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Meet your tour guide

J a m a i c a n   o n   S a i p a n        
"Once upon a time, there was a Jamaican civil engineer living in New York who hated his job, followed his passion, started a sideline business publishing his own books, made enough money to quit his job, escaped the rat race, ran off to a tropical island in the Pacific, and started a tourism business so he could give tours of the island to pretty girls* every day....and live a nomadpreneur's dream life."

*Of course, if you're not a pretty girl, you can still get an amazing tour of Saipan!

That's the short version of how I ended up on Saipan. I'll jump into the story of my life at the Saipan chapter. You can read the full story here

...in 2006, through a friend who had visited and raved about his experience, I discovered the little-known US commonwealth island of Saipan for myself, booked a one-way ticket, and escaped from New York to begin living out my own nomadpreneur dream life on this Pacific island paradise.

Once on the island, and wanting to be a part of the re-branding of Saipan's image, I launched the WeLoveSaipan.com website, then 20 additional sites devoted to showing the world the often overlooked images and impressions of Saipan and the CNMI (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands).

For five years, I wrote a weekly business column for the Saipan Tribune entitled "The Saipanpreneur Project."

B o o k s

I've also written several books about Saipan, including
(1) Jamaican on Saipan!.
(2) Doing Business on Saipan to further encourage entrepreneurial activity on the island, and....

(3) Chicken Feathers and Garlic Skin: Diary of a Chinese Garment Factory Girl on Saipan, co-authored with former garment factory worker Chun Yu Wang, and

(4) Saipan Living! A comprehensive guide for moving to, finding a job, working, living or vacationing in the Northern Mariana Islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota.

(5) Saipan Now! A photo adventure guide.

I also co-founded Destination Saipan Marketing, Inc.--a tourism company--to help visitors experience the best of Saipan's accommodations and activities, and actually do give tours to pretty girls (and everyone else) through my DiscoverSaipan.com website!

One of my proudest moments came when was recognized by official CNMI Senate Resolution No. 15-54 for my contributions to Saipan, its residents and economy.

As I mentioned in the short version of my story, I'm originally from the beautiful island of Jamaica, and, you can read about my first year and impressions of life on a different island paradise in the book Jamaican on Saipan!

You can read about Walt's Escape from America here:
jamaican on saipan cover
Jamaican on Saipan: The true, on-going story of one man's escape from the rat race to live a nomadpreneur's dream life...a unique travel guide for the rest of us!

With its world class diving sites, corals beyond compare, natural beauty, warm weather and people to match, the paradise-inspired island of Saipan in the Pacific might be just the ideal setting for a nomad's adventure, except that few people are familiar with this furthest east American commonwealth just 150 miles north of Guam. But Jamaican in Saipan, a unique book by Walt Goodridge, which chronicles the author's escape from the rat race in search of a private dream, may yet change that fact.... (176 pages; 5.5 x 8.5 ISBN: 978-0974531397; Includes Walt's exciting adventures, insights, emails back home, and journal entries, PLUS over 140 photographs of life on Saipan!

Order paperback now

My Saipan-Specific "Resume"

As a transplanted resident of Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) since 2006, I have embarked on several projects to make a difference and to help improve the quality of life here on the island.

Since relocating here, I have:
► conducted several "Turn Your Passion into Profit" workshops

► launched the "We Love Saipan" website/blogger movement

► started a Food Co-op/Buyer's Group

► written over 300 empowerment articles for the Saipan Tribune and Marianas Variety newspapers in my weekly Saipanpreneur Column

► conducted numerous writer workshops for aspiring authors. View www.saipanwriters.com

► conducted similar workshops on the neighboring islands of Tinian and Guam for the Chamber of Commerce, US Navy

► given tours of the islands to visitors interested in the history and culture: http://www.discoversaipan.com Video of my tours

► been interviewed by authors writing books on this US territory (See The Not Quite States of America by Doug Mack)

► been featured as an expert in the documentary, "American's Forgotten Colonies" (72,000 views as of this writing)

► written and self-published several books about Saipan including
Jamaican on Saipan
Saipan Living
Doing Business on Saipan
Saipan Now
There's Something About Saipan
Chicken Feathers & Garlic Skin: Diary of a Chinese Garment Factory Girl on Saipan, which remains the only first-hand account of factory life on Saipan and was used as a textbook in several "Textile Industry" and "Women's Studies" university courses in mainland US, and portions of which were excerpted in a French textbook on "The American Dream"
From Bugle Boy to Battleship
Drinking Seawater
The Amelia Earhart on Saipan tour supplement

► launched a Change.org campaign to encourage Crayola Crayons to name their new blue color "Saipan Blue" in tribute to the amazingly blue waters that surround the island and SaipanBlue.com

► launched a successful GoFundMe campaign to help certain victims and survivors of the category 5 super typhoon YUTU,

► been recognized by American Memorial Park (National Park Service) for my efforts to increase visitorship through my tours http://www.saipantribune.com January 11, 2018 See: Photo in Marianas Variety newspaper

► started health groups and staged screenings of health documentaries in order to raise the health consciousness on island

► ...AND been recognized by the CNMI Legislature's Resolution 15-54 for my contributions to CNMI society:

R a s t a f a r i   l e g a c y   o n   S a i p a n        
Just as a bit of history trivia: my grandfather, Charles Frederick Goodridge, played a key role in the founding of the Rastafari religion in Jamaica.

[article excerpt:] Rastafari (RAH-stah-far-eye) is a religious belief system that started in Jamaica in the 1930s. Even people unfamiliar with the religion or its tenets, are often indirectly aware of Rastafari through its influence on Reggae—a musical genre also originating in Jamaica that serves as unofficial vehicle for spreading the Rastafarian world view. Musical pioneers like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Dennis Brown, Bob Andy—all converts to Rastafari, along with many others—brought Reggae, and by default, Rastafari to world attention.

What many people know less about is how the religion actually formed and evolved. In his book, , author, Timothy White, writes:

"The true foundation of Rastafarianism is the Holy Piby, the "Black Man’s Bible," compiled by Robert Athlyi Rogers of Anguilla…A Barbadian minister named Rev. Charles F[rederick] Goodridge came upon the secret Bible in Colon, Panama…[and] with a woman named Grace Jenkins Garrison...brought the doctrine of the Holy Piby to Jamaica in 1925." see excerpt

Charles Frederick Goodridge brought the foundation of Rastafari, the Holy Piby, to Jamaica in 1925; Grandson, Walt Frederick Jerome Goodridge continues tradition of sharing information, from an island in the Pacific

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