Season 2, Episode 20. Today's guest is celebrating three decades of life abroad! Born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, Mark Baker's studies in journalism and Eastern European international relations took him to Vienna, Austria in the late 1980s. Little did he know that the Iron Curtain would fall just as he was settling in, changing his life - and the world - forever.
Mark's writing career took him to Prague, Czech Republic, but after a few years, he tried to move back to the US. Despite landing a great job in New York City, something wasn't right. His time in Europe had made him more European than he'd realized, and now he felt homesick for Prague.
He moved back to Prague, and now, he's an accomplished travel writer, with travel guides on central and eastern Europe published by renowned companies, like Lonely Planet. Most recently, Lonely Planet hired him to write a guide book in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Mark shares what it was like to spend weeks in those states, which are so familiar to him as an Ohioan, yet as a long-term expat, still somehow new.
Mark's got years of hard-earned wisdom, and I'm glad he's shared the following nuggets with us.
Mark's Rules of Expat Life:
- It’s always a temporary move, or so you think.
- You never decide to stay. It’s always just one more year, one more year.
- You develop an unacknowledged expectation that the United States will never change.
- Your environment changes you.
- You are where you live.
On his website, Mark Baker Prague
Check out his article about Youngstown that caught Lonely Planet's eye
Check out his 3-part article about the early days in Vienna
On Twitter @MarkBakerPrague
Got questions, comments, topic ideas, funny anecdotes? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.