Let’s get the depressing news out of the way here at the outset. Happier stuff to come in a moment.
U.S. military leaders are voicing concern that in a contested 2024 election, the military could split into two—effectively picking sides—leading to civil strife and the cleaving of America.
There—bad news over.
Segueing now to a former life…
When I was fresh out of college and working in one of my first jobs as a reporter for a Southern Cal newspaper, the Orange County Register, I and my wife at the time had a “go bag” in a hall closet near the door of our Laguna Beach apartment. We also had go bags in each of our cars.
These were our emergency survival kits, just in case The Big One rocked the Golden State, leaving us without shelter or food/water or quick and easy access to money.
Although I did experience several earthquakes during my early Cali years, thankfully none of them necessitated that we grab a go bag and skedaddle.
Still, this idea of a go bag has stuck with me since those blonder, sunnier, beach-boy days.
I’ve had go bags (really, “stay bags”) on the East Coast, when I lived in northern New Jersey and had to navigate Nor’easters that shut down life for days at a time. I had go bags in south Louisiana, the heart of hurricane country.
But the go bag that I’ve considered most important over the last decade or so is the one that gives me financial and geographic security.
I call it my “lifestyle go bag.”
To me, that bag has three crucial elements:
- Ready access to cash and physical gold and silver.
- A portable income source.
- Legal residency in another country.
All of those are actually quite easy to build into your life.
Cash and gold/silver are not a challenge. You stash away several weeks’ worth, maybe a month of spending money in dollars in a secure location. And you keep a sizeable sum of precious metals available, just in case a collapsing currency is the reason you have to “go” in the first place.
My preferred source of gold/silver is old, numismatic coins from the last century or two, when nation-states were minting precious metal coins. I own bunches of those in denominations ranging from a few grams to more than an ounce.
The bigger ones are easily transported as cash. A single 100 Koruna Austrian gold coin—about the size of on old Eisenhower silver dollar—is worth nearly $1,800. Not too hard to travel with several of those in your pocket…or hidden someplace safe.
The smaller denominations I have because they will be easier to turn into smaller sums of cash for daily purchases.
As for a portable income source, well, that’s what the last several years of my life has really been about.
I’ve built up a freelance writing career on Fiverr, one of the top freelance sites on the web. And I have connected myself to two crypto-related tech companies as their communications expert. Those, combined with my primary role writing for Field Notes, Global Intelligence Letter, and International Living, means that I can settle anywhere there’s an internet connection, and tap into various income sources.
As for legal residency, that would seem to be the most challenging aspect.
Actually, it’s kinda easy.
Before moving to the Czech Republic, where I now have long-term residency, I knew that in a pinch, I would hop the first flight or boat or whatever it took to get to Uruguay. Not only do I truly love that country and its laid-back, 1950s coastal California vibe, you can show up there with the right batch of documents and literally apply for temporary residency that same day. At the very least, that same week.
Within a couple of weeks to a couple of months, you’ll have the temporary cedula—the Uruguayan national ID card—meaning you have the same rights as locals in terms of access to bank accounts and health insurance and whatnot.
To me, Uruguay is the perfect destination to have packed away in your lifestyle go bag.
Of course, we might never need any of this. Maybe military brass is just being hyperbolic to scare politicians and voters into doing the right thing.
And if not…
Featured image: ©iStock/Marina Sidorova