Yes, I’m back from Thailand

Even before I got back from Thailand, and since I landed back on Norwegian soil nearly three weeks ago, I have been working on this bLOG entry. Within those three weeks after returning, I also had to fit in 15 days of long shifts on board my ship, including an extra day for painting and maintenance. With a generous dose of doubt and a lot of re-writing, I’m finally somewhat ready to get going again. 

I knew this wasn’t going to be one of the easiest bLOG entries to write and publish, and the chances of being misunderstood and judged is felt overwhelmingly in place. No matter what, I think that the stories in this personal bLOG has always been a way for me to share some of my thoughts and a way to unload my …. ehhh…. heart(?). For as long as I remember, and as I have stated many times in the past, I have always enjoyed writing as a way of communicating with the outside world. 

So, I’m back in Norway from an amazing trip to Thailand. It is written somewhere on the Internet, that the trip you currently are on, or your last trip, is always the best trip ever. I think there is so much truth to that. Not only was my suitcase filled to capacity at my return, but also my whole heart was filled to the brim with new thoughts, exciting challenges and hopefully great ideas. At the moment, there is undoubtedly nothing more fulfilling to me than to travel to Thailand, meet new, interesting people, as well as learning more about the world of aviation. 

This was one pretty amazing trip visiting so many of my oldest friends, as well as a whole boat-load of new friends (or should I say «aircraft-load»?). Even more than in the past, I felt so comfortable and sure at where I belong and where I feel the most “at home”. I have always seen myself as a somewhat strange outsider in Norway (though, I’d like to think of it as in eclectic), and I realize that like so many others, have also often struggled to find my own place in life, my meaning - especially here on the small rock up towards the north called Norway. In Thailand however, I’m so much more at peace with myself as well as content with the smaller - perhaps more important, things in life. Looking at my life through a (space-) telescope, I often think there are two really different persons within me: the one I feel I am in Norway, and the one I feel I am in Thailand. 

This trip lasted nearly 22 days and with a rented Honda Jazz, covered some 7.011 kilometers of open roads. In totally random order, I was able to go to my first ever “Carabao" concert, I went to see the former Norwegian “King”, I managed to pay respects to Lord Buddha at several locally important locations, including at one of the country’s most revered temples, I caught up with some staff of a Thai real-estate company which I was a part of for some years as a Public Relations Manager, I visited a children’s home for abandoned children living with HIV, and I met a relatively young man with a truly heartbreaking life-story that would knock the wind out of the most of us. 

Now, back home, my head is still trying to process all the information: the unbelievable amount of love, endless reverence, and respect for the struggles others have to go through. In the future ahead, I truly hope to be able to share more details of these experiences through my writing here at the bLOG. I have a blog-to-write list with some 50+ new ideas, some already written and ready to post, so if there is interest, you may need to come back again to my Captains bLOG. All I can say, is that there are hopefully numerous great tales to be shared. 

During this last trip, there was one important thing I have been trying to think of as frequently as I could. I have come to the conclusion that I need to make a decision which in fact has not been easy at all. I have been thinking a lot about the future options of my more than a decade old CaptainsVoyage-websites: both the private website, and the web-forum. 

That being said, CaptainsVoyage has become an important part of my life for which I’m surprisingly being recognized, and for that reason, I’d hate to let them go. But I have been thinking about which way I need to take it further into the future, or if I should do that at all. 

When it comes to the web-forum, it’s not self-sustainable financially. Basically, it’s based on a relatively outdated forum platform which has lost much of it’s appeal thanks to more modern and easier to use social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, as well as specialized websites with similar themes and with greater background funding. CaptainsVoyage Forum has always been ad-free, and perhaps therefore never been money making. 

Without the tiresome and very annoying advertisements, it has rather been a truly great and friendly place to gather other people around the world with similar interests and passions. But as mentioned, it definitely has it’s running costs. In the past, the forum was subsidized with generous donations from less than a handful members - though sadly not enough to keep the running costs in balance. 

A part of me don’t think it is fair to these few, truly fantastic members, or to me, that the forum is run this way. I have been thinking about advertising on the site for years, but have always wanted to keep it ad-free. It’s at least one place on the web without any ad’s at all - it’s such a rarity - and such a blessing. 

Some years back, there was a very similar discussion about the future of the forum. That time, like now, with critically declining active users, including myself in periods due to extensive work and travels, increasing operating costs and overwhelming administration, the forum was almost shut down. To the rescue, came a brilliant administrator which without, I don’t think I could possibly have carried on. I’m so eternally thankful for his contributions, assistance and great insight. CaptainsVoyage Forum is an incredible testament to his tireless dedication as Administrator.  We wouldn’t have been here till this day, if it hadn’t been for him. I don’t think there is any way for me to be able to repay his efforts and work. Mark - if you read this: THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR ALL ASSISTANCE! 

So, now the question is - what do I do with CaptainsVoyage Forum from here? The facts are that by second half of July, operating costs will be due for payment again, the active membership-base is decreasing, the forum is somehow outdated as a communications platform in it’s current version, and the administration is way too heavy. Personally, I’d be extremely sad to let this ship set sail into the sunset, but my own life situation with current jobs prohibits me to spend a lot of time online like I did years ago. Let me know what you feel or think, I would love to read your opinions as well. 

This page - the personal homepage of CaptainsVoyage will most likely remain for at least 6 months more. The bLOG never got the popularity I had hoped for, but it’s still a wonderful place for me to share my stories, my images, and my writing. The format we see today may however see some radical changes - slimmed down, and the number of pages reduced. I’m currently working on a new set-up which will allow me to post updates while on-the-road. To be able to survive, I think that is a must. As soon as this set up is ready, I plan to have daily updates to Captain’s bLOG at a specific time every day - according to «blogging»-professionals, the regular schedule is apparently really important

In the past months, I have had a lot of questions about my status on Facebook. I’m still “on" Facebook, I still have my accounts, but I haven’t been online since I last logged off about 9 months ago. Facebook is continuously sending me all sorts of notifications and reminders, but I really don’t feel like logging back in there anymore. I’m afraid that as soon as a full year since last log-in has been completed, I might as well delete the profiles for good. For those of you that misses me on Facebook, I’m truly, from the bottom of my heart, sorry for not being on, or interested in Facebook anymore. 

In closing of this bLOG-entry today, I would like to express my most sincere «thank you» to all my most sincere and reliable followers. Stay tuned for the continuation - in whatever form it may be. 

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