DOES HOW OLD YOU ARE AND HOW MUCH MONEY YOU HAVE REALLY COUNT? NOT SO MUCH!
Almost a year ago, I published this blog post and it bears repeating…… especially since I have, only recently, become a huge fan of an Entity called Abraham-Hicks, through a DVD that I borrowed from The Celebration, a non-denominational worship service that I’m attending here in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Abraham channels through Esther Hicks and is certainly worth looking up on YouTube and checking out. This collective Entity on The Other Side reminds us of who we really are and what we have come to Earth to accomplish. I urge you to check out this Wisdom, as it is spot on!
Basically, Abraham’s Teachings remind us to always concentrate on The Positive aspects in our life and not to see anything in the negative. Just always being Positive, brings us into a Creational Vortex that’s always longing to reward us with what we need and ask for; but cannot do so if we complain about our current situation. Woops, after listening to this DVD, I realized that I was, in the previous blog, complaining about the beautiful sunlight and the fact that I was finally getting the long-needed eye surgery that will help me to see better. That’s sort of outside of the vortex that I need to be within. So, I’ll leave the evidence in the last post right here for all to see, and then, reprint this attitude about my life, which I think might be on the more positive side of things.
If what is really bugging me is that I am now becoming restless, and am eager to begin traveling again; well why not simply say so, and not fuss about what is currently my excuse for not sticking to business and writing more frequent blogs. Hey, it is what it is! Now, here’s the reprinted blog post. As true today as it was a year ago:
“Age Schmage,….Money Schmoney” was a book title I thought of a long time ago and never used. It doesn’t exactly explain itself, does it? And that’s the beauty of a title. Make it so intriguing that you lure the reader in and make him pick up your slim volume or keep reading on into your article. Or, increasingly in this day and age, your advertisement.
But, the reason I wanted to use that particular attitude in an autobiographical way, was that it does “Say it like it is” in justifying my particular lifestyle. And no, I’m not Jewish, but I love that succinct way of getting the point across with a dismissive flair of the hand or a telling facial expression. And the older I get….. and also, the poorer I get, if that were the case….is even more reason to carry such a happy-go-lucky attitude.
Here I am, less than a month before my 78th birthday, and I feel this truth more than ever. What does age have to do with it? Well, everything and nothing! You see, I’m weird. I’m a constant world-wanderer: always either on a long trip or planning one. I’m also weird because I talk constantly, internally, to The Holy Spirit (actually, I interview Him) and then I write books and blogs about it. See: www.insecretdiffusion.com.
Old Age has always been a universal basket to explain away odd behavior in an elderly person. Wandering away from home is another common appellation, dug up from that accusatory mindset. The thing is, I do wander away from home and then, write about my international adventures in books and blogs. There’s, obviously, no irresponsibility or Little Old Lady Leanings in any of them.
So, AGE is not causing this “Craziness!” Hence, the Age Schmage dismissal! In fact, the very act of constantly getting older, and yet, remaining the same, becomes a more and more rarified quality. I love to watch the eyebrows go up, when I mention that ever-changing factoid about myself.
And what about MONEY? Many people automatically assume that I must be rich, to be able to afford airfare and all my international expenses; to just be able to pack up and go, where and when I wish on the globe. But, that’s not so! I live on my Social Security alone and I live cheap, compared to most people. I’m a hosteller. I own only what fits inside of my two suitcases…..plus, some writing materials stored in the States.
I begin where most people hope they never wind up: HOMELESS! But, this is the true face of freedom!
You can’t have it all and these are choices I have made: No house. No car. No stuff No pets. My accumulation lies within my journal’s memories, filled with reports of adventures and friends collected along the way. I’m happy…..and my regular social security income helps me to stay that way….but is not the cause of it. I watch it carefully and don’t require too much of it…simply regular dole-outs from foreign ATMs. Plus, payments on a credit card used to charge online air purchases. Debit cards don’t work in that case.
And now, with shaky things predicted to be around the corner concerning our national economic future, I’m trying to get ahead of the curve. And, guess what? Lo and behold, I’m already practicing many recommended tactics: Such as:
“Get out of Dodge, while yet you can! Find a nice, inexpensive but beautiful, retirement land where the healthcare is good and the costs are not so high! Apply for a second passport to increase your options!”
Well, I’ve spent this past enjoying life in Uruguay, Peru and Ecuador, all of which fill that bill nicely and are on everyone’s advisory lists. Soon, I’ll check out Central American countries; also excellent candidates for living the good life without some of the homeland downsides; even concerning weather. Right now, I’m housesitting in New Mexico, which is a very win-win situation.
“Move your money into inflationary-free investments! Build a second income stream!”
I’m studying on that right now. And overseas is where the fingers point. All of a sudden, my journalistic, writerly qualities can turn investigative, because I’m on the cutting edge without even trying to be. I’m planning to attend another International Living Conference in Denver in September so that I can experience a global changing scene in a very “waterbugish” way, with Travel Writing and photography. I keep wanting to post my excellent photographs on money-making, perpetual-stream, photostock sites to generate a safety net, just in case social security gets downsized, someday. That’s been a long-term goal of mine. Maybe it will finally go beyond the talking stages.
Because nothing holds me down, it doesn’t harm me or dictate my life. I can shift on a whim and respond to the moment; just like a waterbug can, because it never breaks the surface tension. But, I’m also free to settle down with the right person, or in the right place, if I should choose to. How’s that for having choices? Shady or sunny? Mountains or Beachfront? Perpetual springtime, if I like!
Now do you see how the terms: “Age Schmage! Money Schmoney!” might just say it succinctly? And, a lot more positively than grousing about “too much light in my life!” Both terms have nothing and everything to do with me. That title was probably invented by some ancient Sage……unless, it was me, since I’ve never heard it before.
It’s not referring to your years or to your cash flow. It’s speaking of Freedom!
This photo was taken August 7, 2014, when I was one of the speakers at the monthly Writer’s In Transition public meeting. I read from my movie script for an animated children’s film called The Candlewick Question, about an alternate waxen universe, where the candle population believes that their wick is simply for making hairdos. The movie deals with the existential question: What is the purpose of the soul?
Dateline: April 1, 2014, Ciudad Vieja, Montevideo, Uruguay
Come on, Everybody, sing along!
B. I. N. G. O! B. I. N. G. O! B. I. N. G. O! BINGO WAS HIS NAME, OH!
Now, sing it this way:
T. O. B. E. Y! T. O. B. E. Y! T. O. B. E. Y! TOBEY WAS HIS NAME, OH! I got a dog, and a dog got me! I got a dog and a dog got me! I got a dog and a dog got me! Tobey is his name, oh!
For no foolish reason, I stayed inside the hostel on this glorious Indian Summer day, trying to dig myself out from under a lot of backed-up writing projects. At around sunset, I thought I’d better catch some air, so I headed up the pedestrian-only Sarandi Boulevard in Montevideo’s Old Town. Only a block along on my walk, I noticed an ancient, timeless drama being carried out, smack-dab in public.
SHE was resistant. HE was insistent. And the poor woman at the other end of the only leash was trying to get her hefty, reddish-blond Golden Retriever out of the intersection. Not ‘gonna happen, as long as that fresh, young, sailor-on-a-holiday, black and white Terrior was humping and bumping her back legs…..and I don’t mean in the Tango! That gal was not standing up for nobody, nowhere, nohow!
I sent a sympathetic glance to the woman to see how I could help. She explained in great detail in Spanish; but switched to English when I proved too dumb to register her story. Her sweet-faced dog was sick and they had walked (a considerable distance) to the vet to get two horribly swollen, heat-emitting ear infections treated. This dog had tagged along, romancing and dancing for about eight blocks. She was sure that the resulting ear odor that only dogs can smell, advertised that her girl was in heat. Though, she was not, and from the looks of her age, would never be again.
Romeo was not buying that excuse, for sure! I took to stamping my foot at him, commanding in all my English phrases for such a situation as this: “Shoo! Git! Go Home! No! Leave Her Alone!” He understood the gestures, if not the words, but simply didn’t care. He wanted what he wanted, when he wanted it; and no polka-dot-skirted woman was going to come along and tell him otherwise!
I tested his spirituality by grabbing hold of his collar. If he was a bad dog, he would bite me. If a good dog, he would not. He didn’t! Now, we knew he meant well; but he also, meant that little thing. I did try to pick him up but the chunky, wriggling boy was only a few seconds in my arms before he was off to his sweetheart’s outstretched paws. Yeah, they were outstretched so she could flatten her unavailable body tight to the pavement! She had the DO NOT ENTER sign flashing for all to see. ‘Cept he wasn’t even noticing. Another woman stopped and got on her cell phone. I thought to call the gendarmes to help me take this doggie home, where he belonged. But, she said no. The cops didn’t get involved in canine love affairs and walked on by.
Sweetie’s whole demeanor shouted her wholehearted disgust of this last-straw situation! She was literally sick and tired of this whole affair and she knew she still had many a mile to hobble home and how can she do it with such a rude rapist on the loose?!
“Give me a break, everybody! I need my bed and I need it now! What gives YOU, Young Pup, the idea that I’m a streetwalker, anyway? I’ve outrun better lads than you, and I will again. Just now, I’m re-tired! Re-ally, re-ally tired! Scat!…before I call a cat!“
That last insult hit him where the sun don’t shine, and I was able to grab his collar and hold real tight, gesturing for the woman to get her darling up the street and home. I’d drag him the block down to the hostel and lock him in to give them time to escape. The ladies hied it up the hill and I started up the greatest back massage and deep shoulder-scratchings, which I knew would get his mind off the other business. I wonder why it didn’t work? Most dogs are suckers for it. However, Passionate here, gave one good twist and took his collars off, hieing it up that slight hill, as well; lost love, his only destination.
Well, Buddy! You’ve met your match! I don’t discourage easily, either! Up I went, waving the double, tagless collar in my hand. How could he have gotten out-of-sight so fast?
Sure enough! There’s the beleaguered duo and the pest…..with two of my hostel friends gathered ’round; now trying desperately to save our heroine’s virginity! We laughed and squealed in outright amazement that any three would-be rescuers would all be from the same hostel clan. Luciana from Brazil, and Adriana of Colombia, have been my friends for days. Okay, now, we put our heads together. “How about a taxi?” There was serious doubt that the furry one would be allowed inside. The belle-of-the-ball’s Mama was also worried for the sake of Fresh Boy there. He might get lost in their part of town and how would he find his way home? But, she knew the general neighborhood that claimed him and showed us how to get there.
The winning formula proved to be thus: Adriana removed her genuine leather belt and made a choke collar, cinched fairly tight. We all pulled and jollied him along. He pretended to cooperate; taking a genuine minute to greet me like an old backscratching friend, missing in action since he’d last pulled this stunt. Then, a honeying up to Leash-holder, Luciana, and swish/feint and he was free and up the hill again. Virginity-Defender plopped right down again; getting right sick and tired of all the action!
Now, he had three unbeatable oddballs after him and he could barely breathe by the time we got him under control again. He was a real good loser, after all. We dragged him into the hostel and showed him off, laughing with our triumph. Diego knew this dog and told us right where to take him. A store, sure enough, right beside the Vet’s.
Picture-taking time, during which I got my face licked really sweet and good. “I’m yours forever, baby! That’s all it takes!”
Then, off we went again. Who needs dog-tags in such a friendly nation? The old lady spotted him first. “Tobey! Where you been, this time?” I caught the gist through the Spanish. He had a cute little doghouse in there, right beside a huge picture of Jesus with a bleeding heart! Very homey, indeed!
I’m going to go see him every day! I’ve needed a dog to love for such a long time and it’s so much better, when it’s somebody else’s! It appears that me and Tobey look at life exactly the same way!
“If it’s any comfort to you, Honey! Just know I love you! Forget about her! Women, right? I give better back scratches, I’ll bet! Who was it that saved you from yourself…let alone the cops…and walked you home, and all? Hey! You forgot to say goodbye. Just crawled into your doghouse and went to sleep. I’m gonna get you a doggie bone, tomorrow, that’s what I’m gonna do!”
So, the rescuer’s a little round the bend these days? You don’t know how much you miss having a dog until you don’t have one…. and then, you get a little chance to Mama one again..and, you’re done! You’re right back where you started before you were a World Walker. Maybe, one day…. when I’m old….. in the meantime:
OH, I’VE GOT A DOG AND A DOG’S GOT ME….AND TOBEY IS HIS NAME! I’VE GOT A DOG AND A DOG’S GOT ME…..AND TOBEY IS HIS NAME! I’VE GOT A DOG AND A DOG’S GOT ME …. AND TOBEY IS HIS NAME-OH!
I hope you regular readers didn’t fear for me, just because it’s been two weeks since my last post announcing my imminent departure for my new life in Uruguay. I arrived ten days ago and have been very, very busy ever since. At last, here’s my first jumbled description to fill that blank spot in your mind about my arrival in this great South American country. First, a few pointers:
We’ve all been pronouncing it wrong. It’s not “You’re-a-Gway.” It’s “Ooor-a-ghway.” Just mildly clear your throat midword, though they’ll forgive you if you merely say “Oooraguay” with a hard g. They forgive you anyway. Uruguayans are such wonderful people!
Okay, here’s a quiz! Where is Uruguay? Don’t be embarrassed if you guessed that it’s on the Pacific, between Colombia and Ecuador, like my daughter did when she heard that I was moving there. As a matter of fact, Uruguay is three-quarters of the way down to the bottom of South America, on the opposite, Atlantic, side; right under Brazil and next to Argentina. Oh, go get a map and look it up. You’ll find me in Montevideo with glorious blue water on two sides, basking in the summer season.
I’ll share a few excerpts from my journal:
“Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 2013 – The overnight flight was a pleasure, though sleep was scarce. I was so interested in what the Uruguayan people would be like and I knew that a majority of the passengers must be natives, though there was no way, at all, to tell us apart. Except that they spoke Spanish. What a lovely atmosphere filled that plane, with every human connection between those strolling the aisles! I felt surrounded by a jumbo-set-sized family. “Ineffably Wonderful!” came to my mind, though I’ve never heard that term before. Laughter, kindled eyes, and kind helpfulness comes naturally to them. It’s obvious that these Uruguayans are happy people. They like each other and I like them!
I must mention the power of my new Norwegian suit jacket, which I now call “General Jacket.” It’s tailored of navy-blue wool and bears double gold braid around the collar and sleeves. I think of it as my Space Commander jacket. Indeed, people do seem to want to salute or at least to do a double take. On the plane, when I complimented a woman on her lovely sweater, a seatmate mentioned my jacket in return. A nearby man gave a small salute by way of definition. We laughed and agreed. Wish I’d had a better story than “I bought it in Oslo!” Something like: “Oh, I’m simply hopping a ride to Earth from Andromeda”.
Just now, in the airport ladies’ room, the attendant asked me, in Spanish, what the stripes meant and we had a funny time pretending that I was a pilot, because navy wool and gold braid is exactly what they all wear. The only difference is that my stripes are a tad closer to the elbow, I’m way past retirement age…..and oh yes…. I can’t fly!”
Since I arrived last week, I have successfully found my way around the city. First, by getting nicely lost in the Tres Cruces (Three Crosses) area where my arrival hotel and a marvelous bus terminal are located. From that station, one can catch an ultra-fancy double-decker headed anywhere in this compact country, or even neighboring Brazil, Argentina and Chile. Tickets are reasonable and travel times short. Above the terminal is a big, modern mall, which I hear isn’t very large according to local standards. Well, I got happily lost in it 100% of the time. I’ll lack for nothing, that’s for sure!
Sunday, I attended the regular luncheon meeting of the local expat community at Club Banco Republica, an athletic club and restaurant right on the Rambla walkway, overlooking the beach and waterfront. It’s a drop-in meet-up organized by Sonia Duarte, of Total Uruguay, an expat assistance agency. The group has been functioning, non-stop, for seven years and is a great way for foreigners here to get acquainted. Ten of us attended this time and both Sonia and Terry Doering, an American realtor with Your Real Estate Team, immediately agreed to help me achieve some points on my bucket list. That afternoon, Terry showed me an available apartment, which I will move into on December 15th.
On Monday, Sonia helped me drop off my virus-infected computer at a repair shop and to buy a cell phone. In the way that such ironies happen, my faithful little computer had picked up its bug in Florida from some virus protection software that I’d stupidly bought (IObit). I had to look at this great inconvenience philosophically, imagining that it symbolized a “getting a clean start.” Now, for only a chunk of money and a week’s worth of wasted computer time, I’m back to normal with a clean-brained, well backed-up, computer.
Thursday, when my five days at the Hotel Tres Cruces ran out, I transferred to a lovely new hostel in Ciudad Vieja, the Old Town Quarter of Montevideo. This delightful, new Los Jardines Colgantes de Babilonia (The Hanging Gardens of Babylonia) Hostel is one of the most pleasant that I’ve ever stayed in…. and that’s saying a whole lot, because I have stayed in hundreds of hostels, worldwide, by this time. Bunkbeds are $20 per night and I have my two-bunk room all to myself and am able both to sleep and get lots of serious work done in this peace and quiet. Plants, greenery and trailing ferns hang from high ceilings, above black and white tile floors, serenaded by Chopin and Beethoven, in this lovingly restored mansion.
Ahhhh, more about this easy life in a few days. Do stay tuned!
Where and when, in my journey of ten-thousand miles (and counting) did I decide to become an expat? And exactly what is that, anyway?
Well, an expat is still a loyal American and isn’t leaving this country in a huff to make a statement of protest. In fact, those who move offshore are upstanding senior citizens, with family and property in the U.S., seeking ways to live well on their retirement income in countries where the dollar stretches to allow a far-better lifestyle than is possible here at home.
Right now, I’m luxuriating at the Hilton Phoenix Mesa Hotel, on the first day of International Living’s Fund Your Life Overseas three-day Conference. In less than three weeks, I’ll be exploring Montevideo, Uruguay, as a new American expat, and I’ll take you with me, step-by-step, into my new life. Where will I live? Who will I know? What will fill my days? Will I actually learn Spanish this time?
Today is the first day of the rest of my life! Yikes!
I’ll write about it all, naturally; but it dawned on me that I should also capture this adventure visually. I’m even thinking of buying a camcorder to tape my reports from ground zero. Maybe, someday, you’d like to follow in my footsteps? Possibly, I can help you to take heart and make your own retirement-enhancing opportunities. Believe me, I couldn’t have done this alone. I wouldn’t have known where to start.
My Social Security has funded two year-long meandering solo journeys around this globe, but I’d never have had a clue that the Expat Opportunity even existed if I hadn’t stumbled upon INTERNATIONAL LIVING MAGAZINE, (IL), http://www.InternationalLiving.com, about two years ago. My latest trip around the Southern Hemisphere took me to the West Coast in July, 2012, to head across the Pacific. When I learned that IL’s Travel Writing Conference in San Francisco coincided with my schedule, I signed up for it as an obvious way to turn my passion for global wandering into an income stream. It would certainly help justify these itchy feet if they kicked up a little cash, now and then.
But the conference did so much more than hone my interest in travel writing. After all, I was already a published author, times three; with a travel book aimed towards senior citizens. I had two active blogs and a passion for constantly writing in my journal. How hard could it be? As it turned out, the magazine writing is still waiting to take off, because leisure, privacy, and Wi-Fi connections to nurture that trade, were hard to come by, given my rough-travel lifestyle on this pass around the globe.
I frequently stayed in hostels’ mixed dormitories; sleeping in bunk beds and sharing bathrooms down the hall. Plus, I was socializing and kicking back with people a third my age and I couldn’t just disappear into my computer upon check-in. This setup is not conducive to serious writing; though truly, I found article composition easier than the research necessary to query magazines and fulfil their editorial requirements. It’s just not exactly a hostel-friendly activity but I have big plans to crank out some beautiful articles using my notes and photos generated on that trip once I settle down in my new expat routine in Uruguay.
And that whole plan could not have happened if I hadn’t attended the International Living conference on my way overseas. Because, once this dedicated staff embraces you, they will never abandon you! To be sure, I joined their ranks as a lifetime member and have since signed up for many perks and online study courses…..because their goals fit mine perfectly. I hear from them more often that I do from friends and family!
A very big part of International Living’s goal is helping retirees identify their very best international city to settle in, and then, helping us find ways to create or supplement an income if we need to do so. Thirty-five years of specializing in how to earn a living overseas has given them a true overview of wealth production because their many protégées have reinvented themselves so creatively. Many turn into entrepreneurs with businesses they didn’t expect to discover; perhaps trading on a hobby or a brand-new idea to fill a niche. Others go online in home-based businesses they can operate from a hammock on the beach…. if they can type better than I can lying down. Because of new digital possibilities, we have, virtually, no limitations.
Thanks to International Living, I believe in myself even more and am ready to tackle the scary part of trying to stay still in one place for a long time, rather than the global swanning about that I’ve become so good at, lately. Thus begins my report to you as to how this is working for me.