Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Looks like we are moving to a new place, in a week!

Well, my friends, it's about to happen again and for the very few of you who follows me, Twitter knows all about it already and has done so for the past two weeks or so. For the rest of you who doesn't follow me on Twitter, the big news is that we have a short while back signed a lease contract for a new place. We are packing our stuff, moving out of our penthouse and into “our own” house next week. Just to have it said, there hasn't been any drama or anything, because we are on great terms with the current landlord and everything. We even love our current apartment, but with the latest changes in our household situation, we do need more living space and especially more bedrooms.

If I am going to be completely honest here than I have to say that I won't be going into super details about the changes that have happened to our household here in Peru, but you can check out the blog post (This is a family that really needs your help right now!) to get an insight on the situation. Just to have it said, we have opened our home to the family who I refer to in that blog post. Not sure how long this will be a thing, but that doesn't really matter anyway as I see it. So you can say in many ways that our household has grown with two new members and it's natural that we go looking for a new and bigger living space as we found in this house we now are moving to next week.

If you want to have a look at our new place you can do so if you go to my Twitter account because I have published a short video showing it how it looked like at the time of signing the lease. You just need to dig the video out since I am not sure how to link to specific tweets in my blog posts just yet! I might find it out while I am writing this post. I look at it this way, as the last step or move before we build our own house since its hard to get this done while the COVID-19 pandemic is still running around here in Peru. Anyway, I am super excited about moving to our new place, I will miss my current office and its location, but where we are moving is more central in the city.

The good part is that we won't need to do that much ourself since we have hired a moving company to do all the heavy lifting. For me its more like packing everything here in this office and pack everything up in my new office space, plus have my internet connection moved from location to location. I might get a day off from work if our internet provider is unable to get things done on the day we move. That is the part I am the most worried about, that there will be a delay in the service and because of that, I lose one day of work over it. If the worst thinkable scenario happens I will spend the day with my family and explore our new neighbourhood. That could be exciting too since I love to explore.

Well, I guess its time for me to wrap this post up and get it ready for my blog. I just wanted to update you guys on whats going on in my life these days and it is kind of a big event. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my post and if you did, why not check me out on social media? You can find me on Twitter (Jack H White), on Facebook (Beyond the Horizon) and (Jack H white Sr), on Youtube (Beyond the Horizon 2.0) and on Instagram (Beyond our Horizon). You can also support my work through donating a cup of coffee our two with Ko-fi (Jack White Sr), but only if you feel like it. No pressure from my part at all, it's just an option. What's important for me is that you enjoy my content, everything else comes as a bonus!

Friday, 31 July 2020

Looking back on month of July, has been really busy!

Well, my lovely friends, it does seem like we have gotten to that time of the month again where I sit down and spend some time together with you guys looking back on the month that has passed and at the same time share some thoughts on what has been and what is ahead for us or me in this case! This is something that won't be any different this time around either. My thought on this is why change something that has become somewhat of a tradition for my blog and its a good way to wrap a blog month up as well, that's the idea anyway. So when I am now looking back on July my initial reaction is that it has been a really good month more or less on all fronts. I would say especially when it comes to my offline life. Work has been amazing, at times way too much.

Then again when it comes to my blog and its content, there isn't really much to brag about. At least when it comes to creating new content for it. I have only managed to write and publish one post (This family really needs your help right now!), that is if you do not count this one of course. Not really been in a place where focusing on articles has been an easy thing to do. On the flip side of this, there has been some really good growth and increase of traffic to my blog, this is a good thing. I know this might not seem much for you guys but it has gone from 1037 clicks in June to 1522 in July. These are amazing numbers for me and a big chunk of the traffic has come from Israel and Hong Kong.

I would say that July has been really bad content-wise, but really good all-round when it comes to traffic, both on my blog and on social media (especially on Twitter). I have no idea why there has been such a spike in traffic to my blog, but not going to complain about it either. I'll try to explain it with that I am at least doing something right? The good part is that the Twitter trend from June has continued into July as well. At the beginning of this month, I had 160 followers and at the end of it, I am now standing at 342, a little bit short of my initial goal of 400. Guess I was a bit ambitious. What is even better is the fact that my account has survived, something I guess has to do with me toning down politics.

At the same time, I have completely failed my Facebook pages and my YouTube channel big time. Not being able to follow up with posts and videos on any of them. As said, I have had a very busy month and the energy hasn't really been there for me at all. So this is something that I have to try to focus more on in the future since my Facebook pages are now losing followers, but my YouTube channel has grown a bit, from 24 subscribers to 26. With this said, it does seem like I am starting with the what is ahead part now and once again I do have big plans for the month ahead. Especially when it comes to my blog and my YouTube channel. There is also some other big news waiting in the future.

Maybe I should uncover the big news first, we are actually in the process of moving to a new place, again. This time it is to a house we are going to rent. We are moving from the penthouse to a house around the end of the first week of August. This is something we are looking forward too because if there is one thing we have been missing while living at this apartment complex it is privacy and since we are more people living under the same roof, we do need more space. The thing is that the family from the blog post (This is a family that reallydo need your help now!) are now living with us. Its the least we could do in a situation like this and that means we need more space.

When it comes to my blog, I do have a few ideas for future posts. Some that never got done this month and some of them are brand new. There is a few that I really do need to get up on my blog, to be honest. As it looks right now there will be or I hope to get at least 5 posts up on my blog by the end of August if I can. When it comes to Twitter my new goal is now 600 followers by the end of the month, but it would be amazing if I manage to push 1000 (not that I think that will happen). For me, it's important to grow my following and that way increase the reach my blog has. When that is said, that's why it's so important that I focus more on my Facebook pages as well.

I know it might be silly to have goals like this since it's pretty much out of your control, but for me, it's a way to stay focused on things. It hasn't worked for my blog, but it has done so for Twitter. Anyway, one amazing month has now ended and a new one stands at the gate ready to get started. I do have the feeling that August will be the best month in a long time. We are moving to a new place. I am going to try to get started on my YouTube channel and I am kinda in the works with some new projects as well. Not sure when these are going live, but it will happen before the end of December or that's the plan anyway. So how has July been treating you? Had a good month?

Well, I guess its time for me to wrap this post up and get it to read for my blog. It has gotten way longer than I had plans for when I got started working on it. For some odd reason, this always happens to me. It's weird in many ways. Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed my post and if you did, why not check me out on social media? You can find me on Twitter (Jack White Sr), on Facebook (Beyond the Horizon) and (Jack White Sr), on Instagram (Beyond ourHorizon) and on YouTube (Beyond the Horizon 2.0) At the same time you can support my work through donating a cup of coffee through Ko-fi (Jack White Sr). You do not need to donate, would appreciate it if you just shared my posts and thing like that!


Sunday, 12 July 2020

This is a family that really do need your help now!

The thing about me is and everyone who knows me personally can verify that I am not a type of guy that asks anyone for help, not even at the worst of times and there have been plenty of those through the years I can promise you. At the same time, I do struggle with the role as a bystander or a spectator when someone else is going through a rough patch, as I like to call it. Its no difference in this case and now its more personal too since I know the ones that are going through this hard time. I am not writing this to boost my own ego or brag about myself, but I have a genuine wish to help this family to get out of the situation that they have landed in, anyway I can and that's why I am writing this blogpost because they need this help!

The case is that this is a family of immigrants (mom and son) who came from Venezuela to Peru a couple of years ago. I guess most people out there know about the situation in their home country at this point. Please, do not ask me about the dad, because when it comes to this part of the story I have no clue what happened or about the situation itself. The reality of this situation is that a couple of months back the kid (Andres, age 10) fell sick and was rushed to the hospital here in Huaral and later to the children hospital in Lima for tests and treatment. At a later time, he got diagnosed with the Kawasaki disease. A horrible disease that in many cases has had fatal outcomes, luckily not this time around.

Because of their situation and not having all the paperwork in order they weren't able to take advantage of the free public healthcare system here in Peru and ended up with a hospital bill of 4500 dollars or 16100 soles. This is a massive amount of money for anyone living of a normal salary here in Peru, a whole year worth if you live on minimum wage as the mom has done up until becoming unemployed thanks to the COVID-19 situation. You can read more about his case in this article (10-year-old kid suffering from Kawasaki disease) if you understand Spanish or just use Google translate. For the family, this has been an extremely expensive experience and that's why I am turning to my blog and Twitter to see if there is anyone who can help out by donating or sharing this information on social media.

To make this clear, if you're not in a financial situation to donate I am not going to force you, but if that is the case it would help a great deal if you just helped out by sharing this blog post and information. At the same time, if you have a couple of dollars to spare you can help through (GoFundMe for Andres) and every cent makes a big difference in this case. Yes, I and my fiance are doing our part, that's also why I am dedicating my blog, social media and a couple of days of income to this kid. When that is said, anyone who donates over 50 dollars will get a personal thank you from the main character himself when he is home safe. This is my idea and I will make sure this becomes a reality when he is ready for it.

The thing is that this kid (Andres) is one of my sons best friends, school mate and partner in crime. He is one of the most amazing kids I have ever met in my life. So polite, soft-spoken and well behaved. Never ever said anything bad in my presence and always a joy to have. He and my son are now living more or less on WhatsApp talking to each other. So you can say that for me personally, it has been a hard pill to swallow that he has been sick and that he might not come back to Huaral. Thank god he fought his way through this battle and won, but now we have this issue of the hospital bill that has to be paid, 4500 dollars. They have so far received 500+ dollars in donation, but that's only 12% or so of the total amount owed.

So if you have a couple of dollars or so laying around that you don't need I hope you find it in your heart to help this family out. I know it will or would be greatly appreciated, anything is a blessing and no amount is to small in this situation. If I am going, to be honest here, before this kid got sick I didn't even know about this Kawasaki disease so at first I didn't understand what my fiance was talking about, until I Googled it. Anyway, I am not going to ramble on much longer. Just wanted to ask you guys to help and make a huge difference in the life of a small family here in Peru. I fully understand it if you choose not to donate, but I do hope you share this post so it might hit someone in the position to help, thank you so very much if you do so!

P.S: If you follow this link (Kawasaki disease) you can read more about the disease he has been fighting for his life against.

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Looking back on month of June, had a busy month

Well, my lovely friends, we have now gotten to that time of the month again where I sit down and spend some time together with you guys looking back on the month that has passed and at the same time sharing some thoughts on what has been and what's ahead for us or me in this case. I wouldn't really want to change something that has become a tradition here on my blog and I am that type of guy who loves these new beginnings events as you know. Anyway, when I am looking back on June I have to say that it has been a really great one. Not the most productive month for my blog, but at the same time, I have gotten a lot done in other areas!

As a pure blog month, I have to say it has been a bad one since I only published three including this one. These are (Day 95 in quarantine, we are planning our future) and (I do love my new life and expat lifestyle here in Peru). The thing is that I had plans for so many more, but I just couldn't get around to do most of them, for many reasons to be honest. At least I hope they are good enough to make up for those who never became a reality this time around and they got decent traffic, that has to be said. On the other hand, I will do my best to make up for this during this month. That said and when I am looking on my situation on social media I have to say it has happened to me again.

Yes, I am talking about Twitter and their tradition of suspending my accounts for some weird reason. This month wasn't any different, to be honest. In total, this is the fifth time this has happened to me and the third time since I opened my blog, but I am not a guy that is easily defeated. So I have opened a new account (Jack H White) and continued where I left off at my old one, but at the same time overreaching my original goal for Twitter that month even though I lost all my original following! My original goal was 150 followers by the end of the month but I got suspended halfway through. Well from the middle of the month and to the end of it I gained the lost following and ended up at 160 followers.

While I am talking about social media, have to say that I have been a bad boy when it comes to Facebook. I have totally “ignored” Facebook because I have completely forgotten both my Facebook pages (Beyond the Horizon) and (Jack White Sr), even forgetting my own personal account (Jack White). Yes, you can add me on Facebook if you wish to, could be fun to interact more personal with my readers. When it comes to Instagram (Beyond our Horizon) I have done better, but I do seem to have a problem gathering a sizable following there. It's hovering between 190 and 200, has done so for the past year or so. To be honest, I am just posting to update my friends and family, have no idea what I am doing there.

I have also failed greatly when it comes to my YouTube channel (Beyond the Horizon 2.0). Not that I haven't uploaded videos, but most previous attempts on vlogs and such, but I have gained some subscribers. Standing at 24 subscribes as of writing this post. The thing is that my “camera” is kinda failing me and that makes things a bit difficult to record new videos at the moment. When this is said and looking forward, I have to say that for July I have some big plans and especially for my blog. I will be returning to my usual or normal content, but I will have a couple of COVID-19 related blog posts throughout this month. When it comes to my social media?

I have to say that my main focus will be on Twitter and to grow my audience there. This month I want to reach 400 followers, that's an increase of 240 followers throughout July if I will get there is another question, but at the same time I did manage to gain 160 followers in less than two weeks back in June! All I need to do to keep my new account safe is to focus less on politics and more on expat related ones because Twitter can be toxic at times and I think its politics that has gotten my previous accounts suspended in the past. Not going to happen this time around. So I need to become more careful in the future when approaching topics that might stir up reactions.

When it comes to my blog, this month I want to focus on the more typical top 5 content, write about my experience living as an expat in Canada and at the same time show more of my expat hometown kinda thing since things are opening up more these days. I might even return to the topic of Norway and my hometown Kristiansund. I am thinking about writing about my life back home, in a way to start to actually introduce myself to you, my readers! At the same time, I will do a try to return to work on my YouTube channel (Beyond the Horizon 2.0). I need to see if I can be able to record at least some videos for you guys.

At the same time, I am working on and laying the groundwork for a website. Yes, a proper website dedicated to travel and expat topics. It won't be a blog-style type of things, but more help and a guide type of thing. Not gotten around for the domain yet. Not sure if this will be something that will be ready by the end of the month either. In the same breath, I am also working on a fishing blog or website with an online store. Fishing is maybe my oldest passion and I wish to dedicate more time on this. Actually, I did publish a post about this (Something I have been missing while livingin Peru), but this will have a more business aspect of it. I am looking for partners for products and stuff like that.

I do know that I might come off as overly ambitious with my plans for this month, but some of them will stretch over several months, like my expat website and fishing project. There are also plans for a fishing channel on YouTube (Fishing with Jack) where I focus on taking you guys on fishing adventures. For this, I need to get my hands on some semi-good fishing gear and a decent camera, like a GoPro or something. When I look at it from a distance, it does look as I am about to chew over more than I can swallow if all of this comes through. All one really can do is try and see how it goes.

Well, I guess its time for me to wrap this blog post up and get it ready for my blog. As usual, I didn't intend for it gets as long as it did, things just kinda snowballed on me as I went along. The mistake I make every time is that I don't have a clear map of what I am going to write, just the topic and the headline and that's why things kinda get out of hands some times. Like it did this time around, but at least I got to talk about what has been and shared some thoughts on the future. That's not a bad thing, just that I have so many ideas and those keep growing with time in many ways. You can say that I have too many thoughts flying around at the same time. Anyway, I hope you did enjoy my post?

Sunday, 28 June 2020

I do love my new life and lifestyle here in Peru

I am now sitting here by my desk in my office with a lovely cup of coffee while looking back at one (so far) amazing expat adventure here in Peru. I have to say that it's kinda crazy to think about the fact that its now four years since last time I was back home in Norway. Time seems to fly away when you are enjoying yourself, but this is not what the blog post is about. The thing is that I wish to spend some time on a series of questions I get from people and especially on social media when they find out about my chosen lifestyle. Some of them usually draw the conclusion that I am either running or hiding from something. Yes, some people don't understand how this Interpol thing works!

I am not going to dwell much on these muppets since the questions usually come to the surface during a heated debate on Twitter. Just to have it mentioned, if you are applying for anything else but an extended tourist visa you have to go through an entire process with interviews and all at the Interpol. During this process, they will look through your past with everything they got and if they do find anything at all, you will be denied a more permanent visa. The thing about me is that I have a situation with either of them, not a criminal record or an outstanding warrant. You can say I have lived a peaceful and low key life. Do not have as much as a parking ticket, to be honest.

So the reality of my situation is that I have no need to neither hide nor run from anyone or anything since I have been a law-abiding citizen all my life. For me, it has been more about the love and fascination for Peru, the Peruvian culture and its people. The truth is that I am that geek who already on his fist visit kinda made up my mind that at one point in time I would settle down here in Peru with my family. The two biggest magnets for me has been my family and culture, that's for sure. Now almost four years later it feels like I have really adapted well to the low pace type of lifestyle that's being lived here. My lovely fiance constantly tells me that I have become to Latino, for some reason.

The thing is that I am unable to imagine living anywhere else, and why should I? My life here is really good. I wake up in the “morning” take my wake up shower, goes to my office and ease myself into the new day with a cup of coffee and some YouTube videos. The good thing since I am self-employed is that I do things in my own speed and usually it takes me an hour or two to get to the point of starting to work. Its pretty simple, I do live my dream life and wouldn't have it any other way. I know, it's not for everyone, but for me it's perfect and if I need something at the store I just go out jump in a moto-taxi and that's it. No stress and just a slow-paced lifestyle, but it did take me a while to get used to it.

The best thing about everything is that I have never felt so relaxed and at peace with myself as I do right now. That's a big change from my life back home in Norway where it was stress from the moment I woke up until the moment I went to bed and more often than not I struggled to fall asleep. This is a problem that is gone now, most likely thanks to the low pace do as I wish kins of lifestyle that I am living right now. My new life here in Peru do make me feel blessed and having my family around me 24/7 is what makes my life feel as “perfect” is it does. Yes, I am that typical and classical family man, always been. That's another thing that I love about Peru, it's part of the culture and lifestyle.

When I think about it, what isn't it to love about living in Peru? Okay, Peru is known for its crime and poverty, but at the same time, the crime part is something that me personally never have had to experience. Not when I lived in Lima, not in Tumbes, not in Pasamayo or while I have been living here in Huaral. Actually, when I come to think about it I have never felt safer than what I do here in Peru. No matter what I do I never seem to end up in a situation where I am worried about my safety. Not even when I stand in the middle of the downtown area counting money in full view of everyone. That's something I never would feel safe enough to do back home in Norway, not even in my small hometown!

To be completely honest, I couldn't ask for a better life than the one I am living right now. Okay, Huaral is far from an esthetically beautiful city, but it's not because of the architecture that I love living here. It's for the people, the atmosphere and the slow pace. Not to forget how safe I feel here, but I do miss the normal huaralino everyday life with good food, the amazing nightlife and everyday fireworks. This is something that has been lacking during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown. There are a lot less noise and people outside, hopefully, things will go back to normal sooner than later. At the same time, we do have big plans for the time after the COVID-19 virus, but I guess that's a post for a different time.

Anyway, I guess its time for me to wrap this post up. All I wanted was to kinda set the record straight to those who claim that all expats are either running from or hiding from someone and that's the only reason one chose this kind of lifestyle. The thing is that I don't know anyone who lives the same lifestyle as me who are actually doing it for that reason, but instead its guys and girls that have fallen in love with a specific country and culture, just like it is with me. It's not that, I do get homesick at time, but just spending time with my family usually clears that up. So in the end, I would say that you should check me out on Twitter (Jack H White) since I am extremely active on there!

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Day 95 in quarantine, we are planning our future!

As usual, I am sitting here at my desk listening to music here in the office while thinking about what to do next and it dawns on me, we have now been living under a quarantine and lockdown regime for about 3 months. For me its both amazing and worrying to think about at the same time, especially since it doesn't even feel like 3 months at all. I would love to say that it has felt like years, but that's not the case. Well, I have kinda kept myself busy through the entire period with work and such, not that it always been easy to do. The worst part has been as mentioned before not being able to move around as freely as you wish too. Like doing family stuff other places than in our apartment.

The truth is that with time it has gotten harder or much harder to focus on my more creative projects like this blog. Like now I had to take a two-week break from it because I had a rough time focusing on writing blog posts. The thing that might have kept my head somewhat levelled is focusing on the future, planning our lives after the pandemic and the more typical rewards in the coming weeks and months. For me and my son its a brand new Playstation 4 and a Tv, for my girlfriend its new living room furniture. I feel we deserve it after what we have been going through these past few months. It's not like I can spend much time on the console, just when I am kicking back to relax with some rum.

If I am going to be completely honest with you, I have to say that there have been quite a few positive changes in the lockdown situation the past two or three weeks. The regime isn't as strict as it used to be just a short month ago. As it is right now it doesn't really come into full effect until midnight. The only thing that has really stayed in full effect is that we cant go out as a family and this is something I really miss doing. So you can say that our lives have become less restricted, but do miss being able to act as a family outside our apartment. I have also heard that the government isn't planning to open schools up before January next year. Think about it, a whole year without organized schooling?

I have to say one thing, even though it has been mentioned before because this situation has been far from easy to deal with without going “borderline” crazy with the famous cabin fever. Some days I have even had a hard time being motivated to just lock up the door to my office and even less to sit down to focus on work. Even my blog has given me problems and that's why it has been about two weeks since the last time I published a blog post. It's not like I haven't had ideas for future posts, but the motivation to sit down and work on them has at times been a struggle! I have started to work on my YouTube channel, just to mention it.

If there is one thing besides my family that has really saved my sanity it has to be my ability to focus on the future and what comes after this situation, whatever that will be. Right now we are focusing on things we are going to buy ourself in the next couple of months. You know, kinda rewarding ourself for not going insane over the situation. I see it as a way of promising ourself something to keep our sanity in this. I know that this might sound a bit childish for a guy that is turning 45 in a few weeks, but I have promised myself a new PlayStation 4 and the latest edition of Grand Theft Auto 5. It's not like I am going to be playing the game day in and day out as I did before we moved to Huaral, but more like have something to relax with after work.

As I see it, it's important to have a carrot or a goal to stretch for when times are tough and you need to dig in to work harder. At the same time, I really need to get out on a new trip soon, would love to go to somewhere in the US or back to Europe for a few weeks. Remember I haven't been anywhere for like the past 4 years now. We are also looking into some new business opportunities just to build on what we have now. One thing we are talking about is opening up a restaurant and a gaming cafe. I love gaming and I love to create new dishes, so it's not such far stretch in my world, but I do want a fancy hamburger place. We are also kinda talking about buying a place in Lima, yes move back to the big city.

Anyway, I guess its enough about my rambling about my ongoing COVID-19 situation and how I am dealing with it. Just felt like updating you guys on my situation and at the same time get back on that blogging horse of mine after two rough weeks. At least there is some good news in all of this and hopefully, you enjoyed reading it. if you did, you should check me out on social media! You find me on Facebook (Beyond the Horizon) and (Jack White Sr), on Twitter (Jack White), Instagram (Beyond our Horizon) and you can always support my work through buying me a coffee on Ko-fi (Jack White Sr). Would love to see you guys support me at least on social media! Hope to see you there boys and girls.

Sunday, 31 May 2020

Looking back on month of May, been a weird month

 Well, my friends, we have now gotten to that time of the month where I spend some time together with you guys looking back on the month that has passed and at the same time share some thoughts on what has been and what's ahead of us. It's not going to be any different this time around because I do love these new beginnings type of things. I just am that type of a guy, but at the same time when I now look back on May weird feelings comes to the surface, to be honest. When I say a weird feeling it's not because of something negative, but rather the opposite in fact. The honest truth is that May has been amazing in so many ways, not to forget exciting.

Not that it has been perfect in any way because I have a bone to pick with Twitter since I lost access to my account halfway through the month. That kinda angered me, it's not deleted or anything, but I am unable to access it for some weird reason. The result was that I had to open a new one (Senior Jack White) and this time around I will do my best to stay away from hot political topics I love to get engaged in. Yes, I am that guy too. Anyway, all in all, I have no real reason to complain about anything. At the same time, I did get around to work on my YouTube channel. Not produced any real vlogs or anything yet, but uploaded videos that I have had on other channels before this.

 These videos are from the period 2016 to 2018 and placed on a playlist called oldies but goldies. The good thing is that I am about to finish work on my first proper vlog and the plan is to upload it on Monday, have it ready for 5 pm and have that as a schedule for my channel in the beginning. Uploading a new video every Monday at 5 pm my time that is. That has actually been the time for every single upload so far as well, so if you check my channel now you will find about 7 older videos in the oldies but goldies category! You should really go and check them out (Beyond the Horizon 2.0), you might find something you like or enjoy in the process. Just keep in mind that I am new to this.

Well with that said and done, I have to say that what has really made this month so amazing as it ended up to become was the fact that I have finally had my first few walks in the neighbourhood. Actually to my grocery store and back home (a walk that usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes in total). I have had 3 in total so far and there will be many more in the future. It's hard to find the correct words to describe how amazing it has been, but it hasn't been without that bittersweet feeling, to be honest. The sight of all the closed shops along the way to my grocer is a sad sight and it looks like they have been closed for a good while too. So my thoughts are if these ever will re-open when the lockdown is over.

 At the same time, it does feel like the lockdown is at its end. Not like it will be lifted tomorrow or anything, but very soon and hopefully this will happen early in June. The lockdown has been extended to the 10th of June and the COVID-19 statistics are improving so there is hope that this day will be the last. That's what I am hoping for and looking forward towards being able to move around as I wish and without the curfew that used to come into effect at 6 pm, but now been pushed back until 8. That this has been done is a good sign and there are less police in the streets as well. There are fewer restrictions than it used to be just a couple of weeks ago, but I will get back to this in a later blog post.

If there is one thing that's kinda weird to think about it has to be the fact that I am now at the end of my fifth months as an active blogger. The truth is that I didn't think it would stick with me for this long and I am having a lot of fun writing my blog posts, not that the writing part surprises me in any way because I have always loved to be creative. It's the part that other people read it and judge the work that I am doing that's the worrying part for me. Not that I have gotten any negative feedback so far and I wonder how I will react when that time comes? Hope I will be able to take it in a good way. Anyway, I have to deal with it when I get there, I guess and hope for the best.

So what are my plans for June? Well, I have already revealed the fact that my YouTube channel is up and running, that I, for the time being, will upload one video a week and that this will happen on Mondays at 5 pm. Since I am forced to rebuild my Twitter following my goal is to reach 100 followers by the end of June (I am at 41 as of writing this post). I will be focusing less on COVID-19 related topics and more on actual expat related ones. To be honest, it does feel like I have said whats needed to be said about it or I might publish one or two posts. At the same time, I do need to work more on my focus when it comes to writing and publishing posts, get things into a better system.

When everything is said and done, I have no real reason to complain, to be honest. Just as with last month I have my job, a lovely family and more or less everything I need and then some. There are people out there who have it a lot worse than us. Life is good and it's getting better every single day, just wish I could work less and enjoy life a bit more. I just hope you guys are safe and in a good situation as well. That is something that's on my mind a lot, how people around me are and if I could I would help more people who are less fortunate than me, but my financial situation doesn't allow it. Well, I guess that this is another messy blog post from me, but I do hope you enjoyed reading it?

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Something I have been missing while living in Peru

I would say that it's both amazing and scary at the same time to think about the fact that its today 4 years since I boarded my plane in Oslo heading for Heathrow to spend a day with my best friend and ex-wife (and her new husband). That's a tradition we have that every time I am heading for an adventure I stop for a while in the UK to spend time with them. This time wouldn't be any different before heading to Ilo-Ilo and the Philippines, where I would spend the next 2 months or so before heading out on a new adventure. I would guess that you know what the end destination was (Peru, if you are new to my blog) and here I have stayed ever since.

So with that said and if I had to pick out just one thing that is a typical source for my expat blues (if you ignore the more natural sources like family and friends) it has to be the ability to just go out and enjoy some alone time while fishing at a random spot. Basically, go out, set some crab traps and just sit there throwing my lure while enjoying the peace a and quiet. This was something I usually did from early spring to late fall, depending on the weather of course and always after a stressful day at work. The thing is that I am having a hard time remembering a time or period in my life where this hasn't been an anchor activity in my life. Even as a kid this was a summer break type of activity I used to do with my then vacation friend. It was actually him who got me hooked on this.

Then as now where, when or how were never important, the focus has always been on the experience, the fun and just being outdoors enjoying life. When I was a kid it usually was about a few meters of line, a hook and some bait on a local pier. Okay, this was something that developed into something more sophisticated. As I grew older I started to buy more expensive gear and at one point it also expanded to trapping crabs. The last decade of my life in Norway I dropped the usual ocean type gear and learned to use flyfishing rods instead, just to increase the joy of catching. Not that I always kept what I caught. Sometimes or more often than not I went for the catch and release style of fishing.

The catch and release part of it kinda died out as when I started setting traps for crabs since I needed bait for them. The natural bait for such traps is like fishheads, smaller fish and stuff like that. Usually, I sat the trap at the end of the trip and pulled them up the next day after work or at the beginning of that day's adventure. Actually, I am sitting here having a big silly smile just thinking about it. For me its a collection of some amazing memories and at the same time I wish to include my own son in this, one way or the other. That's why it's so sad that I left my old gear back home and that I haven't been able to replace it so far in my stay here in Peru.

The honest truth is that I haven't been able to find a local store that sells what I am used to and my finances hasn't been strong enough to buy expensive equipment online. This has kinda changed in many ways and at the same time, I am sick and tired of being unable to just escape everything and enjoy some peace and quiet. I want to be able to make that escape and share it with my son, in a way that I teach him the ropes of the game. Fishing isn't a science, not when you are doing it as a hobby. Its basically just throwing that lure as far as you can and make the right movements with the rod so you attract the attention of nearby fish. The “science” lays with not getting the lure stuck.

Of course, I could always have gone out with just a bamboo rod and some line, but the issue with where I live is that it's so far from the shore or the ocean, like 30 to 45 minutes away and a distance like this kinda kills the mood when it comes to fishing. I am like that guy who can go onto a pier just to make a few throws and just sit there the rest of the time enjoying my surroundings or talking with the people that is around me. At the same time, I am not picky about where I go to get my fishing done either. It can be an innercity type of thing or way out in the ocean on a boat. It all depends on what I wish to get out of it. If I look for something to eat I go somewhere clean, but if it's just for fishing it doesn't matter.

So what I need to do is doing some research on some okay type of spots for fishing because the truth is that I am “pregnant” with a new project. It's not a big deal or a thing for that matter. I want to turn my passion for fishing into something that I can entertain people with. So the past few days I have been playing around with the idea about a website and a YouTube channel where the channel is for videos of my fishing and the website as a mix between a blog and a webshop type of thing. I know, how original right? It's not like the internet and YouTube has a million of these from before, but its something I want to try and see where it leads me. I have not done this before so, maybe it will be just a hobby project in the end.

I kinda got derailed here, but the point is that for the last four years or so I have been dreaming about taking my son out for some fishing and now that he is old enough (10 years this September) its time for me to get things into a higher gear. Get my hands on the equipment I need and not just sit around feeling sorry for myself for not being able to go out on these fishing trips. Take breaks from work and spend it outdoors with my family, but the lockdown has to end before this is possible anyway. Anyone else who thinks this is a good idea? Not sure how my son feels about it right now, but as I see it, catching your own food is something everyone should know how to do, that's how I see it.

Not quite sure where I wanted to go with this now, but I guess it's my way of saying that the ONE thing I have really been missing while living out my expat dream here in Peru is the freedom to just go out and enjoy some alone time with my fishing rod and my surroundings day as night! At the same time my thoughts and dreams about getting back “in the ring” with maybe my absolute biggest passion, even bigger than my love for travel. Just by thinking about going out on a fishing trip gets me all pumped up and excited. It doesn't make it any less exciting with the new projects that I am now kinda working on, but the important part here is getting back “in the ring”.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Day 66 in quarantine, been outside for the first time

Right now it's weird to think about the fact that it's 66 days since the Peruvian government implemented their nationwide lockdown and curfew, it's scary how fast these days have passed. What makes it even weirder is the reality that I haven't been outside this entire time, or I have been out on our patio, but not outside of the apartment complex that we live in. Instead, I have been “locked up” in our apartment and office trying my best to stay focused on the tasks at hand, like my work, family, blog and future projects. One thing I can tell you is that it has been far from easy at times and I don't think it comes as a big surprise when I say that my productivity has been dropping drastically lately!

That's why it feels so good to bring the news that I have actually been out walking for the very first time since the curfew came into effect today and what a rush it has been. At first, it felt like I was doing something illegal, but a few hundred meters down the road all kind of amazing emotions came up to the surface. Just the pure joy of being outside and feeling a little bit of that freedom that got taken for granted two or three months ago made me feel like a kid again. By the time I passed the gas station I was more or less singing and dancing, it had to be a weird spectacle for those who passed me on the street. Even the neighbourhood dogs were looking strangely at me and trying to avoid me with my somewhat weird behaviour.

The thing was that I needed to get something at the local grocery store and my girlfriend didn't want to go out, so I used this opportunity to get out and about. Not to forget spending some one on one time with my camera to get new photos for my blog, but the end result is far from my best work I would say. At the same time, the best thing that came out of my walk today has to be my improved morale and mood. It was like my “system” got a boost and loads of ideas came flowing in, even tried to record my first video for Youtube when I got back home. So the thing is that I will do my best to have a video ready for June the 1st because I will try to have these walks more often, but being careful at the same time. You know with my visa situation and all

Anyway, I am now sitting here in my office in a really good mood over today's big event and I will say that this “boost to my system” revitalised my system in so many ways, not sure how great of a feeling this was just by being out of the house for a few moments. At the same time, there are some rumours about the lockdown coming to an end soon. Okay, it just got extended by another two weeks, but by looking at the COVID-19 statistics things are looking promising at my end of things. So you can believe I am keeping my fingers crossed for some good news very soon. It would be so great if the curfew got lifted by the end of the month and we could go back for a weekend at Pasamayo to spend time with our family there.

The thing is my friends, I just felt like sharing some good news and something that has brought me some needed sunshine today. Trust me when I say that it was weird to be walking around saying hello to my neighbours after so many days and with a mask on of course. Not taking any chances with the virus. Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed my happy mood update and if you did, why not check me out on social media. You find me on Facebook (Beyond the Horizon) and (Jack White Sr), on Twitter (Jack White), Instagram (Beyond our Horizon) and you can always support my work through buying me a coffee on Ko-fi (Jack White Sr). Would love to see you guys support me at least on social media!

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Happy birthday to all my fellow Norwegians out there

I would say that this is one very special day for us somewhat weird Norwegians because May the 17th is the day when we celebrate the signing of our constitution that happened back in May the 17th 1817 at Eidsvoll, but we didn't get our independence "officially" before June the 7th 1905. Not that I am about to go into the fine details of this historical event, just wanted to have it mentioned. The thing is that Norway isn't like other nations around the world when it comes to celebrating a day like this. While most countries celebrate with massive military parades and fireworks, we do it by letting our kids and young ones do the talking. With talking, I am aiming at civilian parades throughout the day.

The day usually gets kicked off early by a nationwide children parade after breakfast, then followed up by a graduation parade mid-day and then with an all public kinda thing around dinner time (we usually eat around 4 - 6 pm). This is actually a day that is celebrated by both Norwegians and people with Norwegian ancestry worldwide. Its the day of the year were we as a nation are allowed to show how patriotic we are, but the framework around this day is so much more. Under more normal circumstances we have everything from mobile amusement parks, free cinema for kids, fun and games for everyone, enjoying massive amounts of fast food and just spending time with family and friends.

To be completely honest here, I do love this day and for me its a day that even ranks over days like Christmas and New years eve in many ways. Just because its a day where everyone is gathered and enjoying themself. For me, it's all about the traditions, or family traditions and after moving to Peru the day have usually been celebrated by watching videos from parades and other happenings from my hometown, but not this year! This is just one other thing that the sars-cov2 virus has ruined for us this year and in many ways, it makes a day like this so much more important. Its a day we can get together and celebrate our national strength while we remember those who lost the battle against the virus.

A day like this does get a brand new meaning in all that is happening right now. It's also something that seems to have been implemented in the planning for the celebration program for my hometown. There seems to be an alternative celebration without the big crowd of people in public spaces. In an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus and this way avoiding taking any risks with the public health, because there will come more days like this in the future. The reality is that we have to focus on keeping each other safe and avoid taking risks that might put anyone into any danger because when this virus blows over we do have a real reason to celebrate. A global celebration and at the same time remembering those who didn't make it!

This year didn't turn out as we hoped for and the part that kinda gets me down is that I am unable to spend the day with my family back home since we had plans to go to Norway. I had hoped to be able to spend and celebrate this day together with my loved ones, both those back home in Norway and those who live with me here in Peru. The good thing is that there will come opportunities to do this in the future when the virus has been defeated! Hopefully next year. Anyway, this is a day for joy and hope, just that the ongoing outbreak kinda puts things in a much better perspective for us. I am thinking that if we are lucky we will have a real reason to celebrate this amazing day next year.

Having hopes and dreams is important, especially now. Anyway, all I really wanted to do with this post were to say congrats on this day to all Norwegians all over the world. Remember to stay safe, keep the social distancing and at the same time enjoy this day together with those who are important to you! So happy birthday to you all, hope you are having a great day! At the same time, I hope you enjoyed my post and if you did then remember to check me out on social media. On Twitter (Jack White). On Facebook (Jack White Sr) and (Beyond the Horizon). On Instagram (Beyond our Horizon). You can also support my blog through Ko-fi (Jack White Sr).