How Being An Expat for 8-Years Has Changed Me

(note: typo on-screen, 2019 should be 2017)
About Me.. Since 2012 I’ve been traveling through various islands of the Philippines as a full-time Expat. (Mactan, Bohol, Panglao, Moalboal, Dumaguete, Bacong, Boracay, Cebu) I recently spent the year living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Share with me here my ongoing adventures of life in the Philippines. Dating, vlogging, cooking, traveling, expenses, visas and the information you need to make your own plans for living as a full-time expat in Southeast Asia. Subscribe for my upcoming videos and Click the Bell for notifications.
— Reekay

In this video I discuss “How Being An Expat for 8-Years Has Changed Me”.

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Author: Reekay

About Me.. In 2011 I made the decision to move to the Philippines within a year. Since 2012 I’ve been traveling through various islands of the Philippines as a full-time Expat. (Mactan, Bohol, Panglao, Moalboal, Dumaguete, Bacong, Boracay, Cebu) I recently spent the year living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Share with me here my ongoing adventures of life in the Philippines. Dating, vlogging, cooking, traveling and sharing the information with you needed to make your own plans for living as a full-time expat in Southeast Asia.
— Reekay


  1. Always enjoyable and interesting to listen to Reekay. I’ve followed most of your journey with interest and learned a lot over the years. I’m happy for you, for where you are are now, emotionally and physically. You knew what you wanted, and you made it happen. Wisdom is a great quality, I would love to meet up with you one day. Take care always you two and stay safe. Best wishes.


  3. Why would anyone be hateful to you? You have been nothing but helpful on your videos and uncontroversial

  4. I am closer to retirement and I have been to the Philippines a few times. I plan to split my time between here and there in three month segments. Anyway, I have seen how some expat are so rude toward waitresses in restaurants. It’s embarrassing. I go out of my way to tip them well and thank them for work they do.

  5. I’ve followed you since very close to the beginning and I’ve been a long time Patreon supporter of yours. I’ve always wanted to connect with you but figured (and understood) you’d be too busy to respond. But hopefully one day we could meet up and have lunch together. I’d love to share my situation and hear the your wisdom and advice.

  6. Reekay keep up what you’re doing and continue to be an axample of what western men should be doing at our age which is enjoy life and screw all the jealous people. There is no cure for jealousy except to lock them out of your life. May you have good health and good fortune always.

  7. FB has become echo chamber of Liberal retards and low-IQ entertainers, and I regularly get hauled off to the Gulag, but I see it as a reassuring sign that I’m normal, not some cancel culture Fascist.

  8. Hi Reekay, I really like what you said about people being accountable. Don’t blame others when, Blame spells your name. I always tell my co workers at Intel about your show,
    Stay safe and again Peace Bro!

  9. I’m a permanent resident for 5 years. Have seen you around Dumaguete. Get why you like the night time. It’s so beautiful here at night. Last time I saw you was in Kangs. You are much loved by Filipinos. God Bless.

  10. “Empowered abusive lunatics”……I see these type guys in the USA who go to the same local bar or pub everyday. They think because they go there everyday they’re empowered to run their mouths nonstop and be the tough guy even though they’re 60 years physically weak alcoholics.

  11. Thank you for all of your videos. I’ve learned so much from you. I’ve been to the Philippines four times and had a serious girlfriend and a fiance. I’m single again and looking at a much longer move at the end of this year if possible. I hope to meet you someday.

  12. there is no evidence that Jesus ever existed; he’s a fictional character until proved otherwise

  13. You mentioned in a previous video that you came to the Philippines to marry the woman of your dreams but it didn’t happen because she had a change of heart.How did you get over that?You must have been super excited to begin a new life in a new country with a girl you were deeply in love with ,and then to have it all come crashing down like that must have been a real downer.I think a lot of guys would have returned to the the U.S.A. I’ve learned a lot from your videos, now I just got to summon up the courage to get over there.

  14. As an expat, just sit on the porch, stare at the sunset n realize that tomorrow is yet another “free spirit” day to welcome the possibilities!

  15. Sorry to bust bubbles but the year of Jubilee is actually at the end of seven cycles of shmita (the Sabbatical year). What you’re talking about is a Sabbatical year.

    Still the year of rest for the land is a good thing for the relationship too.

  16. Hey Reekay! I’m heading back to Cebu in mid September! I’ll be starting my channel back up just before leaving. The count down has started. Wish me Luck.

  17. Nobody marries in Germany because of poverty. You get married for love.
    There is government support through a secure social system.
    Foreigners who believe that the money growing on the trees is wrong. Foreigners also have to make their contribution so that a social system can finance itself.
    Only wanting to live on the money of the German citizen is dubious and a bad thought of foreigners in Germany.
    They steal from German citizens for the money they have paid each month as a contribution.

  18. Hi Reekay, I am just starting following your interesting channel. Congrats!
    Are you now living in Dumaguete?

  19. Hi Reekay! I’m a politician in a small township(Cavan Monaghan) just outside Peterborough Ontario in Canada. I’ve travelled extensively in Canada, USA, and Europe. Next want to travel South east Asia. That is how I found your vlog. Just wanted to let you know that I’ve really enjoyed your posts! Very informative,I’m certainly open to spending more than just two weeks vacation in the Philippines. I think my first foray I might try to visit Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines for one or two months. I travelled for a year after I got my first degree. It was awesome and done at the very best time when roughing it built character and great memories! Now at 60, I want to keep the roughing it to a minimum! Keep my expectations minimal and roll with it. Just arm yourself with useful info!. You are part of my travel education! Thank you for sharing!

  20. Thanks Reekay, another great video. I really like the videos where you just talk common sense. An unrelated question: which laptop do you use? I’m hunting for a new laptop and was wondering if you’re happy with yours, value for money sort of thing. Thank you, stay safe and healthy.

  21. I always find a few nuggets to push forward on my own path. Good on yah! Kawili wili For the Philippines….we have the old insight, the Map is not the Territory – and my emerging corollary – the Philippines is not the Filipinos. 2020 is teaching us all that the required balance is more delicate than we first imagined. And from the Homeland…Mainland is less and less the best of America too. God Speed to building new homes in 2021.

  22. Mentioned the humidity. But what about air pollution. Do you ever leave a city because it’s so bad? I mean air is the most important thing no? Great vid

  23. I am in the Philippines because of your channel and friendship. Best move I ever made! I love it here!

  24. Yeah I was watching you since 2015. Being ex law enforcement I used to wince as you walked down darl streets very late at night!
    But you are not a little guy and have some martial arts training. Still not knife and bullet proof.
    But hell….I do the same thing! Hahahaha

  25. This week I am getting a PayPal account. Will start sending a little regular monthly … mango shakes money!
    I do owe you for all the advice.
    Been there twice since 2016. Coming back as soon as things open. Planning to retire in Duma area (scuba, hiking, fishing, etc) by 2022. At the latest!
    Avoided a lot of grief , primarily, because of your channel.
    Thanks ReeKay!

  26. I should say, more accurately, that I not only avoided pitfalls but maximized my enjoyment there with your help.

  27. First time I went to the Philippines (Southern Mindanao), I was overwhelmed by the chaos, and excitement yet also humbled by how pleasant people were.

  28. As soon as travel ban listed will visit again. Ed in SD, CA. I have an idea to blog would like some advice

  29. Reekay I liked Vietnam also but 5he heat and the humidity to much for this old Canadian but I really liked DaLat so nice and cool very beautiful place

  30. I think it would be interesting for us soon to be expats that are coming over before social security. Without u going into details. If your investments back in the USA. Plus YouTube etc has been able to support your lifestyle. Has your networth increased over 7 years or decreased ?

  31. This video really demonstrates very well how to deal with negative people. Found the advice very helpful.

  32. Dude. One of your finest videos. Take a deep breath. I’m live in Pawalan. Stuck in California because of Covid. Relax Bro. Don’t listen to the negative.

  33. I was in Taglibarin last February your videos helped me alot tried to find your jungle house could not find. Thanks for everything.

  34. This was a great content and thank you for sharing it. I am planning to move to Cebu after Covid. Can you please tell me which is better to live, Cebu or Mactan?

  35. Greetings, after hearing what else could I say …. as always it is a gift of life to know that there are people like you. And as always I wish you both the best in life.

  36. Stepping out awakens the soul to be alive! It is like a kid being in a candy store with options. To not travel and experience life is to have never fully lived.

  37. It was great Henry to listen to your outlook on life and share all of your experiences to us here watching. I am also a positive person and as such, I tend to turn all negative behavior and thoughts from others into positive ones. I have had my share of ups and downs but have always treated others with respect and understanding. After my new kidney kicks in for the better and I regain my full strength, I hope to finally travel to the Philippines (hopefully after all this Covid mess)! Stay safe for both of you and happy travels!

  38. Great Video Reekay ! I rarely if ever comment but I’m a long time viewer since 2017 ! Stay safe and enjoy life always !

  39. Your second life has been great, you started with a set of standards and improved upon them. Lessons learned has now provided you with the happiness you were looking for. A good woman can do that for you. Continue your Dynamic Journey of growth and happiness! I look forward in seeing you in many years to come.

  40. I retired 6 years ago. It’s been a true journey. I’ve gone through many changes & had many challenges. Now I have pretty much sorted out all my personal & financial problems. I’ve been living in Phnom Penh for the last 8 months with my Khmer girl friend. I am happy & stress free. It’s not a perfect life, but a good life. My only problem is that I must return to the USA & will have problems returning because of Covid-19 problem. I am not looking forward to being stuck in the USA for an extended period of time.

  41. Great video Reekay. I enjoyed your honesty and it was a privilege to meet yourself and Vie earlier this year. Keep up the good content. Best of luck to you two for the coming years.

  42. HI i thought you arrived in Philippines in the 2013 not the 12 ?/ because you don’t have any video on the 2012 ?? ,,and for me living permanent in Philippines for 8 years ,only makes me more patient and swollen the incompetence they have hear .. AND i being in much more pleases around all Philippines than you .. But i don’t have the desire to become a blogger Don’t like my voice jajajaja

  43. Hi Reekay I think you make a lot of sense . I am married to a Philippine Lady and we spend some time in Cebu and some time in Australia Covid has clipped our wings a bit at the moment and we are held up here . We have a place here as well as Cebu . Some of the expats and their partners get jealous of what we do (best of both worlds ) . One who we thought were friends tried hard to destroy us there in Cebu and to friends we introduced them to . We even let them stay in our place in Cebu for free but they busily tried to destroy us whilst accepting our hospitality . So you comments about true friends are so too true .

  44. Yes, Street Smart I Like That, Yes You Made the Best Decision and that will add years to your life
    California has become a Marxist, Communist State Puppets of the Globalist
    Yes Some expat cannot live in a foreign land because they are very miserable within them self.
    You can see it in their eyes Keep Away from them.

  45. One of the things that I struggled with throughout my life was that I was always trying to make a friend out of everybody that was in my life. I finally learned after many heartbreaks, backstabbings and other setbacks that everybody is not my friend. Not everybody wants to see me happy. Not everybody will give me the breaks that they are able to give me. I could spend my life trying to develop a friendship with someone only to suffer disappoint after disappointment. It just wasn’t gonna happen. Finally I was set free by the realization that I had to separate my friends from my enemies. Even some family members would never be my friend and I would have to let them go. Work mates, neighbors, family members, etc. had to be culled and separated out between friends and enemies. I had to learn to trust my judgement, sixth sense and intuition on these things. Rarely, if ever did i misjudge. It’s just something that you can feel. My life has been so much more peaceful since i have cut the bad ones out of my life. It’s a continuing process that never ends. It’s sometimes painful, but in the end you will save yourself a lot of misery by discarding those that won’t ever be a true friend. js

  46. Great Video, Less than 9 months ago I remember seeing your video’s and messaging you about coming out for 3 months. Due to Covid still here until who knows when, but I love the people and the quirky things here and have no regrets. Like you I like adventure and flow with the direction of the wind here but do not have quite the experience you have had in the Philippines. As I was watching you I can relate to so much you talked about, in the first three months I packed in a lot of memories and experiences here and it has changed me as well. Could not agree more about attitudes and enjoying life. Enjoyed meeting you a few times and know we would be great friends if our paths aligned in one location for any length of time. Thanks for all you do. Smiles

  47. Henry it was a pleasure meeting you & Vi in Cebu in Feb. i hope to be back in Cebu when all this covid 19 passes some. I hope i get to see you again. I realize we don”t know each other well but i consider you a friend. I’ve been following your channel for 3 yrs now. I’m still with my GF in Cebu. I’m happy that you have found peace & happiness in your life. Peace be with you my friend Reekay till we meet again.

  48. Step 1: Beeing an expat in SE-Asia means you are first recognized as a walking ATM machine. If you can handle this, then you can go to step 2: Look out for a compamion who helps you finding the way through the dschunglel of customs and habits once fairly aquited go to step 3: travel the country extensively so you will find the place you might to stay for longer. Step 4: Get hooked, married and live yoiur life as good you can.

  49. Thanks for sharing Reekay, I’m still a sort of young guy, but getting there (35 right now), but still figuring out my life, and thinking more and more about the expat lifestyle, not sure when though.

  50. I have been here for just a little over a year and a half. When I first came here my GF met me at the AP & we have been together ever since. I suffered first from the Jetlag from hell ( 30 hours flight+ a 13-hour jump into my future + I didn’t sleep for 24 hours before leaving & slept for 1 hour in flight.) and jumped into cultural shock. Never really scammed because my GF a Filipina goes with me everywhere I go. Today I just go with the flow & don’t worry about things. I am happier then I have ever been in my life. Enough said.

  51. From what you are saying, you have likely encountered many personal attacks. It is undoubtedly due to the visibility (YouTube) as well. Thanks for sharing. Your attitude is to be learned from.

  52. Excellent overview of your life over the last 8 years. As you know that you are not happy in California for a variety of reasons and did not like the politics there I think was the major reason.
    Some people love California. I certainly love parts of California especially coastal California and being able to have a good lifestyle here. But I still have the travel bug

  53. I’ve been a subscriber for quite a while and I really enjoyed this video. My Filipina wife and I have reached a place where living in the Philippines is very soon. Your perspective is informative and interesting. Thank you

  54. Reekay you make so much sense, and I can relate to what your saying. Especially once you mentioned having your first heart attack. I would love to be in the Philippines in the province 3rd class city I love over in Negros Occidental. Myself and my wife have a 500 square lot of land over there. I’m hoping in perhaps 20 years from now living there full time with my wife and relatives.

  55. Reekay, thank you for sharing all of this about your last 8 years as an Expat but even more your personal experience in ways that most vloggers (most people) cannot express. I’ve been viewing your vlogs off and on for the past 3 years and look forward to seeing more. Please keep this up.

  56. Informative and inspiring! Life is an evolving journey and hopefully we evolve with it. Thanks Reekay.

  57. Nice video! . I remember your first vids in 2013. So,Much time has passed. I also lived in the Philippines after that(about 3 yrs), my wife is Filipina(I met her online and came To see her for the first time in 2014)and I have 2 kids (one with her and one from a previous wife) and also traveled a lot and lived abroad in other countries in the past. I really understand what you say about the heat, I love the heat too. I have also come through a divorce in the past in another foreign country lol.congratulations for everything

  58. During this lazy coronavirus situation I decided to spend about 30 minutes just reading the comments here. What I found were positive , inspiring and wholesome comments by appreciative people that have been inspired and helped by you, Sir. This speaks volumes about the quality content of what you are sharing. I challenge anyone to do as I have done and see if you are not inspired by the comments as well.

  59. Hello Reekay, this is Jim. We talked before on fb messenger. I’m living in Cebu City as well but am living over in talamban. I am going to give up my subdivision rental over here and was hoping to find a relatively safe condo to move to, with not too many people living there and you were talking about your place. I’m trying to avoid this illness at this time, so I’m trying to find a place that’s not very full as well. Could you be of help. Thanks

  60. I’ve been in SE Asia for 24 years now, once you get to my stage, you kind of get numb to the whole thing – – you’ve already figured out all of the ins and outs, been there, done that… life goes on. But, no matter how long you stay, you’ll never be accepted as a local. I still appreciate the endless summer and the positive aspects of the culture.

  61. After living here 4 years the main thing I have learned is to appreciate the Freedom and Liberties that we enjoy in America. I like living in Philippines and the genuine friendliness of Filipino People. I plan to go back to America soon and do Full time RVing for 6 months to a year or at least until this covid 19 thing is under control. I plan to come back , Depending on travel Restrictions. If the Government will have Mandatory 14 day quarantine , Require aTravel permit to go to other Provences, Require me to download some app that tracks me where ever I go, Or other Mindless Regulations, Then I will just go explore a different country. I am sure many others will too. Philippines is changing fast, its nothing like it was 4 years ago. The people are still the Friendliest and most Polite people that I have ever met. Many other things have changed , And not for the better. I hope things get back to somewhat normal, but I don’t see that happening very soon.

  62. I am not an expat but live in Pasadena, California. While I love my city, rents here are crazy. I pay $2,025 for a one bedroom apartment which is 670 square feet. I think some of the relief you feel is due to the lower cost of living there. I just watched a video from one channel (Tim K) and Tim and his wife rent a house in Leyte right on the water for $450 per month. If I did not have a teenage son here I would seriously consider heading to the Philippines. Thanks for all the great videos.

  63. I’ve been an expat living in Cambodia since early 2018. If the pandemic hadn’t occurred, I would’ve visited the Philippines later this year for several months to see if I wanted to live there and scout a possible starting location (like Cebu City, Dumaguete, Iloilo, and a few other places). I’ve visited the Philippines twice, in 1999 and 2014, and thoroughly enjoyed it both times. Cambodia doesn’t offer me much, so that’s why I’m thinking of moving. I’m also considering Vietnam and Malaysia. I’m curious about your year in Vietnam. How did you manage to stay there for a year? What kind of visa did you get, and was it difficult to obtain? Thx.

  64. Reekay,
    Thank you for sharing… I got some very useful information from you. I have been an expat for three years now and am trying to get the permanent Visa 13A. Do you have any information on this or dual citizenship?

  65. Stay safe Reekay. The idea of millions of hungry people searching for food in a large urban environment is somewhat frightening. It can get ugly really quickly in a mob scene. I hope the situation gets better quickly.

  66. Reekay. I also am on my way out of California moving to Southern Utah. My new home is New Harmony Utah, My back yard view is Kolob Canyon. About the only thing I do not like about the Philippines is. Every time I go there it is most important for them to have me meet there Family and relatives and every time I come back from the USA. My girlfriend there and there family are asking me for money and at the same time they are not doing anything about working toward there requirements to enter the USA. Family members after you do not give hem money they want nothing to do with you.

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