“Man was meant to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.” – Jack London
The “2 Bags and a Pack World Tour” is into its fourth year of vagabonding from country to country. Already, six photo/essay books have been written from the experience – Indonesia – An Expat’s Tale, A Visit to Bali, A Visit to Penang, Malaysia, Rome & Sicily: An Expat’s Tale, Costa Rica: An Expat’s Tale and Experience Croatia – An expat’s tale. All six can be found online at Amazon/Kindle.
In January 2012, my trip was detoured to Southeast Asia. Due to my continued diligence in trying to find another job, I was actually hired. While in Sicily, I answered an ad for an editorial type in Indonesian, not much pay, but an adventure. Within a week, I was on a plane to Singapore, and then a ferry across the strait to Batam Island. Check it out (www.smilinghillbatam.com)! I’m probably going to be here awhile, so most future posts will be about Indonesia or nearby countries.
The 2 Bags and a Pack World Tour all began in June 2010. I had been researching a move to Costa Rica for a number of years when, in 2010, it appeared likely that I would be laid off from my job as the publisher and editorial director of a national healthcare technology magazine. I was, in fact, laid off from that position, and finding a new job in the recession-plagued U.S. economy was going to be at least difficult, if not impossible. That expectation proved to be accurate, as despite sending out hundreds of resumes, I never received even an interview invite (until the one in Indonesia).
When I decided to take the plunge, I first had to purge myself of almost all my belongings, before moving to Costa Rica, sight unseen. My goal was to travel as light as possible, so I packed two large suitcases and a small backpack with clothes, linens, toiletries, fishing tackle, my pool stick, and small odds and ends I thought I would need. Everything else I sold or gave away. Thus was born the 2 Bags and a Pack blog you are reading now.
My original intent was to make Costa Rica my retirement home, but boredom and my Type A personality changed that plan. It was then that I hatched my 2 Bags and a Pack tour idea. The initial plan was to move to a new low-cost country every year.
Initially, I focused on Croatia as a low-cost country that would be interesting to live in for a year. Unfortunately, the European countries only allow an expat to stay in-country for 90 days on your passport. So then I thought, why not “tour” southern Europe for a year, staying in a different country every three months. The challenge here would be that these would be four distinctly different cultures, each with its own language. I would have to negotiate the transportation in each country, find an apartment in each one, learn each currency, find places to shop for food and other needs.
In September 2011, I visited Croatia, staying there until November; I then traveled to Sicily, Italy, first visiting Rome for two days before leaving Jan. 18, 2012 for Indonesia.
This site includes a separate section for each of the countries I visit. Blog entries will be posted in the section where I currently reside.
My six travel photo/essay books are:
Indonesia – An Expat’s Tale @ Amazon/Kindle
A Visit to Bali @ Amazon/Kindle
A Visit to Penang, Malaysia @ Amazon/Kindle
Rome & Sicily: An Expat’s Tale @ Amazon/Kindle
Experience Croatia @ Amazon/Kindle
Costa Rica: An Expat’s Tale @ Amazon/Kindle