Jamaican in China…and Beyond!



Can a single, Jamaican, minimalist, vegan, author and nomadpreneur escape the rat race, reinvent his life, live true to himself, find love, happiness, organic food, but more importantly, an apartment with a kitchen, sunshine and a wi-fi connection in China and beyond without paying the ultimate price….the foreigner’s price?

Blog Mission: ” To create an alternative travel narrative to encourage people who can identify with me to break free and see the world fearlessly (and inexpensively)!”

Where is Walt? The photo below shows where I am!



spacer I am on Saipan! (This is actually Tinian!)

The Jamaican has been in:
New York!
Saipan!
jamaican in china logo
China!

Laos!

Singapore!
Kingston!
Virgin Islands!

Pagan!
Macau!
Hong Kong!
Vietnam!
Thailand!

 

Learn MY secret for achieving the freedom to ESCAPE!

 

The Streets of Saipan! (a C.O.V.I.D. Drive Through Saipan Edition)

I filmed a video yesterday to update my previous tour clients about what things are like in lockdown here on Saipan! Check out “The Streets of Saipan!”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULdEtBPaoio

2. Over the years, I’ve filmed a series of popular “Drive Through Saipan” videos (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2A6EAE46C908CD89; the first one now has 20,500 views). I decided to do a C.O.V.I.D. version after sending out an update to my previous tour clients. FYI: C.O.V.I.D. stands for “Car-less, Open, Vacant, Inactive & Desolate!”

3. One of those tour clients, a travel writer named Fran Bryson, reposted my update email to her blog! Fran has some cool posts from her own world travels as well as peeks into her regular life on Flinders Island, “largest of the Furneaux islands, in the treacherous waters of Bass Strait in Southeastern Australia.” Check out Fran’s blog: http://www.franbryson.com

Read Fran’s post of my Saipan Update:
http://www.franbryson.com/travels/lockdown-life-on-sapian-island-northern-marianas-pacific-ocean-by-walt-goodridge/

A Skype interview during my 6 months in China

My buddy, Winston Wu, founder of www.happierabroad.com, suggested I post my archived radio and skype interviews for the Youtube audience. Great idea, Winston!

Several years ago, as part of my 6-month adventure through China and beyond (Beijing, Kunming, Hainan, Laos, Singapore), I found myself in a small hotel room in China, Xishuangbanna, being interviewed via Skype by KY of the KYShow Podcast. We talked about turning passion into profit, the nomadpreneuring lifestyle and much more! It’s one of my favorite interviews from that time! Check it out here as part of the Passion Prophet channel’s “Turn Your Pandemic into Profits” series!

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Everyone has a passion.
Every passion has value.
You CAN make money doing what you love!

Take the Personality Test: http://www.passionprofit.com/itest

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WHO IS WALT?

Who is Walt: http://www.waltgoodridge.com

Media Kit & CV: http://www.passionprofit.com/cgi-bin/new/redirect.pl?LL=mediakit

Amazon Author Profile: http://www.amazon.com/author/waltgoodridge

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1. PandemicProfits-1: https://youtube.com/watch?v=EpsNndvFU-0
2. PandemicProfits-2: https://youtube.com/watch v=yP3WGmKTdsA
3. PandemicProfits-3: https://youtube.com/watch?v=QQSDf8F8Kgg
4. PandemicProfits-4: Radio Interview-When I was in China https://youtube.com/watch?v=sSYfGIl7YvU

It’s MLK Day in the Marianas! Who you gonna call? The Jamaican on Saipan!

1. “Marianas Stories” host, Catherine, had to re-upload the MLK interview video for technical reasons. Please like/love/share/comment again at the new link location! Thanks!

NEW LINK LOCATION ON FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/670humanities/videos/473130970051332/
MLK Day special! Catherine Perry of the Northern Marianas Humanties Council asked me to share a few of my thoughts about civil rights, human rights, my travel experiences, life in America and life in the CNMI from a non-American, Jamaican on Saipan’s perspective on Martin Luther King Jr day in the US and its relevance to life in the CNMI! Watch and share on Facebook:

"Marianas Stories" with Walt Goodridge

"Marianas Stories" on this Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day features Walt Goodridge and a discussion on civil rights in our nation and our community.

Posted by Northern Marianas Humanities Council on Sunday, January 19, 2020

2. Here is the same “Marianas Stories” interview on Youtube for easy sharing

3.I may now have become the de-facto “go to guy” for things MLK!
Here’s ANOTHER MLK Day piece with KSPN-2 TV News reporter, Sally Limes features my thoughts on MLK Day in the Marianas:

p.s.

If you’re curious about news on Saipan in general, here’s the full 30 minute news broadcast for that day:

 

Walt F.J. Goodridge!

 

Living healthy on Saipan? Yes, you can! Saipan Vegans unite!

It’s always been my belief that Saipan has the as yet unmined potential to be one of the healthiest places on Earth! Think about this. We have the cleanest air in the United States. We’ve been documented by the Guinness Book of World Record as having the “most equable temperature in the world,” We’ve got Malunggay growing on every street corner and backyard. There are noni fruit trees growing at tourist sites and all around. During the summer months, the streets are paved with mangoes!  You can consume coconuts year round, enjoy sunshine as much as you desire!  The fact that it is NOT known as such is merely due to a lack of the appropriate marketing of the island’s health-promoting virtues!

Over the years, I’ve had the good fortune to interact with new arrivals on island some of whom have read my Saipan Living Relocation Guide before they made the move to live here. Consequently, I’ve gotten questions about how to maintain a healthy lifestyle if you’re a vegan, vegetarian, raw foodist or generally health-conscious resident.

So, as fate would have it, there’ve been quite a few newcomers who with to eat healthy. So, I put the call out to a few folks on my mailing list, and we all got together over the weekend at Kanoa Resort to share shopping tips, lifestyle advice, online resources and more—creating (or, more accurately, “reviving”) a support group for vegans on Saipan!

Sharing tips and advice
Discussing how to obtain or grow our own organic produce
Saipan Vegans Unite!

So, let this gathering be recognized as the first official meeting of what I call the “Ageless 101” group on Saipan! We discussed a few ideas for future gatherings–food preparation demonstrations, pot luck dinners, reviving the buyer’s group I had started a few years ago and more!

If you’re here on island and wish to be notified of the next meeting, as well as be able to communicate with other members, sign up to the Ageless 101 Googlegroup at https://groups.google.com/d/forum/ageless101

And if you’d like to see my videos on sprouting, making your own sugar-free, fish-free kimchee Walt’s Way,  view my YOUTUBE CHANNEL at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfukX66WE7rozbNTsv_6b_A

Randy receives GoFundMe check

My original plan was to use the contributed funds to get gift certificates for two nights at a hotel so Randy and others in his situation might enjoy a semblance of “normal” living. However, now that incoming airline flights have resumed, the hotels here on Saipan are booked solid. Therefore, I gave Randy the option of a certificate for future use, or cash.

So, today, thanks to your generous contributions I was able to give him a gift of $250! Here’s a quick video of him receiving it and his thanks to those who contributed! Shows you don’t have to be a megacorporation or millionaire philanthropist to help others. There are still hundreds more we can help with contributions of any size to encourage them to stay strong….CNMI strong.

To watch Randy receiving his gift, visit

 

 

 

 

Sands of Time….Yellow Beach Battle of Saipan

At the request of a mainland-based Army Officer, historian and militaria collector one of whose  current projects is collecting sand from historical WWII sites, I collect sand from the historic Battle of Saipan landing beach known as Yellow Beach (San Antonio  Beach). Don’t worry, I’ve gotten the okay from the Division of Coastal Resources Management and Fish & Wildlife that the “no take” policy only applies to Marine Protected Areas and other specific conservation spots.

 

 

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Tourist couple scams local vendors on Saipan, CNMI

In what appears to be a scam conducted on the island of Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the couple in the photos below arrived on Saipan in October, stayed at Coral Ocean Point and then the Hyatt between October 20 and October 23.

During that time, the couple, who went by the name Jim and Yao,  paid for tours, skydiving and scuba diving using what now appears to be several different stolen credit card numbers.  The scam was discovered when, 30 days later, charges made to these cards by local as well as online vendors were disputed as “unauthorized” by the legitimate card holders.

Vendors within the CNMI are cautioned to be wary of such scams, to be mindful to take all security precautions particularly for online sales, and to note these individuals in particular. (Note: in such cases, the charges are reversed–debited from the local vendor account– and the local vendors lose out) .This may indicate the early stages of a pattern of young travelers spending lavishly using stolen credit cards.)

“Jim” presented himself as a young tech entrepreneur along with his girlfriend “Yao” and spent lavishly on accommodations and activities on Saipan.

 

Vendors beware.

 

 

“We cannot chase him away….where will he go?” A Yutu tragedy.

“We cannot chase him away. Where will he go?”
Randy’s Typhoon Yutu Story

It was four days after Typhoon Yutu tore through the islands of Saipan and Tinian, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), and Joeten Supermarket in Susupe, Saipan had just re-opened to the public, and so, it would be the first time I would resume my morning routine of checking the shelves for fruits and vegetables.
I approached the worker dutifully stocking the shelves in the produce department of Joeten Supermarket. His name is Randy Vicente. Originally from Cavite, Philippines, Randy has had only this one employer in his twenty-five years on the island. And, in all the years I’ve lived on Saipan and shopped there, Randy has always been quite friendly, always offering a bubbly “Good morning, Mr. Walt!” offering information on upcoming sales, asking if there was anything he could help with, and making this mundane experience quite pleasant. Today was no different in that regard. However, I could tell something was different. The area around his eyes had the telltale darkness and showed the strain of someone who hadn’t slept in days.
“So, what’s your situation?” I asked him.
“Oh, me? I’m homeless!” he replied, and despite the direness of what he had just said, he delivered it with the same bubbliness and smile as if he were greeting me on a normal day. “My roof is gone, and my apartment is destroyed,” he added.
“So..So, where are you staying?”
“Nowhere,” he replied. “For the past four nights, I’ve been sleeping in the front lobby of World Resort.”

(In this video, I asked Randy if the hotel staff and security gave him a hard time while he was in the lobby. He said no, but he overheard them saying “I cannot chase him away…where will he go?”)

“Did you try sleeping in a shelter?” I suggested.
“What shelter?” he asked.
I had heard from another worker that Saipan Community Church had a shelter. I told Randy about it, and he confirmed that he, too, had heard about it just that same morning, and would be giving it a try that evening after work.
“What about your stuff?” I asked.
“Oh, it’s still there.”
“You mean in the apartment?”
“Yes.”
During the storm, as Yutu’s Category Five winds increased in intensity, Randy realized his apartment would likely not withstand the pounding and so he sought refuge and rode out the storm in the Nauru Building close by. He returned to find his room destroyed.
It saddened me to realize that here he was showing up for work for his 6am to 1pm shift, as he’d done for 25 years, spending precious daylight hours unloading boxes, stocking shelves and helping customers, while his own personal belongings were sitting in a roofless single room with only three and a half walls exposed to the elements, and with nowhere to return to shower and get a good night’s sleep. I thought about the indignity and mental strain of sitting in a hotel lobby hour after hour, night after night, while hotel staff and security guards passed by knowing you weren’t a guest.
The thought also crossed my mind that what was needed was some sort of free storage facility for typhoon victims.
With no tourists arriving these days, many of the hotels are offering a local rate of about $70-$80/night. It’s a small thing, but I’d like to provide Randy–and anyone among the hundreds who are living in tents or in their cars– a few nights in a hotel to regain some semblance of normalcy and dignity, and to replace some of their damaged, water-soaked belongings. Electricity, running hot and cold water, a bathtub, a clean, soft bed, the privacy of a toilet–one that flushes and is not shared by dozens of other individuals–these are a few of the “luxuries” you take for granted, that would make a world of difference for victims of Typhoon Yutu three weeks after the storm, even if it’s only for two nights. Your donations will offer such a gift to Randy, and others, to encourage them to stay strong….CNMI strong. As usual, I’ll film the disbursements so you can see how your contributions are actually impacting real people’s lives. http://www.gofundme.com/cnmistrong

 

Manny receives his GoFundMe check and thanks donors by name

I had the honor of presenting long-time Saipan, CNMI, resident, Manny S. Vitug with a check for $500–a show of support from some of my previous tour clients–to help with the recovery of his business and life after the devastation of  Category 5 Super Typhoon Yutu. Thanks to Ward S., Carl M., Laurie H., Al Z., Dean F., Ronald M., and Stacey Spencer-Willoughby.

 

News of the gift appeared in today’s (Wed Nov 14, 2018) Saipan Tribune, thanks to editor, Jayvee Vallejera: https://www.saipantribune.com/index.php/for-want-of-a-mechanic/

I’m hopeful that the donations will continue so we can help others in need. http://www.gofundme.com/cnmistrong

 

Walt

 

HEARTBREAKING: Manny’s Typhoon Yutu Story pt 1 & 2

HEARTBREAKING: Manny’s Typhoon Yutu Story pt 1– (“For Want of a Mechanic…”)

 

Manny’s Typhoon Yutu Story pt 2– (“For Want of a Mechanic…”)
Manny tells his story part 2:

“FOR WANT OF A MECHANIC…”
How even a small donation to one person can uplift an entire community!

You may recall this proverb:
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

If you’re wondering how your individual contribution–large or small– can help, consider that proverb, and consider this: Over its years in business, an affordable auto repair shop with a generous, empathetic owner can help thousands of individuals stay mobile, keep working, earn a paycheck, support their families and avoid becoming destitute.

For 31 years, Manny Vitug has lived in the CNMI where he has owned and operated a community-focused auto repair shop (ELS Auto) business. He’s been known to undercharge people for his services. Some have had their cars repaired “on credit” and paid him back when they’re back on their feet and able. For some looking to make a purchase of a used car, he’ll often assess a vehicle’s road-worthiness just as a courtesy at no charge.

Now, however, after years of helping people in this way “on credit,” after growing a business on two islands, employing others, securing a nest egg for his retirement as well as a legacy for his children, Manny, in his own greatest time of need, has been told he “doesn’t qualify” for assistance or loans because he doesn’t have this thing the banks call a “credit history.” I want to show Manny that there are other sorts of credit histories–Karmic credit histories, if you will–that can come to his aid.

The success (or failure) of a business can have a domino effect on many others who are not directly connected to it. Manny has employees, tenants, family members and customers whose lives, livelihoods, futures and fates are intimately and intricately connected to his.

Who knows, if you or someone you love ever visits Saipan or Tinian on vacation or to relocate, it might be through Manny’s or his son’s repair work that your tour guide’s vehicle is able to provide a reliable and memorable experience of these beautiful islands.

Yes, it’s all connected…from nail to kingdom.

When it comes to telling the story of Saipan’s recovery after being hit by Super Typhoon Yutu–the strongest typhoon EVER to hit the Marianas, the SECOND strongest to hit the United States (mainland AND territories) EVER, and the THIRD most intense in terms of pressure (EVER), let’s not allow ourselves to write or say:

“For want of a mechanic, the future was lost…”

Please help.

Manny is the first of several individuals I wish to help through the “Be Strong, CNMI Strong” disaster relief campaign.

Listen to Manny tell his story, view scenes of the devastation,
and show your support (and if you can’t support, then please “share”) at http://www.gofundme.com/cnmistrong

Walt F.J. Goodridge
CNMIStrong GoFundMe Campaign Administrator

 

An alternative travel narrative: Pursue Passion! Break Free! Cross boundaries! See the world!