Hey everyone, I’m taking a 2-week blogger retreat, aka quarantine. Why quarantine? I’m on my way to see my parents in Thailand. My mom has dementia and it’s getting pretty bad. She can’t walk very well anymore and functions at the level of about an 18-month-old toddler. Fortunately, her long term memory is still pretty good. I need to go see her while she still knows me. She was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment in 2018. Sadly, her condition deteriorated pretty quickly. So this trip isn’t exactly a vacation. If you’d like to read more about dementia, let me know in the comments and I’ll write a longer post about it. Anyway, international travel is still very difficult due to the Covid pandemic. Anyone going to Thailand has to quarantine in a hotel for 14 nights (15 days). This might sound painful to a regular tourist, but I’ll turn lemons into lemonade by being productive. Being stuck in a hotel room for 2 weeks will become a blogging retreat.
I’m going as a Thai national so the country will pay for my quarantine. If you’re a tourist, the quarantine will cost $1,000 to $4,000 each, depending on the hotel. Tourists can choose from a list of ASQ hotels. Thai people can pay for an ASQ hotel room or get randomly assigned. I think the Thai accommodation can be anything from an upcountry Army barrack to a nice hotel with a beach view in Pattaya. Wish me luck… Also, I’ll be stuck in the room for the whole time. The ASQ hotel guests 30 minutes of outdoor time per day after they test negative for Covid. The quarantine includes 2 tests. Tourists also need a lot more paperwork and extra Covid health insurance.
If you’d like to see more of my travel and quarantine experience, follow me on these channels.
- YouTube – I plan to eat awesome Thai food and post some videos.
- Instagram and Facebook – You can see what my quarantine meals look like.
- Twitter – Check to see if I become unhinged after 15 days in the hole.
I’ll take this time to accomplish some of my New Year goals. Here is the list of what I plan to accomplish.
- Revamp Retire by 40
- Lose 7 pounds
More details for each line item below.
Revamp Retire by 40
There are several things I need to fix on Retire by 40 – new theme, new banner, new landing page, fix caching, update plugins, etc…
Our WordPress theme doesn’t update anymore so I really need to change to a new theme. I wanted to get it done in 2020, but everyone was home and I couldn’t focus at all. I also need to fix several other backend issues. Since I’ll be in quarantine, I can focus on accomplishing this New Year goal. This will be a last-ditch effort. If I can’t get this done by March, I’ll hire someone to do it for me. I procrastinated on this goal for 2 years already.
If you have any idea on how to improve Retire by 40, let me know. I also plan to continue to publish 2 posts per week while I’m in quarantine.
Lose 7 pounds
Most of us spent a ton of time at home in 2020. The RB40 household snacked a lot more than usual and we all gained weight. I gained 12 pounds! That’s about 10% of my bodyweight. Ugh!
At the end of 2019, I got down to 130 pounds. That was the lightest I’ve been since college. I did it through exercise and intermittent fasting. When the lockdown began, everybody work/school from home. It became difficult for me to exercise because it’s disruptive. Mrs. RB40 also baked a ton of cookies and cakes last year. I kept up with intermittent fasting, but that wasn’t enough to keep my weight down. I need to exercise and minimize snacking as well*. Everything needs to work in concert to achieve the best result.
*This is why I don’t believe in the “Big 3” theory. Some people say you just need to focus on the big 3 expenses – housing, car, and food. If you keep those expenses under control, that’s enough. There is no need to worry about the little things like getting a latte, subscribing to Netflix, and spending money on luxury purses. I disagree. We minimize our big 3 expenses and everything else too. To achieve the best result, you need to give your best effort.
Back to losing weight. I heard state-sponsored hotels don’t give people a lot of food. That’s understandable because the serving size in Thailand is smaller than in the US. It sounds like the food is highly dependent on the hotel. It seems people are bringing all sorts of snacks in their luggage and plan to order extra food from room service and 7-Eleven. However, I’ll take this opportunity to eat less and lose weight. Also, I’ll exercise in my room. Hopefully, it’ll be enough to get back to 135 pounds, my normal baseline weight.
Here is a sample meal from a YouTube video. I’d eat everything provided except for the rice. I’ll leave 80% of the rice, too much carb.
Lastly, I might as well throw detox in there. I’m already halfway there with quarantine.
- No alcohol – Alcohol is banned during the quarantine. I heard they don’t really check your luggage, but I won’t bring any alcohol anyway.
- No snacking – 3 meals per day. That’s it unless you order delivery from a convenience store. Some hotels may provide additional food via the room service menu.
- No junk/processed food
- No coffee – There might be some instant coffee. I’ll avoid them.
- No soda pop
- Minimal dairy – There might be a small milk box once in a while.
- Minimal gluten – Most meals are served with rice, but there might be a few pieces of bread here and there.
I’ll bring plenty of green tea to drink. Also, I got a box of Uncle Lee’s Dieters’ tea. Apparently, this tea will cleanse… I’ll let you know how it works out.
Oh, I didn’t add an Amazon link above because they closed my affiliate account! They also aren’t going to pay me for December, the best month of the year for Amazon associates. That’s $150! I guess Jeff Bezos isn’t rich enough yet. Go ahead, take some more money from me. I’m seriously considering boycotting Amazon.
Wish me luck
Alright everyone, wish me luck. Some people had a really hard time with it and some enjoyed the downtime. Follow my social media accounts to see if I can stay sane for 2 weeks of solitary confinement.
- YouTube – See what life is like in Thailand in 2021. Due to recent outbreaks, many parts of Thailand are locked down. This trip won’t be like the usual beach vacation.
- Instagram and Facebook – I’ll post lots of pictures.
- Twitter – Stay in touch and give me some encouragement.
I arrived safely at my quarantine hotel after 29 hours of travel. Whew! The room is actually pretty nice. Check it out! In the video, I said it’s a 2-3 stars hotel, but it’s nicer than that. I was just too tired to appreciate it.
Image credit: Nathan Dumlao
Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is investing in commercial real estate with CrowdStreet. They have many projects across the USA so check them out!
Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. They have many useful tools that will help you reach financial independence.
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