Traveling Isn’t as Much Fun as It Used to Be

Traveling isn't as much fun as it used to beHey Everyone, Junior and I are back from our 5 week trip to Thailand. It was a good trip, but traveling isn’t as much fun as it used to be. That’s surprising because I was crazy about traveling when I was younger. Traveling meant seeing new places, meeting new people, eating out all the time, and getting away from work. What could be better, right? Well, I’ve suspected for a while now that I’m going to like travel less as I get older. That prediction came true on this trip.

In my 20s and 30s, I loved traveling like a backpacker. Mrs. RB40 and I used to pack lightly and we’d gone off on various backpacking adventures. We’d stay at cheap hostels, move to a new location every few days, and haul our backpacks everywhere. This style of traveling was thrilling for us. We maximized our vacation and saw a lot of the world that way. Now, backpacking isn’t as much fun anymore. We probably have to change the way we travel to really enjoy it again. This last trip was the least fun trip I’d ever taken. It was good, but not great like previous trips. Moving every few days was not fun at all.

Having fun wasn’t our primary goal

Of course, I probably shouldn’t compare this most recent trip to Thailand to my previous travels. Fun wasn’t the primary objective on this trip. The main goal was to help my mom resettle in Thailand and visit her relatives. Viewed through these lenses, the trip was a huge success. My mom is doing amazingly better in Thailand than she was in Portland. The warmer weather, familiar language, and friendly faces made a huge difference. Our primary objective was accomplished.

Having fun was the secondary goal. On that front, we were somewhat successful. We had fun, but having fun was much harder than I thought. There were some obstacles in our path.

  •  Mrs. RB40 stayed in Portland because she had a few things to deal with. The trip would have been much better if she came with us.
  • Traveling with an energetic, fidgety 7 year old boy wasn’t easy. Our interests rarely intersect. He wasn’t very interested in the things I wanted to see and do and I had to do a lot of convincing before we went anywhere.
  • My mom’s health was always in the back of my mind. At the beginning of the trip, I had to keep a close eye on her. Just getting to Thailand with a layover in Los Angeles was a long trip already. Once in Thailand, we moved from city to city in order for her to visit all her siblings. Her condition wasn’t good with all that moving around. We weren’t sure if she could transition well to life in Chiang Mai, our final destination. If it didn’t work, then I’d have to figure out an alternative very quickly.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom, though. We visited several places I haven’t been before and we ate so much delicious Thai food. We did have some fun.

delicious Thai food

Thai food at the local market.

5 weeks in Thailand

So what did we do in Thailand on this trip? Well, our trip was divided into 3 parts. Let’s go through them.

Part 1 – Visiting family

My mom hadn’t visited Thailand for 5 years and she wanted to reconnect with her siblings on this trip. I thought that was a great idea. However, this entailed a lot of driving and moving around. We visited 5 locations in about 2 weeks. It was stressful for everyone.

We stayed with relatives most of that time and I felt like we were imposing on them even when they insisted we stay with them. They all have their own lives and problems to deal with and I didn’t feel right staying with them. It was good to see my relatives, but I didn’t like moving around so much.


Part 2 – Settling in Chiang Mai

After we visited my mom’s relatives, we went up to Chiang Mai where my dad lives. He volunteered to take care of my mom. This was the easiest option for everyone. There were other options, but they would have been more difficult.

In Chiang Mai, we all stayed at my dad’s condo, a studio. It was too small for 4 people, but we could handle it for 2 weeks. I needed to be nearby to help out anyway. Actually, this was the best part of the trip for me. We didn’t have to move around and we could explore the area in depth. I even had time to blog a bit in Chiang Mai.

My dad’s condo is near the Nimman area and there are plenty of things to do. RB40Jr enjoyed going out in the evening after dinner. We walked to have dessert, listen to free music, play games at the arcade, shopping, and more. In Portland, we rarely go out after dark. There aren’t many things for kids to do at night here.

mango rice ice cream dessert

Part 3 – Adventuring…

For the last week of this trip, Junior and I went adventuring on our own. I figured we’d hit the beach and explore Bangkok for a few days. I didn’t research much and found a couple of cheap tickets to Phuket so that’s where we went. Phuket is Thailand’s biggest island and there are beautiful beaches there. It is a very popular destination. Mrs. RB40 and I visited about 20 years ago, but I don’t remember much about it.


On this trip, I wanted to explore the less popular part of Phuket and booked a hotel near Kata beach. This location is a bit further south from Patong, the busiest beach in Phuket. Kata beach is beautiful and shallow. It was the perfect place for families with kids. I thought it’d be less busy there. Unfortunately, the less busy part of Phuket is still super busy. There were tons of tourists on the beaches. (Interestingly, 90% of the tourists were Russian.) We had fun, but it would have been a lot better if it wasn’t so crowded.

Kata Beach

Also, Phuket is super expensive. The food cost about twice as much as in Chiang Mai and tasted a lot worse. Patooey! No wonder, I didn’t see any Thai tourists there. I don’t think we’ll go to Phuket again. It’s too popular for me. (Okay, I exaggerated. We had a couple of good meals there.)

Oh, Junior had fun at the beach so that was good, but he got tired of going to the beach by the 3rd day, though. He just wanted to stay in the hotel room and watch YouTube and play games on the tablet. I had to drag him to the beach, but once there he always had a lot of fun.

kata noi beach


Next, we explored Bangkok for 3 days. First, I had to take care of some business. We went to visit 2 nursing homes in case my mom needs more help in the future. Unfortunately, the patients in these nursing homes are all older (80s), many are bed bound and need serious assistance. It looks like Thai people don’t send their elders to a nursing home until it’s the last resort. There must be a more active retirement community in Thailand, but I haven’t found it yet. I’ll have to keep looking.

Wat PoAfter that, we visited the Erawan Museum, Wat Po, Wat Arun, the Sea Life aquarium, and various super malls. These were all good and Junior didn’t complain much. It would have been a lot more fun if Mrs. RB40 was with us, though. She would have helped entertain Junior and minimized the conflicts.

Lastly, we had a 20 hour stop in Hong Kong on the way home. I booked a tiny hostel in Kowloon and explored the nearby area. We really didn’t have much time, but at least we had delicious dim sum and visited the famous Temple Street Night Market. Junior was tired of adventuring by then and complained ceaselessly. I got mad at him and we had a little scene, not good. Anyway, that was the last part of the trip and we got on our flight home early the next morning.

Dim Sum Hong Kong

Future trips

So while we did have some fun on this trip, I think we’ll need to modify the way we travel in the future. It was too tiring to deal with Junior and keep moving around. Here are my ideas.

  • Stay in one place longer. Instead of moving every few days, it will be easier to stick to one place and get to know it more.
  • Mrs. RB40 really needs to join us. I need Mrs. RB40 to help out with Junior. We have too many fights when I had to supervise him 24/7.
  • Minimize transit time. The last week was fun, but it felt like we spent a bunch of time at the airport, on the train, in a taxi, and on buses. Transit is not fun.
  • ??? What else can I do to make travel more enjoyable again?

The one thing that’s clear to me now is that the backpacking isn’t a good fit for us anymore. We’d better take it slow and relax more. Also, my life in Portland is pretty close to perfect. It’s not as fun to get away as when I was still working. Why leave when things are really good at home? Maybe RB40Jr will be a better traveler as he grows older. 5 weeks is a long time away for a little kid.

What about you? Do you enjoy traveling? Is it less fun than when you were young? Have you changed the way you travel over the years?

*** Do you want to save on travel? I just signed up for the Capital One Savor card and received $500 bonus. Sign up before the bonus expires if you want the same deal. Click through on the banner below and search for Capital One Savor. It’s a great deal.

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69 thoughts on “Traveling Isn’t as Much Fun as It Used to Be”

  1. We do one thing a day too. We also try to find another kid who can come along or meet us there – taking care of two kids is a LOT easier than trying to entertain one.

  2. I’ve never been big into traveling, certainly I have a short bucket list of places I’d like to see, many of which I’ve already checked off. I’m in my 30’s but find many parts of travel to be tiring, stressful, annoying, etc. The crowds, the waiting, logistics, shuffling around, etc. If possible I’d feel more inclined to drive or even take a train. For trips that require flying, I like to space them out a bit more. For international travel I feel it can be tiring sometimes to be more vigilant and on top of things due to being in a foreign land. I enjoy a good road trip.
    I’m also starting to become more aware of my impact as a tourist.

    • The stress of travel seems to get worse as I get older. It’s just more annoying. I guess I like comfort more now. The airport, in particular, is more painful. The lines and security just make the timing unpredictable. We usually get there very early now.

  3. Too bad the trip was tiring for you- your pictures of food looked like you were having a blast! I liked your comment about you and Jr’s interests rarely intersecting (lol!).
    Travel is so different with kids– different pace and you can basically do one thing a day. Also, you were taking care of Jr by yourself the whole time- that’s stressful!

    • One thing a day is a great rule. Next time, I’ll book a nicer hotel so it’ll be more pleasant to stay there. In my younger days, I book a crappy hotel because I figure we’ll be out and about anyway. That’s not going to work anymore.

  4. Glad your mom is doing better, Joe! Yeah, I can definitely see travel being stressful if you have a kid and you’re moving around pretty often. Hell, we don’t even have a kid and we’ve slowed down a lot since we first started. Normally we stay in a place for at least a week, sometimes a month. Travelling’s definitely more fun when you have time to absorb the place and just let all sink in.

    Very cool that your dad lives in the Nimman area in Chiang Mai! We’re going to be in that area when we go there this year. Can’t wait 😉 Loved that area when we were there in 2016.

    Welcome back and glad your mom is settled now.

  5. Aw, sad to hear it wasn’t that fun :O. I thought the food you posted on Twitter looked so good that it couldn’t have been anything but fun! 🙁 Perhaps it’s because you’ve been to Thailand lots of times and this time with family obligations, it’s a different mood it can be stressful. Did you learn any recipes to take back to the States? Nice to hear your mom is doing well! 5 weeks for Junior without mom, didn’t he miss her?! I’d miss my mom at that age! ?

  6. I totally hear you that the desire to travel changes over your life. I didn’t like to travel when I was younger (20’s and 30’s) b/c with a career and 2 young kids, it was just exhausting. Now that my husband and I will be empty nesters this fall, we’ve been gearing up for lots of travel and in fact plan to be digital nomads for the next stage of our lives. It’s a completely different feeling to travel when we can be on our own schedule (v. our kids and the school calendar), do our own activities, eat where we want, and especially avoid the much more expensive hotel and airfare options. Enjoy your new stage — even though it’s less about travel, it will be more about other things.

  7. Hi Joe, you must feel very good to be back home after the 5-week trip. Good to know your mom is getting adjusted all right in Thailand. Yeah, travelling is fun, and could be exhausting sometimes. I’m just back to US after staying in China for 3+ months.

    Slow travel works better for me. I like to have the freedom to choose whom I want to visit. Visiting someone is fun. But if it becomes a kind of obligation, that defeats the purpose.

  8. As much as I love being with my daughter, I think I’d have a hard time traveling without my wife along for the trip. I definitely think it would dampen things so I can see how that could have made the trip a little less fun.

    On the flip side, as we get older, I think we start to get a little more impatient and would prefer to relax more overall.

    Maybe when you do another trip with the whole family you can write a post comparing and see if the fun is really fading… I’m guessing not, but you never know!

    — Jim

    • I traveled without my wife a few times when we didn’t have a kid. That’s not possible anymore. It’s too hard to deal with the kid by myself. Next time, she’ll have to come with us. 🙂

  9. I’m so glad to hear your mother is doing better now that she’s in Thailand!

    I find if I move around a lot on vacation it diminishes the experience — and I also have difficulty remembering specifics of the places I’ve been. It gets a bit blurry.

  10. Sounds like it was a successful trip!

    We have come to the same conclusions as you. Take it slower = better especially with kids. You spend a lot more time actually doing stuff wherever you visit and more downtime. That’s fun. Less time on buses, trains, planes, etc which are usually less fun, though interesting in their own way in limited doses.

    I hear you on the beach time. We spent a month on the most beautiful beach in the world in the Bahamas last year and we had to drag the kids outside after the first few days. Youtube/video games are just too appealing. But they always had fun once outside. 🙂 We decided to omit the Thai beaches, and all other SE Asia beaches from our SE Asia trip partly for this reason, and partly for the reason you cite: expensive, packed, not that great though they are decent to look at. We have some really great warm water beaches in our backyard and a short distance from us so it’s not too much of a luxury from where we live.

    • Kata beach was awesome. I’d rank it right up there with any beach. It was just too crowded. That killed it for me. I think you made the right choice cutting out the beaches. You already spent so much time at the beach last year. The pool will have to do on this trip. Hopefully, we’ll see you in CM.

  11. I totally know what you mean. Travel used to be fun when I was single. But I didn’t do much of it since I didn’t have money. Now I have money to travel. But it’s not so much fun anymore given the time spent on the plane (22 hours to Asia) or in the car and a toddler’s tantrums and an infant’s crying.

    I went on a trip with hubby, my MIL, and our son for 3 days last year and was even more tired than before I went. There was a lot of tension among us. It was exhausting. But I will still travel since staying at home all the time is kinda boring after a while. >_<

  12. I’m with you. Travel is fun but only occasionally. I get so engrossed in what’s happening at home, I hate to leave. And I certainly enjoy the creature comforts of being in ones own surroundings. I want to see the world but do it in a relaxed less stressful fashion.

  13. Welcome back!

    Traveling with a kid has SERIOUSLY changed our fundamental travel experience. It used to be incredibly stressful once we relaxed a bit more, and removed “needs” from the equation (need to get to X destination, NEED to see this or do that) and made most things optional, it was a lot better. Not perfect, of course. There’s still the standard whininess you get with any kid and they do get very tired of being away from home after a short period of time, so we also have to respect that attention span – JB can handle about a week and a couple days away from home but even with our whole family together, ze just misses home and routine. I do, too! I don’t really WANT to do the long 2-4 week journeys I used to think would be fun anymore.

    Also JB was more fun when younger in terms of food – ze would eat EVERYTHING and ask for more. I see ze is getting more choosy now. I think it’s a learned behavior, though, from preschool/daycare.

    • Actually, we were pretty relaxed on this trip. We didn’t have any “must see” on our list, except the nursing homes. That made it a bit easier. I just go see sights opportunistically.
      It was tough because I can’t stand whining. We’re in Hong Kong, let’s walk around a bit. I don’t want to just go back to the hotel. It was the end of the trip too so he was extra whiny…
      Junior was picky too. He ate most things, but couldn’t handle anything with a little chili. He enjoyed the burgers in Thailand…

  14. Our family loves the beach and water and we make several trips a year. I’m in my 40s and look forward to them. We’re having anxiety about our planned spring break trip in a couple of months due to some unforeseen circumstances that might make our trip less enjoyable than we hope.

  15. Well, from the photos you were posting Joe, it *looked* like you were having lots of fun. 🙂 Glad your mom is doing better!

    I know kids can be tiring on a trip, I’ve got two myself! Slow travel might be more your thing. There’s so much less stress when you aren’t moving all the time.

    For our last big trip, our family when to Japan for a month and it felt like a good length. I was ready to go home, had lots of fun, and didn’t feel worn out from traveling constantly.

    You should try it!

    • We had fun, but it was a lot of effort to have fun. Having fun shouldn’t take so much effort, right? 🙂
      I’m glad we stayed in one place in Chiang Mai for 2 weeks. It would have been exhausting if we kept moving the whole trip.
      Next trip, we’ll just go straight to CM and try to build a regular routine.

  16. Great photos – both Thailand posts make me want to go back. Finding the right balance in travel style is definitely a challenge, especially with kids. My wife is more of a quick hit/go-go-go traveler, whereas I like to minimize or optimize the amount of transit within a trip. We fluctuate between vacations where we set up home base for a length of time (e.g. Hawaii where you can mix up lazing on the beach and activities in infinite ways) and vacations where we move around every couple of days (e.g. Europe where transit is great and distances are often small). We don’t know how many times we’ll be in Europe with our kid (once so far with another trip coming later this year), so we like to squeeze in as much as we can. I am definitely well past my youth hostel/backpacking days.

    • Thanks for sharing. We’re the opposite. I used to be the go-go-go traveler and she wanted to unpack her backpack. Now, we’re both leaning toward slow travel. I’m not into the youth hostel scene anymore either, but we got pretty lucky on this trip. Our hostels were really good. Not too noisy at all.

  17. Hi Joe! Glad to see that this trip was very beneficial for your mom and I hope she will leave a worry free live onward! It was great to be able to follow your adventure through your instagram account btw 🙂

    One of the reason why I was interested to read your article was that Mrs. Nomad Numbers and I are planning to visit South East Asia at the end of the year and we are definitely considering to stay Chiang Mai. The planning is a bit overwhelming so if you have good resources (or recommendations) on what is a great neighborhood for a 4-6 weeks long term stay we would definitely value your input.

    As for Phuket should we just scratch this from our list of destination when we reach South East Asia? 🙂

  18. Hi Joe,
    I’ve done a lot of solo travelling with my kid who is now 6 yrs old. I try to mix in an activity she would like along with activities that I like. She says her favorite trip was when we stayed at a resort hotel with a swimming pool and a kids’ club though. She’s still a bit young to appreciate strenuous hikes (though she was a real champ hiking in Iceland).

    I’ve taken her solo to Iceland, Mexico, Denmark, Italy, and we’ve travelled extensively as a family. Staying at one place helps, as does having a nice room and facilities. Distinct experiences help keep her interested (Diamond Beach and waterfalls and seeing puffins in Iceland, gondolas playgrounds and gelato in Italy, submarine ride and swimming pool in Mexico, seafood, boat tour, getting a Lego set, and climbing up a round tower in Copenhagen). It also helps to read her story books about various places before going there.

    • Wow, great job. This was our first solo trip and it was rough. Next time, Mrs. RB40 will have to come with us.
      Thanks for the tips. I think Jr’s favorite experience on this trip was going to the aquarium. I’ll check with him later.
      Good idea about learning more local history. I should do that more next time.

  19. Traveling for 5 weeks without your wife? Yeah, that sounds like a drag. I think the most I’ve been away from my wife and/or kids has been two weeks and by the end of a stretch like that, I start to feel lost.

    We’ve enjoyed traveling as a family, but jumping from spot to spot is a bit much. If you can stay in one place for a week or longer, that’s the way to go.

    On the plus side, I’m sure it was a formative experience for Jr. It’s great for him to connect with his roots and visit a place many of his classmates may never see.


  20. Oh my gosh, yes, travelling is much harder and less fun with kids, especially younger kids, but as you said, your trip was not exactly set up for ‘fun’ given the length, you were without your wife, and dealing with your Mom’s health, so this trip is really not a good marker for general travel.

    In my own experience, I can say that travelling with older kids is much easier and more fun, so long as you plan around their interests.

    My younger one is off to college in August, and my wife and I are beyond excited to plan our solo travels. We’ve rediscovered how awesome solo travelling can be – we can get up / travel / eat on the schedule we want, visit the places that we want, and stay/leave on our own schedule.

    • I’m looking forward to traveling with an older RB40Jr. He is so impatient now. Let’s hope he is more interested in traveling in the future.
      Have fun traveling with your wife. We’re still a long way from that point…

  21. I love travel! I’m in my late forties! However with 3 kids age 19, 16 and 12 it is a challenge. We are all in different stages and have various interests. I am definitely the social and activity coordinator ! ? ? . We prefer 4-5 day vacations or long term slow travel. Wifi is important to my kids. I’m afraid to try without as it’s somewhat of an addiction and I don’t know if I want to experience withdrawal symptoms when traveling! I give you lots of credit for traveling for 5 weeks and being with your young son 24/7.

    • Thank you for your input. We only have one kid so that’s less challenging than 3. 🙂
      I have to give Junior some credit too. He tried his best to behave in a tough situation (my mom.) He was very helpful during the transit too. He helped take care of his grandma while I handled all the luggage. I forgot to mention that point.

  22. i enjoy travel MUCH less now than when i was younger, especially air travel. almost everything we do now is centered around something social with old friends. we used to invite them to the beach in north carolina to share a place. we try and stay with them in new orleans once a year. i’m with you on things being pretty good at home so why leave? at least you accomplished the mission at hand in getting your mom settled and i’m glad for that. we never had kids but had a couple of them junior’s age stay at the beach with us. there was something about a pool that seemed to do the trick with them, but having both parents around was helpful too. we even watched the little guys once when mom and pop went and had a short date, which was just a few drinks at a biking distance beach bar.

    • You’re right about a pool. It really helped. My dad’s building has one and we went swimming almost every day.
      Vacation with another family sounds like a good plan. We did that last year in Iceland and it worked pretty well.

  23. Hi Joe,

    Personally, I don’t like travel. I agree that it will be better to travel slowly and enjoy the moment of time during the travel. This will make the travel more enjoyable.


    • One of my aunts doesn’t like traveling at all. She’d rather stay home. It’s way more convenient. Now I can see her point of view.
      Slow travel sounds more and more attractive as I get older. THanks!

  24. I’m not a big fan of travel. Or I should say transit like you did. Dealing with airports and luggage is the worst. I don’t how some people find that fun.

    I think being with anyone 24/7 is going to cause some conflicts. It sounds like the trip may have lead to a greater appreciation of Portland.

    • We did okay with airports and luggage. I packed light and only had a carry-on. That’s a good habit from the backpacking days.
      I was nervous with international flights and got to the airports way early, though.
      Yes, Portland is very nice now. 🙂 That’s why we need to travel to less developed countries. More appreciation for home.

  25. We are in our late 20s, and my husband has already asked we upgrade our travel. He doesn’t want to do the hostels anymore or more affordable airbnbs. I, also, really miss our bed when we are away. I like to get away and explore new places, but I’m also tired. Burned out from work…so it takes me a bit to decompress and when I finally decompress, it’s time to get back.
    This year we are going away for 2 weeks for the first time in our professional lives. Hoping it goes well.

    • Where are you heading? Enjoy your trip!
      Usually, we like to mix it up a bit. We usually stay at mid-price hotels and throw in a few days of more luxurious hotels.
      I’m with your husband. It’s a vacation from work so you’re entitled to a nice vacation.

  26. Traveling not as fun as it used to be? But Joe, you are so young, ha,ha! I feel the same way.
    We can start w/the cramped seating on the flights. My first thought was, if Mrs. RB40 was along, it would have been more enjoyable. To share the special parts with her.
    The word was out on Phuket years ago, it looks sort of spoiled now. Sort of sad. I have seen special places ruined by tourists before.
    You guys survived, got alot accomplished successfully, and even enjoyed yourselves. Great pics. OH, that cuisine!!
    Ps-I can barely stand road trips anymore. Sigh.

    • Actually, the flight wasn’t too bad on this trip. We flew HK airlines and the legroom was surprisingly good!
      That’s too bad about Phuket. The beaches are world class there, but it’s just too popular now. That’s sad.
      The owner of the hostel we stayed at is a local. He used to go camping at the beach as a kid. It must have been really nice back then.

  27. We have always loved to travel and we have 7 year old twin boys, so I completely relate to some of the differences and challenges. They get up early, they have tons of energy but not a lot of patience for certain sights, museums, etc.

    This may sound cheeky but our solution has been to spend more money, especially when visiting major cities. Sometimes we stay in airbnb type places, but our experience with quality has been mixed. Most often we stay in a hotel and either get 2 rooms or a multi-room suite, so that the kids have extra space and are not sleeping in the same room. Sleeping in the same room is a sure way to make everyone grumpy. Also, we try to find hotels with pools — even after a day out adventuring, a swim in the pool helps the kids burn more energy and have some fun.

    So in my experience, upgrading the lodging has worked well when traveling at this stage of life. I do realize some people aren’t willing to spend $500 or $800 per night on a hotel. To me these are trade offs. And we aren’t retired so this is part of our spending that we prioritize and one of the (many) reasons we continue to work.

    Great post, love hearing about Thailand and I hope to visit there soon! –R

    • My dad’s building has a pool and we went swimming almost every day. You’re right. A pool is very helpful.
      I just want Junior to experience roughing it a bit at this stage. We’ll mix it up more on the next trip. Thanks!

  28. Traveling with a young child (or even a teenager) is a challenge. Rarely do your interest and their’s align. Plus kids don’t do well with long travel and get bored super quick.

    Sorry your trip wasn’t as enjoyable but glad the main mission was accomplished with getting your mom setup. Glad to see she is doing better.

    I prefer slow travel too, 1 or two places to visit and that’s it.

  29. My coworker will bring his son into work occasionally and have him sit near our desks to make sure he behaves. While in the office, he gives his son an iPad and headphones and you don’t hear from him for hours at a time. I ask what he does for those long periods of time, thinking he’s playing video games, but he’s watching YouTube videos. Endless YouTube video watching.

    I’m amazed at how he can watch so many without doing anything else. Is it hyper focus or hyper ADD? I can’t decide. But it makes me wonder how kids will be in 5-10 years. I now understand how RB40Jr can stay on an iPad all day. In some respects, I guess it’s cheaper than paying for childcare.

    • YouTube is pretty amazing. There are all sorts of stuff on there. My kid found “Dude Perfect” and “Team Edge” on this trip. Now he wants to get a bunch of Nerf guns and make videos. Okay… I can get behind that, as long as he’s not shooting me.

  30. I’m glad that your trip was a success in getting your Mum settled. That’s super important and, as you say, was the main reason for the trip.

    Your thoughts on travelling are similar to my wife’s. She too wants to find a base when she travels, so that she’s not moving on and unpacking/repacking every few days. I certainly understand that point of view but, as I didn’t do the backpacking thing when I was younger, I still want to do a bit more of that. My kids are now 23 and 20, so maybe I’ll do the backpacking with them and the more “grown up” travelling with my wife.

    • I like your idea. Try backpacking with your kids and let us know how it goes.
      That sounds like fun to me too. However, Junior probably don’t want to be saddled with his parents when he’s backpacking. Maybe we’ll join him for a week, then let him go off on his own. I’ll look forward to that day.

  31. Joe,

    I hear you. I’ve never been big on traveling. I love living abroad, though, because I get that sense of wonder and excitement every day by immersing myself into a very different culture. I feel like I’m “traveling” daily. However, I don’t have to deal with the drawbacks of short-term travel. Best of both worlds, I think.

    My long-term plan here is to spend March-May (or thereabouts) outside Thailand each year. I will pick a new city/country every year and “slow travel” my way around the world. So Prague one year. Budapeset the next. Etc. It’s basically my ideal “snowbird” solution, getting out of Thailand when it’s brutally hot and spending springtime in beautiful cities all over the world. All while keeping costs low because I base myself in Thailand and visit low-cost locales for a couple months (thereby stretching out the travel expenses).

    Again, it was great meeting up with you. Hope to do it again next time you’re in Chiang Mai. ?

    Best regards!

    • Ahh.. I see your point. Moving around too much is too difficult. You found a great balance and you’re having a really good time. That’s perfect.
      I like your plan of getting away from March to May too. That’s really good. See you next time I’m in town. Thanks!

  32. Looks like you snuck in some fun and tasty treats along the way, Joe! Welcome back. 5 weeks is a really long time. We were gone a little over 3 weeks and I was already tired toward the end. But, we really enjoyed Koh Samui and Bangkok. In Samui, I got to catch a huge Siamese Carp and had a great time in a Thai cooking class. Bangkok was nice. We enjoyed the huge food courts at the mall and had fun venturing out to see the Grand Palace and Wat Po. It was a little more difficult taking our kids around everywhere, but we were able to break off occasionally when we could leave them with the grandparents.

    • I hope Koh Samui wasn’t too busy when you were there. I enjoyed it the last time we visited, but I’m not sure how busy it is now. I saw the carp on Instagram. That was awesome. Bangkok was fun for us too, but I didn’t have any help with Jr. there.

  33. Kids are so easy to please with Youtube and handheld devices these days! Sounded difficult to get him to enjoy Thailand, but I’m glad you had *some* fun. Maybe next time the kids can go to sleepaway camp and you and Mrs. RB40 can go on vacation?

  34. Bottom line…you made it…retired and get a lot of income from this blog. So…stop been cheap ?. We are not in our 20s anymore too. Before we used to do like 10 cuties in 12 days…now we travel just to one place and stay there. We enjoy luxury accommodations and premium travel with the help of points and miles (writing this from St Regis Maldives). So relax your travel budget a little bit…you won’t take your money with you…only your experiences…and enjoy.

    • The cheapness is ingrained now. It’s going to take a lot of time to change. I’m a lot less cheap when Mrs. RB40 goes on the vacation with us. I need to take her comfort into consideration. When I travel alone or with Jr, I want to rough it more.
      Wow, St. Regis Maldives. I’m jealous. Enjoy! We’ll get there someday. 😉


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