As we get closer to the one year mark for our pandemic-restricted lifestyle, there are at least a few plusses. I’ve made some limited progress in learning to play the Chapman Stick, I’ve become quite proficient at baking bread, and this week I just published my third book in eight months.

Living Abroad: Challenging the Myths of Expat Life is available now on Amazon in a B&W print versions (hardcover and paperback) as well as a full-color ebook (there are about 24 pictures and charts). The Kindle version is a free read for Kindle Unlimited members. This time I went with professional editing and cover design services from Elite Authors. I’m glad I did, as their design (above) looks great. I also benefitted from having two editors go over the work.

Not only did the editors help with style and correcting grammar/spelling errors, it was quite a boost to my confidence to see their comments on the book itself.

One editor, Elizabeth P. wrote in her critique:

“Living Abroad is a useful, honest, laugh-out-loud funny guide for anyone who’s considering a move from the United States to a new country. Your years of experience both as an expat and as a writer make for a book that is truthful, realistic, funny, and sensitive. Even though I’m not currently planning to move overseas (although now I’d seriously consider it!), I found your work truly a pleasure to read.”

Another editor added comments throughout the manuscript like “brilliant!’, “this is hilarious”, “excellent point”, and so on. I don’t know if that is standard editing practice, but I’ll take what I can get.

As Elizabeth says, this is a light-hearted look at expat life, but it does treat the topic seriously. It is not a how-to book, or even a why-to. Instead I wanted to give an honest accounting of what living in Ecuador and visiting other foreign countries has been like for Rita and me.

To do this, I took some of the most prevalent myths, bromides, and questions about life abroad that I have come across answering emails from wanna be expats, and talking with folks at half a dozen conferences around the US and in Ecuador.

Each chapter is devoted to one topic, separating the true from the not-so-true and bringing up often overlooked points. This is done mostly through real-life examples from our experiences and people we have encountered.

This morning I woke up to see this exciting banner on the Amazon page below:

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“#1 New Release in South American Travel”! How exciting!

Until of course I realize it was probably the only new release in South American Travel. A cheap ego trip, but mine own.

I have to give a shout-out to International Living and publisher Jackie Flynn. Although most of the book is new material, some of it is drawn from my submissions that were edited and published in the magazine, Postcards, and various other publications and web sites. IL graciously allowed me to use that material even though they hold all rights to reprints. Even more, knowing that it would sometimes be critical of some aspects of international retirement and travel, they still agreed to relinquish all editorial control over the book. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.

As COVID-19 slowly releases us and travel resumes, I hope that more and more people will find this book useful and entertaining. There’s a link from Amazon to purchase or for a free preview below. If you do buy a copy, please leave a review – any feedback at all is welcome.