“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 fifth year of vagabonding from country to country. Already, seven 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.
The 7th travelogue has now been published – Jogja – The Jewel of Java. Yogyakarta, also known as Jogja or Jogjakarta, is the capital of Yogyakarta Special Region in Java. It is known as a center of classical Javanese fine art and culture, such as batik, ballet, drama, music, poetry and puppet shows. Those cultural aspects, as well as the interesting ancient sites in and around Jogja, were why I selected the city for a visit during the Christmas holidays. All seven books 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.
Here’s a great site for information about living in other countries – Expat Exchange
My seven travel photo/essay books are:
Jogja – The Jewel of Java @ Amazon/Kindle
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