Celebrating my birthday last week and Two Passports' birthday this week
“I quit,” I said with my chuckle. “I’m not sure I can give you a full two weeks’ notice.” My boss looked at me and smiled. “Good for you.” He had counciled me on making this big life decision. I went back to my desk and typed up an announcement of sorts. I was going to quit my job, break my lease and move overseas. Indefinitely. That was three years ago today.
Because of the anniversary, I’ve been combing the archives of this little blog and feeling some schadenfreude for the poor sap who won’t just settle down and live in the moment. At the beginning of December 2009 I wrote this:
“I need to learn to better deal with uncertainty, to let go of my stresses and have faith that the universe will guide me to the proper course. I’ll be very interested in reading this post in a month with the knowledge of where I ended up.”
If only I could send a message to that guy and tell him where I am now: I’m in London’s Gatwick Airport preparing to tick my forth contient off the box. In an hour I fly to Morocco, where I’ll be touring traditional berbers, riding a camel in the Sahara and even taking a surfing lesson.
In the meantime though, I’d like to show you the highlights of some of the archived posts I’ve been reading. First and most noteably, I was almost deported upon entering Ireland. As I struggled to find a way to pay the bills, I went through some odd job interview experiences, most notably when I found myself way out on the side of a highway in Galway after an interview went horribly wrong and I was found myself suddenly hired to sell make-up door-to-door.
As I settled in I found myself alone during Christmas. The writing is alright, but the pictures that accompany my expatriate Christmas blog are among my best.
Due to the strange facet of blogging that is SEO (search engine optimisation), what continues to be my most popular entry was a one-off in which I listed my top ten expat discoveries of everyday life in Ireland. I wrote more narrative posts, too, like when I endured my most embarrassing travel experience after being tricked by an Irishman. After getting a job as a lowly stock-room employee in Ireland, I was almost fired when I told my boss to “settle down.”
Before long, that job was getting tiresome for me and I found a new opportunity managing a hostel in Wales. After moving to the U.K. I had my first experience with Britain’s Big Brother-like network of cameras.
Before long though I was off to my next experience after I was hired as a tour guide through Europe. On my way over, I learned the hard way what happens when you deny the TSA the opportunity to frisk you. As a tour guide I faced some challenges, like when one of my passengers witnessed a suicide or when I witnessed a grisly car accident.
After suffering through a Christmas returning to my old high school job, I thought it was time for a new country. I decided to move to Australia and discovered the oddities of Australian slang.
More recently, I’ve written about suffering the death of a family member while abroad (even if the family member in question was canine).
In the midst of it all, I produced a failed attempt to turn Two Passports into a multi-authored blog. While I’ve since abandoned that experiment, the masthead serves as a reminder of its existence with the pluralized tagline “Stories of lives lived abroad” (I’m still working on finding a new masthead). While the multi-authored idea didn’t take off, there were some great posts I’m proud to have hosted about living in Tanzania, Buddism in China, and British versus American English.
Finally, I started a series of travel videos using a GoPro camera, a series I just recently restarted.
…and that brings you up to date on my last three years. Thank you all for taking the time to read Two Passports and especially for those of you that have left comments. Everytime I go home I’m reminded of how many more people read this blog than I think. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started a story and had someone stop me. “Oh yeah, I read this in your blog.” It has meant so much to me to hear your words of support during the hard times and congratulations during the good ones. Here’s to three more years.