Frightened Traveler

I spent most of my young adult life there and in some ways, it will always be my home

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Image by Kieran MacAuliffe from Pixabay

Ten years ago, I set out on an international journey to find myself in a world that no longer made sense. I lost everything that I had spent years taking for granted, and I needed a new perspective to sort out the crushing feelings inside me.

After traveling halfway around the world, I found safety in a little house in Iloilo City, Philippines, during the pandemic, where I spent my days writing and spending time with my new family.

But I always miss Tucson.

Two of my grown boys and their families still live and work in Tucson, and my…

I don’t live in America right now, but sometimes I still drive like I do

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Photo by Dmitry Vechorko on Unsplash

I’m getting better all the time, but it’s hard to get over my lifetime indoctrination of being in the asshole club of America.

I’ve been driving since I was 15 and I pride myself in being a great driver. I know the traffic laws and I follow them as best I can, and I have no patience for people who break them.

But, driving in the Philippines - or any foreign country - is a different experience and one I have been getting better at.

It helps to have great reflexes and awareness of everything going on around you because…

Resting in the days of Covid-19

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Photo by Alesia Kazantceva on Unsplash

Today I changed a routine that I’ve had over the past several weeks. Since I work from home and have been staying inside, I limit my trips to the local garage, to check on my car.

Having the car registered, plated, and inspected was an ordeal. I went to the Department of Motor Vehicles in person and by appointment on Christmas Eve. That was the soonest I could get the appointment which was a month in advance of the visit.

I usually check on the car after work, but since many people are commuting home at that time, I’ve decided…

A Philippines travel guide for the complete novice traveler or expat wanting to relocate

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Image Source: Jason Weiland

When I came to the Philippines in 2011, many things were different than they are now. Now, nobody is traveling, and travel locally in the Philippines is just starting to open up.

But, nine years ago, the world was accessible, and so were the borders.

After meeting my future wife online, I decided to move my life to the Philippines instead of going through the long and unnecessarily complicated U.S. visa process for her.

The problem was, I had never been anywhere. Sure I took a few drunken trips through Mexico border towns and traveled the States extensively for business…

Aswang, Tiktik, vampire, witch, ghost. Do you know what is watching you when you walk in the dark places of the Philippines?

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Photo by Jeff Finley on Unsplash

I have lived in the Philippines for nine years, and one of the weirdest things I’ve noticed is how superstitious the Filipino people are. Even my wife, who I would consider an educated, modern woman of the world, has fear in her eyes when she talks about the goings-on in our subdivision over the past few weeks.

In another phase of our housing development, people have been reporting that something has been jumping from roof to roof in the neighborhood internet forums. The houses all have something in common; there are either pregnant women or small children inside.

In a…

You might think being in a developing country would be horrible, but aside from a few minor inconveniences, life is excellent. I can’t say the same for everyone else, though.

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Photo by Roxanne De La Peña on Unsplash

As of this month, I have been living for most of 9 years in the Philippines. There were some necessary trips back to the States early on, but nowadays, I am a permanent resident. Since the pandemic started, there is no chance of leaving if I wanted, so it’s a good thing I like where I am.

Before I moved here, everyone said, “Are you sure you can live in a third-world country?” First off, it’s a developing country, and except for an unpredictable infrastructure, it is much better than any place I have lived in my life.

Okay, I…

Real life and COVID-19 have conspired to see me sweltering in a tropical paradise, but I can’t help but dream of snow-capped mountains and the forests in the fall

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Photo by Nazym Jumadilova on Unsplash

I sit at my desk in the path of the cool breeze blowing from the air conditioning. I was only outside for five minutes and wasn’t wearing a shirt, but my chest and back are still soaked with sweat. The temperature difference between the patio outside and the area in the living room where I have my desk is dramatic.

Soon I am shivering, even though the temperature on the AC is set to 26 degrees Celsius. Wiping the sweat away with a towel helps a bit, but I am still chilled.

I try to focus on the words of…

Because who doesn’t want to see a “7-star” hotel?

“I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything.” — Bill Bryson

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Photo by Roman Logov on Unsplash

The “7-star” hotel

Before heading to Dubai, Elaine mentioned she wanted to explore the 7-star, luxury hotel, the Burj Al Arab. At the time, I said I would be up for checking it out, but I could take it or leave it. Going to see a hotel was not high on my priority list.

There were too many little mistakes to count

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Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

In September of 2020, I will have lived mostly in the Philippines for nine years. I say mostly because stupidity caused me to keep returning to the U.S. to seek my fortune again and again. It was always a business opportunity I couldn’t pass up or project only suited for America.

Even if I had moved to a place that fulfilled my every need and want as the Philippines did for me, I was still drinking the kool-aid and thought that America was the only game in town.

It took me five years and a dreadful trip to the States…

Because sometimes she has the best advice

Cemetery, Maryland
Cemetery, Maryland
Photography: © Gina Pacelli |

“Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit.” — Frank Borman

An expanded territory

Recently, I acquired a larger territory at work. This means I travel to new places and meet new clients. With increased responsibilities comes the opportunity to grow personally and professionally.

From a personal standpoint, I have the option of exploring these spots. I can take the easy route and choose the most convenient, healthy restaurant close to my hotel. Or, I can do some research and see if there is anything interesting nearby.

When I first started my position, I had more time and energy. I made a…

Frightened Traveler

Eat. Drink. Explore Without Fear. Repeat.

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