The furthest either of us had been was Mexico, and being from Texas, that doesn't really count. So I was skeptical, of course, but open to learning more.
We started researching, reading ex-pat blogs, watching Youtube videos, and meeting people who had either visited or lived there. The funny thing was, once the seed was planted, people came into our lives - people who had experienced this country.
The Big Reason
We're not wealthy, especially by American standards, but in the Philippines our money goes further, we have more time to do what we love, and we can experience things here we'd never be able to back home. At least not right now.
Like living right on the beach, sailing on yachts, getting pampered at resorts, and generally enjoying the beach bum life.
Of course, living in the tropics doesn't come without its downsides. We live on Mindoro Island in a small town outside of Puerto Galera. The power goes out randomly, sometimes for hours at a time, and electricity is more expensive, so things like microwaves, ovens, and clothes dryers are luxuries.
That's not to say one can't have those things, but most people live without, even foreigners. We cook meals on the stove top and hang our laundry out to dry. When the power goes out we either deal with it or run a generator.
I think it's a pretty great exchange for having the ocean as our backyard though. Not to mention, freedom! Freedom from the rush of western society, day jobs, and traffic.
10 Awesome Things About the Philippines
2. It's always summer.
3. You can get a stellar full-body, one hour massage for less than $25.
4. Food is fresh and healthy. No microwavable meals here.
5. You can live on the beach for less than $300/month (at least in our area, and we live in a more expensive town).
6. You can visit places like this...
8. You can pick coconuts straight from the tree and drink the water.
9. Coconut oil is cheap.
10. You will not feel pressured to "keep up with the Joneses" because, well...no one cares.
The Big Move
We cleaned out our house, our lives. We sold practically everything. Three years ago I would have shunned the idea of getting rid of "important" things like shoes, my overstuffed closet full of clothes I never wore, and everything else I had collected over the years.
But six months ago I couldn't get rid of it fast enough. The weight that falls off once you let go of all the stuff you thought you couldn't live without is immense.
We were set to fly out at the end of January, but as some of you know I was in a car accident right before Christmas and had to stay behind. The good thing about staying behind was that it gave him time to set up house and me time to spend with family.
I can tell you that as my flight date got closer, the anxiety set in. I've never been so far away from home and setting out for such an adventure was scary! But I'm so glad I didn't let fear stop me. I can't imagine not having experienced this.
I got here in April at the tail end of high season. Jason had a sign made up and some of his friends met us at the pier to greet me!
My Routine, or Lack Thereof, and Everyday Life
After that, I let the day unfold as it will. Sometimes that means I'm writing and reading blog posts and social networking. Sometimes I work out or read or swim in the ocean. Sometimes I hang out with friends and have a beer at the beach bar. About four days a week I do freelance work.
Life is pretty laid back here. Every few days we go into town and do food shopping at the vegetable/fruit market, meat market, and general grocery store. We buy rice, eggs, and some veggies locally at the small sari-sari stores on our street.
And now we have this little guy to raise.
Coconut kisses & sunny days,