Welcome to the New Year! It’s 2557 in Thailand. Yep, they are in the future here. I’ve been sick for the last month, and am finally starting to feel better, so I am looking forward to a fun and exciting year. Or, at least, that is the idea. One big issue I face is getting myself motivated to do things. It’s really easy to just relax and read instead of get myself into gear. When you have all the time in the world with few demands and pressure, its easy to tell yourself you will work on stuff another day.

Travel remains an important aspect of my life. Living in Thailand right now, I have decided to really explore the country. I have seen quite a bit already, but there is always more. It is my desire to visit almost every province (there are 77 of them). So far I have been to about half of them. Mostly, I need to spend some time in Issan, in the northeast, and in the southern part of Thailand. Some of this is a little challenging right now given the protests are happening again, but I am not too worried… yet.

I also plan on going to Bali again with a friend, visiting friends in Australia and New Zealand, and going to China. I really want to try and make it to Tibet and maybe even Nepal if that is possible. It all depends on China and if they let people travel to Tibet right now. That is all happening this Spring and Summer, so that leaves things wide open for Autumn. Not sure what I will do then.

Aside from travel, I’ve also been trying to get back into my mediation. This was never a problem back in the US, but in Thailand I find it very difficult to meditate. For one thing, Thailand is loud. I don’t know what it is about developing nations, but they always seem to be so loud. Another thing is that time is a bit different in the Kingdom. People stay up really late and get up late, so it’s difficult to get to bed earlier and rise earlier. By the time I am awake, people are yelling the local news to each other, vendors are screaming out what wares they have for sale, and it just becomes very difficult to meditate. Nonetheless, I hope to develop some sort of pattern that lets me get some sleep and still get up early enough to meditate before it gets too noisy.

I have several projects going on this year. I am starting a new business, which is exciting. I found that I am able to own a business 100% in Thailand as an American because of a treaty Thailand has with the United States. This doesn’t give me any visa benefits, but it is hugely beneficial for business. There is a bit of paperwork involved, but nothing too onerous. I am already kicking that off. I am also focusing on some other projects, mostly writing, with some colleagues and alone. I am doing less consulting, though I haven’t stopped it completely, after the awful experience working with a large financial company in the US last year—large American businesses, especially financial ones, are a mess. I will be more selective about who I consult with and definitely only with smaller businesses in the future.

Photography is becoming more and more of a focus. I spent a stupid amount of money last year on lenses and really want to spend time on developing some great photography. I stopped doing photography for so many years that getting back into it and doing a good job has been a bit challenging. In some ways, I wish I hadn’t bought all the fancy camera equipment. It feels like it just weighs me down, figuratively and literally. Nonetheless, I plan on being more focused on creating better photography this year.

Finally, this year I turn the big four oh. I am told that it is no big deal and that 40 is a great time, but I have to admit psychologically it seems rather important. After all, this is basically the half way point in my life. I doubt it will be any different though. I will probably have a small party and do exactly the same thing I also do on my birthday, which is have a beer.