Going to be changing the site hosting

I got down to a few serious contenders to host the site to move of doing the VPS thing. Well, as serious as this blog is anyways. Thanks to @Kev on fosstodon for recommending Cloudways and others for telling me some less than desirable things about someone else I considered for awhile. I am going to test out Cloudways for three days but I like their service and approach to things using DigitalOcean since I am used to that but I never have to deal with that. It’s not that I hate dealing with Linux servers; it’s just that I hate dealing with Linux servers.

Anyways, the plan I am looking at represents a long term strategy for me blogging and moves me off this self-hosted thing which was good and I’ve enjoyed it a lot but I want something I can just write on and not deal with things like,

apt update

Or

apt upgrade

Or any of those things. The main goal with the writing is to stay on WordPress because I enjoy it and I love the themes and plugins and being able to simply turn on webmentions and indie web stuff as I want without editing a bunch of stuff.

So I will make a few changes I think later in the month but just continue to write here and post images and stuff. They will migrate my site for me for free. I can login to Namecheap and make the changes to the DNS and then the site will be live again. So the question is when. I dunno. When is when I feel like doing it.

I also had some thought after playing with using Obsidian for note taking and so-called personal knowledge management. The truth is I don’t take notes and I don’t got no knowledge management either personal or any other way. So there is no longer a need to wonder about notes. I bring this up though because something I am interested in using a free obsidian publish service for writing. I’ve tested one out a few times called Quartz and I like the ease of just using Hugo and GitHub pages to create the garden. Right now though all the writing is in Ulysses and I’m very happy with that. I don’t link notes and I don’t personally manage my knowledge. I got a brain for that ya know :-).

So that’s the story.

she said…

There’s a particularly painful part for me that has been going on for a year now. I’ve had this one person that has put up with me, loved me, drank with me. Told me her secrets. She lives in Can Tho Vietnam. So the distance plus the time has sometimes been painful. She also is not good sometimes with feelings or telling me.

I think the last time I saw her was in Hanoi in 2021 or perhaps my 2020 birthday. Things seemed normal and nice and we held hands and talked over a hotpot. I felt like I would just live in Vietnam. That Hanoi would be home. It sure felt like it.

But as time and events have proven way too many times, never depend on a thing happening or not. Assuredly the opposite will instead occur.

Then there’s today on WhatsApp when she told me she was not sleeping well. And had not been for a month. The distance between us helps little and Vietnamese culture is much different so it has been hard for her to express herself. This combination has proven particularly bad since I sometimes want her to say a thing but she simply cannot on WhatsApp.

So we go back and forth and now my time gets closer to leave Mexico and then the US. Then I move out the time to get back to Vietnam for a few reasons. I need to settle a bit, find a place to live, do the basics in Siem Reap. She gets it. But she really does not. And that hurts.

Having only one person and her being half the world away is not a recipe for either of us to feel happy. So I say things about coming back and she says what she can.

But nothing can be said really. So I write here. Perhaps the words yield some closure but words hardly ever do. So I wait and she does…

And she said,

please come to me

And it’s difficult as hell with what she says.

The back door open

In my airbnb room, there is a back door that leads to a patio. Not quite a veranda or terrace but a private place I can sit with a table and chairs. The airbnb host lives right next door to me so I see her often. Her mom and I have done coffee a few times which has been fun. She’s my age so going out with her is nice and we talk a lot in both Spanish and English. My Spanish is better listening than speaking and her English is the same perhaps. Luckily for communication we have her grandson who speaks perfect English and will translate with little or no asking.

I mention all this because I think we rush through things way too often. Getting here, going there. Wanting this or that. It is all a push and shove to find or lose or track. Instead of just sitting with the back door open we want to “be there”. We need the latest or greatest. I mentioned yesterday my take on things. I feel it is similar with our wholesale rush to find or lose or go. I always had to laugh at the so-called travel and lifestyle bloggers with their affiliated links and social commentary but when it came down to actually writing about their places, it was lists of tours to do or how long to see a place. I was at one point a party to this on twitter and we had this so-called community of travel bloggers and photographers. It was an interesting time then and many bloggers found the hashtag and began to publish their world journeys. Still though with the same thing. It was like,

I went here and did that on this tour and I got my passport stamped and I visited 90 countries and 4 continents. Ain’t I something?

So what happens with this? Well to me, there is no back door that is open. These people rush the same way to other countries for cool tours and weekends in Taipei. I spent a month in Taipei when I went. Why? Because I felt the city deserved someone to slow down and find a pace of things. Like, you know. Looking out a back door at a gradually changing scene. I met these two Australian tourists once in a noodle place in Hanoi set on seeing all Hanoi in three days. They asked me then,

what can we see in three days so we have seen all of Hanoi?

I had no idea what to tell them since I spent months in Hanoi wandering. The seminal question was for all this was whether I had seen it all. There is no all. And I did not do Taipei or Hanoi justice. There is that other block with beautiful old buildings or that coffee shop or small side street. It may hold something or not. I will never know. But neither will all those travel bloggers who rush to find and then lose. Where is their back door I have wondered.

I kinda woke up to this question this morning because all my vagabond writing is about longer stays. About finding some soul and resonance and feeling to those small places. Meeting the people in that neighborhood like here in Merida now. Finding the tailors in the shop each morning busy but never enough to miss waving and telling me good morning. Or the lady selling Banh Mi in Hanoi for breakfast that would talk to me through google translate to ask how I was, if I was happy, was Hanoi okay to me.

So what do all those other people do with no back doors? I know. They book tours or take weekends in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. And they see it all. I feel for them because the other thing missing are the people. The people make up all those places. Wonderful, funny, strange, sad. Somehow with the door closed, all that is missed. That lady selling flowers along the street in Hanoi with motorbikes rushing by but still some business. I stopped to find this because it seemed this view we rush through to miss.

My message?

Open the back door. Stay awhile.

You will become enriched beyond measure but most of all the sun does shine in the morning through the door here in Merida and the cool breeze works its way through. I took six months in Merida this time and my time is drawing to a close. Did I find? No. Never. I did slow down. I opened the door.

Tuesday Evening and I’m thinking

I was considering a few things today taking a break in the room with the AC going because it warmed up in Merida today. I walked to the mall in the afternoon and had a cheap dinner where the nice ladies ensure I get so much food! Pork, gravy, potatoes, rice and wonderful salsa on it all. Then some tortillas and finally a Horchata to wash it down with. The food is cheap. All this food for about $5. Then there’s the wonderful smiles of the ladies even with face masks on. They always greet me in Spanish and English and know I like to eat. So they like to feed me.

But I was sitting there with the drink and remembering this comment I made on mastodon. I wanted to make this point about things. I’ve wandered here in Merida and the expats and retirees like to have things. Things like cars and homes and condos and more things like boats. They write about them, on the Yucatan tour I did they would talk about their homes and cars. Even some YouTube creators blog about making this their home with things here in Merida.

I guess I have a different take since I have no things and have not had any for some years. When I left the United States back some years ago, I got rid of the things. Car, small bits of furniture, old papers were shredded. Relationships perhaps were shredded too. I’ll get back to the human side in a moment.

But what I found was life is not made up of things. We don’t need them to not only get by but to find a wonderful existence with nothing really. I have no car, home, property, debt. No boat and no condo. No credit cards. Perhaps the big item is debt. I could never have left forever like I did if I had debt. So I spent 5 years paying it. I had acted stupidly with credit cards and along with divorce, I found myself facing almost 50k of credit card debt. It took years but I paid it off with the help of a non-profit debt consolidation company. When I was done I cut up those credit cards and swore never again to be the hostage of those companies. But I also get rid of the card, the papers, the bed, clothing. If it could not fit in a 45 liter backpack it did not go. I left and left nothing behind. No things. Or…

Nothing

However you want to say it.

So this set me free folks. It gave me room because I had nothing. I never did get more things besides a laptop and I buy new iPhones because I enjoy that. But the other things like car, home, condo, clothing, stuff? No room for that stuff.

What it has meant is freedom. For me there is no reason to own things, keep things, or plan out the getting. If it does not fit in now a 60 liter duffel bag it does not go. The result is I can pack everything in 30 minutes and be done.

A friend remarked some years ago I had nothing. That’s true. Nothing to hold me back, hold me hostage. I’ve thought a great deal about this for years. Its not being a minimalist because I don’t believe any of that crap. It is about what has worked for me wanting this life I have. The life of just going where I please, when I please. I don’t own things so they don’t own me.

It all makes sense because there is nothing to it.

On the people side of things, or people things as it were, perhaps a number of relationships there were shredded too. I think we go through that and we know when to say when. I told a friend once it was like friendships have half-lives. The result has been many of those people that once used the terms like “friendships, buddies, pals” were something else completely. Perhaps they floated away or I did when I got rid of the other things. It is also true getting older, friendships become harder. But this move to having nothing has meant many of these so-called friends have fallen and cannot get up. I lost sight of them. Perhaps they are just things lost too.

And even when I get to Cambodia and rent an apartment it will have nothing of mine in it like furniture. Because in Siem Reap, I can rent a fully furnished apartment for $250 a month that is full of apartment things.

Finally, life is simpler and easier and I find without things to worry me, hound me, compel me; I can find the moments so much easier to just enjoy.

Easing back and Today

It is pretty easy to find my way out walking if I want. Google maps and my wonderful 5G signal in Merida help. These only show the physical location. Down at this Calle. Over by that store. Nice little park down the street I could stop at.

I gave up some years ago searching for life direction because I realized there is none for me. Now I drift to whatever and go as I please. There is no map for that. No google maps for the soul and spirit and I’m glad. It used to be like my mentor RWR would say,

know where you are and where you are going

That seemed reasonable in the push and shove and pull of corporate IT in Silicon Valley. I found myself many times but also lost some spirit and soul in the process. IT basically sucks the life away and leaves some people as a soulless husk of themselves. I took 20 years of it and realized much differently than archeology, I hated it and it never got better.

So now I don’t know where I am and I have no compass bearing so life became years ago a series of wandering ways. I never did want to find some direction and focus for the spirit. What I have wanted is this sense of meandering. Perhaps in words too. Words meander all over this canvas this morning and I realize that there is no place I want to be with it besides to see a few of the posts come around I have been working longer on. I also want to see shorter things about this directionless and just going continue. Perhaps kinda like this post.

I took a bit of time to wander different places for awhile but I found my way to where perhaps was where I started some years ago blogging. Just writing and then seeing where it all goes. That type of writing suits me pretty well and it means like today waking with coffee to just see where the words lead. Oh… And music too. Coffee in the room and music. I am easing back into Today.

Finding this Yucatan morning that always waits patiently outside my back door that opens with the morning. Birds singing. There is a cat that wanders over to say hello but frightens easy. The peaceful Merida mornings lessening by the count of one. It seems that these days are just wandering by on their own pace. September and returning did occupy some writer’s space on Craft lately. I found some words I’ll share when I get to Cambodia.

I also realize there is no back for me. There is easing into. Always easing into the lack of direction and focus and desire to accomplish. I think I found a few things writing this piece. One is I had no idea when I started where back and forward was and what it would mean. I don’t now either. I just spent words on it :-).

That’s the best thing about finding this voice again. Is writing down the words and not giving a F how they line up. Or if they are done because done does not exist in my vocabulary. It is easier to ease into today with the room coffee and perhaps a donut and fruit and just feel Yucatan dance around with clear morning skies and know I can ease into a second coffee when ready. That one bird stills sings out the window. Merida still shines this morning.

Words are done though.

For now.

Welcome to Mikes Thoughts

Going backwards I guess to another time when I would publish these things. This time on some basic wordpress. I started a new micropublishing platform just recently here. Now I feel that the site needs a companion but I don’t really want something federated or on some mastodon or other social media. I created this site to just be the basic site to follow along with my SubStack.

There’s not a goal here or a need to become popular or linked to. Just a place for me to write and consider and also accompany the newsletters. I can see a place for both and the blog serves a different need in my little life.

Anyways, that is the idea here. The writing will be perhaps pieces that come from my Craft notes or smaller daily pieces I feel like jotting down or preserving or denying or creating.