“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 third year of vagabonding from country to country. Already, three photo/essay books have been written from the experience – Rome & Sicily: An Expat’s Tale, Costa Rica: An Expat’s Tale and Experience Croatia. All three can be found online at Amazon/Kindle (see below). So far, the tour has visited, and lived in, Costa Rica, Croatia, Sicily, Italy, and now, Indonesia.
In January, 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. But I do plan some side trips to Bali, Australia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand.
The new job is the type of job I’ve been trying to land for at least 15 years – something overseas and entrepreneurial. I will be helping with the print and online communications programs for the Smiling Hill resort and real estate development on Batam Island, just across the strait from Singapore. This is an exciting opportunity that includes a magazine start-up, e-newsletters, social media, Web site. This opportunity will also provide me with the opportunity to visit other countries in the Australasia region.
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.
A novel by Ken Anderberg – “Brothers Lost” @
I was, in fact, laid off that April. I had already decided that trying to find 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. Ergo: 2 Bags and a Pack.
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, but that plan changed when I decided southern Europe would be my next destination.
Initially, I focused on Croatia as a low-cost country that would be interesting to live in for a year. Unfortunately, all of the European countries I researched only allow an expat to stay in-country for 90 days on your passport. They all belong to what is called the Schengen Agreement, which allows non-residents to stay in a member country for 90 days but you then must leave the region for 90 days before re-entering.
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, September, 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 three travel photo/essay books are:
Rome & Sicily: An Expat’s Tale @ Amazon/Kindle
Experience Croatia @ Amazon/Kindle
Costa Rica: An Expat’s Tale @ Amazon/Kindle