In my “previous post,” I indicated our decision to sell our home and leave Samar with the primary reasons centering around Family and Lifestyle. It’s been a wonderful experience for Teri and I, getting to know her family up close and personal after so many years being away. Through good and bad, it was a great overall experience that could never be traded for anything else worthwhile. There were some good times and great memories indeed.
While I discussed the dissolution of family previously as being one factor in our decision making process, I also touched upon lifestyle. Moving to Samar was good for both of us just coming into our retirement, but has not been without a new set of “stresses” showing up. It’s not the same variety of stress most of us leave behind in the western world, but different in the sense that these stresses are associated with all the adjustments that expats must make when settling in the Philippines, or any foreign country for that matter. For many expats, moving abroad can actually increase their levels of stress. When living in a foreign country, culture and language can initially contribute to that stress. So when you move abroad, you are essentially exchanging one set of Stresses for another. A good article to read on that is “Combating the Stress of Moving Abroad.” While this post is not about stress itself, it relates somewhat to stress management though staying active.
Dissolution, Lifestyle, and… ?
Because I lived in the Philippines for over 3 years back in the mid 80’s, I basically knew what to expect prior to moving here in 2013, and that was not to come here with a suitcase full of expectations. “Always Expect the Unexpected” is how I’ve always described the correct mindset in choosing to live here. But these last few years have been pulling on me from a different angle… the perspective of managing the differing stresses with a diminished active lifestyle. In the beginning, I would swim, bike, play tennis, do some occasional hiking, and then swim some more. Most of that activity was self-prescribed and self- motivating. Then, for whatever reason, I lost that motivation. I was slowing down, I thought. Someone even told me that is what is to be expected with old age! LOL Then, we moved to Guam. (Remember the reason? “I’ve Got Something To Tell You!”) With the move to Guam, not only did we re-establish our residency, we re-established a very similar lifestyle to that which we left behind when we choose to retire (the Pacific Ocean was a bonus). We quickly realized that we really weren’t all that ready to grow old and decrepid. Once on Guam, we started back with a bowling league. Teri returned to her Zumba and kick-boxing workouts. I picked back up on racquetball where I left off (albeit a little slower). I’m swinging my golf clubs again and I’ve done some “real” fishing (I’ve never really caught anything in Samar). I’m diving and snorkeling and enjoying the ocean again. And we take in a real cinema movie now and then. In other words, many of the things we are doing on Guam are things that were not available to us in Samar. Samar is for retirees… we just weren’t as ready to retire as we thought.
So at this point all you readers are still wondering… so where the heck are you going? If you’re guessing a return to the U.S. mainland… Ha, you have certainly missed the entire dissertation of this 7 year-old Blog. Absolutely not! If you’re thinking Guam, you’re partially wrong. While we may keep a footprint on Guam for travel purposes (military space-available flights), and Medicare reasons, the Philippines will still be our choosen paradise. Just not Samar. Because we still intend on traveling internationally, we also intend to see more of the Philippines. And it has become difficult for us to accomplish that from our current location in Samar. Like I said, Calbayog City is a great place to retire to, but it is not the place to be for active travelers, in our opinion anyway. With family now spread out to points north and south in the Philippines, we need to focus on a more convenient place to live. A location that allows for more freedom and flexibility to come and go more easily. A place where we can continue the active lifestyle we have re-established, or one that simply provides us with more options.
One other factor in our decision process that I have not mentioned is “consolidation.” Since setting up our residency in Guam, we have grown to really enjoy condominium living. There is no yard to mow or garden to tend to. There’s no plumbing issues to repair, and there is no painting and upkeep to worry about. And I don’t have to clean the pool – I just swim in it! We have come to love the abundance of free time we have acquired by shedding all the time-consuming responsibilities of owning a home. We are at that stage in life where we don’t want to be a slave to the house. If we had our own children, things would be different. One thing we realized since adopting the condo lifestyle, is that we have more time to participate in the activities we enjoy most, with more time to rest and enjoy life in-between. So, as a consequence of choosing to fulfill these new lifestyle choices, we will sell our home in Calbayog City and take up condo living elsewhere… in the Philippines! Please don’t misunderstand me, we love the home we have built, but it has become our albatross. There is some more research to be done before we decide for certain exactly where we will drop anchor again, but we are leaning towards Cebu. The Southern Pampanga region is also not out of the question either. Whichever locale better fulfills the majority of our wants and needs (including medical), this will be the place that wins the re-settlement nomination.
Will we miss Samar? Absolutely. Our Samar family? No doubt. The beaches and natural beauty of the province? Yes. If there is one important thing I have come to learn in my 64+ years on this planet… it’s that you just can’t have your cake and eat it too! And there is no denying I have tried.
Home For Sale – If anyone is interested in our home for sale here in the Calbayog City area, feel free to contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org via this site’s contact page located in the header. You can also see more of this home by clicking on the link “Samar Home For Sale” on the main Menu Bar on this site. Don’t forget to watch my “Expanding Paradise” series and other videos on my YouTube channel.
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