Last month I passed the one year mark of living in Davao City, Philippines. I thought about writing an article specific to that milestone, but realized that all my articles are about that change. Plus, for some reason, I’ve been busy. Doing what? Well, that’s hard to say.

I had many reasons for moving to the Philippines, just as we all do that make this move. Many of my reasons are the same as others, a few may be different. But thinking about it, there is one reason that outweighs all the others.

I’ve often been asked, “how do you like it here” or “are you still happy you moved?” At first I found that a bit complicated to give an easy answer to. I’m still adjusting. There are things I like and things I don’t. Most of those asking don’t really want a detailed answer. For the most part they want to hear, “yes, I like it here.”

After trying to come up with that easy answer I’ve come to the conclusion that I can just say “yes, I’m happy.” If they want more explanation I can simplify that now, too.

The reason is very basic. I’m retired, and that could not have happened (realistically) in any other scenario I can think of. Not at this time or anytime soon.

I am very happy being retired. For the most part I’m staying very busy, though I can’t easily explain what that entails. Days are very fluid.

I went out most days this week, as been my habit lately. Many of those days I met or happened upon friends. We had coffee and/or lunch and chatted about “important” things. I was reflecting on this, and realized that I easily have more friends here then I did in the States. I lived back there my whole life. I’ve only been here a year.

What’s the difference? Time. I have time now to do whatever I want, when I want. Within reason, of course. Not all my time is my own, but more than I’ve had in a real long time – since I was a kid.

Yes, I’m happy to be retired. Living here has afforded me that benefit. It was something I really needed. Everyone is different. Many want to work until they drop. Possibly if I’d been doing something I loved, or was working for people I could tolerate, I’d feel differently.

I guess you could say I was burnt out. That’s a tired, old phrase, but it seems appropriate. After many job changes, always for less money, and a couple of divorces, I was feeling more than used up.

Maybe it’s not the reason that those looking to move here want to hear. It is the most honest answer for me though. If you want more about the adjustments I’ve gone through, please read my other articles. If you want to know if I’m happy here, this is the simple reply.

There are many facets to a change like this. For me, there was an overriding motivation.

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