river...
  13. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    No party is complete without a parade

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    And floats. Each year there is float dedicated to the Queen Noppamas Beauty Contest

    The first person to ever create a Krathong was Noppamas, the daughter of a Brahmin priest in 1850AD, she presented it to the King of the Sukhothai kingdom and he released it into the river. Then he married her. Then came the floats.

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    During the parade, we glance up at the sky...

    It was breathtaking. Thousands of orange lights, like fireflies rising up into the dark clouds of the night sky. It all seemed to be coming from Wat Phan Tao temple, so we quickly headed over there to see what was going on.
  14. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    At the temple, there was a crowd of people all releasing paper lantern balloons

    Although Loi Krathong is Thai holiday, Chiang Mai has put a special twist on this celebration. Because Loi Krathong also coincides with the Lanna (Northern people) festival called Yi Peng, this tradition also launches thousands of paper lantern balloons into the sky like embers rising from a flame. So along with the thousands of Krathongs floating down the river, you have the mirror image of the paper lanterns floating up in the sky. It truly is a Festival of Lights!

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    How do you get yourself a paper lantern? Well one way is to donate some money to the temple... :)

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    The lantern is called a Khom Loi, and like the votive candles, you write your wish or dreams on the side of the lantern balloon

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    Here's a Hello Kitty Khom Loi. Not sure what the wish here is... Maybe a pink bowtie for Christmas?
  15. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    The Khom Loi are lifted up by a wax disc that's set on fire. It is also capable of setting your head and hair on fire if you're not careful. True story...

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    You hold the lantern upright until the candle has filled the inside with hot air, then as it becomes light, you let it go...

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    Looking up, it looks like something from an astronomy textbook!

    If you think this is not entirely safe for airplanes, you're right. On the night of Yi Peng, you're only allowed to launch lanterns within a small window of time in the evening of the full moon. During that time, all flights are routed around the Chiang Mai area. If you launch a lantern outside of this window, you face stiff penalties up to and including the death sentence. Yes, you can actually be put to death for having too much fun.

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    But nobody here is thinking anything remotely close to that
  16. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Iva launches her own wish up into the sky

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    Although Loi Krathong is the main national event, in Chiang Mai Yi Peng is by far the more popular activity

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    Throughout the night, thousands of these lanterns are released

    After all the tourists leave at the end of Loi Krathong, it's up to a cadre of local volunteers mostly made up of university students, to scour the dam's reservoir of Krathongs and hiking up the hills around Chiang Mai to collect the landed Khom Loi. It's not a job that's much-publicized, but an essential part of the lifecycle of the festival.

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    Fireworks explode, providing a brilliant backdrop to the rising khom loi

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    Paper lantern hopes and wishes
    Held high with both hands
    Lit up from inside with
    equal parts imagination and willpower

    Dream hard and let go
    And let's see where it flies off to


    - Yi Peng, Chiang Mai 2558 BE / Toronto June 14th, 2012
  17. Balanda

    Balanda No, I don't believe I will

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    "Gene and Neda, Peace, Love and Happiness" amen to that.
    Wingboy likes this.
  18. bluestar

    bluestar sheep shagger

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    I can't believe there wasn't a "release the kraken" joke in there. :D
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  19. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    :)

    I just clicked on Google and the doodle of the day is the Chinese Lantern Festival, what a coincidence!

    They created a little web app so you can draw on your own lantern and launch it. You can view all the other lanterns that other people have created by clicking on "Sky View". See if you can find the one I launched a few minutes ago! :)

    https://chinesenewyear.withgoogle.com/
    gfh and Tiffany like this.
  20. just jeff

    just jeff Long timer

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    Hi Gene,
    Is there any issue with fires being started by flaming lanterns landing in the trees etc?:hair
    Regards....just jeff