When people think of Muay Thai, they may think that it’s just a combat sport that involves people trying to hurt each other in the ring. This is furthest from the truth. To me, I view it as martial art and thus should influence how you conduct yourself not only inside the ring, but also outside the ring. Being respectful, humble and “doing the right thing” are values that should be taken upon oneself…it helps me to be a better human being and grow both physically and mentally. When it came time to figure out what do with my old clothes, it was a no-brainer to find a charity to donate it to. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation routinely promotes donation drives in Hoboken, so gave them a call…today I was able to give them 7 bags worth of clothing ie. t-shirts, sweaters, messenger bags, dress shirts, pants, shoes and suits, since I don’t plan on being in a corporate environment any-time soon. And after witnessing the destruction Hurricane Sandy had on the Tri-State area, I figured somebody out there could use my stuff. To schedule a pickup, please call 1-800-915-9955. They accept clothes, linens, bedding, jewelry and misc items. They will also provide you a receipt for a tax-deductible.
One valuable lesson my month-long trip to Thailand taught me was how to simplify my life. Not gonna lie, I used to be somewhat of a shopaholic …with new disposable income, new ways were found to spend it – nice designer clothes, new electronics, watches, sneakers/ shoes, etc. But with my new minimalist outlook, I’m trying to sell or donate as much as possible. I don’t need material things to make me happy anymore and know what’s important to me. This past weekend I was able to get rid of household items – my computer desk, 55in LED Samsung TV, old laptop, living room lamp and pots/ pans were sold on Craigslist. My good friend that is taking my apartment is buying up the rest of my furniture which makes it even easier for me to move out. This money will supplement my income since I won’t have a “formal” job anymore. When Jan.30th rolls around and I step onto that plane, my goal is to have everything that’s important to me, fit into 2 suitcases (50 lbs max each) and one carry-on backpack. Anything else will be kept at my parents house, ie. winter coats and long-sleeve shirts for when I come home to visit, ha.
The past few weeks have slowly started to pick-up for me with farewell dinners, drinks and lunches with office colleagues, friends and family. But I’ve also been scrambling and trying to wrap up loose-ends for my big move. And the nasty mofo’s at work got me see sick too…gross!
- New bank accounts were opened up so I won’t be hit with international fees – Charles Schwab high-yield checking (ATM fees are re-imbursed) to be used for cash withdrawals and CapitalOne Venture credit card (no international/ ForEx fees) to pay for things online and rack up travel miles. Typical Thai ATM fees charge 150 baht which is about $5 US per transaction…plus your own American bank takes a 1 – 3% cut. It adds up. Some banks screw you on the dollar-to-baht exchange as well. Why did we bail them out again!?! >|
- Comprehensive international health plan with Integra (FYI – $1232 US per year / $104 per month) – This covers all over the world, except Canada & US (surprise! not…don’t get me started on how jacked up our dysfunctional health care system is). Includes: Outpatient, inpatient, scooter accident, Muay Thai training/ fighting, air-lift, hospital stay, etc.
- Sorting through a different part of my apartment each night (kitchen, living room, bedroom, closets). When it came time for my filing cabinet, I had about 5 – 8 years worth of bank statements and other financial information. Nowadays, almost everything is done on-line and in digital format. Tip – Be sure to shred EVERYTHING as identity thieves would love this info. I have a small personal shredder, but instead I brought in garbage bags of confidential papers and dumped it off at work. My firm is a bank and have locked-garbage cans which are professionally disposed of by Iron Mountain. You don’t want to deal with your account being hacked!
- Change of address forms for mail, financial institutions, memberships, etc.
- Cancel cable, internet, electric, etc
- Medical issues – torn MCL, asthma meds, plantar fasciitis (got orthotics which were $500!), yearly checkup, blood-work, and vaccine shots (flu, yellow fever, typhoid and hepatitis). Also had to see my dentist for my tooth implant and night-guard.
- Order vitamin supplements – I take about 6 – 10 pills a day and not sure how pricey they’ll be in Thailand or how regulated the industry is. So packing a bunch with me.
- Thai visa
- Airline tickets and hotel bookings (will be in Phuket)
As you can see it’s been craaaaaaaaaaaazy! And here’s how my last week will look:
- Thurs – my firm is taking me out for drinks & H.R. scheduled my exit interview, hehe
- Friday – last day @ the office & lunch with colleagues (probably hungover, lol)
- Saturday – Dinner with Hoboken friends then partying at whatever bars
- Sunday – Dinner at friends house
- Monday – Finish packing up my apartment…then dinner with another friend
- Tuesday – Rents pick me up and we move what little stuff I have to their house upstate
- Wednesday night – Leave from JFK, NYC!
Hopefully I get everything done and survive.