IL’s Morning Recess #5 – Bagpipes and Beaches

Welcome to the latest edition of International Living’s Morning Recess, where we talk about what it’s like to live, work, play, and retire around the world…or as it happens, right now, in solitary confinement in your own home.

In today’s episode, Dan discusses live video, assembling a homemade set of bagpipes, and how the internet changed everything for people living abroad.

It’s called Morning Recess, but join us anytime for the latest updates from Dan’s personal perspective, whether he and Suzan are out on the road, at home in their most recent overseas home town, or back in the U.S. visiting family and friends and playing with their granddaughter.

Sit back, chill out, grab some coffee, and welcome to IL’s Morning Recess!

Episode 5 Transcript

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, good night, wherever you happen to be in the world right now, I’m Dan Prescher with this edition of International Living‘s Morning Recess, where we talk about what it’s like to live, work, play, and retire around the world…or as it happens, right now, in solitary confinement in your own home.

The thing that impresses me right now, through this coronavirus lockdown is the way people are cooperating and working together, even if they can’t physically be together.

We all know that the internet changed everything….and especially for anyone living abroad…when it became possible to talk to family and friends back home, and for free, using Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp, and all the other wifi-enabled communication solutions out there now. Not too long ago, you’d be feeling pretty isolated from your loved ones if you could only get letters from them and chat every week or two on an expensive long-distance phone line. Those days are over.

We’ve been keeping up with our family and friends for a few years now via live video. And suddenly, half the world is keeping up with the important people in their lives the same way.

And doing their banking and business. And paying their bills. And ordering groceries. And doing their jobs, in many cases. And when life gets back to normal, normal is going to include a lot more people continuing to take advantage of this remarkable technology.

This blows my mind because, look at me, I’m a geezer.  But nearly half the people in the world nowadays grew up with this, have never been without it, don’t know anything else. Time marches on.

When things do get back to normal…whatever normal turns out to be…where you physically live on the planet will still be an important thing, and something you can still take charge of. If you have to maintain social distance at some point down the line, you could be doing it on a beach that you may have all to yourself anyway. The world is full of just such beaches, and it can cost less to live near one of them than where you’re living right now.

Used to be only a very small percentage of people were even aware of the option of living, working, or retiring abroad, and even fewer of them actually did it, but as I said, the internet has changed everything. You’re online right now…in a few seconds with a few keystrokes, you can be watching or talking to someone in real-time nearly anywhere on the planet, including the dozens of places with great year-round weather and great scenery, that are affordable and interesting places to live and retire.

Thanks to the internet you can discover all these places in a matter of minutes with some key taps and mouse clicks.

There is, of course, a lot of just plain crap out there on the internet. But sometimes…no matter what you might be looking for…you run into something that you wonder how you lived without…something that engages all your faculties and interests. And today I was lucky enough to find just such a thing…instructions for making a set of bagpipes out of a garbage bag and some tin whistles or recorders or song flutes, whatever you have around.

Having a worthwhile project to keep your hands and mind occupied is essential, and I can’t wait to get started on this. I know that my wife will support me in this endeavor, and if not, well…I won’t be showing it off to you next time, because a happy home life is built on compromise, and she pretty much controls the food supply.

In any case, I have to get busy here. Bagpipe materials to assemble, guitar strings to change, and that last season of Peaky Blinders is not going to watch itself. So until next time, stay calm, breathe deep, be kind, always maintain situational awareness, and I’ll see you later.

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