Paul Arden | Monday, 2 March 2015

I have some work to do. I'm most probably out of Malaysia in less than three weeks and one of my potential options is to teach and fish the UK stillwaters. Sleeping in a car - that sort of thing. The Malaysian fishing has been shit this year but everything else was pretty good. Girls, friends, the Jungle, fitness (that's always important) and my mind is clear. I've escaped yet another winter. And finally I've made significant inroads here for future fishing and also a plan to widen my scope outside Belum-Temenggor, and even Malaysia, as well as get to do it here absolutely properly.

I do like being in Malaysia. Even if I stand out like dog's balls. There are not too many big bald white men here - in fact there is only one, but I can handle it! Once again I have not really investigated the fishery in the way I set out to do... I'm closer, yes, for not only do I have a squeaky truck, but also a boat. Ok I've had to adapt the boat plan somewhat, and Squeaky is in need of some urgent brake attention. And it's not been perfect, I've lost two rods - and none to fish - but I'm camping, I've lost my fear of the jungle (it's just a big forest really) and I enjoy living here.

I lost seven weeks of this trip due to bad weather. However I'm also told that the wet can be best, so maybe I was too late in coming. In any case I think I'll be back here in late October to find out, fish through the Wet for a couple of months, have a Thai trip for a month and then head back in for a longer stint. So I have an interesting balance of options here. Or maybe I do something completely different.

Anyway that's just me musing to myself around the campfire. SE Asia may become a much longer stint than originally anticipated. But I do really need to see some fish action this trip. So this is the plan: to make the most of the next three weeks, possibly extend it, but also look at my April options for teaching somewhere where I can actually turn a few quid. So before I head off, I'm going to go for extended 3-4 day fishing trips to the far south of the lake. I probably won't have Internet, but who knows? And I will be camping, fishing and jungling. There may be women involved - hell this is Sexyloops - but one thing there absolutely must be on these trips... is FISH!!!!

I have some things that really need doing urgently. For Squeaky: brakes fixed, suspension looked at, and, while I'm at it, a Winch fitted. I'm definitely going to need this, even if it's just to winch my boat to the roof! The boat itself needs a lockable box and bed structure, as cunningly designed by yours truly. I have a three day window to make all this happen, before my sexy fishing/camping/jungling companion joins me for a visit :)

I think what I really love about life is the changes. The fact that you have so many possibilities to do whatever you want. I believe as fishermen we have the best of everything. And fishermen who get to travel, and live day by day fishing, are the luckiest people on this planet. You should try it for one year. Just pack your stuff in a backpack and go fishing. It doesn't take a hell of a lot of money. You can do it for 10K. (Pounds!) I reckon that's about what I spend per year travelling now. I used to do it for less than five. And of course I do spend more, what with cars and boats, Hungarian empires and the Sexyloops sink. But for 10K you can fish North America, NZ, Australia, South America, SE Asia and even Europe (although you have to be pretty selective about Europe!). Endless possibilities!

You can do it starting with less than 10K of course - in fact nothing at all apart from a flight - but then you have to work. That's how I started out - and maybe that's why it's all so easy for me. I've always been comfortable with no money and have constantly lived hand to mouth. It's only really when you are truly comfortable in this situation can you be a traveller, or indeed just free. Maybe being a traveller is just a different breed of person. It's very rare to find long-term travellers to be honest, but we do exist! I'm sure there's some biological explanation for it, something to do with spreading the gene pool. Whatever, I really cannot imagine living any other way; I think I'd die of boredom!

And why would you not travel the world? One life. 200 countries. See them all. Fish them all. Meet a woman in every one... Just saying! If someone is going to do it, then it's going to be me! But if you're going to Central Africa wear more than one condom, that's my advice there. They have been known to explode and that's not really something you want in Kinshasa.

Apart from that, life is about becoming the best angler you can be. You can be doing it for whatever reason floats your boat, but I'm just doing it ALL for one single reason: to be the best angler I can be. How I would love to have another life, to add to these skills. We're all living and dying at the same moment - and let's face it, our time here is very fleeting. I recognised, quite some time ago, that going "public" was going to raise my skills, and for one reason only: I rub fishing shoulders with the very best. - and it gives me a cool bunch of friends. And that's what it's all about really: great angling skills and the best, most focussed, and often weirdest friends that anyone can have.

Now back to Jungling.

Cheers, Paul