Recently I spent a few days traveling around Asia with my friend DC Moore. During our brief trip, we talked about our families and what we were doing at home. DC shared stories and pictures of how he and his wife are redecorating their 1970s home on the intercostal waterway in Daytona, while I shared adventures of everyday island life. 'We are always hiking and exploring the island. Plus we are enjoying farming a our few hectares with vegetables, fruit, nuts, raising chickens, pigs, and fish.
'Greg, are you sure you're not a "Prepper"?'
'You know, I never thought of that. But I do not believe we are peppers. I mean, aren't preppers the people who hoard MRE's in their basement, or have a seed bank, or have 5 barrels of water stored in their garage. That's not how we live on the island. We actually live a simple life that includes growing and preparing our own food for our daily consumption (yes, we have plenty of extra). So I don't think we are 'Preppers'. Therefore, we are something better than Preppers.'
'What do you mean?'
'We Farmers. We have Skills, not Stuff...
As I mentioned earlier, lots of emphasis for 'preppers' is focussed on stocking up on 'stuff'. I mean, just having a closet filled with bottled water and bullets isn’t going to make people a survivor for every circumstance.
Chances are people are more likely to experience a flat tire or a bad weather event before they find themselves in a zombie apocalypse. As farmers, we learn how to fix structures, fix vehicles, and make tools. We learn to grow veggies and handles animals. Sometimes the only skill a Prepper learns is how to shop.
Think of it this way, when your tire goes flat, we know we can fix it. When the tree comes down on the road, have the tools and strength to take care of the problem. If our home is destroyed, we know how to rebuild.
No shelf life on what we grow...
IF a truly dire situation arose where people had to rely on their shelves of food I guess they'd be eating lots of macaroni dehydrated stroganoff. I mean a basement full of MREs isn’t a bad thing. But that's not us. For us, lots of the food we enjoy has a short shelf life. Why? Because it is fresh.
So how do we avoid the problem of food with a short shelf life? As farmers, we have a constant supply of fresh food. Sure, the fruit & veggies need to be eaten within a few days of being harvested, and our free range chickens taste great when freshly cooked. We are fortunate to have a growing season every day of the year. So we don't need to hoard a hidden stockpile of food. Instead, we have the option to harvest what needs harvested, eat what fresh, while leaving alive what is still growing. As long as we have a rooster and a chickens, they'll reproduce and we'll have a never ending supply of meat that will never need refrigeration. You can't say that about preppers, because they haven't figured out a way to breed Spam!
We are Gaining Experience & Learning Every Day
A prepper has a bag of seeds. We have gardens that are producing constantly.
I believe any gardener can tell you that growing all your own food in their yard can be impossible! It takes lots of soil, plenty of time and 'know how'. I mean just growing tomatoes can be enough of a challenge.
So acquiring a seed bank doesn’t equal food, and if you don’t have the space or the 'know how' to grow anything, the apocalypse isn’t the time to learn.
As farmers, we learn better ways to grow everyday. Every year we get more efficient. Trying to be a master in a disaster with a bag of old seeds is not when you are a newbie.
We are Making our mistakes now
Let’s say something happened, and you really needed to provide for yourself. That would mean every vegetable you grew you would be precious food plus you would need to save seeds so you could grow them again. You also can't afford to loose meat animals to predators. Fruit trees and gardens would need to be protected from wildlife… So many things could go wrong.
Sure, all those mistakes are really frustrating. But I can buy more chickens from the market, I can buy lots of cats, and I can plant new trees. But if this were a survival situation, I’d be dead!
A new farmer can afford to make all the newbie mistakes. A survivor can’t. Make the mistakes now, because you will make mistakes... and learn how to improve.
Enjoy the Fun & the Experience
This is by far the biggest reason to stop prepping and start farming.
Sometimes it seems as though preppers are almost fantasizing about the grid going down, or zombies taking over the planet. They dream of a time when their strength, skills and preparation will lead them toward a life of fulfillment brought by their own two hands.
But the reality is that everyone can experience a life full of self sufficiency now, and the awesome sense of fulfillment that comes with it.
You don’t need Zombies to learn how to protect your animals from predation.
You don’t need an EMP to learn how to grow your own groceries.
And you don’t need TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) to provide for your family.
Do it now. Start farming to experience the excitement of watching your first crop begin to sprout. Enjoy eating your first meal with everything that you and your family grew together. Benefit from a fulfilling life as a person who is living a sustainable life, without the Zombies breaking down your door.
Maybe next I'll make a boat and teach my daughter how to fish from it. I mean... we do live on a tropical island with a beautiful ocean.
Island Life is Awesome!
What do you think?
Before I moved to the Philippines, I imagined that island life would involve lots of beach time and enjoying the outdoors. I thought of boating, kiteboarding, snorkeling, fishing, drinking morning coffee & evening drinks with friends, and much more... And with a little luck, quality friends, and good leadership, it has become a reality and better.
Why has it become better?
Because of the kind, friendly people whom I live amongst.
As many of you know, I am the author of the book 'Like Winning the Lottery' and it was an international best seller in Family Humor. Because of my book, I hope to share some good news with you in the next few weeks. Recently we have been approached by Hollywood. They saw my book, and they want to produce a TV series about Island Life and how expats can move to the Philippines to create a new chapter in life (the latter is the 'Twist', and I'll explain in a future post). Right now the details are sketchy and there are no promises. My only hope is that through this TV series, that others can see the quality of life, the beauty and the happiness that comes with Island Life.
(Speaking of quality of life, beauty and happiness, I thought you might want to enjoy this quality video about the island we call home. Enjoy!)
When I talk to the director again, I will ask if what they will need in terms of talent/actors for their series. If you know anyone who has an interest in being on a TV series or starting a new life on an exotic tropical island:
Do you know anyone who loves Gadgets? I mean do you know anyone who loves to get the fanciest new cellphone, or computer, or TV? Then they like to tell you about all the fancy things it can do. Like: 'Mine cellphone can show me where I am when I get lost', or 'My computer automatically says my name when I walk in the room', or 'My TV will slice and dice my food and put it on the table.' Well, maybe that's going to far, but you understand what I mean.
Being on a tropical island, I like to keep things simple:
Well, I have a friend on the island who loves his gadgets. He loves their functions. he loves their technicalities. He loves all their fancy buttons. And... He loves to tell me about each and everyone of them. (Fortunately, he can't see me rolling my eyes as he brags about them).
One morning while Rose and I were having coffee at the beach cafe, our German Gadget Guy excitedly came over to tell us about his new set of high tech laundry machines.
'Rose, Greg... You won't believe me when I tell you, but these new German laundry machines do everything. I mean it knows when I have colors or whites in the machine. It sets the water temperature automatically. It spins my clothes until they are nearly dry. Then I transfer them into the drier where it senses the type of fabric so that it dries them just enough and stops. What's even better is that they have 'electronic muffler bearings' that reduces the amount of electricity I use. So I think it is an extremely good investment on top of being super high tech. You are a person who enjoys leisure. I really think... No, I know you must have one as well. Do you want to get a set as well? I can tell you the supplier and you can get it delivered next week. What do you think? What do you want to do?'
Rose takes a sip of her coffee and politely answers, 'I think we'll stick with our Filipino model'.
'Greg, tell Rose she's being illogical. I just explained that she can have a super, hi-tech gadgety set of laundry machines, and she wants to stick with what you already have. Is she being crazy?'
Rose doesn't answer, because she can see my protective instinct kick in. 'Billy, I agree with Rose. We are going to stick with what we have.'
'Now you're both being crazy! Can you explain why?'
'I don't feel I need to, but I will. Our's is better than yours, and I'll explain why. Ours is Voice Activated - I can say "wash the clothes" and the clothes are washed. The colors are done perfectly, our delicates are done delicately, and are whites are immaculate. Also, I can include the voice activation function of "dry the clothes", and our clothes are solar dried. We also have a folding function too. And finally, our machine is made locally, unlike yours, I don't need to send off to a foreign country and wait for weeks for parts to arrive. Therefore, we think ours is better than your new gadgety machines.'
In a huff, Billy stomps away, 'I don't care how advanced your Filipino washing machine is. I still think mine is better. I'm going to read my owner's manual and then I'm going to prove to you that mine has higher functions. Then you'll see that mine is better... and you're crazy for not wanting one. I'll show you.'
Rose and I both look at each other, smile, take another sip of coffee, and enjoy watching the sun sparkling of the crystal clear waves (while listening to Billy promise to prove us wrong).
Rose then looks at me and asks, 'We have a washing machine that does all that?'
'No,' I smile. 'We have something better. We have our neighbor, Susan.'
Laughing, Rose says, 'When Billy comes back, I'm going to tell him that that our can iron clothes too!'
We both laugh and order another round of coffees.
Island life is awesome, and we appreciate all the benefits that come with it. Yes, our friend does love his gadgets, but we love the people that work with us at our home. Susan does a great job caring for our laundry, and we don't have any reason of trading her in for a fancy, gadgety German set of laundry machines.
I’m sure many of you remember growing up, going to school, coming home and doing homework. As a kid, I really dreaded doing history homework. To me it was just memorizing useless dates and names. Like ‘When was the Declaration of Independence signed?’ or ‘Who was the lady that made the first colonial flag during The Revolution?’. To me it seemed insignificant knowing theses dates and names… unless I was going to be answering a question from Alex Trebek on the gameshow JEOPARDY. I mean, come on. Is knowing a date or a name really that significant? They happened centuries ago, and I know I’m never going to meet them. But…
…If I had homework in science or chemistry, then I was into the homework. Maybe it was because I could see the successful results from my calculations. Seeing the significant results made science and chemistry enjoyable to me. On the contrary, learning names, dates and places in history was insignificant and lost on me, until…
… Until I saw a Steven Segal action movie.
In the movie ‘Under Siege 2’, Steven Segal plays the ‘good guy’ and someone else plays the ‘bad guy’. Nevertheless, the ‘bad guy’ quoted a significant historical phrase. (A phrase that stuck with me). While he was telling his minions about his evil plot, he quoted a famous scientist who stated: ’Chance favors the prepared mind’. Obviously the ‘bad guy’ mentioned the name of the famous scientist, but as I said earlier, remembering a person’s name in history was not my forte. But understanding the quote became very significant to me. What the quote means to me is: ‘If I learn from what others have done in the past, then I will have a better chance at success in the future.’ Success. I like the thought of that. Success is like getting an excited feeling from getting the results from my science and chemistry labs. (I know… it sounds Nerdy).
But how does History, Steven Segal, and a quote from scientist who died nearly two hundred years ago relate to me living on a tropical island paradise. And why is it significant?
… Keep reading.
When I decided I was going to live out my life long dream to move to the Philippines, I had 3 obstacles that were creating a problem:
How was I going to to make my dream turn into reality?
Some of you might be thinking, ‘History homework? Are you serious?’ Yes. Yes, I am. (I borrowed this quote from Phineas. ‘Phineas & Ferb’).
Here is what I mean.
The first thing that I needed in making the move, is something I already had. It’s courage. It takes courage to leave the security of the known, then move to the unknown. I had the courage for my dream.
The second thing I needed was a plan to take the leap. But I had no experience in planning a global leap to another country. Here were my immediate concerns:
This was my problem that I wanted to successfully solve so that I could fulfill my dream of living on a beautiful tropical island paradise. Then I recalled the historical quote from some general who had died centuries ago. ‘Chance favors the prepared mind’. This meant that in order to succeed, I needed to study what others had done in order to make their move successful. I needed to study their story. I needed to study history.
… And with focus and vigor, I studied the history of others. Why? Because learning what they did successfully (and what they did unsuccessfully) would be significant to me in fulfilling my island paradise dream.
So, what were the results to my history homework?
After analyzing my situation and doing my homework, I came up with a reasonable plan that allowed me to:
Was my history homework worth it? I think the you already know the answer… It’s Like Winning the Lottery!
Here’s what I want others to learn from my experience (my history):
Dream Big. Be Brave. Analyze the Situation. Take Appropriate Action. Be Honest to Yourself.
I wish you continued success & happiness while chasing your dreams and achieving your goals.
#islandlife #likewinningthelottery #movingtoisland #movetophilippines #gregpasden #philippines #expatsinphilippines
One of the best things about living in the Philippines, is being removed from the political climate of any given US presidential election. However, we do still have US "news" channels that, for better or for worse, broadcast all the latest political events. The more I watch, the more it becomes apparent that the US "news" channels rarely report any happy stories - only hours of repeated headlines and opinions that lead to heated arguments. It’s as if Chicken Little is crying 'The sky is falling!' and 23 minutes later, someone else says the same thing again. It's enough to make me want to cancel my cable subscription.
This bizarre phenomenon occurs every four years. And every four years people threaten that they will be moving to the Philippines if their candidate doesn't win. I’m not sure why they use this as a threat. Rarely do people threaten to visit the Philippines. In fact, the people coming off the airplane aren’t threatening at all. They are the most excited people you’ll ever meet.
It's my observation that when people are removed from a political season, people tend to spend more time on the happier side of life. Not that politics should be ignored, it’s just that when it starts consuming someone’s entire existence, they end up becoming that person yelling so loud that spittle comes out the sides of his or her mouth. And if you are that person, it’s okay. I think the Filipino Board of Tourism can help. Especially if you’re the one threatening to move to the Philippines if--insert political candidate—wins.
You will be welcome here in the Philippines. The Filipinos and expats are some of the friendliest people I meet, but they’ll be somewhat confused by your political spittle. In fact, I rarely see a Filipino spittle; it’s as rare as seeing the ferry boat or airlines running on time.
Instead what we see here is a slower pace of life. This slower pace of life, combined with an insatiable need to enjoy oneself, makes it easier to see through the foggy lens of a heated political debate. It’s understandable that you need to be heard. Take the Filipino Rooster, the loudest land animal in our neighborhood. You hear them in the morning, howling away across the orchards like they’re contesting a city council race. They need to be heard and acknowledged as well, but even they know when to give it a rest by taking a siesta the rest of the day, coming alive again by late afternoon. Balance seems to be what makes nature tick, and we are wired the same way.
The animals that really have it all figured out are the tarsiers. Rarely a peep out of them during the day.
A tarsier sleeps 14 hours a day in dark hollows close to the ground, and they only go out to urinate or defecate at night. This provides them plenty more time to do what they love… which is more sleeping. It’s an admirable trait. Maybe people should limit their news to what they can gather off their cell phones while urinating and defecating. Just enough time to get the facts because let’s face it, most of these political opinions belong in the crapper anyway.
Soon the election will all come to an end, and we will move on with our lives. Until then, I’ll try to stay on the happier side of life and not obsess about the things I just can’t control. I’ll smile at the teller after learning I can’t withdraw any money from the bank. I’ll buy the port authority workers a buko juice when when the boats and planes show up three hours late. I’ll even try not to gripe at my daughter while watching her take seven hours to unload the dishwasher.
I’ve learned that the quality of my life is directly proportional to how grateful I am. In fact, there is much to be grateful for as long as you are pointed in the right direction. This has not been an easy transformation for me. I’m the person who once mistook a monkey for a burglar. Before I moved here, my natural tendency is to think the sky is falling.
I think moving here is Like Winning The Lottery. For example... today the horizon is full of fluffy clouds, yellow parrots, and a single white egret. Perhaps the news channels should broadcast a little more of this every day, and there might be a little less spittle in the world and a lot more smiles.
Vote your conscience... and enjoy the Happy Photo below :-)
Do you remember having a school Car Wash to raise money when you were a kid? I remember my classmates and me meeting at a gas station early on a Saturday morning with signs asking for people to let us wash their car for a donation to a good cause. It was lots of fun for us teens, however our customers might not have gotten their car washed they way they wanted it. Most likely the teenagers barely washed their car in return for a donation. This is not what I discovered when we found a local Island Car Wash. In fact what we got was quite awesome.
Nestled beneath the white plumeria, Rose and I discovered a local island car wash. We decided to inquire what was included. Rose asked the hard bodied attendant and he informed her that a car wash included:
Diligently, 2 young men went to work. After 45 minutes and 2 glasses of fresh coconut juice, our car was sparkling brightly in the tropical sunshine.
'Magkano?' ('How much do we owe you?')
'35 pesos, Mam' (about US$0.85).
Rose opened her wallet and gave him nearly 5 times that amount. She appreciates value, and she rewards those who do a job well to earn their money.
The young men smiled, shook our hands and waved as we climbed into our shiny ride.
'Watching them wash the car made me hungry. Where do you want to have lunch?' Rose asks.
'I overheard Malcolm saying his chef (Harold) is making fresh tuna sashimi at the beach house today, and he said there will be plenty if we want to join them.'
'You know I love peesh (fish). Stop wasting time. Start this thing up and let's head to Loveland Beach. Anything Chef Harold makes is super delicious.'
... and off we go to enjoy time with good friends and to tell them where they can go to get a quality car wash in Paradise.
Enjoy the Hilarious Adventures of my Move to the Philippines
See More ->> HERE