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Why do Expats in the Philippines move back home?
Is Bob Martin going to move back to the USA?
For about 3 years or so now, Feyma and I have seriously been considering moving back to the USA.
Yep. I said it. After having lived in the Philippines, Feyma and I have considered moving back to the USA. Why? Well, for the first 15 years or so of our life here in the Philippines, we felt pretty firm here, no real thoughts about going back “home”.
But, it all started in 2015 or so, the thought started creeping into our minds… maybe we should think of moving back to the USA.
Aaron went back to visit
In 2015, our son, Aaron went back to the USA for the first time. He mostly went back to visit his grandmother there and to just “get to know” his homeland. Aaron was 3 years old when we moved to the Philippines in 2000.
When Aaron went back for a visit, it was our first time that one of our kids had “flown from the nest” even if it was only temporary. Aaron was in the United States for around 7 months that year. During his absence, especially since it was our first time being separated from one of our kids, Feyma and I started thinking of moving back to the USA.
When the topic first came up, we were pretty excited about it. But we realized it was a very complicated decision to make regarding moving back to the USA.
Since 2015 we have considered moving back to the USA a half-dozen times
A week or two ago a close friend brought this topic up. I chuckled a little bit when he raised it because Feyma and I have been thinking of moving back to the USA for a couple of years. We have had times when we were virtually certain we were moving back to the USA. It has been something we have considered at least a half dozen times over the past 2 to 3 years, probably even more than a half dozen times.
When we first started thinking about moving back to the USA, we felt like 90%+ certain we would do it. However, every time we really consider it closely, we always come down that we will stay in the Philippines.
During August, we were considering it again, and close to pulling the trigger. But, in the end, we came back down on the side of staying put here in the Philippines instead of moving back to the USA.
- Availability of goods and services.
- Time for a change in our lives.
- Feyma kind of wants to work and lots of different kinds of work are available there for her.
- I would like to get into an online niche that would work better if I were US based.
Reasons not to be moving back to the USA
- We would choose to live in more of a rural area (Montana, Wyoming, or Rural Illinois are at the top of our list), but going rural kind of nullifies #1 and #2 above).
- Especially when living in a rural area, the availability of public transportation is limited. In general, I feel that public transport is not very good in the USA. You pretty much need to have a car. I am not comfortable driving, especially due to my poor eyesight (which is much better, though).
- Both Feyma and I feel that moving back to the USA more or less puts us in a position where we have to start over again. A total reboot of our lives. We feel that at our age, we are not interested in starting over again.
Reasons to leave the Philippines
- Lack of conveniences and product availability.
- Time for a change.
- Some extended family issues that are personal.
Reasons to stay in the Philippines
- We enjoy our lives here.
- We have a good setup here. Good connections. Things work well for us here. Basically, we have a good place in the community, if you know what I mean. This is an important part of life here.
- We have come to really rely on public transport, and like the options here for that. Going anywhere we want to go is convenient and cheap.
- Less expensive living (although this is only a minor consideration).
There are probably other things that I have forgotten, but these are major factors.
When we consider moving back to the USA
Moving back to the USA? We came up with a hybrid solution.
On our last round of considering this, when we again decided it was best for us to stay here in the Philippines, I made a proposal to Feyma that we would just drop the topic from further consideration, but we would make a few changes to our current lifestyle. The main change is that we would try to go to the USA for a visit every year or two.
During our visit to the USA, we would do some travel there, visit friends and relatives. Another big purpose of such a trip would be to buy supplies that are not easy (or impossible) to get here, send Balikbayan Boxes back, etc.
Doing this annual or semi-annual trip would add both fun and functionality to our lives. It would keep the benefits of living here, but also add some of the pluses of moving back to the USA. Both Feyma and I came down that this was a good solution for us, and would give us the best of both options (living in the Philippines vs. moving back to the USA).
Will we consider moving back to the USA again?
Well, given the way we have done for the past few years, we probably will. LoL.
But, we do feel that we have reached a conclusion and a good solution. We’ll see. But, these are our thoughts on the topic of moving back to the USA. Of course, what other expats decide is their personal decision. I don’t think there is a wrong or right answer. In general, whether or not you should be moving back to the USA is a decision that can only be made on a couple by couple basis. What we have decided, I believe, will work well for us.