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Avemario, Gordon's internet handle, is now 71 as at Jan 2014,male,hence the Mario,Aussie,living in Aussie. Was working fulltime until July 2013, then decided to retire. To get peace of mind and relaxation, he travels to Thailand every six months, having fallen in love with the place some eight years earlier. He travels usually by himself, but is happy to go places with anyone who is heading in the same direction. He decided to learn the language after the first visit, and to his surprise, it stuck! He can speak, read and write it (albeit slowly, and will never be fluent due to his age), but it helps him to learn more about and understand the place, and therefore to be in a position to be able to help you generally younger others to get to know the place better. He is not a "Western Tourist" type of person, but carries minimum baggage, travels on local transport, avoids guided tours unless there is no other way, but stays generally in local aircon hotels at about $13 to $30 a night rather than backpacker hostels. Still he meets and travels with plenty of backpackers,and they do not appear to object to his age, more so when he shows them how to get around and where to sleep and eat, as he also knows where to ask about backpacker accommodation. To put it straight - I want to repay the favours so many people did for me when I travelled all around Europe in 1970, and this is one way I can do it.