To Expatriate – or Not?

A born and raised red-blooded American I am, and as most Americans, I grew up loving my country, and I still do. The eldest of 6 siblings, I grew up first, and was undoubtedly the designated test-bed child. In larger families, the first-born is usually and specifically designated for the initial research, development, testing and evaluation of all future parenting rules, for all the subsequent next of kin to follow. I was the victim of strict 1950’s childhood parenting rules, as adopted by society, and implemented by the parents.  I’m     sure all my younger siblings made accurate visual observations and logged complete mental notes. I know they all took heed with respect to my trials and tribulations as they followed me through the ’60s and into the ’70s. They learned from my experiences and mistakes, what to expect, what not to do, how to act, and how to manipulate the parenting system in general. Growing up may have been easier for them as society progressed, liberally transforming itself with greater freedoms, liberties, and tolerance of change. As traditional American culture made it’s exodus from the respectful ’50s into the radical anti-establishment ’60s and ultimately, into the rebellious ’70s, I witnessed the direct benefit to my youngest siblings and share this simple example; I sported a crew-cut (and not by choice) when the Beatles were hip, while my youngest two brothers were granted the greatest of all teenage liberties and were allowed to grow their hair out in high school.

These days, not many people will deny that the cultural leftward turn of the ’60s and ’70s has been far graver than is supposed. Hindsight is clearly a witness to the fateful collapse of critical and moral standards over the last 30+ years or so, at least by those who may be middle aged and older. Whether it is accepted as a good thing or bad, these days, it tends to be measured by one’s own personal perception of change and and how it affects their own liberties and lifestyles.

By the time my wife first arrived from the Philippines to the U.S. in 1986, some would attest that the cultural revolution and counter culture of the ’60s had become fully ratified and adopted. Modern society had become tolerable to a pace of moral corruption that today still seems to continuously perpetuate itself.  However one perceives their culture, highlighted family decline in America, and the inherent problems that accompany this decline, is becoming significantly noticeable in all aspects of society. Many personal behavioral traits that would have been admonishable years ago are considered totally acceptable today. “To each his own” is a common idiom these days.

Not everyone may agree with my personal outlook on where society might be headed, but know that I am entitled to the perception of my own reality. And personally, I really don’t care much for where my sober thoughts about a changing American society lead me. I’m not a doomsday prepper or a conspiracy theorist and I’m not a fear monger. I am more of a realist and, like many people in my age group, have learned that America is no longer ‘the land of the free’ – and many are seeking other places to live and retire. While America is often described as “the richest nation in the world,” the reality is that the U.S. is the most indebted nation on earth.  We all recently witnessed, and many still suffer from, the mortgage lending debacle and the collapse of the housing market (bubble) which nearly pushed America into an economic depression. The other looming ‘bubble’ is America’s debt – on both government and personal levels. The living standards in the U.S. are considered the best in the world – but are they real or borrowed? One thing is undeniably certain – the living standards in America are changing. We personally feel we will never in our lifetime see a move toward any significant improvement of current economic conditions as a whole.

Well…at this point, any further ranting can only lead to an imposition of political points of view, and that is not the intent of this post. So, I will jump off my soap box and get back to what my mature adult inner voice prescribes to me – that what is really important to us – the enjoyment of life, family and quality of culture.  We opt for change and the easiest way for us to accomplish that change is to simply leave (Can’t stand the heat? Get out of the kitchen) the country. It’s that simple. A more simple and less demanding lifestyle is calling out to us.

Our decision to locate to the Philippines is for our own personal embetterment (a word George Bush invented) and a return to a more relaxed style of living, with far fewer complexities. The decision to remove ourselves from the every day grind of American life has been a calculated and a planned logical decision. We have made a solid determination that if we reduce our expectations and remain flexible about our experiences and dealings with the unknown and unexpected, we will more than likely be able to satisfy our needs and desires.  Because my wife’s family all lives in the Philippines, the grass will certainly be greener for us on the other side of the Pacific.

The bottom line and the decision to Expatriate will allow us to live our life with fewer expectations and less stress. We have planned for the best and worst that the Philippines has to offer, but nothing beats living with a loving family, surrounded by proud appreciative people, in a warm tropical island environment. With all that life has to offer, and with uncertainty aside, we fully intend to live life to its fullest.

Note: Expatriation does not necessarily mean renouncing one’s citizenship. One should check on their desired destination country to determine that country’s immigration requirements as a prerequisite to making any decision to expatriate or locate outside their homeland.

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About RandyL

I first arrived the Western Pacific (Guam) in 1974 and for several years, I lived and traveled across the Pacific region and fell in love with the SE Asian lifestyle. Once bitten by it's culture bug, it never really lets go, and lingers on as a permanent affliction...forever. So henceforth, myself and my Filipina bride of 26 years, have decided that our best antidote is to simply return to the Philippines and take up residence in the Eastern Visayas on Samar Island. Our mission - to step back in time, relax, live....and Discover Samar Island before others do! Please visit my Blog for information that might help or inspire you to find your island in life.
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2 Responses to To Expatriate – or Not?

  1. UJ says:

    Well, yeah, I guess that is why I moved here, but not really. My main motivations for moving here is that my wife was working too hard in Texas and after 1 1/2 years of living off the government, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I’d rather be working, but no one would hire me for any job. I case they thought a 50 year old couldn’t make a sandwich or a guy that can proofread and type 50 WPM, couldn’t work in their office. I don’t know, but the move to the Philippines was our best option available. Now I will say that if/when we have a money windfall (like winning the lottery), we will be spending more time in the US than in the Philippines.

  2. RandyL says:

    Point well taken UJ but working “too” hard is the operative phrase for me. A few years ago I sat down and compared the money outflow to the cash inflow, it was crazy to see that much of the outflow was ‘required or mandated’ by law. In that I mean, taxes, insurance, permits, more taxes, etc. Where we live, we can’t even have a ‘garage sale’ without being scrutinized and charged for a permit, and then, you can only have one every 6 months. We literally have found ourselves working harder and harder to maintain our standard of living, and still be able to afford all the regulatory expenses. Add to that the rising cost of health care, dental, gasoline, and a substantial federal tax increase in 2013….it’s just time to kick it all to the curb and it’s time to relax. Life in the good ole USofA has become filled with too many complexities, unless you want to live in a camper and circumvent all ‘laws’. Today, we are paying nearly $100 p/month for the most basic of cable services that provide us TV and internet, and I cut that down two months ago from $160! When we first moved here it was $19.95. I’m even required to pay for the streetlight on my corner if I want it to remain lit! AND….as this country heads toward the fiscal cliff, (however far off that may be), in the near future it will take everything you have got left in you to maintain or live a comfortable life. I’m not working just to live until the day I die. No thanks. :/

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