Because I have become fairly well known through my various websites, I am asked a lot of questions. People e-mail me with questions about living in the Philippines. People send me questions through Facebook. When people visit the Philippines, and have coffee with me, they always have questions for me. It’s a never ending thing.
There is one question, though, which is probably the most frequently asked. Surprisingly, that is also the question that I really cannot answer.
Bob, where are you from in the States?
Well, that’s tough for me to answer.
For most people, they remember back to their childhood. The place where they were born. The place where they went to school, at least through High School. It’s probably the same place where they had their first girlfriend (or boyfriend), maybe it is even the same place where they got married. For many people, they are still living in the place where they called their childhood home.
Me? I have no such memories. You see, when I was a kid, we moved around.. a lot. Over the course of my life through High School, we lived in the following places:
- Washington State
- Southern California
- South Africa
- Southern California (again, different location)
- Upstate New York
- Southern California (again!)
In most of those places we lived only 2 years or less. We lived in Oregon for 5 years, though, and in Louisiana for 10 years. Really, though, I don’t consider any of those places to be home.
Davao City is my home
I moved to the Philippines in 2000, when I was 38. I have now lived in the Philippines for 13 years. This is the longest that I have lived in any one location in my life. So, to be honest, I consider Davao to be my home. In fact, over the years, my wife, Feyma, and I have talked that when our kids finish their schooling, we would move out of Davao. We were not totally decided on where we would move to, but there were a few reasons we had decided to leave Davao. Chief among those reasons was because the traffic in the City is getting to be very congested.
However, we have now reconsidered. We looked at it and decided that no place is perfect. The other places we had considered had problems too, so why move? We have both come to consider Davao as our home, the natural place for us to live. So, we are here for good.
Because of my really nomadic childhood, I feel quite at peace staying in a single area now. I feel happy to have settled down, and having a place to call home. I am comfortable here in Davao. I know the area well now. There is really no place in Davao City that I am unfamiliar with, I’ve been everywhere here.
Anybody who follows me to any degree knows that I am a Jimmy Buffett fan. When it comes to where I am from, I can’t name any place where I came from. As for where my home is, that’s Davao. Jimmy Buffett sums it up pretty well for me:
Yes, I have found me a home! I may not “be from” anywhere in particular, but I know where I am now. 🙂