What/Where/When/How will your dreams come true?

I thought, for a change of pace, we might enjoy a thread sharing our ambitions with each other.

I lived the dream in “Life afore Formosa” by being a ski bum and a theatrician, but I awoke to the reality of living from meager paycheck to eager paycheck and figured I must “go corporate”. After two fruitless years of job searching in two major urban Canadian centers, I find myself employed here and gainfully so. But why? What makes us put up with all the “go pee” and greed? What constrains to to "stand still as a wave washed rocked"* while time washes over us? “There are only 8 pints to a human stump…What does it mean, this perpetual refill?”*

I think I have figured out my simple plan. I want to retire to an island in the Gulf of Thailand in 9 years (it was 10, but, WOW, a year gone already) and teach scuba diving until my face gets eaten by a shark.

Now that’s going out in style…

What are you gonna do?

*quotes are from an anonymous poem I read a million years ago.

Toe Save said:

“I want to retire to an island in the Gulf of Thailand in 9 years (it was 10, but, WOW, a year gone already) and teach scuba diving until my face gets eaten by a shark.”

I know a guy who did exactly that (except for the last part), and he is the reason I’m in Taiwan today.

Until 1997 I had never been to Asia. I worked in California as an attorney, performing litigation (suing people and taking their money away from them), which can be miserable work. My client’s angry so he comes to me. I sue the other guy and he gets angry. Both sides lie because they’re fighting over money, the judge is grumpy because he’s overworked, and the opposing counsel often lies and plays dirty tricks. In short, the job sucks.

So when I stopped at a coffeeshop occasionally on the way to my office, I greatly enjoyed sitting with, and hearing the stories of a 50 year-old, bearded, criminal defense lawyer. He had scuba dived since he was a kid, and now spent half of every year in Thailand taking people on trips diving off of chartered sailboats or sea kayaking, swimming with whale sharks, eating great seafood, and having a great time. When he would tell a story and I replied, “I’d love to do that,” he answered, “don’t just say it, do it,” and I finally realized he was right.

So, after looking through this guy’s fantastic journals and photos, I decided that’s it, I sold my house, closed my law practice, put everything in storage, and flew to Thailand for a year of traveling in SE Asia and the Himalayas. Somehow I got sucked back into the office, the city, and the noose around the neck, but the guy who got me over here has retired from the rat race and is now living full-time in Phuket, diving, making stained glass, relaxing and living life as one should.

Check out his website. This guy (Robert Cogen) does what others only talk about:


If one doesn’t chuck it all in response to his example, at least I would highly recommend going on an adventure with him.

Shitonasidecar! Permit on light fly tackle! I’m like, so THERE, dude!

Many, many thanks for the link, MT.

Mother T…WOW! Thank you. The Mergui Archipelago sounds like paradise…

You’re welcome. I can’t say enough good stuff about Robert Cogen. He’s been scuba diving since childhood. He’s an expert naturalist and writes a regular nature column for a Phuket newspaper. He’s been living in Thailand for years and speaks fluent Thai. He’s a great artist and sells his beautiful stained glass pieces in galleries around the world. You can see his drawings in his journals at the website. As a criminal defense lawyer he used to defend dope growers in northern California, and we got stoned in a stained glass class I took from him. He’s a really nice guy. He’s responsible for getting me over to Asia. And most importantly, he said screw the rat race, I’m going to earn a living scuba diving in Thailand and he actually did it. So if that’s what you really want to do then follow his advice, “don’t just say it, do it.”

What a refreshing question.
My short term goals (now-10 years) seem to be in constant flux. When I was home, it was starting a computer business, being an actuary, being a bum in California, etc. My current now-10 year goal is to be a linguistical genius (teacher and learner). I have noticed that me long term goal has remained constant. My love for kungfu (gongfu) and philosophy is something that has stuck with me even since I can remember. When I was younger I wanted to be a bruce lee type dude. Now I want to be a sagely taichi (taiji) cat when I’m about 50. What I do between now and then doesn’t matter so much as long as I practice daily, acquire wisdom (for the sagelyness) and chill :sunglasses: .

My long-term plans are to visit six continents for at least a week a piece and to live on four of them before I turn 30. It’s a big deal because my family is poor and I am the only one who has really traveled abroad outside of the military for at least six generations. I figure that when and if I ever leave Taiwan, looking more and more like never which I hope is not true, I will spend some time in Europe and then maybe live in North Africa and perhaps in South America for a year apiece. I still have six and a half more years before my 30th birthday. Of course, my fantasy goal is to find a Frenchman, get an EU passport and live in France teaching English for the rest of my life. I figure that by the time I have reached at least my fourth continent, I will be better prepared for graduate school. My goal used to be to earn my PhD before I turn 30, but I lack the ambition to hit the books so soon. Maybe get my master’s by the time I’m 30 in applied linguistics (or psycholinguistics if I can find a school that offers a degree program in it). But I am holding out for the French guy…

My goal is to get a career going here, make a shit load of money and then retire, as early as possible. Then I would like tofind my piece of paradise and start writing novels,wich I don’t intend to publish.

That’s roughly about it.


dreams…i try not to dream too much for it makes my reality more difficult in which to reside.

but if i had a few short-term dreams…they’d be to: 1) spin hip-hop at the dopest lounge in taipei, 2) write a fantastic novel that would get me on the map of worldwide writers, 3) find a crew of taipei-ians to engage in meaningful action to improve the world and get a little faded on occasion, 4) spark a poetry scene here in taipei. and i want all this done by next summer… - perhaps all except the PUBLICATION of number 2

one love

When Japanese-style no-swimsuits-allowed mixed communal hot-spring bathing becomes accepted in Taiwan, I would like to become the owner of an aesthetically-pleasing, environmentally-friendly hot-spring guesthouse with a large outdoor pool, tucked away in a remote, pristine nook of this lovely island, – and here’s the very best part of all – which caters exclusively to parties of girls from Taiwan’s senior high schools and colleges. Oh, yum!

I am trying to see how much beer and cigarettes a person can drink and smoke before he drops dead. Since you can’t take it with you (unless you forget it in your pocket) I will donate my body to science so that they can figure out how I could have lived so long with so much abuse.
In the meantime, I have been running an illegal bushiban for aspiring bar girls. The money from this helps finance the agricultural program that I have in the hills outside Taitung. The lower fringe is great for making rope, but the stuff “higher” up is even better.
Before I came to Asia I was head of a hotline to help those considering suicide to fish or cut bait. Amazing how many “suicides” are only stupid pleas for attention. We helped may confused souls to finally exit this veil of tears.

''On this Iraq deal, here’s what happened: We lost our car keys in the garage but we’re looking for them in the living room because the light is better there."
– Bill Maher, explaining why we’re attacking Iraq when it was Al Qaeda and the Saudi nationals who attacked us.

Just found this thread while looking for something else, and I think it’s rather cool.

Welcome back to Toe Save too.

My goal? Keep working until I drop dead … which won’t be that long anymore I guess. :smiley: