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Bob & Feyma are moving to the USA
Where will they live in the United States?
When Feyma and I finally reached our decision about moving back to the USA, we thought everything would be simple after that. It was not!
Unlike most people, I really don’t have a “hometown” in the United States. When I was growing up, my Dad worked in an industry where he was transferred from place to place a lot. He worked for a pulp and paper company, and he was kind of the “fix it” guy for the company. They had paper mills all over the world, and when they had a paper mill that was not doing well, it was my Dad that was often sent to put things right.
Usually, almost always, it took around 2 years to get things shaped up, and when the mill was working as it should, that meant it was time to pull up stakes and move somewhere else.
It was so bad that I don’t even know the extended family very well, people like cousins and such. My mother passed away earlier this year, and my father died many years ago. Because of this, there is no obvious place where Feyma and I should move.
When Feyma moved to the States after our marriage in 1990, we lived in Ridgefield, Washington. Ridgefield is near Vancouver, Washington, and Portland, Oregon. My mom lived in Vancouver, WA (not Canada!), so we lived near to her.
Overall, we liked the Portland area, but the weather was not on that “we liked” list. So much rain in the Pacific Northwest. Looking at Cost of Living, as well, we find that the Portland Metro area is a bit expensive.
So, we ruled out Portland/Vancouver/Ridgefield, although these places are the closest places to what might be called “my hometown.”
My Dad was from Montana. Anaconda, Montana to be exact. We did spend a lot of vacation time in my childhood in Montana. I also when to college at Montana State University, in Bozeman, Montana. I have always loved Bozeman.
Additionally, I am an avid fisherman (something I miss badly here in the Philippines), and fishing is great in Montana.
Feyma and I originally decided that Bozeman (or perhaps somewhere else in Montana) would be our new home. I was happy that we settled on Montana. It would also give me an opportunity to establish more of a relationship with cousins in my extended family, people that I never got a chance to know well in my childhood.
As I thought about it for a few days, though, I realized that Montana is quite cold, lots of snow and such. I kind of felt excited for a complete change like that, but I also realized that making such an extreme change would be difficult on Feyma. I thought further and realized that I am fully acclimated to the Philippines. The hot weather here is quite comfortable for me, and transitioning to Montana weather would probably be as hard on me as it would be on Feyma.
So, I talked to Feyma about this, and we decided that we might be better to seek a different place as our new home.
My old Mentee
A great experience that I had here in the Philippines was being a mentor to a young lady starting back in 2001. Her name is Gladys.
We were living in General Santos City at the time, and Gladys was a student at a college just across the street from one of our businesses. One day, Gladys (whom I did not know at the time) came into our Internet Cafe there and applied to work for us as an OJT (On the Job Trainee – part of the college curriculum here). I did not have expectations that this would work out to be something special in my life, but I hired her for OJT.
At the end of the summer (when OJT is finished) I didn’t want Gladys to leave. She also wanted to keep working. So, I hired her as a regular employee, after school hours.
When we moved to Davao the next year, Gladys had graduated from College, and I convinced her to move to Davao with us. She went on to manage every business that I own, and she was great. My days were easy because Gladys took care of everything.
Today, Gladys lives in the United States (since 2008, I believe).
An idea popped into my mind
Feyma and I have stayed in touch with Gladys over the years, and it occurred to me that Gladys lives in the desert southwest, New Mexico, and I thought that New Mexico might be just right for us. So, I called Gladys and talked to her about the idea. She was very excited and offered a lot of help in terms of helping us adjust to the area, helping Feyma obtain great employment and such.
Feyma wants to have a job there in the USA. I will continue doing entrepreneurial things on the Internet, so I can just set up a computer when we arrive and I am back to work.
So, we are going to live in New Mexico?
Well, maybe. Likely. But we are also considering Las Vegas as well. Gladys lives in a rather small town in New Mexico. So, we are considering the town where Gladys lives, as well as Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Las Vegas, Nevada.
Our #1 choice right now is Albuquerque, Vegas being #2, and the smaller town being third on our list.
With Aaron living in Atlanta, and Jared living in Alaska, we will be somewhat far from each of our sons, but kind of between the two. It works for us. This would apply to any of our top 3 target destinations.
As time goes forward, we will make a final decision. ABQ is by far #1 right now, though, and I would say it is probably 80% that we will end up there.
Major Update: NM is out!
On Monday afternoon, after I had published my article announcing that we would be moving, I got a message from one of my closest LiP friends. We met through this site years ago, and have become very close friends. I am not going to say his name, because I am not sure if he wants me to do that.
Anyway, my friend lives in Indiana. Not a warm weather place, which was on the top of my list. But, he spoke about his area in Indiana, and it sounded really good. Furthermore, he had a very good lead on a job for Feyma there. Feyma wants to work, and one of the big concerns is health insurance. Since I will be self-employed, and I had a heart attack and other health problems in the past, health insurance would be hard to get if we can’t get a group plan. That would not be possible given my self-employment.
This job, though, which I am certain Feyma can get easily, would offer health benefits, and also is the kind of work that Feyma has been doing the past couple of years anyway. So.. it is perfect for us.
So, at this point, Indiana is looking really good to us! Yeah, cold weather, but we can adjust. Getting back to seeing changing seasons, some snow and such might be nice anyway.
Special thanks to my friend who brought this opportunity to my attention, and has provided some invaluable assistance and willingness to help us in any way we ask. What a great friend!
Hey, if any of you have suggestions on where we should settle, chime in and let me know! Nothing is decided yet!
If you are considering Vegas, do more research. Lots of robberies there as I have had friends that moved there many years ago.
Hi Bob. We were previously considering Las Vegas, but no more. We have settled on Indiana now.
It’s not too far from my old stomping grounds (Ohio). I miss my friends there but not the weather. In my opinion, Fort Wayne or Indy might be ok. Most of the rest of the state is too rural for me and Gary shouldn’t even be considered. Feyma should be familiar with the cold by now. You’ll be the one who has to get re-acclimated, lol. Either way enjoy your new adventure.
Hi Mark – I am surprised how many Ohioans I am hearing from! Yeah, I am a bit concerned about adjusting to both the weather and everything else in the USA. I have been away so long. It will certainly be an adventure for me! Feyma is, as you say, already adjusted!
May I respectfully submit an opinion? As a 60 something senior, I would like to suggest you live near your son in Atlanta if he is established there & not likely to move. As we age, it is important to have support systems in place. At least that way when your son from Alaska comes home he can see you all.
There are lots of suburbs near Atlanta with reasonable prices on housing. Weather is temperate. You will be within driving distance of mountains, beaches & Florida if you need warm weather. That’s just my humble opinion!
Of course, happy to take your opinion. Our son in Atlanta just moved there 2 weeks ago… LoL.. so I can’t say he is stable there. But, thanks for your suggestion.
Consider getting a good used RV to start with, used ones are reasonably priced and well equipped, if you don’t like where you are just hook on and move to another area. You could even go to Alaska.
Hi Loren. At this point, an RV is not in the cards for us. We would not be able to do any kind of extended travel, as we are still fairly young, we will both be working, etc. Also, because of my eye condition, I can’t drive anymore (hoping they can fix that, though). Feyma would not be crazy about driving an RV, I think. LoL.
Pacita and I used to live in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We had a good Philippine-American Association there with many friends. We now live near Western Indianapolis, because our daughter and her children are here. We use an IU Health Medicare Advantage plan for our health insurance. Indianapolis is not as cold in the winter as Fort Wayne, bur still gets some snow. Tonight it will be about 22 degrees F, but no snow on the ground now.
We really are not looking for a Philippine community, but we are not against it. We want to live near people that we like, but we don’t care about their nationality or heritage. Been there, done that… it is not a concern to us. Feyma has a good opportunity in Indiana (we are targeting Logansport, BTW). I want to support her on the goals that she has in mind, employment-wise.
Logansport is a good area though it will be difficult to find good pizza.
Probably not more difficult than getting good pizza in the Philippines. LoL
Logansport IN is very nice friendly people and more laid back, t’s not as cold as Chicago, I love the huge Wabash River and enjoy boating.
I have heard many good things about Logansport, and very little (no?)_ bad. It is a good sign.
Good luck wherever you end up at Bob!
We just left North Cincinnati for North Kentucky earlier this year.
Good luck on your move, John! Moving is always exciting for new things!
Bob, the only recommendation I can make is stay out of California. High cost of living, high tax, poor quality of life just to name a few reasons. I always enjoyed places like Tenn. when I had meetings there and West Virginia, beautiful to see, but never looked into living there. You will figure it out. And from what I hear companies are screaming for people to work for them. Labor shortage right now for those that want to work.
For sure, Luke.. I will NEVER live in CA. Too much tax trouble there, and crazy politics too! LoL
I was going to suggest Antelope Valley (Palmdale/Lancaster), but if you are not keen on California so be it.
I grew up in NM and will tell you that you made a good choice not moving there. As for me in the states I am big on staying in Texas and can recommend several decent areas where the whole family can get what they need, at the same time your kids can visit easily or vice versa living close to a major airport
After deciding to look further, I started hearing some bad things about NM. Thanks, Mike.
Hi Bob & Feyma
Although originally from New Zealand, I spent some time in ABQ and I thought it was a great place. Good luck to yourself and family. Live well.
Thank you, Murray!
We chose Florida for a variety of reasons warm weather good medical and dental care. Many Philippines lower cost of living. I would suggest you stay away from the highly populated areas due to traffic and crime. Good luck in your search.
Hi Roger. The place we have chosen, Logansport, Indiana, has a population of under 20,000. Low cost of living. Feyma works there will offer medical, dental and vision insurance as well as other great benefits like 401k and such. I have a good friend there. Seems like a very welcoming community. Close enough to large cities so that all of the amenities are available that we need. The most important thing for me, because of my work, is good internet, and that is also available there. It seems like a good fit for us. Yeah, cold weather, but we are… Read more »