What a crazy trip to Korea. So much jammed packed in I haven’t had time to share any proper photos, videos, stories. Will have to do it from the US. But in 16 days I interviewed several old friends and acquaintances for Rootabaga, I met up with tons of old friends, hung out with an actress, a model (impressed yet? 😎), an old rock star I was a fan of in the 90s, ate amazing meals, drank more than I should have and saw remote places I’d never been. Can’t wait to share more soon…
When you’re tracking down interesting expats you get to stay in some awesome homes. Case in point, my old friend and colleague John Jackson’s photography and book-filled home in a farming village outside Gwangju, South Korea.
No podcast episodes planned from Cambodia but it is a stop along the way – and I did run into an old colleague who, like myself and a couple of upcoming Rootabaga guests, hails from Alabama. He’s a long-term expat – a small-town Alabama lawyer who ended up teaching in Asia and eastern Europe and resides part of the year in Cambodia with his wife. Had a few too many Angkor beers and forgot to take a photo together but did manage to take a few shots of Phnom Penh the last few days.
Just a couple of hours after our post yesterday kind of semi-officially announcing the no-turning-back point for the Rootabaga podcast, fate would have it that an absolute internet legend (in at least one very wide international circle) gave an enthusiastic “yes” to my invitation to be a guest. Can’t tell you how stoked I am. He’s a great guy and his “idea” has helped thousands, probably tens of thousands of people, since the very very early days of the internet. As probably one of the very first and most successful digital nomads ever, he’s been a huge inspiration to me and even this podcast. I’m not going to give away more just yet but at least half of you will know who it is and I find it amazing that he has not been the subject of a podcast if not documentary. If you guess who it is, don’t say. If you recognize that this is about you, thanks again and can’t wait to meet you in person in Los Angeles this spring! (and don’t accept any other invites before that!) 😎
This post is a week after the fact but it really just sunk in today when I got an email from HR confirming my resignation on January 8 from a very comfy salary (at a soul-sucking job) and overinflated job title (assistant vice president/research division at an investment bank!!??) to pursue one crazy idea – a podcast about a bunch of expats who pursued their own crazy dreams to start unusual careers in foreign countries.
I could just wait till the whole thing is finished and drop ten episodes on the world all at once but I thought it would be much more fun to share the whole experience as I ramble and tumble through it. So it starts here.
Shout-out: I would not be to this point at all without the encouragement and ideas of two amazing people that this page won’t let me tag (??) – Murashka at Thumb it up / Hitchhiking around the world , who was with me when the idea sprouted and was an inspiration, sounding board and motivator in the early days and Wendy, whom I’ve known since middle or elementary school and who has not only been a sounding board and motivator but also become a creative and technical contributor and full time partner in the whole damn crazy thing. Thanks y’all!
If you’re interested in this project please follow here or head over to our Facebook page to see the podcast in the making.
One of the best things about working on this podcast (coming soon) is that it is taking me to some of the coolest places in the world. A week in Seoul in October kicked things off and five days in Tokyo last week was epic. Two interviews in the bag. One with my former bandmate in We Need Surgery who not only runs an English/guitar school on the outskirts of Tokyo but who also has his own line of Tokyo hipster e-cigarette liquids…
And then it was off to Omotesando to see professor, poet, PhD, pal Jordan Smith who, well, does all those things right before his name.
Sounds are in the works.. and future trips include the US, Sweden, Canada, (maybe Nepal) and who knows where.. stay tuned.
Update April 5, 2018: About to leave California after interviewing Dave Sperling of Dave’s ESL Cafe (.com) fame, Paul Johnson, the bassist from my old band We need Surgery and Elaine Chou, a Taiwanese hypnotherapist plying her trade in China via Skype from Los Angeles! A couple of weeks of intense editing with my fearless partner Wendy in Atlanta and we should have some episodes for you. Stay tuned for teasers and other content till then!
Update Feb, 2018: No episodes of Rootabaga are ready just yet but we still want to share our journey with you as I travel the globe to collect interviews and get ready for launch. It will take some time but the adventure is a blast so far and we’re confident the end product will be worth sticking around for. Until the final interview episodes are ready please do stay tuned for some teaser episodes, photos and blogposts about the journey.
Rootabaga is a podcast in production. Join me as I travel the globe to bring you interviews with some of the amazing expats I’ve been lucky to meet in my 23 years as an English teacher, drummer and financial editor in Asia and Canada. You’ll hear from two fellow Alabama boys who decided to show a country famed worldwide for its own barbecue how to do BBQ southern style. If I can track her down – you may find out why one vivacious young Ukrainian has chosen to live her life out of a backpack for almost three years now as she hitchhikes from Eastern Europe to who knows where. Then there’s my dear Korean friend who also happens to be a political dissident and spiritual guru who lives off the grid in Hawaii, South America and a remote mountain cabin near the North Korean border. In short, people like me who couldn’t resist the urge to put down roots in a place far away from home.