Sometimes why people do things is more interesting than what they do. Skip this section if you are not interested.
I really started to move to Asia, in my mind, when I was nine years old; it’s funny how some things take longer than others to mature. I am a veteran of the Vietnam War, which means I lived in Vietnam when I was 18 years old. You may argue with the verb—lived—as being misplaced, but nonetheless I was exposed to a place, that I liked, for a lot of reasons. I hated the war part, but I did love the Jungle and the culture.
I volunteered for the Army when I was seventeen years old. My early youth was spent, on Navy bases; my father was a WWII Veteran and career officer in the Navy, my mother was at Perl Harbor when it was bombed. They taught me that being patriotic was at the core of democracy and freedom.
I had many friends, who were hippies, and they expressed their disgust with the war. They also seemed to have, a lot of knowledge about the evil reasons we were involved in Vietnam. I didn’t believe any of it, given my upbringing, so I volunteered to find out the truth. I went in the Army in 1967 before the summer of love, at the height of the hippie and drug movement.
What I found out is—they were right. War is a money laundering operation. The movie and book, “Catch 22” honestly, captured what a war zone is like. Suffice it to say, everything that is destined or sent to a war zone is expendable. There is no balance sheet in expendable. The product or people sent there, were either brought back, died or were blown up. There is no profit, or gain only expenditures.
When I came back from the war, I was treated like a Pariah by people who found out I was a Veteran. The years that followed the war, showed that the hippie movement had no staying power and communes turned into opium dens. There is a theory, that life is like a pendulum, which swings from one extreme to the other. After such an altruistic time, that affected civil rights, Watergate and and end of a questionable war, it seemed like everyone sold out to an economic “helter skelter.” Make money, use or cheat the system, and do as little as possible.
Patriotism became a shame word, government only acquiesce, when a whistle blower or tell all book exposed obvious holes in the firmament. I just never got over the discrimination, of being a war veteran. From the time I got out of the Army, I never felt like I belonged in America and I didn’t know what to do about it. I realized it was important to lie, about being a war veteran, especially on job and credit applications.
It still seems odd, in an equal employment opportunity society; government reporting should include questions that lay bare all of your acupuncture points of discrimination.
I am a California native, who lived all over the United States as a military brat, son of a Naval Officer. A rolling stone! I worked my way through school as a carpenter hanging drywall. I became a disk jockey after getting my FCC License. Working in broadcast engineering I was recruited by the phone company as a Microwave/Satellite technician. After leaving the phone company I worked for many big and small companies, until I started my own company in 1991. It was a somewhat successful company until I took my first trip to Asia in 2004. Everything broke after that and I realized that I needed to get to Asia.
I love warm weather; beaches, minimal clothing, and especially NO SOCKS! In the more emerging countries, freedom is best expressed where Governing bodies have developed more slowly. I am not an outlaw or a soldier of fortune, but I don’t like being told to get off a bicycle because I don’t have a helmet.
There is a lot more detail in my book and I would be remiss not to plug it here.
I went at this whole migration one step at a time. It really wasn’t planned; I was taking one baby step toward retirement at a time. I was and am not really at retirement age, yet, so I felt like I had to work more. I went back and forth to America, at one point, three times in a year. I just flat wasted a lot of money!
My travels first were to Thailand, a wonderful country but I had always been in love with Japanese culture, so I spent time there on a trip. Japan is America with a foreign language. I just fell out of love with Japan so quickly I couldn’t believe it. I had even taken a year of Japanese before my visit. I went to the Philippines frequently because of its raw edge and vast amount of beaches. I would have never thought it would have happened, to me, but I was falling in love with the Philippines.
In 2005 I left America for the last time,( I thought) my first destination was the Philippines, for a wedding of a friend’s niece. It was in Boracay, which is a hot resort spot for people in Asia. Next I went to live in the Himalayas and take some computer classes. I was there for six months, with one month in Delhi. (see book). I left India with lung problems and headed to Thailand, where I knew the hospitals were second to none. I stayed there and taught English and lived in a Thai neighborhood. To satisfy my visa requirements I would go back and forth between Malaysia, Philippines, Lao and Cambodia for visa renewals. I went to Vietnam, Hong Kong and China on junkets to check out work and sight see. Finally in 2007, I found a lady friend and started to settle in Manila.
In late 2009 I brought my girlfriend and her daughter, now my wife and daughter, to America on a Fiancé Visa. She stayed for a year, but she was lonely and bored with America. I was getting that disenfranchised feeling again and in 2010 we returned to Manila.
There is a lot of living in the last three paragraphs, and I hope to shed light on a lot of it in pages and generally blogging about daily life in the Philippines.
One of the good things was I bought a condo, which I am living in today, but plan to rent in the future.
My purpose in writing the blog is to explain a lot of the intricate details of living and moving to another country. In America we always hear about green cards but it is just noise, until you have to get one for a spouse, which I did, or you have to get one in another country, which I have.
I really want you to buy my book, but that is in the hands of the Gods, as it were. I can only try to save you the money that I wasted in my search and final transition.
I did some good things and I did some bad. I hope to help you learn from those experiences.
We all think we are better off by the things that we want and ultimately get. A lot of people will talk about those things that they want to do. I have known a lot of people like that! Somewhere along the way I realize that talking wasn’t as much fun as doing…