Been meaning to write about my experience as someone that had to revert previous routines and stay at home. As a background, I left my rented house with few housemates in 2016. Packed and gave away a lot of stuffs in the house, and never came back.
From then, I stayed and traveled in few cities, mostly in Southeast Asia, working remotely, visiting cafes and hidden coffee shops. It is definitely not for everyone. The longest I stayed at a place is under a month.
But last year, due to some circumstances, I decided to stay for 2 month at a place I found in Airbnb. Really love that place because it’s just what I needed and nothing more. And the owner is really nice. And I don’t have to commit to a year contract.
Last February, I came back from Jeju, at the height of coronavirus outbreak in South Korea. Never knew that that would be the last time I could go out of the country again. From the news at that time, things are still under control elsewhere, so I thought it wouldn’t be that bad.
I was staying at few hotels one week at a time. So when the government announced that they are closing the border, I know this is going to be a long way. I contacted the Airbnb host again if they have availability for few months. Turns out, yes. This is a favourable situation for both of us. For me, I need to stay at a temporary place without needing to sign lengthy contract. For them, they wouldn’t have any visitors staying for most of the lockdown period.
It has been 3 month I am staying here. I am very happy with the place. Sometimes, I can’t believe that I could wake up everyday and don’t have to pack up and change to other places. I know you wouldn’t believe me saying this, but I too, enjoy staying at a place for a long time. For now, the urge to stay is stronger than the urge to go out and explore.
What I’ve been doing at home?
I saw all your stories that you’ve been cooking and planting and decorating. I am happy for you. Since I don’t own the place I can’t do as much. But I do attempt to cook. It does not taste familiar, but it is still yummy. I don’t have all those ingredients lying at home. So I make do with anything I could substitute.
I can’t believe how much I could save by buying groceries and cook myself. Is this how everyone able to afford few kids while making few more? Previously my daily expenses would be around RM75 (US$17) going to few coffee shops and restaurants. These days, RM150 of groceries (US$35) could last me a week.
I have completed few TV series on Netflix (Star Trek: Discovery changed my view towards the franchise), I watched all of Studio Ghibli movies. I felt like I almost ran out of things to watch.
How do I work now?
At the countertop. The same countertop. Every single day. I don’t even have to remove the charger. Everything is at the same place. With the same routines. I know you probably thinking that it is not all that surprising, but I rarely work at the same table these few years. Everyday would be a different table, at a different shop, in a different location.
But why would I think that being in different location everyday would be more productive? I guess some people need different kind of stimuli. I love being surrounded by strangers, doing their things, and I do mine. And of course, the coffee probably better than what I could make at home.
What’s in the future for nomading?
Things wouldn’t be the same. Not in Malaysia, not in anywhere. I plan to stay put for at least another 3-6 months. Even if this pandemic subsides from Southeast Asia, it would still be a gradual process until things back to normal. So, not much I could do in the mean time.
Thailand, Vietnam are the places that looks like they would be ready to open up again. It would be my next destination once my boredness at home overcome my fear on the road, again.
Stay at home. Wear mask outside. Wash your hands ya filthy animal.