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Well, different is really hard to define. But I do not have to deal with cold, snow or ice, the only ice I have here is in my glass with my morning juice, and here or back in California, my sweet wife would be at my side making sure my needs are met. My morning coffee is good where ever I am and each day is a blessing to be enjoyed to the fullest.
My view here from our balcony here is breathtaking as I am working out or riding the bike, Palm tree swaying in the breeze, trees adding contrast and color to the sky and I know there are many beautiful places in the US, mountains, and flatlands. I happen to like it here. The warmth, the smell from the trees and flowers, the friendly smile of a passing stranger as we say good morning or good day to each other touches my heart and feeds me.
Here I eat mostly fresh foods, the fruit and vegetables are tree or vine ripened and taste like what I remember from my childhood, the meat is not aged the way it is in the US and the fish are still moving in the early morning when we shop. But I could find most of the same things in the stores in California. but not vine ripened for the most part. They do have farmers markets there in the summer where you can get fresh picked fruit and vegetables. Here the growing season is year round, so I am eating fresh picked not something that was picked several days before and then trucked hundreds of miles to the stores of the town or city that I would be in. And I love fresh mangos, bananas and sweet pineapples, not to mention a fresh papaya just picked before breakfast, so sweet and juicy on the tongue.
Years ago, I was bitten by the travel bug, I yearn for adventures and need to see and explore to enjoy my retirement and I can feed that here where I live. But in the US Katleen and I would both have to work to feed the desire to go on adventures because we are not rich at all, so we would not have the time and I would not have the energy to do that. So the old saying “It is more fun in the Philippines” is so very true for us. At the drop of the hat, we can head out for a short day trip and just a few days of planning for something longer. So my need to explore is easy to keep satisfied and it helps keep my mind filled with wonder, even if I do fall asleep at times while riding in the car.
In the US the Internet is fast and dependable and power does not go out very often just a few times a year, phone coverage is good but there are many places with poor or no coverage for cell phones. Cell phone coverage is the same here; some places great some not so. The internet is getting better but has a ways to go especially for business. For me most of the time I am good, but I am not gaming, I use Facebook to keep in touch, read the news, send emails and watch a few movies on Netflix. Power can be a challenge as there are a lot of brownouts (blackouts if the truth be known). I have a generator that I can turn on during the day but in consideration of my neighbor I turn it off between 9 and 10 at night. The problem for me as I have sleep apnea and need a device if I want to sleep laying down. There is a hotel in town that has a generator also and it runs at night. So if there is a big need I can spend the night there and get a good night sleep so trouble handled.
So yes there are differences between living here and in the US or Europe and what determines where to live is based on what is important to you. For me I like it here, this feels like home to me.
Luke: I think we take our lives with us. I have lived in Japan, Austria and The Philippines in the last few years and pretty much set up my computer in an office in whatever apartment we rent; I read a lot of the same news sites, check the same teams box scores and correspond with many of the same people. Of course I go outside and that is where my life is different, but at home… same same. -Rob
And now~ even though I’ve just recently returned back to California… .I am SO HOMESICK! Definitely time for a vacation? You echo my heartfelt thoughts equally! Can’t wait to leave EmeriKKKa??
GB&TC~ nice article?
I so envy you, Luke, enjoying the sweet life in the province, while I am over here thousands of miles away yearning to be there, and can only imagine all the sensations you must be experiencing as you relax on your balcony. Luke, do you sometimes hang out with Filipinos gathered in front of your barangay’s sari-sari store just passing the time, or, perhaps participating in a tagay session? That would be one heck of a story to tell, I think.
John, yes I sometimes sit outside in the evening and talk with those that sit and talk about the day or something that has happened. But normally I just sit and listen as my wife and her friends chat and laugh about me and the other husbands or the kids that live around us. It is a sweet life here, filled with joy and at times wonder.
I would say that my life here is different, and better. First off, I have an economic freedom that would not be possible for me in the US. There, much of my retirement income would be spent just on housing. I would have to work till I dropped if I stayed in the US. Here, our housing is paid for (until we begin construction on the goodewyfe’s dreamhouse. But that money is already set aside.)
Here, we have the funds, but more importantly, the time to engage in pursuits we’ve long dreamed of.
Hello Pete – I hope you don’t mind my asking. The dream house soon to be constructed, will it be located at your ranch, or in the town proper (Bayombong?)? In my barangay of Salaza, as well, as in the administrative town of Palauig (Zambales), many homes have been constructed over the past decade, or, are in the process of being constructed. No doubt owned by ether retired U.S. Navy or OFW, the most noticeable thing about these beautiful homes is that each one is more impressive than the other, especially of their respective facade, and if they are lined… Read more »
Yes the dream house will be on the ranch. We have the spot picked out and leveled already. Marlyn has taken great joy over the years in the designing of it. In its original form, it was a multi story modern marvel. I reminded her that we were going to grow old in this house, and of the difficulties her own elderly mother was experiencing with stairs. The latest design is a one story modern marvel.
Pete, My life is better here. I love the fresh fruits and the veg I find here year round, and you are right here I can retire and enjoy life. If I was still living in the US I would still be working in order to afford my house payments and paying our bills and being about to pay for health care. Plus I am sure my wife would be working also to assist. Here we are freer to enjoy our dream. We might not be rich but we eat well and have a house that we love. While having… Read more »
Luke: I agree that the fresh food is wonderful, I have a papaya tree, avocado tree and for my morning cereal I planted a banana tree. I learned in Puerto Rico that banana trees will die after you pick the hand growing. But most fresh food here is seasonal, Baggio has strawberries for a couple of months a year, but that just gives you something to look forward too next day. In the early 1960’s I visited Europe on ships, they were lacking everything and many countries were in an economic shamble just two decades after WW-II and I witnessed… Read more »
Paul, I enjoy papaya fresh from our trees, same for Banana and mangos, and lonsonees and in a few years mangosteens and several others, plus if our trees are not ripe there are many available in the market including melons. Cereal is normally raisins for me but sometimes I add a banana too. And I have watched the improvements here for many years. I was stationed here from 1970 – 1973 and then returned in 2007 with visits every year til 2013 when we moved here after retiring. Many changes over the years, and I do love living here. In… Read more »
Share your sentiments entirely Luke. For the 32 years I worked in the Middle east I visited family 2-3 times a year. It was a must. Since retiring here I only planned one trip a year, and currently am approaching a two-year spell without a trip home. My point is, if you are going to be away for an extended period of time. this is the place to do it. I wouldn’t have tolerated it whilst I was in Saudi.
I pity those who work most of their lives just to have more money . They’re slaves of their own greed.