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A Ticket to Ride – Back to the Philippines


August 1, 2014

With all deference to the Beatles, I’ve got a ticket to ride. All the way back to the Philippines. In fact, both me and my wife, Josie, have airline tickets for December 3, 2014 (to arrive on December 5). Unless something horrible happens, it’ll be our last departure from the United States. Unless something even more horrible happens, we’ll never set foot on American soil again. When I say that, I’m reminded of the phrase, “never say never”. I can hope, can’t I?

The Ticket Date

Why December 3? Well, the monthly rent is due on the sixth of each month and the third has the cheapest tickets available during that week. The rent is $850 per month, $850 that we can use for something else if we’re out of our apartment before the sixth.

Why December? Well, my younger son will finish his Army school on November 10th and may or may not fly out from the state of Georgia that week. Students usually get 10 days of leave before reporting to their first duty station. Which 10 days in November depends on the ticket dates his travel office produces. The only reason we’re still in the United States is so he’ll have someone to go home on leave to.

Life is Better in the Philippines

I hate to say it, but it’s true. As long as we stay away from Manila as much as possible. Luckily, the only times we have to be in Manila is when traveling to and from the United States and when doing business at the United States Embassy.

My wife is working now and she makes enough for us to live on here, provided nothing unusual happens. We won’t have to worry about that in the Philippines. My pension more than covers the cost of utilities and groceries. We own our house, we own our car and we own everything else we use every day.

In Phoenix, we endure a couple of months of cold weather and a few months of hot weather every year. In the Philippines, we endure warm weather with a few months of really warm weather. At least there’s a rainy season in Olongapo, something that doesn’t exist here.


What’s the Difference?

I can’t tell you the difference. You’d have to experience it for yourself. My older son and his wife sold their house before she was transferred to England (Air Force). They don’t want to live in Phoenix ever again. Too many illegals is what he tells me. Well, that isn’t a problem outside of the United States.

There are poor people and bums everywhere. Sure, the Philippines has a higher percentage of poor people than the United States, but most of the poor people don’t act like bums. It’s a stark contrast to what I’ve experienced in Phoenix in just the last year.

Our Ticket Itinerary

I don’t have the tickets yet, but I’ve already paid for them (cheapoair.com). According to the ticket itinerary, we’ll leave from Phoenix in the late afternoon of December 3 and we’ll arrive in Manila in the early afternoon of December 5 – that international dateline always robs us of a day.

We’ll be stopping in Los Angeles and Tokyo, with layover times of more than four hours on each leg. At least we won’t have to worry about missing connections if a plane is delayed for an hour due to engine inspections.

A sister-in-law’s husband, with our car, will be picking us up in Manila. He’s the same relative who’s driven me back and forth from Manila several times in the past.

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