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A Beach Less Traveled Hardcover – September 1, 2012

11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"My wife and I met the Berglunds when we visited their perfumery on Saint Martin and we were amazed by their adventurous energy and passion. A Beach Less Traveled sizzles with the same enthusiasm--the driving force behind their incredible business venture in the tropics."
- Tito Francona, Major League Baseball Player, 1956-1970

"A Beach Less Traveled is a paean to the good life, joie de vivre, and savoir faire. Lie down, relax, feel the sun, smell the sea, sip a 'ti punch, and discover a much slower and simpler way to life. It's an island life, mon, and you're going to love it..."
-Mark Greenside, author of I'll Never Be French (No Matter What I Do)

"A Beach Less Traveled takes the reader through every challenge, every victory, and every touching encounter with the people of a 37-square mile island. A must-read for anyone seeking to make a Caribbean island their home, but also instructive from a business point of view."
-Lisa Burnett, The Daily Herald, Saint Martin, NA

"A fascinating story, made even better by Berglund's talent for balancing pure joy and real sacrifice as he relates his wonderful true adventure. The ultimate how-to book for dreamers."
- Jim Goodwin, Stars & Strikes

About the Author

John Berglund has had a varied and successful career, starting as a chief county prosecuting attorney at age twenty-four, after which he became a lobbyist and trade association executive. Throughout his career one relatively unknown commonality remained: Berglund's avocation for chemistry and the creation of chemical compounds, which he put to use when he relocated to Saint Martin and opened his perfumery, Tijon.

Berglund's soul mate and business partner is his wife of over thirty years, Cyndi, who brings her vivacious personality and talent for jewelry design and customer service to Tijon. Cyndi, a former physical education teacher, award winning bed-and-breakfast operator, retail manager, and corporate employee, has been John's primary assistant in his formulations and first responder to many smell tests.

In between these endeavors, Cyndi and John raised the couple's two children, Rachelle and T.J., both now adults living in San Diego.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Emerald Book Company (September 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1937110311
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937110314
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,229,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Berglund has had a varied and successful career, starting as a chief county prosecuting attorney at age twenty-four, after which he became a lobbyist and trade association executive. Throughout his career one relatively unknown commonality remained: Berglund's avocation for chemistry and the creation of chemical compounds, which he put to use when he relocated to Saint Martin and opened his perfumery, Tijon.

Berglund's soul mate and business partner is his wife of over thirty years, Cyndi, who brings her vivacious personality and talent for jewelry design and customer service to Tijon. Cyndi, a former physical education teacher, award winning bed-and-breakfast operator, retail manager, and corporate employee, has been John's primary assistant in his formulations and first responder to many smell tests.

In between these endeavors, Cyndi and John raised the couple's two children, Rachelle and T.J., both now adults living in San Diego.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Bordelon on October 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"A Beach Less Traveled" couldn't come at a better time, and its an enjoyable read.

France has increased its personal income tax on successful hard working citizens to 75% on top of their V.A.T. tax. The U. S. administration has spent the last several years attacking prosperous Americans as "evil and greedy", and depending on the election, hard working and high income Americans may face increased taxes on everything from federal income tax to capital gains tax and dividend tax. People are seeking a place to live in relative peace, and St. Martin, or St. Maarten (the Dutch side), offer clean air, clean water, friendly people, a great location to retire, and if you're so inclined, a wonderful place for a small business to put your life savings to work.

John and Cyndi Berglund clearly thought through the logistics of relocating as ex-pat Americans, and the book wonderfully memorializes their journey. What shines through is John's organizational skills in outlining the 272 page instruction manual on escaping the rat race or unfavorable political intrusions into our personal lives to provide a well-detailed map with humorous stories and examples of foreign red tape maze amid the splendor on the Caribbean.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who dreams of putting the money they've saved to effective use to calm the soul amid paradise -even if you want to continue working. St. Martin is detailed as a multi-cultural and diverse collection of wonderful people from all over the world who have traveled to an island rich in benefits. I am most appreciative of the book's insight and love of life.

John and Cyndi Berglund should receive positive recognition from both the island's inhabitants and the readers ofthis book for this must-have read on the beach at Grande Case, St. Martin.

After reading, I started packing my suitcase!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Beth Marsie-Hazen on November 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great read on life in my favorite island. I am also considering moving there someday so this came in very handy and will help me prepare better. I love St. Martin and especially Grand Case. Thank you John and Cindy. I stopped by Tijon on my recent trip but you were closed. I will definitely come by early next time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jovi on October 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
In July of 2013, I surprised my partner with a trip to the Tijon perfume lab in LaJolla, California for his birthday. It was THE MOST FUN experience so I was compelled to buy this book! So glad that I did, as the "behind the scenes" story was fascinating. A true testament to the power of love and commitment.

On our bucket list: a pilgrimage to St. Martin to experience the original lab that started it all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By zinger on November 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a true story about a couple's move from the USA to St Martin and becoming Ex-Pats. My wife and I did much the same thing and lived on the island for almost 7 years. I enjoyed reading about someone's experiences that paralleled ours. It gave insight to the fact that just because you live in a vacation spot it is not a full time vacation. It was well written and funny at times.
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Format: Hardcover
Disclaimer: I received a free review copy of this book from the publisher.

John Berglund from Minnesota decided he had had enough of the corporate life and decided to move to the Caribbean and open up a perfume shop with his wife Cindy. The morale of the story is that anyone can do what they really want - if they want it badly enough.

Is that really true? Berglund provides no overall budget for his adventure, but it is clear that his family invests hundreds of thousands of dollars. So, is it more correct to say that you can follow your dreams -- if you have enough money?

Regardless, A beach less travelled is a compelling tale of someone with courage, open-mindedness, determination and longing for a simpler life.

After visiting St. Martin with their family in 1996 the Berglunds secretly decides to change their life. It took them another 15 years before their final and permanent move to the smallest island shared by two countries, their paradise on Earth.

I find this book to be a little lengthy at times; some of the stories draw out into boredom - especially some of the tales of island life, with numerous examples pretty much telling the same story.

On the other hand, if you ever plan to open a business in the French West Indies, this book is a perfect recipe. It outlines all challenges regarding immigration, health insurance, business licenses and contractor's. In the end, it seems like it takes a lot of effort and a lot of money, but if you have both to spare, then you could be living happy island life after a decade or more of struggle.

All in all, it's an entertaining read interspersed with some boring passages. I enjoyed it.
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Format: Hardcover
I enjoy reading travel non-fiction, and this seemed to be a nice story of a couple who managed to achieve something that most people only dream of - starting a business and moving to a tropical island. It's basically an autobiography, with all the boring parts included. If you're expecting Peter Mayle-level of storytelling skill, you'll be rather disappointed. He defines ambergris in detail twice, when really the entire thing could have been edited out without missing anything. I had to read about his home repair... and then his phone repair... I get it, island life is slow. In the end, a nice story of a nice couple, but a choppy and slow read.
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