The Lagom of Privacy

I am not one to follow trends or get caught up in the waves of internet movements. However, I read an interesting article from the BBC about Lagom a Scandinavian term meaning, “just the right amount.” I believe to create the ultimate privacy one must live by a code and that code should have a balance. Lagom is about balance. The balance of work and life, disappearing is about the same. Ultimately, the two become one to be dictated by a code.

So, why the babble about this new word and way known as Lagom. The reason being is I believe people who want a private lifestyle must also figure out how to co-exist with intrusion and in do so in society. As opposed to sitting on the side lines of the world, waiting and watching. The is no need to lock yourself up in a room if you have disappeared, venture with caution, find a community be one with something. Even if it is a Scandinavian trend or word. Do not let your privacy rule you, be the master of your world not a slave to your dilemma.

Fran M. Ahearn
www.FrankAhearn.com
Author of: The Art of Disappearing: 199 Essential Privacy and Disappearing Tips

The Allure of Skip Tracing

I often think about the line from The Godfather III, “Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in…” This is how I feel about skip tracing, no matter what happens in my life I somehow end up back in this business. Not that this is a bad thing but I will admit there is a love, hate relationship. I love the act and art of skip tracing. The research part is challenging and the pretext aspect feeds my creative. It is the business side I dislike but I will refrain from discussing that element.

For a person like me, there is something cool about looking at information and trying to make sense of it. Which pieces will lead me onward to the road of discovery. It is like trying to create order and form in a world with no boundaries as well as connecting the non-tangible to the tangible. To a certain extent, it is taking lost information, or I should say the left behind information and reuniting it with the reluctant owner.

Unfortunately, the type of skip tracing I am currently working is too easy. That is not to say I find everyone but most. It is like searching for a lemming, most have the same pattern whether it is New York, Monaco, London, Luxembourg, or Auckland. The only barrier in skip tracing is the language but most times I can work through that. Although, Eastern European countries can be difficult but most are fair game.

I began skip tracing in the mid-eighties and not much has changed. There are databases which has alleviated the need for the hundred pounds of Coles Directories. This statement is no doubt showing my age. The internet has also alleviated the need for Directory Assistance, which was a huge expense each month. Social Media has created a new area of search. Basically, skip tracing has not changed much.

But my dilemma. I feel like a hunter who has engages in small game. The deadbeat, the guy who needs to be served, the long-lost-love and similar types of skips. I need some big game, something challenging, something to get me away from my desk. Something that brings me to the hills of Italy or the shores of Greece. I need that search where I do not know if I am going to locate the subject in an hour in Kamloops or Oslo. I am tired of looking at the skip’s information and thinking, piece of cake.

Then again, am I looking to search for a person who mysteriously disappeared, a potential abduction, the con artist on the run or the one who may have faked their death. I guess I am looking for an odyssey or a skip tracing pilgrimage. Something to feed the need, any ideas?

Frank M. Ahearn
www.FrankAhearn.com
Author of: The Little Black Book Of Skip Tracing: Creating Pretext, Mastering Social Engineering And Finding Anyone Anywhere

The Peanut Butter Café in Monaco

Today my thoughts flow from this month’s meeting at The Peanut Butter Café in Monaco. I was prepared to discuss how a high-net-worth client can create more privacy and security for their family. However, the topic of Donald Trump stole the conversation and me being an American, the group was curious about my thoughts. Truthfully, I am not a political person and I am usually reluctant to share my thoughts. I was asked to give one thought of Donald Trump winning the election. I equate it to Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon, however, in this case the Hudson River is the Rubicon and it seems more like a reality show than the forward of a nation.

The question is can the new America affect your digitally nomadic or expat life? Has Brexit negatively affected citizens living abroad? We must always think about, the what if and the what if it happens to me. Be aware of political happenings from home because the ripples can drift your way and do damage. Donald appears myopic on the idea of making America great again, myopic in the sense that it is his idea of what will make America great again and a population of people but not the whole. I guess this is the point of being an expat, finding a patch of land where politics, health care and quality of life have a balance. Perhaps we will all be surprised and Donald will be more like Marcus Aurelius, if not be prepared.

The Luxembourg Talks…

Is privacy real or are we chasing a grand illusion? Do any of us truly know or understand what privacy means to us as humans? Most of us understand the idea of privacy in an intrusion sense, like foot prints, location services and hacking. Yet, many fall short when discussing the idea of human privacy. Think about it, we protect our computers, mobile phones, data, and assets. Privacy protection appears separate, when maybe we should think of our technology and our self as one.

The key topic of this month’s Luxembourg discussion was how will the pursuit of personal privacy today effect personal privacy in the future? The truth that came out was no one had been thinking of personal privacy in the future. Most admitted when they thought of privacy they thought mostly about business privacy, protecting data and assets. Another question that surfaced is should asset protection go beyond the corporation and into a client’s personal life. Meaning if you are keeping their assets private should you not also consider ways of protecting their personal privacy.

I think privacy needs be re-invented and we must recognize that we are no different than the tools we use. If we download a virus protection for our computer should we not think about how to protect our human actions from intrusion?  Certain intrusions will exist in our life no matter what, however, it is how we operate around these intrusions that are key. Begin thinking about privacy from a as collective and a from long-term perspective. Think beyond the setting up of a corporation, think about you as an asset.

Frank M. Ahearn
http://www.FrankAhearn.info
Author of: The Art of Disappearing: 199 Essential Privacy and Disappearing Tips

Lady Luxembourg

Luxembourg café, sipping coffee with time to kill… I strike up conversation with a woman from LA. She has been living in Europe for fifteen years. In brief, we share our history and begin to talk about what it means to leave a world behind. She revealed that she ran from something, though not a predator but a broken life. A random trip dropped her on the streets of Luxembourg and she fell in love and knew it would become her home.

Upon arrival, she felt much like an outsider and unsure how to integrate. At first she blamed the people and the multi-culture of the city. However, as time moved she discovered that she carried her old world into her new. In her words, she planted a damaged seed in good soil. She realized that working and setting up a new household was only one part of moving on from the past.

The how to tools of privacy are important but by no means are they the only ingredients for living successfully off the radar. I have said it a thousand times, you cannot be Jack the bus driver in London and the then be Jack the bus driver in Monaco. Therefore, think beyond the fears of connections, the discreet communications, the Five Flag Theory and offshore banking. Think about who you want to become and work that as hard as you work your expectations of privacy.

Frank M. Ahearn
www.Disappear.Info
Author of: The Art of Disappearing: 199 Essential Privacy and Disappearing Tips

A Short Thought

Some search for new lives at distant palm trees shores. While others yearn to go unnoticed in foreign cities. The dreams are basically the same, to live free and own a life better than the one possessed. This is not foolishness tinkering or ideas filled with grandeur. This is the beginning to the art of life, a start of personal freedom.

Do be aware that that sitting in Plaza Santa Ana or Campo de’ Fiori does not make one free. A postal code or arrondissement is only a façade of freedom. Freedom is about how you live, how you work and who you are in relation to your world. This is accomplished by your actions not the results of the Rue or Calle you call home.

No matter the stage in life, be it filled with hard cash or near broke and desperate. Your journey should begin with you and shedding the rubble from your world. Meaning, change the things about you before you change your city. If not, you will still be the same person in a different city. Perhaps, that is what you want.

Frank M. Ahearn
www.Disappear.Info
Author of: The Art of Disappearing, According to Sun Tzu’s, Art of War: Book One: Laying Plans

The Enslaved Bohemian

Most of the people I encounter are at an in between place in life. Typically, they stand on a foundation of disappointment. Many have worked hard and created a life they once believed in, while other have been unable to achieve the life they desire. What they all have in common is a feeling of being shackled to their existence.

In the past, when these “new-life” people contacted me, I was suspect of their motives. To a degree, I ignored this group thinking a truth was being withheld. Wrongly, I blew them off and I suggested they take an extended vacation. Not very kind on my part. I only looked at disappearing from the extreme.

However… A predator is a predator, some hurt people and some harass. It is possible for a life to be a predator. Think about it, a predator can enslave a person, just as a job, unhappiness, or the feeling of having no hope. These are experiences many of us have felt one time or another. Life should be a dream, not a nightmare, life should be beautiful and not an escape!

Sometimes a personal inventory is needed, an honest self-reflection. Is it me or is it the work? Is it me or my mate? How am I responsible for the life I am living? What do I need to do to change life? Can life be changed? If such a change means disappearing, is there happiness across the rainbow? Just because you walk away from your old life there are no guarantees that your new life will be all that. Trust me I know!

My plan when I moved to Europe was to write the next, A Moveable Feast. Instead, I spent the past two years hanging in cafes, talking and writing about disappearing. Not such a bad thing but not exactly the plan when I hopped on a plane from JFK.  In a weird sort of way, I feel like an enslaved bohemian.

What I have come to realize is back in New York, I placed blame on everything but myself and I believed bolting to Europe would solve all. What I have come to discover is I have been enslaved by the security of the disappear world.

Maybe honesty must rule before disappearing is considered or acted upon.

Frank M.Ahearn
www.Disappear.info

Author of: The Little Black Book Of Skip Tracing: Creating Pretext, Mastering Social Engineering And Finding Anyone Anywhere