Nov 17

What is a PT?
PT – The Perpetual Traveler
Permanent Tourist, Prior Taxpayer = Perfect Thing!

In a nutshell, a PT merely arranges his or her paperwork in such a way that all governments consider him a tourist. A person who is just “Passing Through”. The advantage is that being thought of by government officials as a person who is merely “Parked Temporarily”, a PT is not subjected to taxes, military service, lawsuits, or persecution for partaking in innocent but forbidden pursuits or pleasures. Unlike most citizens or subjects, the PT will not be persecuted for his beliefs or lack of them. PT stands for many things: a PT can be a “Prior Taxpayer”, “Permanent Tourist”, “Practically Transparent”, “Privacy Trained”, “Party Thrower”, “Priority Thinker”, “Positive Thinker”, “Prepared Totally”, “Paranoid Together” or “Permanent Traveler” if he or she wants to be. The individual who is a PT can stay in one place most of the time. Or all of the time. PT is a concept, a way of life, a way of perceiving the universe and your place in it. One can be a full-time PT or a part-time PT. Some may not want to break out all at once, or become a PT at all. They just want to be aware of the possibilities, and be prepared to modify their lifestyle in the event of a crisis. Knowledge will make you sort of a PT. A “Possibility Thinker” who is “Prepared Thoroughly” for the future.

Read history and you’ll find human society is much like a river. At first it flows straight. A torrent of water breaks through seeking the shortest route to the sea. It goes in more or less straight line downhill. Then, every river or creek gradually bends like a snake. The great mathematician, Albert Einstein once wrote a paper explaining the mathematical reasons why water can’t help winding and turning in every greater complexity. Depending on river flow and terrain, there will be many variations; shallows, rapids, eddies, branches, even dead-end ponds or lakes. Life forms grow and adapt to the changing river. Usually changes are imperceptible. Every once in a while there is a big flood. Then for a time, the river flows relatively straight again. For a little while.

In society, groups of human beings start off with simple rules which gradually develop into even more complex systems. Some members of the group benefit at the expense of others. Sooner or later, bends and kinks are eliminated by a major change in the government form. This can be the result of war, epidemic, or simply exhaustion. But surely as a river develops bends, a new bureaucracy will eventually grow.

What is perceived as an onerous burden to one person (a tax?) is perceived as a career opportunity to the tax collector. Thus, a good number of people at any time believe they are living in the best of all possible worlds at the best of all possible times. Simultaneously, others feel oppressed. Someone with the PT mentality who isn’t living the PT life will perceive this situation as intolerable. “Everything is going to hell. Nothing is as good as it used to be.”

What is the reality?
Simply that some people in any society (or fish in a river) will have it good (or bad) some of the time. Most of the people will have it good (or bad) most of the time. A few people will seem to have it very good all of the time. As I said in PT, happiness is a state of mind, a perception. Your reality is not necessarily my reality.

In Joseph Stalin’s time, nobody could deny that from a personal freedom and material point of view, Joe himself (materially at least ) had it pretty good — even though no one else in the Soviet Union lived as well as he did. But I venture to say that if we asked Joe in 1950 if he was happy, he’d disregard the material aspect to focus on the fact that is life and the political system he ran was in constant danger. He survived only by deporting, jailing and murdering a few million of his (perceived) enemies every year.

Today in Russia, there is a new system offering vastly more economic opportunity and personal freedom. There are lots of newly rich Russians who for the first time in 75 years have the legal right to engage in commerce, travel and communications with foreigners. At the same time, in modern Russia, there is also more personal danger to the non-political guy on the street from violent criminals, and from economic circumstance. Would you be happy there?

Achieving stability, security and prosperity (or whatever social goals of a large group of people in general agree upon) plus encouraging individual freedom always involves a balancing act. Sometimes the main goal of a large group of people is enforcing certain religious beliefs. You can never please all the people and so, there is constant tinkering.

One way to read current events in trend settings countries like the U.S.A., where more and more people are being jailed for less and less (in the way of offences), is a decline in personal freedom. But a decline in freedom for those in jail can be interpreted as an increase in freedom for those outside. Those not incarcerated are free from disturbance by those offenders sent away. Few people complain about the incarceration of categories of bad people that they themselves do not feel they fit into.

tax.jpgA PT by definition is a non-conformist in a highly regulated, highly taxed, first world society. Thus a PT must adapt in a special way. “How do I cope?” you ask. “How do I get myself and my family a material lifestyle better than anyone else or at least better than average?”

Merely asking this question would be offensive to a socialist who wants all people to be ‘equal’. “How do I avoid conscription, confrontation, imprisonment and perhaps even death at the hands of my own government?” (This question is possibly treason in certain locations).

The answer for a PT is not difficult. Figure out what kind of behavior is being rewarded in the town (or country) where you live, and what kind of behavior is being punished. Then take the obvious path to make more money, sex, power, immortality, glory or whatever it is that you think you need. Obviously you must avoid activities or behavior that gets you into trouble locally. If you can’t exist comfortably where you are, or can’t get what you want where you live; then look for opportunities (and restrictions) elsewhere in the world. Consider a physical move to where greater opportunities exist. Your particular river may have too many bends for your taste, but for the foreseeable future there will always be plenty of over rivers. Most fish are attached to a particular river, but you can choose to move to the environment that suits you best.

In some countries, entrepreneurs are richly rewarded. In the USA this is still true, but more so in unregulated, new fields of endeavor like say, computers. It is hard (but not impossible) to go to jail for coming up with the best selling original innovation in software or hardware. Try to be innovative in American or Swiss banking and you will be breaking a million and one rules.

In countries like the Philippines and Thailand, it pays better to be a politician or army officer than a businessman. In Iran or anyplace where religious know nothings are in control, being a traditional community religious leader is less dangerous. It leads to respectability power and a good standard of living. You must match your personality and talents to a community that appreciates (or at least tolerates) you. Thus, the question to be concerned with is not “Where is the world heading?” but rather, “Where in the world should I be heading?”

The world’s communities are heading in a myriad of different directions — all at the same time. This is where the PT concept comes into play. By identifying several countries or communities where your favorite diversions or perversions are socially acceptable, you will avoid going to jail. If you like to smoke grass, do it in the Netherlands where it is legal. Obviously if you enjoy booze, don’t go to the Muslim world. The key is to go to those locations where you can legally and openly do what you love most. If you want to earn a lot of money, or have power over other people, there are places in the world where you are far more likely to succeed than other’s.

Passports.jpgHaving more than one passport, and an open mind is all that you need to make that vital difference to the amount of ‘quality’ you get out of life. You can be a Bad Guy! It doesn’t really matter that ecologists make life difficult for real estate developers in your particular suburb. There are plenty of nice places in the world to develop (or depending one one’s point of view, despoil).

Ecology isn’t fashionable in Africa. Even if you are a homicidal maniac, you can always find some place in the world to be hired as a mercenary and hack away at innocent victims. And if you don’t want to be an innocent victim, as a PT you can always go and live somewhere that is relatively safe from violent crime (like Monaco, New Zealand, Japan or Liechtenstein).

It is silly (in my opinion) to say thing like ‘individual freedom is being eroded all over the world,’ It simply isn’t true. There are different sorts of freedom and different sorts of slavery going on in hundreds of different places.

One can have a Swiss Family Robinson sort of freedom by becoming hermits on an uninhabited island. Living with or near other people always involves some compromises and some advantages. My idea of an ideal place to live is where I pay little or no taxes, don’t have to risk getting my head shot off in any wars and I have a first class Chinese take-away nearby. We can get what we want by living in any one of a dozen prosperous tax havens.

globe.jpgAs a PT, you can expand your place of living options to virtually any locality. Unless you are an American, you needn’t renounce and you don’t even need two passports. Australian PT’s live invisibly in New Zealand and Kiwis live in Oz. Any European can live indefinitely and invisibly in any other European country. The PT, being perceived by local cops and bureaucrats (if perceived at all) as a “Passing Through Tourist” who minds his own business, keeps a low profile, and avoids trouble. It is inconceivable that any other member of my family could ever be conscripted into any military service, jailed for any offence, or sent a bill for income tax. In any of the places I have lived as a PT over the dozen years, if there was the merest whiff of trouble, I was off like Bambi. The only time I had to move was when I made the mistake of confiding my PT status to my mail-drop operator.

To be a successful PT, your status and PT life should be your most closely guarded secret. But that’s my point of view. General Colin Powell would no doubt say that he found freedom and a satisfying career in the military when other doors of opportunity were shut to him because of his race or background. General Powell is not a PT and surely wouldn’t want to join our ranks any more than we would want to join the US army.

Fact to remember; most people in the world are not PT material. Over half are directly or indirectly employed or supported by the government! They wouldn’t go for a PT style existence even if they could. If they thought about us, which we hope they won’t, it would be to classify PT’s as Penitentiary Targets.

Not even all millionaires are potential PT’s An individual (one of my consulting clients) became a PT and bitterly regrets it. He cashed out of a multi-million dollar business, obtained another passport, picked up all his chips and moved to another country where he took up residence with one of the world’s most beautiful and pleasant women. Yet he complains that his kick in life was having the prestige (and problems) that came with a lot of employees, a huge income, and a big, visible lifestyle. His old life included recognition he misses. Stuff like giving parties for the local lights, photos and a mention in the town’s society pages. ‘Now,’ he says, ‘I am a rich nobody!’. He finds the PT life boring. How about you?

Unlike this client, once I had enough money to live well, I found more satisfying things to do than running a business. My business career was a stepping stone, not something I wanted to do until I croaked in my office swivel chair. It was no thrill or satisfaction to spend most of my time defending inevitable private lawsuits and fighting public regulatory agencies. I found being a recognized local celebrity was a royal pain in the butt. Obviously there are different strokes for different folks. It’s also a function of age. At 20-35 maybe you need to make your mark on the world. At 55 maybe you love and read more.

Former Princess Di (who was younger than the typical age at which people decide to become PT’s) apparently most of all, feared being sidelined out of the public eye. This writer feels the other way ‘around’. Why? For lots of reasons. One is that people in the public eye are envied. There are and always have been non-entities lurking around. They want to harm those they envy. Little punks with lethal weapons stalk the rich and famous. Other threats are litigants, bureaucrats or journalists who can and will cut you down with lethal paperwork.

Notoriety, display or anything that attracts envy (or the other side of the coin, admiration) is to be avoided, at least by myself. Look at what happened to John Lennon. He never hurt anyone! The guy who shot him had no connection with him at all.

Even a flash car is a dangerous possession.flashy car.jpg
My personal experience is that when I drove a ten year old sturdy and reliable rustbucket, I never once had a problem. But, upon trading it for a shiny new red Mazda sports car, the perceived glamour of this car, attracted vandals, even in Monaco. As a result of my own personal experiences, my PT rule is to no longer partake of any conspicuous (i.e. visible) consumption. No flaunting of wealth or possessions, period.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t go to Joel Robushon’s, the world’s best restaurant in Paris, or get a high price massage. You can, and maybe you should, rent a high priced apartment in a high security building.

Going out for a long walk with my lady-love, my rule is she doesn’t drip diamonds (not even fake ones) nor gold chains. Neither of us wears an expensive watch. Nor does she wear form fitting sexy clothes. We make a big effort to look like poverty personified: Mr and Mrs Dumpy, stumbling out for their evening shuffle. Result? No unwelcome attention!

How much dough do you need?
mortgage-rates.jpgOne clear requirement for PT freedom and mobility is either a net worth that enables you to live off your assets, or a portable occupation that allows you to earn money without licenses, permits or a permanent place of business. In my travels I’ve met street musicians, computer programmers and English teachers who are PT’s though they may not no it. My report “PT”, identifies a lot of portable jobs.

The outlook for PT’s is good. Even if places like the U.S.A. attempt to impose an exit tax on assets, there will always be ways for people, who make an effort, to move themselves and most of their assets to another country. In the old South Africa, rich people who wanted to expatriate assets and themselves often build yachts. They bought art works, jewellery, stamp collections and other portable wealth. Then they simply sailed off into the stars.

A small percentage but large number of Germans and Italians (Jewish and otherwise) were able to exit Europe for the U.S.A. and South America. They saw (as almost anyone could see ) that war was in the air and things were going to get worse before they got better. People killed or imprisoned by governments usually have years of warning and plenty of signals that it is time to leave.

Don’t be a Prisoner of your Possessions.
“Once we begin using material products to define ourselves, we are doomed to be on an endless treadmill of dissatisfaction”.
Erich Fromm – in his book “To Have or To Be”, 1979.

payment.jpgA good friend of mine who was in the midst of a crisis didn’t leave. Why? Because his wife insisted on staying with her old friends, furniture and crockery. He will loose is freedom if he allows this foolishness. Another friend said he’d rather go to jail for twenty years than be separated forever from his old gang. Another person, an author known amongst his small niche of readers, didn’t follow his own advice and ended up in jail in New Zealand. He only got out of being extradited back to America by having a huge bribe! Talk about arrogance!

Their is an old French saying ‘Chaque un à son gout’. Each to his own taste. Indeed, I prefer to be “Prepared Thoroughly”.

The Only Certainty is Change
Some people (probably the vast majority) think that the centre of the universe is their home town. They actually think that they couldn’t make it, or be happy anywhere else. Generations of people stay in hell holes or refugee camps where life itself is a terrible struggle. It is clear to them (from other who do escape), that a little effort and initiative would make a new life possible. But the majority don’t make the move. They don’t seek to better themselves. Why? The vast majority prefer the certainty of misery to the uncertainty of change.

For people living in relatively prosperous countries like today’s U.S.A. or Scandinavia, some of the most wealthy and privileged will perceive that they are slaves living in gulags, birds in guilded cages. It is clearly a question of perception. But by becoming a PT and taking advantage of the opportunities available, any person can physically live wherever they want and escape most of the perceived negatives in their life. Finding freedom in an unfree world is possible if you simply decide what it is that you want to avoid, and what is important to you. Then, you take the steps to go where you want and do the things you want to do.

(excerpt from PT Club)

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written by Chris

6 Responses to “Are you ready to be a Perpetual Traveler?”

  1. Irene MaradeiNo Gravatar GREECE Says:

    I read your article with great interest. It sounded great. But hey, what about your old parents who now need you? They took care of you when you were young, now it’s your turn to be on their side. What about children? As I have lived in a country different than my nationality, and I went to my nationality’s school, there were all children of moving people (working in the Consulate, Embassy or engineers come only for a couple of years for a project etc…). I kept losing my friends one by one, new ones came all the time, couldn’t form any long-term bond. And those children were ALL traumatized in some way, I could understand it even then, by changing school, home and friends every couple of years (maximum 5). So I believe this lifestyle can work for a few years, when your parents are dead and you are not a parent yet. And even then, even if freedom of movement means everything to you, personal bonds with your friends don’t mean anything? I love traveling all over the world, and I consistently do whatever it takes to be on the move for as much as possible. But I travel happily knowing I have my cozy nest to come back to, the sweet reunion with my loved ones with whom I’ll share what I experienced in those far away lands, and my cat to purr on my knees – after having scratched or avoided me for some time, to punish me for my betrayal.

  2. sunnyNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    To become a PT, you need to have as little burden as possible. There are things like job, status, luxury and house that you can conveniently discard. But there are a few that you can’t. All of us came into this world with parents. So we have no choice with this burden. But we do have the choice to remain single or childless. Aspiring PTs should preferably reduce the number of optional burdens in their 20s or 30s. Once you get married and have a child, it’s much tougher to detach yourself from them. But there are still a few ways.

    1) Parents.
    Suggest to them that you relocate to Asia together. They may acquire a permanent retirement VISA in the Philippines, Thailand or Malaysia.If they are still healthy, they may spend a few months of the year travelling with you or on their own. They may spend most time living in a preferred location such as a beach or retirement home. If they are unhealthy, you can arrange for them to reside in a nursing home in Asia. Visit them often. With professional nursing and care you would feel safer when you are not with them. If they insist on living in your home country, you can arrange to visit them once a year and communicate with them via MSN often. If they need long term care, then arrange for them to stay in a retirement village. But do tell them that given similar standard of care, it is usually cheaper to move into a home in Asia, and that you can visit them more often if they more to Asia.

    2) Children:
    You can travel with them and teach them personally using distance education programmes. They may even be able to pass the internationally recognised GCSE or GCE A-Level exams before their peers do. After they pass these exams, they may study in a recognised university on campus, or by distance study. They may also take an accredited American High School Diploma by distance education. You may spend 2-3 hours each day to tutor them on the distance courses. Many universities offer degrees that may be studied at a distance.

  3. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Irene Maradei, great points here! I don’t say, that this lifestyle is for everyone, but there are many who like it. I still have my parents and love them and we are on the phone (skype, also video calls) at least once a week. They are old enough and perfectly able to take care of themselves and survive more than sufficiently without my help. I visit them once a year or they visit me on a holiday, so we are always in touch and know, what’s going on. We send e-mails and photos back and forth all the time. They are traveling around a great part of their time also. But that doesn’t mean I have to live in close proximity with them all the time. We all live our own lives. Also, in this modern world, any location on this planet is only a daytrip away in an emergency situation.

    I know, that you will lose old friends, but you will make new ones also, the more you travel. And do you always want to follow your friends, where they are moving? I prefer to live my own life and see the places I long to see, without giving up to staying in touch with friends and relatives – and making new friends along the way. The real good friends you develop over the years anyway and you will be surprised, who your real friends are. Some past friends will not make it into your future, but there is usually a good reason for that, that either they or you developed in different directions. Then for me it’s better to let go, than being stuck in the past with them.

    With children it is the same thing: I met many couples with children on the road; children actually benefit the most from constant traveling. They learn different cultures and languages on the fly, grow up in multicultural environments and and get a non-racist and tolerant mindset, that makes them set much better for the demands and requirements of this modern world in times of globalization.

    And why not? But of course, it’s a personal decision, not everyone likes it. And that’s perfectly fine! ;-)

    Sunny also has some valid points, how you can mitigate the downside of long distance a bit better.

  4. adventuresaddict@gmail.comNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    I want to add one more point about children. The typical thing to do today is to send children to public schools. But let’s remember that private tutoring had been practiced for a long time. Kings, princes, Alexander the Great included were privately tutored. Oxford students still get tutored in small classes, sometimes one-to-one. It’s much more effective than teaching them in a big class. So I would argue that privately tutoring your kids is an even better way to educate them. You’d be able to give them full attention unlike teachers who have a few dozens of kids to take care of at a time. Moreover, as I suggested, the qualifications that they may obtain are the same GCSE or High School Diploma. They will learn even more on the road.

  5. JohnNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    I read somewhere that a national border is simply the place where two opposing armies meet. That may not be exactly true–I don’t see any armies along the Canadian border–but, I think the concept is correct.

    Right now, I’m broke and in debt. I want to become a PT as soon as possible. I’ve wanted it for years, but was too scared to try. After all that’s happened, and all that’s happening now, I can’t wait to get out of America.

    It’s not that I hate the country itself, or that the leftist ripoffs are less overseas. It’s that I can’t abide the idea of being the property of any government. And I don’t see the problem of ever more intrusive government getting any better here.

    I’m also tired of the entitlement schtick that says that I’m my neighbor’s property. It’s one thing to want to volunteer to help. It’s a whole other ballgame to be forced.

    When do I get to look out for MY needs? When do I get to work on MY dreams? When do I get to achieve MY goals? I think the only answer is: when I become a PT.

    As I said, I’m currently broke. And I have neither a college degree nor specialized training. Am I being unrealistic? Am I living in a fantasy world? Is becoming a PT possible for me?

  6. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    John, no – you are not unrealistic. You are just dreaming your dream. Now you gotta start executing and living it. ;-)

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