Friday, September 21st, 2018

Living Local


PI_Market_570_300In my first on topic post, I would like to talk about what we call here at home Living Local. This means when you are visiting a country for more than a couple days to live as the locals do. This is the best way to get a good understanding of their culture and their country. Bruce over at American in Davao blog discussed this very topic just the other day. That discussion led me to think about this further and how it relates to people that have not spent significant time in the Philippines and have “made up their minds” to move there.

People often think that they are resilient and can take anything, but if you have not spent time in a 3rd world country for a extended period(s) , you really may not know what you would be missing by moving there. I purpose that one self examines their life and thinks about what they can live with and without. From my experience it takes weeks to really see what you miss from home. In my 17 years in the telecommunications industry, jaunting around the globe, I have spent months at a time in 3rd world countries and you really get to see what the country and people are all about. Most of these trips I lived local, in rented apartments/houses and drove myself around. (Hotels and Taxis get very expensive when your staying somewhere for 60 days (even in 3rd world countries)) I almost always had chaperons, assigned by the company, to be there if I need anything. I became good friends with most of them and spent my free time while in the country out with them and their friends and families. I still have several friends that we keep up with today overseas that we have met thru business.

Staying in a hotel and riding around the city in taxis, is NO WHERE NEAR, “Living Local”, not matter how long you spend there.

Just a few examples (as it pertains to the PI):

In the hotel you are most likely not experience brown outs. These happen all over the country quite frequently, most establishments tourists frequent run on generators.

When you are using taxis you get on your phone or look around at the sites or talk to friends and pay no attention to the silly driving habits of the locals and the extreme traffic.

When your eating in restaurants that cater to westerners you can’t really appreciate how simple the locals “menu” is.

Simple things in a 1st world society become down right hard and frustrating in cultures that have limited infrastructure and large bureaucracies that are often corrupt.  You all know the exercise in patience the DMV is in the states, just imagine what its like to renew your visa or drivers license in a 3rd world country.

This post is in now way meant to discourage any of you from following your dreams and chasing the “Dream Retirement”, only to possibly open your eyes to new ideas that you may have not thought of before. Mostly to give you all something to consider as your time come closer to retirement.

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17 Responses to “Living Local”
  1. Bruce says:

    Thanks for commenting to my site and your words relating to one of my articles. You know better than me about other 3rd world countries. I only know the Philippines and most experience is in Davao.

    You said you need a few weeks to understand life here. To me it is a never ending lesson in culture and life.

  2. rich says:

    Bruce is #1 !!!!

    One could go as far as to say its culture shock for most Americans moving to the Philippines. I have heard many a story (outside of Bob’s April Fools Prank) , which as a matter of fact, fooled Neneng completely for about 5 mins, she was trying to convince me that Bob was packing it in and going home, lol, I’m like I dont think so, then directed her to the post date and what do you know it was from April 1, LOL funny stuff…………..ahhh my naive filipina.

  3. Vanessa says:

    Bravo my love! you finally have this up and running. I know how much time you’ve put into creating this. So there’s no stopping you ha??? you are indeed moving to my birth country? I never would have imagine you becoming an online writer/blog junkie like me lol.

    Ok Bruce you beat me, he is a litttle upset lol, i didn’t get the honor to be the first one to comment here. Sorry dear, dinner comes first lol.

  4. rich says:

    Alright, I’ll let you slide seeing how you made manok 🙂 mmmmmmmmm yummy

  5. Bruce says:


    Delete my comment and I will resend so your sweetie can be #1 here as she is with your heart.

  6. Vanessa aka Banot says:


    Don’t worry about it, he is just being childish! He likes to act like that sometimes. He is actually kidding.

  7. Danny says:

    Kamusta ka Rich,

    This looks like another great site for those of us planning on making our home in the Philippines. So I am guessing that you are still in the USA right now? That is also great that at the age of 37 years old, you are able to retire full-time to Philippines, or will you still be conducting business from the Philippines?
    I was hoping to have already been in the Philippines, but the economy has held me back, at least for now. I also live in South Florida, and things are pretty bad now, as far as jobs go. Not sure what work you are in Rich, and reading one of Bruce’s blog comments you left, saying that you have more work than you can handle…that is great.
    Well, when you do make the move to PI, I wish you and Vanessa the best of wishes, and your family as well.

    Salamat kaayo,
    Danny 🙂

  8. rich says:


    Thanks for stopping by. Yes we are still in the USA, South Texas. I spent a couple years of high school and college days as well as lived in miami beach for a total of mmmm 7 or 8 years. Love it down there but much to expensive to live there and try to retire early just doesnt make financial sense. Luckily my work will allow me to live where ever.

    I hope by the day i move to the philippines the only work Ill be doing is golf and family, possibly with some consulting work on the side.

    Stick around, there is going to plenty of information regarding the move and things youll find upon moving. Stay Tuned and thanks again for stopping in 🙂

  9. Tom says:

    Where are you at. I grew up in Killeen. Haven’t been there in a while. I am in Phoenix now and planning on making the move to Cebu within the next 12 to 18 months. Drop in on my blog sometime and tell me what you think. 😎

  10. rich says:

    We are now in San Antonio, we will check it out ASAP, thx for letting us know, i believe ive been there before.

  11. Tom says:

    I lived in San Antonio when my dad was at Fort Sam Houston. Haven’t been there in a while either. Look I’m a slice of pizza. I love it. 🙂 I couldn’t find anything in Texas when I was looking for work so Phoenix was as close as I could get.

  12. Tom,

    Welcome here! You are retiring soon?? that’s great. Hope you enjoy your stay in the Philippines. Which city/town you are planning to settle down?? I’m from Mati, 3hours drive from Davao City. My parents house still there but their families were originally from Davao City. We will be going there in a month for vacation. Our retirement house will be build in Davao area btw.

  13. Tom says:

    I hope I will be retiring in a little over a year. Right now I am looking at Cebu but I will look around more after I get there before I pick a permanent place. I am leaving tomorrow. I’ll be there untill mid October. I haven’t been to Mindinao before but I want to make it there one of these days.


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  1. […] a follow up to an earlier post Living Local, I wanted to delve deeper into what you can do to “Live Local” and save tons of money […]

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