John Galt’s Birthday

Today would have been John Galt’s (aka Tom Byrd, Dad) 70th birthday.  

I’ve found myself for the 2nd time on his birthday on Lake Atitlan.  This is a place he loved and if you’ve read any of his blogs from the beginning of his adventures, you’ll know it’s one of the places that drew him to Guatemala.  I feel lucky to be here and to be continuing the tours he spent so much time and heart putting together.  

I’m not sure I really understood the impact he had on people.  And I’m pretty sure he had no clue.  This past year and some months has been eye opening for me and I am grateful for each and every person who has mentioned him to me as they’ve thought about starting a new life as an expat.  He would be proud!

I stumbled across this Facebook post he wrote a month before he passed.  I think it applies to a lot of our current situations.

Continually amazed. Amazed by those who cannot distinguish there has been a change in life in the USA in the 1950s 1960s and 1970s to today.


Amazed by those who can see the degradation and totally say it is not really happening and not see there is any slowing that degradation.


Amazed by those who see it and intention to do something about it, but ….. “Well, we can’t do anything now, the kids are in school, the kids are in college, the first grandbaby has been born, we can’t move away from the Grandkids, we can’t leave our elderly parents behind, the parents are gone, but we need to rehab their house to sell, our kids are all to busy to visit but twice a year, we can’t move now we are too old, what if we need medical help, it is too late and now we have spent most of our retirement living here in the states, we are too broke to move, right up to the point where you are holding your dying spouse’s hand saying, wow, we missed life.


The doors were not closed by a country that kept us captive. We made ourselves a self imposed prison. We didn’t show our children and grandchildren what the rest of the world is like. We didn’t introduce them to other cultures. We stayed home for Christmas and Easter.


Life is passing you by and you are holding your family education back. You don’t know what to do next? Take a step either towards something new or away from something that is killing you. Take the first step. Have faith. The next will appear.


John Galt 


Happy Birthday Dad!


1 thought on “John Galt’s Birthday

  1. Pat Kenedy Reply

    I love this, Jen. Thanks. Hope you are well. I lost my dad a few years back, too, and know how you feel.

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