Unlimited Upside For Fun |
Dec. 8, 2008
Panama City, Panama
- If You Like To Travel...And To Tell Stories...Travel Writing Can
Seem Like A Dream Come True...
- Free Travel, Private Invitations, Complimentary Hotel Stays...And
Other Perks Of The Travel Writer's Life...
- The Expat Entrepreneur's Toolbox...
- The Cost Of Health Care In Ecuador (Hint: Emergency Room Care For
US$25, Including The Prescription)...
Share A Vine Romance In The Next Napa
- Christmas Palms In Panama...
Join a small group of like-minded souls who enjoy good wine and the
lifestyle that goes along with producing it. Be pampered, entertained, and
educated in the whole from-grape-to-bottle experience and enjoy all the
benefits of the vintner's lifestyle without any of the hard work.
Plus, as a member of
La Vida Buena Estate, you are positioned for an 17.24% yield on
your investment--not including the annual hacienda privileges!
Dear Overseas Opportunity Letter Reader,
I have been a travel writer, editor, and publisher for more
than 24 years.
But I wasn't always a travel writer. For 10 months, straight out of college,
I was a computer tech writer.
It was a short-lived career, for I realized quickly that computer tech
writing came with little upside for fun.
Travel writing, on the other hand, carries unlimited upside for fun,
adventure, and, of course, travel.
If you have any wanderlust in your soul...and if you like to tell
stories...travel writing can seem like a dream come true. I've been all over
the world as a travel writer...from Uruguay to Hong Kong...from the Cayman
Islands to Macau...from Madeira in the Med to China, the British Isles,
And much of my travel, especially in the beginning, has been as someone's
guest--a government ministry of tourism, for example, or a PR agency for a
My husband and I enjoyed a two-week, all-expenses-paid cruise, for example,
from the coast of Spain to Gibraltar and the north coast of
Africa...including several starry, sultry nights in Tangiers and
I've also cruised the Caribbean and the Yucatan coast of Mexico...I've been
the VIP guest of hoteliers around the world from the Ritz in London to the
Clifton Inn at Monticello Charlottesville, Virginia (a personal favorite).
I've dined with the restaurateur's compliments from Manhattan to the Latin
Not only does travel writing allow you to travel more, but it also adds new
dimensions to your travel. It can bring a financial element to your
wanderings, of course, for you can, indeed, make a good living as a travel
writer, but it does more than that.
Traveling as a travel writer helps to focus your attention. You pay more
attention. You notice more. You ask more questions, so you learn more. Your
travel experience is enriched. You get more out of every trip you take,
because you're able to penetrate quickly the tourist shell of a place. For
you are not a tourist.
With your travel writer credentials, you gain access to places regular
travelers can't go. You receive invitations typical tourists never hear
The truth is, I didn't realize I was landing a gig as a travel writer when I
went to work for Agora Publishing nearly a quarter-century ago. I was young
and eager for a change, so I jumped at a chance that turned out to be the
most fortunate accident of my career...an accident that, literally, put the
whole world within my reach.
I addressed a group of 35 aspiring travel writers a few nights ago here in
Panama City. How do you become a published, paid, professional travel
writer, they wanted to know.
First, like anything in life, I explained, you decide it's something you
want. You focus your sights and make some commitment.
Then you start writing. You can sit down at a laptop all on your own and
bash out a story about your recent South American adventure, for example.
And, if you keep at it and aren't in any hurry to see your byline in print,
maybe, eventually, you'll be published.
But here's a better idea: Get in touch with the group that put on the
Lucrative Traveler conference here in Panama this past weekend. In addition
to these writing seminars around the world, they also produce
Ultimate Travel Writer's Program, a self-study guide put together
by one of the best travel writers I've had the pleasure to know, Jennifer
Years ago, Jen worked for me. She and I sat together, in the same office,
side-by-side, editing copy and mentoring up-and-coming travel writers. Jen
has packaged all her years of writing and editing experience into a program
that shares techniques and secrets for getting your travel writing
Maybe you want only to write for yourself...to keep a travel journal as you
move around the world.
But if you'd like to write for a wider audience and enjoy the benefits,
advantages, perks, and upsides that can come with the travel writing life,
this is the best way I know to
P.S. Here's the offer I made to attendees at the Lucrative Traveler
conference Friday night: Send me your stuff. I'd like to extend the same
invitation to you now.
You read these dispatches daily, so you understand the challenge. I'm in the
market always for new contributors, especially in corners of the world where
we don't already have someone keeping us (and our readers) connected in real
time. If you want to be a travel writer...I encourage you to try out the
idea of being a travel writer for me.
Meantime, hone your travel-writing skills with the help of the
Ultimate Travel Writer's Program.
101 Things You Should Know Before You Even Think About Living, Retiring,
Or Investing Overseas
Shipping your belongings across international borders...moving with your
children...or a pet...obtaining residency...getting a visa...opening a bank
account...getting the best international phone rates...learning a new
language...using VOIP...obtaining an international driver's
license...working with an overseas real estate agent...shopping for
international health insurance...
This is everything we wish someone had told us before we set off on our own
live and invest overseas adventures. And it's available to you right now
"Have you ever decorated a palm tree for Christmas before?"
my young Marketing Manager Harry asked over the weekend as he watched me
string tiny lights among the fronds of the palm tree in our living room.
"No...but it seemed like a good idea this year," I explained.
We're getting into the holiday spirit here, enjoying the elaborate light
displays along Avenida Balboa and helping Jackson practice for his class
Christmas pageant planned for next week at a little theater in Casco Viejo.
Meantime, we've put out a call to all contributors: Tell us how they
celebrate the season in your part of the world. I'd intended to put together
a "Christmas Around The World" dispatch for the 25th, but we're receiving so
many sweet and delightful replies that I'll begin sharing them with you
later this week...
"I absolutely agree with your reasons for becoming an
entrepreneur, Kathleen," writes Correspondent Lucy Culpepper in
response to one of my dispatches last week.
"I would like to add something to the Expat Entrepreneur's 'Toolbox': a
"When I moved to Catalonia, Spain, with my husband, 2-year-old child, and
baby on the way, we launched a business pretty much on our own.
"With that magnificent thing called 'hindsight,' I realize one big mistake
we made. We should have hired a Girl Friday.
"By that I mean someone who knows the local bureaucracy, is bi- or
tri-lingual, won't take 'no' from the phone company, will stand in line for
hours to process your visa/residency, can organize car documentation, will
even find you a babysitter...and always but always is positive and has a
"If you are thinking of moving to Catalonia, Spain, dear reader, I can now,
with the benefit of hindsight, provide you with the contact information for
the best Girl Friday in town."
"Thank you for the rundown on living expenses in
Ecuador. One crucial item missing from the list is
health expenses. What about that?"
-- Eugene M., United States
Our Ecuador Correspondent Mike Sager replies:
"Overall, you will find medical care in Ecuador extremely affordable.
Perhaps more important, though, what you receive in this country when you
need it is precisely that: medical care. The doctors here are
"You can get medical insurance in Ecuador at a very low cost. Remember, the
average annual income in this country is $3,000. (Yes, that is a year.)
"Of course, it depends on your physical condition and preexisting concerns.
If you are in generally good health, frankly, you may not need to purchase
health insurance at all.
"I had to go into an emergency room a couple of years ago (because it was a
Sunday, not because my concern was critical) to seek treatment for an upper
chest and sinus infection. I got in immediately and saw the doctor (not a
nurse). I was with him for more than a half-hour. He gave me a head-to-toe
physical to make sure there was nothing else going on. Then he gave me a
prescription to handle the infection and sent me on my way.
"How much did all that cost? Emergency care on a Sunday, a half-hour
consultation with a doctor, and my prescription filled cost me US$25. The
facility was super clean and modern.
"Here's another example: I had to go to the dentist with a chipped tooth and
a molar that had broken away from an old filling. I went in expecting to
make an appointment, but was told to go sit in the chair. I headed for the
waiting room chairs, and the receptionist said, 'Not there. I meant the
chair in the dentist's room. I walked into the dentist's office and was seen
immediately. He repaired both teeth, and I was with him for 45 minutes. He
had an excellent chair side manor and did great work.
"I went to pay, expecting the bill to be US$200 or more, but was pleasantly
surprised when I was told I owed only US$45.
"Here's the kicker. I went back to the States for my daughter's wedding,
and, while I was there, I went to my old dentist in Washington State to have
my teeth cleaned. While he was working on me, I asked him what he thought of
the work I had had done in Ecuador.
"His first comment was, 'What work?' He hadn't noticed where the other
dentist had reconstructed two teeth. After I'd pointed out the two teeth
that had been worked on, he said, 'You better stick with that dentist. He
does excellent work'.
"My point is that your medical expenses in Ecuador will likely be so
affordable that there's no need to invest in health insurance."
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