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Monday, December 3, 2012

The perils of a peripatetic lifestyle . . .

When one door closes, many more open.

That does not necessarily mean you want to step through them all.

As I consider my next adventure in life and, more importantly, how best to fund it with an income means that both interests and challenges me, I've been offered an editing gig in a field that fascinates me. The problem is, because of the level of the employer, the application form requires much the same level of information as needed for a security clearance, including every address and place of travel for the past 10 years, plus detailed information about my family members.

It's times like this I realize that my life is a little outside of the "norm" -- whatever that is.

Apart from the extra pages I would need for my addresses alone (my mother used to joke she had a separate phone book just for me), the prospective employer wants explanations for any time between jobs. That's a book in the making.

"I had nothing more pressing so spent five months doing farm, orchard and vineyard work in New Zealand, then flew to the U.S., borrowed a motorbike and spent three months riding 6,000 miles and talking with folks."

OR, "I finished a contract in January and wanted to go to a bike rally in North Carolina in May, so volunteered in Thailand for three months while waiting."

It's just as well they're only asking for the past 10 years. That puts a statute of limitations on the '93 gig where I crewed my passage across the Indian Ocean, starting in Thailand, switching yachts in Sri Lanka and stopping off in the Maldives and the Seychelles before making landfall in Kenya. Where I traveled for two months before heading back to the "developed" world.

Then there are the countries I've visited - 20 at last count, I think. Including at least six trips to the United States in that time period. And, no, I really don't recall the exact dates or ports of entry and departure for each trip I've made in the past decade, particularly as I've transited through a hub every time on my way to my destination.

I'm not sure whether the resulting application would have me rejected out of hand as a potential spy or have someone trying to recruit me as one.

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