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REP_015 How Being A Long-Term Expat Changes You

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Returning To The USA The First Time

Author: Reekay V.

Since 2012 I’ve been traveling through various islands of the Philippines as a full-time Expat and spent 1999 living in Vietnam.

Share with me my ongoing adventures of life in the Philippines. Hopefully you find my observations helpful in your own adventures.
— Reekay


  1. do you have an opinion on the attitude of the the fillipino people toward foreigners that are obvious anglo appearance? particularly since the new presidents comments and actions tword USA, Duterte seems alittle anti western since he has cursed obama and US has lost alliance. I have watched Ned on youtube express some ..not to much concern about the shift in the countries allies

    1. In a nutshell, the president’s agenda is not representative of the Filipino people. In fact, had he made his plans about shifting from the USA to China the focus of his election, he would not have been elected. Instead he focused on the drug issue. So, the People of the PH still have lots of goodwill with all expats and Americans. More and more I’m hearing regret (privately) from Filipinos who voted for him and they do not trust the Chinese nor do they want to go from a democracy to socialism.

      Bottom line, the Filipino people have not changed in their daily interactions with expats, white or otherwise. All is ‘cool’ for now and I suspect a strong struggle from the PH senate/house on the president’s ambitions.

  2. Hi Reekay,

    I can identify totally with what you are saying. I went to Thailand on vacation and forgot to come back to the US for 8 years. I have now been back almost 3 years and can’t stand living in the US. It is a plastic and phony society. I don’t have anything in common with Americans any more, particularly American women my age, who for the most part resemble nasty, wicked, gold digging old buffalos. I loved living in Thailand, great fun, good friends, fantastic food. The only problems in Thailand is that except for tourist areas English is rarely spoken and if you find a lady that speaks English there is a very high probability that she is a bargirl or hooker and they are gold diggers to the extreme. On the other hand, if you find a beauty that doesn’t speak English there is a high probability she is a good person but you can’t communicate with her. The trick seems to be never marry a Thai woman as there is a very high probability she will strip you of all your money and then dump you and move on to the next victim. I can’t tell you the number of western men I saw go down the tubes while I was in Thailand. As they say love is blind. Anyway, thanks for the great podcast, I fully identify with what you said. I would love to come to the PI and check it out but not sure I could handle the climate. Catch you later and say hi to Lynn for me. By the way is Philippine Mike still in Dumaguete

    1. I’d actually heard the weather was slightly higher in Thailand, but after 2 months in the PH, I’ve been fine with it ever since. Philippine Mike Cason is still there on Iloilo. He and I stay in contact online, good friend of mine. He’s been getting involved in some charity work, helping kids get dental work from volunteer dentists, taking food, etc. Meanwhile, all is good in the PH. Most of the political issues have not affected Fil-Am relations on a daily basis. There’s a big gap between the president’s agenda and the goodwill of the Filipino people. So things are good for now.

      Given what you mentioned about the language barrier in Thailand, I can see how a lot of guys just think a marriage would “work out” and end up with her having no qualms about gutting him financially. It happens in the PH as well, but honestly I see it happen mostly to the guys who rush into marriage with a woman who turned out (surprise) to be a former pro or bargirl. Meanwhile I know lots of happily married guys with Filipinas living here. There’s a drop-off in success rate with those who take them back to their own home country. tables are turned and not all young filipinas stay faithful.

      Me, personally, I’m no longer interested in marriage. Great relationships, yes. But wife.. kids.. house, that’s not the life for me. I want to stay mobile and go where I want, when I want even if it’s on 15 minutes notice. 🙂

      1. Reekay just discovered your youtube channel and blog a couple hours ago. Amazing content and wise words. Living in California, I’m doing my first trip to Thailand and Phillipines in a couple months, so it’s incredibly helpful to hear from guys living it. Thank You!

  3. 20 years traveling to the phils. I have traveled 5 major islands by motorcycle and met so many people. I agree full heartily with you on the down home style of the people there. I’ve married 2 young ladies. and much younger than me. (and a bit shorter}. but like you I don’t see the age or size as any difference. if you have affection for your mate. there’s no problem. I have been watching your blog for years. and you have a great insight in to life. I lived in Cebu for 10 years. biked day and night. getting crowded now. so have to slow down some. living in las vegas with wife. we have in bohol have a farm, beach. and house on the hiway where we stay when visiting over there. great there most all the people speak English. so, so easy to deal with everyday living. we spent the last summer there.. COOler than summer in vegas. met so many new epats.. and some very nice guys. willl miss them. till return.. best luck keep up the good news….tom

  4. You are describing the way I feel after after returning home to the US from being in the Philippines for only a month. I spent a month in the Phils in 2013 and again this year – I just arrived back home a few days ago. Both times, in 2013 and now, I don’t like what I see going on in American society with crime, rioting, drugs, politics, division, etc. I don’t like the attitude, mentality and demeanor of a lot of people here. Everything is very noticeable after being away for only a short while. I don’t like seeing some problems within my own family. Lastly, now just like after my first visit to the Phils, my appetite is way down since returning home. I have lost my taste for most of the food here. Food in the US is expensive and just generally tastes like crap. I’m someone who loves to eat and usually has a big appetite, but since returning home I have been eating only one meal a day. But at least I am losing eight now haha. Honestly, I feel depressed everytime I return home. I need to find a way to stay in the Phils long-term.

    1. I’ve gotten accustomed to smaller portions. While in Calif I tried eating large like I used to (Mom-sized portions).. and I just can’t. Which is a good thing. In the usa, people are polite IF you know them personally. But in the general public, everyone just keeps to themselves. In the PH, much more friendly atmosphere with people in public.

  5. Can’t say I agree with all you feel but most of it is only too familiar. Realized many years back that the most rewarding dating relationships were with girls who were foreign born.
    Got to the point where I’d rather be alone than dating the majority of American women I pursued.
    Most Americans I’ve known are not only sexually uptight but the white women I’ve known seem to have this false sense entitlement. I’m all for fairness but after a very short time, I begin to resent having to provide most everything during the first weeks of the dating process. Nobody should have to work that hard. I suggest dating several women from any third world country and suddenly the difference is eye opening.
    Spool up from 25 years back to today and I’m married to a lovely Filipino who looks half her age, speaks very good English and is happy to work full time while taking care of our household…It hasn’t been always an idyllic marriage but I feel that she will never leave me.

  6. Reekay

    I’ve listened to 2 of these now and feel I know you. would love to meet and chat in person when I come out that way.


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