A little under four years ago I made a trip to the Philippines that began a love affair with this little island off the Davao Gulf commonly known as Samal Island. It was then that I agreed to purchase land near the White House, with hopes of eventually retiring there. Thus began this blog.

Four years can be a long time. Do I still have intentions to retire on Samal?

That’s not an easy question to answer.

Many things have changed during that time. I’ve had a couple of additional and extended trips to the Island Garden City of Samal. It’s all been documented here, which was the original purpose of this blog. From buying land on Samal, until retirement there.

Some events in my life have naturally been of personal nature, and I don’t feel the need to expound on in a public forum such as this. Other events, such as the realization that the plot of land that we purchased was difficult at best to reach, were just a matter of looking at things in a more practical manner.

My anticipated retirement age has also changed a number of times during that period. Sometimes a little longer, and occasionally much sooner. As of today I have a good idea when that will be, but there are a number of factors, as always, that are out of my control. I will know when the time is, when I do.

So I’ve avoided answering the question long enough, but as you can see, I don’t have a complete answer. If I were to somehow retire today, or soon, it appears to me that I would live in the greater Davao area. At the least, somewhere outside of Davao. That is where I have come to feel comfortable, and where most of my friends and acquaintances are located. Admittedly I have not traveled extensively throughout the Philippines, but I am comfortable with Davao, the people, and what it has to offer. Of course it is close to Samal, and I can visit whenever I desire.

At this time it appears to me that it would be more realistic to look into having a vacation home or bahay kubo on Samal with which to spend time at, much like my friend Kevin plans to do. If I were to need to live on Samal sooner than later, I would prefer to have something closer to the concrete road going from Babak to Penaplata. That makes sense to me, and is still very secluded. Of course I may feel differently down the road a bit.

I’ve met a surprising number of people, both in person and online, that live on Samal, at least part time. Ellen, Uli, Travis and Mae, Jack, Cleo, Matthew, and Angus. Probably more, I apologize if I missed someone. The point is, it can be done and many are doing it. I’m impressed by each and every one of them. A bit envious, too, I might add.

Samal Island holds a very special place in my heart. It remains to be seen if I end up there or not.

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