David and Erica Sell Up Pack Up and Take Off to Southeast Asia

Australians, David and Erica, are Planet Boomer guest bloggers.  This is a blog of their journey as they Sell Up Pack Up and Take Off to Southeast Asia. 

David's motto - Seize the Day!

David's motto - Seize the Day!

March 2, 2015 

Erica and David, both around 70 years of age and married for almost 50 years, wanted another life.  And unlike many, they did not divorce. Instead they moved countries.

Their move had a lot to do with their financial position and the desire for an adventure. They were living in a beautiful house on a small farm in picturesque and rather ‘cool’ Byron Bay, Australia.

They had been in the fashion business and rather bizarrely, the zoo business, and did very well before retiring to their farm.

However, as the years went by, as life became increasingly orderly and after the global financial crisis of 2008, they figured that a move would be a good idea.

They focused on South East Asia, particularly Malaysia, as a possible new home for several years or maybe forever.

As David said, ‘we believe life is episodic and those that stay in the same episode all their lives are doomed to boredom and frustration as they age.’

So in March this year, after selling their property and putting a lot of their personal property into storage, they bought a one way ticket to Malaysia and immediately headed towards Ipoh, in the northwest of the country.

David and Erica said ‘having travelled as much as we have we have no fears about our plans; just a feeling of excitement knowing that we are entering a new episode in the journey of life.  We are ready to “Seize The Day”.

They were met by a car at Kuala Lumpur airport and for around US$90 were driven the three hours north to their hotel (The French Hotel) in Ipoh. Their hotel cost $US45 a day and they said it was very clean with excellent service.

The initial shift was easy and after a cuppa and a nap they said they let ‘the sights, sounds and smells of Asia regale us as we stepped out onto the street. At last we are excited and stimulated again.’

Then began the exquisite food experience offered up by Ipoh. First up was Ipoh Salted Chicken from Aun Kheng Limb. It cost US$5 for two  and Erica said it was ‘sensational. Baked in paper and in salt crusts, it was slightly salty and smoked in flavour but still delightfully juicy.’

The next day it was absolutely superb authentic India food which, including drinks and cost US$5 for two people.

The Ipoh food tells the story of the ethnic diversity of Malaysia – Malay, Chinese and Indian.

Erica and David were constantly amazed at the friendliness of the people, just how cheap life was in Ipoh and over the next two weeks explored and ate their war around the town.

Life seemed to be definitely 50-80 per cent lower than in Australia. Petrol costs US$0.60 a litre, taxis are ridiculously cheap and housing a quarter of the cost of Australia.

But back to food. One memorable meal was had at Wong Koh Kee Café in Concubine lane. They ordered four dishes – ‘a fabulous green vegetable dish, a plate of local clams in ginger, a braised pork belly and yam dish and an egg dish with 6 year old eggs(and fresh ones) and pork mince underneath. Yummy!’ 

Another meal that just has to be mentioned was at the Food Hawkers market. David and Erica said they ‘scoffed down Seafood soup with lots of chillies, charcoal roasted Chicken wings and Pork and Prawn Won Ton Mee. Washed it down with a warm herbal tea. Cost 22RM or less than US$7 for the two of us.’

Their tale, especially their real estate search and their travels to the Cameron Highlands (on March 13th), is worth reading in their own words.  Read more

They are now in Penang and we anxiously await their reports. 

The plan is to find a permanent base from which to travel around Asia including India where we have already spent time.

Having travelled as much as we have we have no fears or intrepidation about our plans just a feeling of excitement knowing that we are entering a new episode in the journey of life.

We are ready to “Seize The Day”.