Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Double PHD In Life

Ted has been a great inspiration for my trip to Thailand. He has shown me that it’s possible to live an amazing life with very little money. Ted was thrown out on the streets of East Side London when he was only 9. He says he got a double PHD in life as he learned to survive by his wits, and thanks to some of the most unlikely people, such as the prostitutes and other street people who had compassion for him. There were many times when Ted thought he would die from malnutrition or cold, but thanks to the people he met, he finally was able to get off the Street and make a life for himself. He eventually went to school and became an electrical engineer. In fact he was the youngest to get his diploma up to that time. Ted has worked everywhere from England to Africa. Then about ten years ago he had a back injury and thought he might never walk again. But he had surgery and overcame it. After that, he realized he had to make a change in his life.
He Created A Lifestyle
He sold his house and invested the money in the stock market so he would have money for his retirement. Then he got a pickup truck and some tools and started a one-man renovation and painting business. He found a low cost apartment and began living a very simple life. He created a lifestyle that allows him to work part time and earn about twelve thousand dollars a year. Out of that he lives on seven, and saves the other Five thousand so that he can go traveling in the winter months. Ted is proof that you don’t have to be wealthy to live the kind of life many people dream of. After each trip, he even writes a story about his adventures and sends it to all his friends around the world.

Drugged and Robbed
Three years ago, he went to Malaysia. When he arrived in Kuala Lumpur, he went to a beautiful Hotel and sat in the Lounge having a cup of coffee while he read a newspaper. The next thing he knew he was in a drugged stupor and handing over his credit card to a group of thieves who used it to write up a phony order for jewelry. After being held captive for three days, he came to, and made a run for it. He ran out the door and made his way to his hotel. Then he grabbed his gear and took a bus out of town. He was going to report the crime but he was told the police might be corrupt and so he decided to leave town first. He considered going home at this point because he was so shaken up by the experience, but he finally decided to continue his journey and headed for Malacca; a city on the West coast of Malaysia.
From the time they met
He came to a beautiful resort on the Ocean and met the owner who befriended him and helped him get his money back from the Credit Card company. But then something else happened. Ted met a lovely woman named Bee. From the time they met, they became inseparable. Ted has often remarked that if he had left after the terrible ordeal with the robbers, he would never have met this woman. As it happened, Ted and Bee just got married in November, here in Canada. In fact, they got married just a few days after I left Calgary to move to Ontario. I even stayed with them for the last 2 days before I left on my journey. I joke with Ted that he and I have totally reversed positions now. For the last three years he was single and I was in a relationship. He traveled every year to some exotic location and I worked a carpentry job, winter and summer. Now he’s married but because of the costs of the wedding and getting set up in his new life, he is staying in Calgary this winter while I take my trip to Thailand. I love to phone him these days and tell him how sad I am that he won’t be joining me. All he says in his cockney accent is: “You dawg!”
Ted is a living reminder of what is possible when we have the courage to follow our dreams.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

(S) That is quite the story!! I didn't know that Ted was robbed. Crazy that just seems like something that would not happen in "real" life only in stories ...

Anonymous said...

I love the way you wrote that BlogBoy :)

and I hope Ted reads it and sees just what kind of inspiration he can be

and if you can guess who wrote this... you get one night's free stay in Calgary

Steven said...

anon :) I hope he enjoys it too. And I like my steak medium rare.

ted said...

My dear Steve,
what a smashing journey so far, thank you for your kind comments. Welcome to the world of travel, now you know why I've done it for most of my life. Hoping to have my own blog soon and start my book.
Please let everyone now that not all you have written about me is correct which we will change at a later date.
I think I've let a monster loose.
Talk to you soon steve
Ted Heller