It’s an old saying… Don’t burn your bridges. It’s good advice, though.
When I first thought about moving to the Philippines, I had met a guy online who lived here already, and we became friends. His name is Mike. I exchanged e-mail with Mike regularly and got to know him well. As time passed, I let Mike in on my plan or desire to move to the Philippines. I asked him what he thought about the idea, or if he could share his experience and let me know what to expect. Back in those days there were no blogs like this, and without Mike and a few others, I would have been on my own.
So, what did Mike tell me? His first words of advice were – “Don’t burn your bridges.” I asked Mike what he meant by that and he explained to me that living in the Philippines is not the paradise that you think. It’s not like when you come here on vacation. It’s coming here permanently. It’s not a bed of roses, and not everybody can make the adjustment. Because of that, it’s good to keep your options open. Maybe you will want or need to return to the USA, right? Well, a good number of people do burn their bridges before coming here. Some people run up debt and walk away from it. If they go back to the States, they are going to have people chasing after them! That is not a good life. So Mike was clear to me… preserve your option to go back!
Mike was right, it’s a good thing to keep that option viable! I have lived here long enough now that I’ve overcome the obstacles that will certainly be present in moving to a new country. I know that there were a lot of times that I wanted to go home. But, over time, “home” became here in Davao for me. At this point, I can’t imagine even considering a return to the States, but getting to this point has not been all that easy. There were hard times that I had to overcome.
So, I want to pass along Mike’s sage advice to you – Don’t Burn Your Bridges! You never know when they might be needed again. For me, I didn’t burn the bridges back to the States, but my bridges are getting a little overgrown with grass and hard to navigate any more. I haven’t used those bridges for many years, after all!