How much is enough? AKA: There’s no such thing as security, but drinking helps.

11 10 2011

THE BIG MOVE… How can I decide when it’s time?The truth is, there is no perfect time to move. Slowly, I’m beginning to pull fuzzy rabbits out of my hat again, and for me, this is the definition of success. Money is beginning to be defined as something I can create again versus something that depends upon a job to acquire. What do I mean? Marketability versus traditional security.

My Mini Bottles on a Plane

I have several talents/skills that can generate income for me: 1) writing; 2) singing; 3) cooking; 4) acting; 5) communications and business development; 6) public speaking… these are marketable anywhere. The trick is to make sure each of these talents/skills are polished and at the ready to be marketed and delivered with exceptional quality. This level of marketability is far more secure than a job. I can’t get fired, I can mold the skills to fit within any changing market, and I take it with me wherever I go.

For me, I find that consuming moderate amounts of alcohol at strategic periods of time helps hone these skills. You know–focus.

Where to move? Look I only speak American English. So I’m honestly not concerned about the language barrier–I’m an alien anywhere. Argentina and Brazil look very promising, but I’m not ruling out Costa Rica or Panama. Belize has some fine attributes also.

When to move…? Again that pesky question. I think I’ll get drunk (or even high for the first time in my life) wind up on a plane, and there I will be.

More to come…





Adventure! an extraordinary plan to escape an ordinary life

16 10 2010

What’s next? I’m working like crazy to stay excited–not just motivated, but gleefully excited about everything I’m doing to break free from this suffocating blanket of everydayness. The ordinary job, unexceptional lifestyle, starving for new and interesting experiences and conversations with other passionate people–people passionate about life and possibilities! Adventure!

So, what’s next? Well, I’m blogging like mad and developing a freelance writing business that’s growing legs, and this is keeping my head in the clouds–which is exactly where my damn head belongs! Not everyone is cut-out to take big risks and pull dreams out of the sky and make them happen–maybe–but I know that I am. I need more cloud time. It feeds me.

While my 2-year plan is to expatriate to Latin America, one of my short-term goals is to live off of my freelance writing business fulltime. My head in the clouds, I’m creating opportunities and making things happen! Why didn’t I do this years ago? Ha! Not going to think about that one right now. As I said, cloud time.

 

 

Do you have a cloud dream you’re making happen or want to make happen? Tell me about it–would love to hear about dreams and ambitions.





Live the story of your life: what do you risk by not following your dreams?

2 10 2010

Complacency. There’s something to be said for the sense of security and calm the familiar and everydayness of life brings to our minds. The comfort of your own bed, the warmth of a smile from an old friend, hearing your favorite song from years ago and sitting down to your favorite meal at your favorite restaurant–these are strong elements tying you to your “comfort zone.” Beware–there’s also great danger here! What if you never added anything new and exciting to your treasured memories and experiences? To live the inevitable end-life of an old man or woman continuously regurgitating stories from when you were in your twenties, being a bystander in your own life’s tale, nothing unique to contribute and no new perspectives to offer. Complacency can destroy opportunities, little worm-holes of chance that pop up once in a while, saying “live!” while you smile at the temptation and determine these chances are meant for someone else, and return to sofa watching some crime drama rerun. The American Dream? 

Ahhhhh, the good old USA. The melting pot–land of diversity, opportunity and solace for “huddled masses” from far away lands seeking a better life, the pursuit of happiness where there is “liberty and justice for all.” Not to dispel a well-believed myth nor to completely knock the land of my birth, but things may not be completely as originally described. Go ahead and travel to every corner of the “lower 48” (The United States minus Alaska and Hawaii, because they DO have vastly different cultures–congrats!), and you will find similar scenes: somewhere, not far away there’s a suburban sprawl complete with strip malls, casual dining eateries and concrete block houses containing families (meaning individuals who barely know or like one another), electronic devices (televisions, computers, video games)that capture the majority of brain activity that is left after 10-15 hours of work or school per day, including homework. Exceptions exist for those involved with sports: football, basketball, baseball, soccer, swimming, tennis, gymnastics, etc.

In short, Americans keep ourselves so busy with work/school, technology and recreational activities–not to mention the insurmountable time spent keeping track of complicated finances, personal debt, complex taxes and insurances and emergency situations–that pursuing happiness or even paying attention to our own surroundings is sorrowfully uncommon. Uncommon, too, is being an active participant in developing the story of our own lives. So, this must be the basis of our values, right?

What do we truly value–many would commonly argue that what we value is a simple equation of how we spend our time. If we spend most of our time at work, then work is what we value most. If we spend most of our time taking care of our family, then family is what we value most. If current time-values calculations are correct, then what most Americans value today is fear. Fear? A value? seriously, this is a grave miscalculation. For if this were true, then why are so many Americans resentful of their long work hours or feeling suffocated by domestic duties or are swallowing anti-anxiety meds at epidemic proportions?

No–this is all wrong! Look to American history, even recent history. Americans are an aggressive, resilient, determined and adventurous breed. For the most part, all Americans come from a stock of people who got pissed off and left wherever they came from, facing grave danger in the most extreme situations or at the least, great inconveniences and fears, in hopes of a new start, freedom and opportunities. Those of Native American and African-American descent pass on  their own brand of resiliency and strength, born of a strong spirit enduring centuries-long attempts at genocide and slavery, stories of overcoming relentless oppression and victimization.

Many foreigners are not welcomed to this new land with open arms, and they fight and struggle, determined to succeed against all odds, because they believe in the dream. They believe in their dream like a fire burning in the pit of their soul, and are unaware of any other outcome. They pool resources with friends, family and community and build their dreams. They work and save from their beginnings as an immigrant store clerk or sales associate to owning their own companies, homes, cars and providing a college education for their children. They actively create their own stories, and their dreams come alive, because these dreams were the only realities they allowed to exist in their hearts and minds.

For those of us white-bread, fear-infused, spoiled, complacent multi-generational Americans–we are dysfunctioning in our own creation. We have, for the most part, become voyeurs, spying on the stories of others’ lives or fictitious lives through television, movies, computers, magazines, books and games. But, if we dared to break free–if we dared to take the chance to actively author our own stories to travel, truly develop a career that makes us happy and live out loud authentically, what would happen?

Most of us already live in fear, so there’s no need to worry about adding to fear–it’s here. Many of us already consider our lives failures, so there’s no need to worry about failing–it’s already here. If fear did not exist, what would you want your life’s story to be? What steps would you need to make that happen? What’s stopping you from starting now? What’s the risk of you not starting now? I bet that’s worse.

Do something extreme, and life will greet you with a big hello, saying, “Hey, where’ve you been? We’ve been waiting for you. Kinda worried about you. Anyway, glad you finally made it. Welcome! Now, let’s get started…”





A little progress: on my way to leaving the country

27 09 2010

Nothing worthwhile is perfectly easy.

Somethings are progressing nicely. The freelance business is building. This is leading to increased income, which leads to increased savings and job security that will be sustainable when I move. This is improving my outlook.

Researching Latin American countries as destinations to live–that’s progressing nicely, too. Based on certain details that I’ll get into later, it seems that the first move will be probably be to Panama with an ultimate destination of Argentina.

I may wander around a lot due to visa requirements, but that actually sounds great to me! Perhaps I’ll end up becoming a bit of a travel writer. Wherever the tide washes me to shore, I’m certain I’ll enjoy it. It’s never difficulties that get me down; it’s always the everydayness and all-too-familiar surroundings that grate on my nerves. I was not designed, psychologically, to be set in one place, in a single full-time job, in a godforsaken office somewhere.

Still contemplating on the best time to permanently vacate the full-time office gig. Benefits are pleasant. Paid vacations, major medical, steady salary, etc. are strong temptors, occasionally successful in luring my thoughts back into the dark abyss of the misery of false safety for me. And I do know how false this safety is. In this economy, anyone could lose their job at any moment. Benefits can be reduced in the blink of an eye depending on how hard my company gets hit with the residual affects of governmental budget cuts.

Meanwhile, either way, I’d still be miserable, living a life that is clearly meant for someone else. I would continue not living my own life, and that is horrifying. Not taking the risk to jump off of the cliff into endless possibilities is a bone chilling thought.

I must take the first huge step and have a go of it on my own, but when?





Feelin froggy–just want to take the leap

27 09 2010

[Note: the urban slang, “feeling froggy” has several definitions. Generally it means, you’re anxious to do something. It has contexts in everything from violence, sex, drugs and the everyday. As for me, I’m referring to the everyday.]

The bitterness of continuing to do very hard work that requires passion that I do not have is weighing in heavy this early morning. All I want to do is shed all of this and focus on the many details needed to begin a more authentic life for myself. Yet, I have commitments and obligations to fulfill. While I do have the financial opportunity to leave my full-time job now, and although I am flatly miserable continuing, I care so much about the relationships I’ve built there, and I do have projects I should complete before I escape. So there it is. Today will be a long one.





Retire in the Republic of Panama–AARP recommended retirement destination

26 09 2010

It’s true–the USA, always known as the land of opportunity is not offering many opportunities to its older citizens looking to retire. Many retirees are naturally looking to locations in the world where their fixed income can streatch a little farther. Beyond this, retirees of today are not the retirees of yesteryear! Many babyboomers would relish a retirement of adventure and cultural richness, and for them, Panama meets all the requirements. By the way, Panama is more than happy to accomodate, and accomodate they do!

Panamainfo.com  has great resources for retirees and soon-to-be retirees looking for a lower cost of living combined with an exotic flare (safely, in a stable location). Here are some examples of their offerings:

Additionally, the AARP magazine, “Modern Maturity” listed Panama as number three among places to retire abroad:

Panama is a smart choice for retirees who want it all. Not only does it feature attractive retiree destinations, Panama also offers an unbeatable package of retiree benefits and discounts. Boquete has a unique range of back-home amenities, from a golf course to high-end gated communities.

While I am no where near retirement age, my 65-year-old mother is planning a move to Latin America to retire, along with her lab-pug mix dog, McGhee. Panama appears to have unriveld benefits for retirees, hoping to lure in these advenurous individuals on fixed USA government incomes.
What are your thoughts?




A bit about Uruguay–a lovely description

26 09 2010

Source: http://blog.brillianttrips.com/2009/06/rocha-natural-beauty-in-uruguay/ <–lovely post!

From the blog “Brilliant Trips” came a lovely post, “Rocha–natural beauty in Uruguay.”

Rocha, 1 of the 19 Departments that make up Uruguay, is a symphony of natural landscapes rich in fauna and flora with 200 kilometers of ocean coast. Apart from La Paloma, La Pedrera and La Coronilla which are more modern, Rocha’s coastal villages offer the enchantment of a rustic lifestyle with a deep connection to nature. An ecological reservation, Rocha is the habitat for hundreds of plants and native animal species.

The description, while brief, goes on to describe what can be found there as if seeing a folk painting on a canvas. I wish all blog posts (including mine) would be this well-written. In my defence, it’s tricky describing something of such richness and exotic beauty when I have yet to visit. All in good time!