It may come as no surprise that two of my favorite childhood books were Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. And for years, watching all those episodes of Gilligan’s Island probably anchored my need for adventure.
All too often we see westerners come from all walks of life to settle here only to be dissappointed and seemigly frustrated with their life here. This is not the West! From time to time, some of my readers send me messages and emails asking questions pertaining to moving to and living in the Philippines. And they all pretty summarize their comments the same … “soon, or some day, I hope to be living my dream in paradise.” The only way I can honestly respond to all that they desire is to say “good luck.” As with most of my readers, I have no idea how or where their notion of living overseas originated. Neither do I know the extent of their knowledge about the country and culture or how much they have planned for their future adventure. I can only suggest and advise based upon MY own experiences.
Knowing what you want early on is a big plus. Committing to a long and expensive move on a whim is foolish. While the bulk of advice I give to many expat hopefuls is to be prepared, I should expound that researching your dream and planning it out are paramount. There is so much to know about living in another land with an entirely different culture. What many don’t realize before they make the trip across the ‘Great Blue’ is that it takes money to settle – more than most think. While living here can be a bargain in many aspects, getting here and setting up camp can be rather expensive. So, in addition to this advice: DO NOT rush to get here, I suggest you put it back into low gear and begin saving your money. Then save, and save some more! Stop wasting your money now, begin to liquidate your assets, learn and practice minimalism, and when you are ready, you will be in a much better position than if you just have some blowout garage sale over the weekend and head for the airport with a one way ticket on Monday morning. It is most important to stay focused on your dream.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain
I heeded Twain’s advice and did just that!
More information and ideas about planning you move to the Philippines can be found in my recent article titled Planning a Move to the Philippines.