2 Schengen Zone Additions/Bangkok to Vientiane Train/Sink Laundry Options

Nomadico issue #90

A weekly newsletter with four quick bites, edited by Tim Leffel, author of A Better Life for Half the Price and The World’s Cheapest Destinations. See past editions here, where your like-minded friends can subscribe and join you.

Bulgaria and Romania Join the Schengen Zone

In a blow to non-EU nomads who want to stay in Europe for more than three months within six, Bulgaria and Romania will soon be off the table as places to hole up for a while. They’re joining the Schengen Zone as of March 31, which narrows down the places you can go to avoid it. The remaining ones still available include the UK, Ireland, and a cluster in the Balkans (like Bosnia, Albania, and Montenegro).

Bangkok to Laos by Train

In better news around the same time, the days of long bus rides to get to Laos from Bangkok will be ending in April as a new train line completes the connection by rail. Then you’ll be able to ride a train from Bangkok all the way to the Laos capital of Vientiane. Then there’s a sparkling new train line from there to the north. (Via the Southeast Asia Railways newsletter from James Clark.)

What Can You Use for Sink Laundry?

If you pack light, eventually you need to do some sink washing on the road. If you’re out of detergent, simple shampoo or body wash (but not soap) will get the job done. Chemically, the differences are around the margins, not fundamental, having to do with PH levels and conditioning ingredients. Laundry detergent is much more concentrated and is intentionally better at stripping out oils. Shampoo rinses out the fastest, which can be handy in a sink. One packing space compromise is to get these handy little laundry sheets that come in a small waterproof container.

The Life at Sea Debacle Continues

If you’d like to read a good creative non-fiction story about dreams that got dashed, elation and letdowns, and how a grand business idea can get sunk by the details, check out this excellent article from CNN: How the three year cruise fell apart. The idea was that you paid for a cabin you could live in for three years as you sailed around the world. But those who poured their life savings into it (always a bad idea) are now waiting for a refund and figuring out their next move.


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