We’ve moved back to the USA
My thoughts after 1-month on US Soil
We have been back in the USA for just over a month now. We touched down on US soil on January 18, 2019, and today as I write this it is February 27. I believe we moved into our new house exactly 1-month ago.
I have a number of random thoughts about the move and thought I’d put them all in one post. Some are not enough to make a full article about, and others I have already written about, but just thought I’d add a bit more information after a month in.
I have not written on this topic, but I should.
Basically, having been out of the USA for nearly 20 years, I have no credit anymore.
I have maintained a US bank account during the entire time we have been gone and used it to some extent, but when it comes to credit, I have had no debt, no loans, or any kind of credit since the late 1990s.
We’ve had mixed experiences with Credit
I have had at least a half-dozen places run credit checks on me.
We have our Internet and basic Cable TV service through XFinity. When we signed up they ran a credit check to see if we would need to put a deposit on our account. it took only a minute and they said we were good to go, no deposit needed. Maybe that just means that there was nothing negative about me at the credit bureau.
We have 3 Prepaid Cellular phone accounts. After a few weeks of that, Feyma and Chris wanted to get new cellular phones, so we went back to AT&T to inquire about changing to post-paid plans and getting two cellphones on a payment plan. I don’t like to buy things on credit, but I want/need to do that to some extent just to build a good credit record.
After AT&T ran our credit they said they would do it, but we needed to put a $400 down-payment. I didn’t want to do that, so we elected to just stay on the prepaid service.
The gas company and the electricity company ran credit checks before turning on our service. With each, we had to put down a deposit equal to 1-month of the average usage. We had no problem with that, and we had to have utility service anyway, so we did it.
So, that is where we stand on credit. I am thinking we will buy some things like furniture, and perhaps a car put at least half down and finance the rest just as a credit building thing. I believe with that amount of downpayment, we should be able to do the financing, we shall see.
Yeah, the weather here is cold! However, we are getting used to it. Even when the weather is in the 20s and 30s I often go out without even a jacket, and it is OK. I do often wear two layers of clothing (thermal underwear, and my outer layer). But, I am certainly needing way fewer layers of clothing compared to when we arrived here!
Friends here keep telling me that “spring is just around the corner”. LoL
Speaking of cold weather, over the years I have seen ads and such for “heated toilet seats”. I always thought it sounded like a stupid thing.
What do I say about heated toilet seats now? Where can I get one! Haha. Honestly, sitting on the toilet can be a bit shocking at times.
Transportation, since we don’t have a car yet, is probably our biggest challenge here. Yes, there is good public transportation here in Logansport, but the freedom of having your own vehicle is something that is missed.
We do plan on buying a car soon. We have a friend who has family that will be selling a used car soon, and we intend to consider that when it is available.
Myself, since I have a serious vision problem, I won’t be able to drive. I will say that my vision is improving a lot now, even without treatment, and I think I will be able to drive in the coming months. Feyma’s job will be providing health insurance for us in about 60 more days, so I can get some treatment for my eye issue after that.
Do I miss the Philippines?
A lot of people tell me that I must miss the Philippines badly. They ask me when I will be coming back to live there.
Honestly, I don’t miss the Philippines that much, if at all. I do miss some people there. People that I am close to. But, we lived there a long time, and we no longer feel a desire or need to live there again.
Am I happy to be back in the USA?
Hand in hand with the “when are you moving back to the Philippines” question is “do you like living in the USA?”. The answer to that is that yes, I really am liking it here.
I am happy that we made the move. I had reservations about doing it, but I am happy that I decided to give it a try. I enjoy it here, enjoy seeing new things, re-experiencing the culture here, and so on. It has been a great move for us.
I will also say, that I think, so far, that Indiana is a great place to live.
Negatives about the move
Are there any negatives about the move? Well, of course, nothing is perfect. But, the negatives are minor.
- Cold Weather (should be over soon until next year)
- Transportation (should be resolved soon)
Other than these, I don’t see anything negative about life here in the USA.
Positives about the move
What are the positive things about having moved back to the USA?
- Meeting some very nice new friends
- Both Feyma and Chris got great jobs easily
- I have opportunities, business-wise, that were not available to me in the Philippines
- New experiences are exciting and fun for me
So, that wraps up my random thoughts about our move, one-month in. I think I’ll try to give you monthly updates like this at the end of each month, for as long as there are “new” things to report.
Thanks for reading.
Great. I always enjoy your articles.
Thank you so much, Jack!
Back, back in the USA. Been away so long I hardly knew the place, gee it it’s good to be back home. (with apologies to The Beatles) Now you have to change your moniker from Mindanao Bob to Midwestern Bob! All kidding aside, you are adapting quickly, I hope things work for you and your family. Did the 13,000 mile move disrupt your fasting and keto lifestyle?
Hi Jeff – Thanks. Yeah, I have not really fasted much for the past 4 months, but I am on day 2 of a hopefully 10-day fast right now. Feeling great.
Bob New YHork
It is good to read so many things have been favorable to you and the family after moving back to the USA. From what I reacll from reading, there is no credit rating in Philippines like there is here ? Very happy for your son Chris and the fact that he was able to become employed so quickly. All things considered that in itself must be a big plus in moving back to the USA.
Hi Bob – Just about everything is favorable, just a few minor annoyances.
In the Philippines, there is no credit rating system. That is starting to change there, though, and they are talking about starting such a system up.
Good to know you’re doing well there (your wife and son also) in Indiana. I am glad the move was easy for you with just some minor inconvenience. Take care of yourself and will be looking for more of your monthly write ups.
I am somewhat surprised you did not use a US credit card in the Philippines since you had a US bank account. Did you use a US debit card in the Philippines? I guess people have different ideas on credit cards. You should be able to build your credit over time, good luck!
Hi Jay – Try keeping a US Credit Card in the Philippines when you are there for 20 years. You will find that US Credit Card providers do not want to give you a credit card if you are not living in the USA for that many years.
Yes, I had and used a US Debit Card in the Philippines.
What about basketball? You are in Indiana, right?
Ha ha… I do follow basketball to some extent, but not like a Hoosier! 🙂
Im glad that you’re transition has not been too difficult.
I’ve noticed that the winter has taken a turn for the worst since you’ve been back.
The weather was kinda mild for most of the winter.
Welcome back !!!
Hi Bob – Thank you! So, are you saying that it is because of my return that the wild weather rolled in? LoL… Glad you enjoyed the article.
Glad to hear things are going well for you and your family. To say that the culture in the USA has in the last twenty years would be an understatement. Streaming TV is just one example – it’s hard to believe how quickly my wife and became addicted to binge watching.
Can you talk yet about changes in US culture that has flummoxed or disconcerted you in some unexpected way? I’m not necessarily thinking about subtle, but profound differences between US and RP. I’m thinking of differences between the way you thought things worked here and now work differently – especially cultural mores and attitudes. And did your stay in RP change any of your attitudes about things you might want to see changed here.
Hi Tony. Wow. Your questions are pretty profound. Some of them are things that I have been planning on writing about. Some are new thoughts to me.
Things have certainly changed a lot here in the past 2 decades.
I am going to spend some time thinking about this and write a series of articles soon. Perhaps I will write the first one today.
Thanks for the nudge to get on it. It will make for some interesting discussion, I think.
Just having an opportunity to read this. I, too, am glad you are having a great experience despite landing in Indiana (an Ohio boy here!).
The one comment I’ll add is that if you haven’t investigated it, you may want to consider looking into David Ramsey and his series of books and teachings. It’s all about living a lifestyle free from all but (well planned/smart approach to) house debt, if you must have any debt.
My wife and I have been following that cash only plan for many years and we are enjoy living debt free. I believe the only impractical point of Dave’s plan is the belief that no credit card is welcome.
We use a credit card for most travel and larger purchases where we have saved up the money to pay immediately upon receiving the bill. I don’t chase points or rewards but it’s a nice side benefit with a well planned out use of a credit card.
It is possible, though challenging, to live without credit. Sadly the world has bought into this idea of you deserve it now rather than our grandparents time of if you can’t pay cash you can’t afford it. And I’m squarely in that camp!
Anyway, just food for thought an alternative option for you.
Hi Randy – I am very familiar with Dave Ramsay. I have been listening to his radio show for years, even in the Philippines.
I have been debt free for 20 years or so.
Like you, I believe that having a credit card is important, and I will. I will follow the same plan that you espouse… pay it off monthly.
Thanks for commenting.
Hi Bob, regarding the heated toilet seat, it sounds as though you never had to go down the garden path to the loo. Unfortunately I remember it well, until my Dad put a bathroom in to our cottage.
Ha ha ha, Marjorie…. nope, never had to do that!
Glad to hear your having a good experience here in Indy. I imagine that small town USA has had less changes than those of big cities.
I had better luck at the BMV and got a different examiner, allowing me to get my driver’s license renewed this week. My eye test came in at 20/40, and I’ll have some license restrictions but not severe. I also got the state ID upgrade to my license, and a symbol for my military veteran status.
OOPS I meant Indiana
Thanks, Larry. We are certainly liking it here, you are right, I think that small town living has experienced less in the way of change than city life.
Hey Bob! Glad to hear the move went well. Maybe sometime when we travel through Indiana, we will stop by.
Absolutely, looking forward to that.
Hey Bob, good to see that you are settled now.
I have to say though, I am a bit gutted to see that Lip appears to be dying, after all those years. I thought when that new kid made his one post that it might be bit of a rejuvenation, and help for you given your eyesight issues, but sadly that seems to have not worked out. I wish I could have helped, in some way…Lip was a great resource.
Anyway, very happy to hear that the family are settled now; good luck and looking forward to hearing about your progress!
Jim & Vangie
Not sure if I would say we are settled yet, but we are well down that road. 🙂
I am sorry that you are gutted about LiP, but some of your assumptions are incorrect. Let’s take a look:
1. LiP is not dying, but it is changing big time. Instead of being a “daily” fun read, LiP is in the process of paring down from 5,000+ articles to probably 500 or so “authority articles” that are pure hard information. These will be “how-to” articles extending accurate and concise information to those who need it. LiP will be a sales channel for my books, language courses and such. Instead of having my life revolve 24/7 around it, I can concentrate on things that are more meaningful to me now.
2. I am not sure who you are talking about when you mentioned “that new kid”. Sorry.
3. I feel that LiP will be changing INTO a better resource than ever. An actually informational source. In the past years, it has been more of an entertainment site and not so much a resource with the info that people need.
I’m sorry that you are gutted. But, I also have a new life, I can’t linger on “life in the Philippines” for the rest of my life. I offered the site for sale for a small fraction of what it is worth (an amount that could be recovered in only 1 to 2 months of operation), but nobody took it. If you would be interested let me know.
Take care, Jim!
No, indeed you must move on; I hear that you must concentrate on the future and not so much the past. At its height, I was certainly a LIP addict.
There is a possibility I might be interested in Lip, perhaps you’d like to let me know what kind of figure you had in mind? I was really keen on your expat island idea too, but yeah, a massive amount of work in that.
Anyway, so good to hear that you are settling now, and that life is getting up and running.
Look forward to hearing from you…I’m sure you should have my email?
Hi Jim. Thanks for your comment!
I sent you an email regarding the site.
Hello Bob: I was just sitting here in Bislig City in my home wondering why I had not heard anything from you through Mindanao Bob for a while so was surprised when I went searching for you. I am sorry for not getting to meet you in Davao. I wish you all the best of luck in your new adventure, I lived for a few years in Kalispell, Montana and although I think about it a lot I will never miss the winters in Canada or the USA.
Thank you, Paul. I hope you are doing well.