Today is October 28, 2013, and tomorrow, October 29, I will take possessions of a two bedroom apartment in Kara, Togo, West Africa, one the best cities to live abroad in on planet Earth.
It will be luxury living, the best of the best. It will make me appear as a rich man in Kara, Togo. In many ways, I feel shame for living so well, sort of deserting my purist backpacker attitude and becoming civilized.
I have done the math over and over, and I believe it is cheaper to maintain five apartments around the planet than to live in backpacker hotels continuously. And the quality of my travel lifestyle should triple as the time adapting to new hotels is alleviated. I will still live 3-5 months of the year in strange hotels, but I will have five homes away from home.
I am totally addicted to the rush of entering a new country, city or culture and being lost, incapable of understanding the local language. This is my addiction: I enjoy not being in control of my world. Of course, I never was and never will be, but the illusion of having control is an ever present enemy of the human mind.
However, renting apartments overseas is like taking 1,000 USD and throwing it up into the air. I am fully aware that only by squatting, never leaving, can one expect an apartment or house to be there when one returns.
I can only hope this works. This is a gamble; I may lose 1,000 USD here and there when unscrupulous people steal my apartments from me while they are empty.
I have tenants who do have two or three apartments in Micronesia, Thailand, Philippines, and Japan. They come for 2 or 3 months at a time. it works for them to just rent for a year.
Math goes something like this...
Hotel stay: $4500/mo. for hotel room x 3 months... 13500...need to buy or rent stuff for the vacation home experience...
Yearly rental : unit for 250 to 600/mo.... Prepaid meter for electric ... Water sewer 10 a month... Stash sports equipment and home-away-from-home stuff during the year. At the low end, one is looking at under 3600/yr. always ready when you are. No hokey hotel, lodging taxes.
Several tenants used a unit as a storage locker (warehouse) , library/archive, place for their stuff. I had Five or six able-bodied seaman who paid cash upfront six months in advance sharing a love nest for two and half years!
As a landlord, I love it, and stay fully occupied.
I think the advantage, as one ages, one does not have to buy or lug things around the world paying airline baggage fees, creating huge pains in the...eh lower back..wallet.
As my Vladivostok ship captain tenant says, "I don't like worrying about having a hotel room for 90 days. I always end up having to run around finding the stuff I need for my fishing,golf, scuba, liquor,and such. When I come here, my place might be a bit musty for the first day, but I have all my things ready to use. The hotel room...the Hotel price for everything."
I like the Idea of four or five apartments around the world... my thought is why not have a lady in each apartment also. My fear is that someone will move into the apartment when I am somewhere else traveling around the world. Or, someone will steal my stuff. Currently I pay $340/month for a room in Long Beach, California. I also pay $70/month for an apartment in the Philippines where my girlfriend lives. For $350/month I could have five apartments around the world. Why not have five girlfriends also? (Or, maybe just five friends.) I would pay their rent. They would keep my things and apartment occupied. Just thinking outside the box.
Seems like a lot of brain bandwidth to have 5 girlfriends, or for the women girlfriends .Plus, who says they can trust five mates. My friend Jack from Canada came home, and his wife used a POA Power of Attorney to wipe him out, sell is condo in Acapulco I tend to believe in compound homes, or apartment like complex units, and buy less.