Where’s your savings, man????

Here’s a question I answered in today’s Achievable Freedom Newsletter #5

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Section 3: Freedom to Escape: Saving money???
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WINSTON THE DEBUNKER IN TAIWAN ASKS: Btw, in your interview, you said that when you first started running your own business, you had no savings to depend on. But if you were a civil engineer with a professional salary for 7 years, wouldn’t you have a huge savings account from such a salary? I don’t get it. I’m able to save money even with a small salary, by simply learning to not waste money.

THE SHORT ANSWER:
hahah! Great question. I absolutely believe this is a cultural thing. Living on Saipan, dating Chinese girls, speaking with fellows who also had Chinese girl friends/wives, and also when was writing Chicken Feathers & Garlic Skin: Diary of a Chinese Garment Factory Girl on Saipan, with Chun Yu Wang, I learned of many of the girls who were earning $3.00/hour who had been working on Saipan for years and who had bank account balances of $70,000, $80,000 and more!

At the same time, what I learned when I was involved in network marketing in the US, was that many of the doctors and lawyers and engineers who were striving for success, were in debt up to their ears, paying off car notes and mortgages and living the “American Dream” living from paycheck to paycheck.

That’s why (or, at least one reason why) I’m not impressed by fancy cars, big houses and so-called status. In America, when you see someone “richer” than you, it simply means in most cases, that they’re simply living at a richer level of debt!

Donald Trump declared bankruptcy a few years ago. Sears is going out of business. American Airlines is in Chapter 11. The whole financial system and the society are founded on consumerism and debt.

Now, being the minimalist I am, I don’t consider myself party to the whole immediate gratification, buy-all-you-can mindset. And I was fortunate enough to get a scholarship to Columbia, so I didn’t have any school loans to pay once I graduated. However, I did spend practically every penny in my attempt to grow my business (financing music videos, traveling to music industry conventions, etc.) in an effort to free myself from corporate America.

So, regarding saving money:

1. It’s easier for people to save if they dont’ have a business to bootstrap and finance.

2. When I have it, I tend to give it away to friends/family.

3. I believe the saving esthetic is a cultural thing and is prevalent in other cultures Asian (or specifically, from my experience, Chinese) culture, and of course, in the frugal, simpler societies and lifestyle that my grandmother in Jamaica lived, for example. (Unfortunately, I didn’t pick up that particular talent or gene when I lived with her….:-) )

In other words, things aren’t so clear cut when it comes to saving money for your escape, especially in a consumerist, debt-leveraged society!

To listen to the interview of me that Winston is referring to, visit www.waltgoodridge.com/winterviews.html then find, “KY Show Interview”

Stay strong, my friend

To a dear friend who is experiencing some challenges through the actions of individuals who seem intent on orchestrating her demise:

In the perfect order and balance of this universe, of ours, my friend,  there is absolutely, positively no way that your good deeds, your pure heart, your noble intentions, your generosity, your honesty,  your empathy, and your sincere appreciation of the humanity and value in others can ever be “rewarded” with the success of others who plot your demise.

Every apparent block to your forward progress exists in apparency only because of your forgetting that we live in a friendly, supportive universe, all things work towards your good, and obstructions are deliberately placed in your path to encourage you to stretch and climb ever higher to see above, around and beyond them and make the effort to overcome them in order to assume your rightful, destined place in the unfolding of the divine plan of the planet of which you are an integral player. 

Based on what I know to be true about you, know that you have greater forces at the ready, waiting to lift you past this. Remain above the fray.

Your tormenter is not in your league.

Stay strong.

Your friend, Walt

“It’s like a new genre, sort of like a reality travel guide!”

I’ve sold a lot of books since I began writing in 1992. Several years ago, I computed that I’d sold close to 3/4 of million dollars in books. And while my passion for writing and sharing information has not waned, and while there’s still a thrill about receiving a check in the mail, or that familiar email notification of a sale, the difference is that the sale of the first copy of a new book doesn’t have the same first time feel it once did.

That changed a few days ago when I made my first sale of Jamaican in China: Guess Who’s Coming to Dim Sum on the Nook platform! I couldn’t quite put my finger on why it felt a little different. After all, I’d already done a somewhat similar book with Jamaican on Saipan. I’ve also sold Nook (and Kindle) copies of other books. So, why was this sale any different?

Here’s what a friend of mine said about the book: “It’s like a new genre of ‘reality travel guide!” It’s got adventure, danger, mystery, humor and romance just like those fictional stories set in real destinations, except yours is actually real life, with the photos to prove it, AND I can still learn a lot about the country, too!” 

She added that it showed that the purchaser had a more personal interest in me. She suggested that they didn’t necessarily buy it to learn how to start a business, or launch a website, or to learn something for their benefit, but to learn about me, as an individual.

That was really cool! If true, I guess it might explain in part why that first sale felt a little different. I agree that there’s more of me in this book than any previous. I’ve taken more chances and revealed more about who I think I am. However, I’m still not quite sure if that’s the reason, but something about having my blog adventures occupying someone’s Nook e-reader felt a little different.  What’s your opinion? Why would this sale be any different from those before? In any event, it’s reason to celebrate. Break open the sparkling apple cider, and time for lunch, perhaps, at my favorite vegetarian spot here in New York! See you later!

Why do I go abroad? To create a world without borders

Here’s the conclusion of Jamaican in China: Guess Who’s Coming to Dim Sum, inspired by GoAbroad.com’s “Why Do I go Abroad?” Contest:
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Well, that’s my story! And I’m sticking to it! I really had an absolutely, positively, wonderful and life-changing time being Jamaican in China, Singapore and Laos, and I hope you enjoyed reading about it.

In addition, I hope you got something much more from Jamaican in China than just an entertaining read. I hope it expanded your awareness and consciousness in some small way. Wherever in this world you may call “home,” (even if you already live in China), I hope it gave you a little peek into a reality that you might not have otherwise been aware of. I hope it showed you people, places and possibilities in a way that affects how you see yourself, your world, and your place, role and identity within it. I hope you can see a little bit higher above and a little bit further beyond the misconceptions and fears that often flavor our perception of “others” and those we consider “not like us.” The fact is, we are and have been manipulated to live in such fear.

It seems an unavoidable outcome of this manipulation, and the fractionalized, brainwashed society that we live in as a result, that people are taught to, and thus become inclined to identify and separate themselves according to arbitrary and meaningless national, ethnic, racial and religious lines. We are taught to fear these supposed differences and thus we perceive “others” who are “not like us” as threats to our individual and/or collective identity, control, autonomy and survival. This fear leads to a false sense of elitism, then to bias, prejudice, preferential treatment, discrimination, and attacks of psychological, verbal and even physical nature.

This is all a construct. It is not natural. We are not wired to fear, attack and ostracize others because of these differences. This is all learned behavior. If you don’t believe me, then simply watch young children–before they’ve been brainwashed–playing with each other in harmony if you wish to observe the instinctive, communal, inclusive, welcoming “wiring” that we are born with. Yes, something has been taken from us.

As the Occupy Movement in the states, as well as on-going protests worldwide reveal, people are ready for a change of the existing paradigm of manipulation, fear and the strategy of divide, conquer and exploit. People are agitating for change. They want to take that thing back– that thing that has been taken from our natural wiring. It can be done. It is being done!

The internet and our technological age makes possible the reality of life without borders and other arbitrary lines that separate humanity. It can be used to encourage the sort of boundary-breaking, limitless, expansive and inclusive thought and action that will unite and free us. Jamaican in China is just one of many real-life adventures which offer alternative ways to be, think and act in the pursuit of such freedom.

Now, it may be presumptuous or naive of me to hope and believe that my little nomad adventure, and a relatively obscure book about it all can somehow contribute to the massive paradigm shift in consciousness for which the world yearns, and for which it now seems poised. However, I’ll share with you a thought that caught my eye some time ago. It’s a truth with which I resonate profoundly, and it represents an ideal to which my life (and thus this 6 month chronicle of my life) is a testament.


“To create a just, sustainable world, nothing is more important than being able to think and act across borders. Whether our passion is protecting the biosphere or preventing war, we will succeed only if we have the passion and courage to cross the national, ideological, ethnic, and religious borders of our time.”
–Mark Gerzon, author of Leaders without Borders.

These borders are all arbitrary lines. They do not exist in reality. They are all learned and superimposed upon the now fragmented minds and thinking of individuals who should instead be thinking and acting as a global community on a single planet.

In my naiveté, I believe that Jamaican in China has the power to plant the seed of a thought about “others” who are “not like us” that says “Perhaps things are not as I’ve been led to believe. Perhaps these people are not my enemies. How do I know? Well, there’s this Jamaican guy who went all the way to China, and let me tell you what he experienced….!”

And with the single click of button or a tweet of technology, you can use this book to change someone else’s perspective as well. It only takes one.

There’s more of a global ideological shift going on than we may realize.The “social networking” paradigm which has existed for millennia has now been dramatically enhanced by the Internet. It has changed everything. Videos go viral, protests proliferate, movements gain momentum, and individuals are impacted in meaningful ways by a “tweet” or a “like” or a “friend” an upload, or by a single post in a forum often by a single individual on a single gadget, Nook, Kindle or keyboard. Yes, my friend, keystrokes and a click can change the world!

It is from this place of sincere respect for the power of communication in general, enhanced by the potential of the internet in particular, that I travel abroad, write, blog and “share what I know so that others may grow.” I hope you will fulfill my humble request to use my adventure to communicate some new possibilities to at least one other person somewhere else across the arbitrary, imaginary (and slowly dissolving) lines that seek to divide us.

If you are reading this on a Nook, Kindle, iPad or any e-reader, you have the ability in most cases to share this book electronically with others. I encourage you to do so. Feel free! Please share a link or a like or a tweet with someone in your world, and thanks for being part of my adventure!

To share my borderless world, order and download Jamaican in China: GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DIM SUM in Kindle, Nook and pdf ebook formats CLICK HERE

2018 addendum: Also, please visit and subscribe to the Jamaican in China Youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/JamaicaninChina

Happy new year from the Jamaican in China! Disaster, anyone?

Okay. You know I’ve been busy converting a few of my books to Kindle and Nook formats. Well, I’ve finally finished all the conversions I’ll do for now, and will next focus on marketing them. Meanwhile, however, I’ll give you an update.

First of all, I’m still in New York city. It’s cold, but not oppressively so, thanks to global warming! In creating the Kindle/Nook edition of Jamaican in China: Guess Who’s Coming to Dim Sum, I had a chance to review and reminisce about my entire 2011 trip to China. Those were some good times. I see a return trip in the stars for 2012! So, stay tuned.

So, what’s life like in New York? Well, hmmm. Let’s see. What can I show you that gives the best synopsis of things here in the Big Apple? I know! Check this out. Here’s a sign, a huge sign right off the highway near the apartment I’m currently staying. I think it adequately reflects the mood here.


Nothing like a focus on fear and catastrophe to get the new year rolling off to a good start…. and then off a cliff!