Where do aspiring expats turn for authoritative advice on the expat lifestyle? Wall Street, of course! Could there possibly be a group of people more likely to embrace the allure of the open road than sub-par mortgage specialists and hedge-fund managers?
Back when we sold it all two years ago, we wrote about how relieved we were to be free of clutter. Why did we need all those office supplies, hair products, cookbooks, shoes, kitchen gadgets, CDs and fabric scraps? How do such collections happen? Here’s how:
“You ought to write a book!” Professional writers, if lucky, hear that many times in their lives. But we’ve never heard it as often as we do now. The Expat Almanac does not have millions of fans, but the ones we have are loyal and loving. We blush and try to keep our egos in check, but thank you, dear readers. Making the blog into a book is really a good idea.
People tell us they have been entertained by the blog, and we believe that people need all the entertainment they can get; it’s not optional in adult life. People tell us that our optimism is inspiring, and the world needs more optimists. People tell us that we’ve opened a bit of the world to them, and anything that contributes to better global understanding is great by us.
Often, people tell us they want to do the same thing. We’re happy to share what we’ve learned, and we encourage adventurous spirits on the edge of decision to pull the trigger. We made some mistakes, and the book will tell all. We did some things right, and we’ll brag about those. We feel that the Senior Year Abroad is an idea that is about to blossom as more and more of us retire healthy and raring to go.
People tell us they’ve read every word, but do they remember every word? Even I did not remember a lot of the entries when it came time to review them for the book. We wanted to leave out the dull stuff, organize the dramatic elements of Tom’s hospitalization, and add some new material. Also, we will cut out all the parts where we repeat ourselves. Where we repeat ourselves.
Blogs are great, but ephemeral, they’re a little hard to pass around. We want to have a book that can be of use to people, that can be enjoyed and shared. We travel with Kindles, but we still love the power of paper. Gift it, turn corners down, underline it. So not only will you be able to get the Expat Almanac for Kindle (free for blog readers like you—we’ll tell you how), and you’ll be able to get it on paper, too.
So, we’re working at it. The first draft is done and we’re editing now. We figure we’ll be launching about May 15th. We so appreciate your support, and everything you’ve contributed so far. The time and money we’ve put into it is well worth the delight we feel when we get positive comments and also great private notes. It’s going to be so much fun to spread the joy.
Today our travelers are in Venice, the romantic Italian city of Carnival and Casanova. Readers are reminded, however, that it is August, one of the hotter Augusts on record in Italy, and that provokes a certain irritability within our normally amicable duo, resulting in two decidedly antipodal perspectives on the Venetian experience…
We finalized our arrangements on Theotokopoulou Street back in October, 2012 (and recruited our avatars to make a short video, which is here), and now our stay in Greece is about to end. To complete the circle that our avatars began, we take you back to Theotokopoulou Street, this time in person with Louise as host, to see our neighborhood up close, to try to pronounce “Theotokopoulou,” and to meet some of our friends there:
This is post #100 on the Expat Almanac. It’s a milestone, of course, but one without any real significance. It does serve, however, our psychological needs. Why do we post? For the same two reasons, I suppose, that people post on Facebook or tweet on Twitter: the need to belong and the need for self-presentation. (The link points to a Boston University study that found those two primary reasons for participation in social media.)
Treasure Island (Elafonissi) was once used by pirates, but the pirates have all moved to Somalia, and Elafonisi (modern spelling) really isn’t an island any more – it’s an outcropping of the mainland connected by a strip of sand that occasionally submerges. That sand, however, is stunning.
(NOTE: We traveled all night Sunday, slept all day Monday, spent Tuesday and Wednesday wandering around in awe of Chania, and only now has life become quiet enough to allow for a blog entry.)
The residents of Crete are Cretans. Their art is Cretan. They speak a dialect of Greek called Cretan. Cretans are proud of their home and their culture, and even though most of them speak fluent English, few are aware of the word “cretin” (note the difference in spelling) and what it implies in the American vernacular.