The Great Escape

Rediscovering life in Palawan Philippines

Harsh Realities of a Third World Country

Sometimes we tend to romanticize our dreams. How many people have wanted to play in a rock band, open up their own restaurant or bar or live on an island paradise? Sounds good doesn’t it? We can imagine ourselves living the dream lifestyle but seem to gloss over the hard work and realities of these dreams. 

“The Chef” and I have no illusions about living and working on “our” island paradise. We’ve seen beautiful landscapes and experienced the friendly people but we know we are planning to move to a Third World Country where poverty is widespread, corruption is prevalent and healthcare is questionable. We have our eyes wide open and are ready for the challenge.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to do your job in another country? Here’s a BBC documentary (about an hour-long) about a London bus driver who goes to Manila to experience what it is to live and work as a Jeepney driver in the Philippines.


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10 thoughts on “Harsh Realities of a Third World Country

  1. Exactamundo! Why would you want to move to the Philippines and try to live the exact same life that you left behind? If that’s the case, stay where you’re at now. Shedding the old materialistic life and literally hundreds or thousands of possessions is liberating and closer to how we all used to live. Us older than 50 folks, our parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc. knew a much simpler world/life before Reaganomics swept the world.

  2. Simple life, define simple.
    I know many ppl leaving a ‘simple’ life in the US and they are happy.
    Is ur plan to have to have ur descendants become regular Filipinos?? It would seem like they would end up wanting to leave that place and in this same note I have noticed that children of immigrant parents almost never want to associate themselves with their parents country/culture.
    Perhaps what u need is a vacation home for u and family.

    • When I was growing up in middle class Canada the last thing I thought about was my heritage. I didn’t have any Filipino friends not that there were many around. Except when I looked in a mirror I always felt I was Canadian through and through. Eventually, after the experience of travelling to different parts of the world and being immersed in other cultures I became interested in my own culture. I’m not sure what you mean by ‘becoming regular Filipinos.’

      I’ve never been a person who was a slave to the trappings of a capitalist life. I don’t care for malls, status symbols or keeping up with the Jones. I appreciate more of the natural world and how we fit into it. That’s why we chose Palawan in the Philippines for the next chapter in our lives. Imagine living on an isolated island and building your life around what mother nature provides you. There are many people out there doing what makes them happy. This is what I hope will make me happy and my definition of simple.

  3. Pingback: The Real World Outside The Bus | this man's journey

  4. Hi there 🙂 I’m happy that i’ve found your blog. Me and my “assawa” have the same plans. In a few yrs we’ll give up our business in Germany and leave to the Philippines. But i have tried it before to test if i want to live there and if i’m able to stand the different life there. I lived and worked in the Philippines for one year (2006-2007) and it was the f…… best experience ever. After that we’ve sold our sportscar and simplified our lifes – to reduce it, to get rid of all decadent nonsense. It’s easier and in a few yrs (2020) we can move over. We still have a house and land over there and each year we stay in Aklan for 2 month.

    Join us nxt time 🙂 pipol like u r welcome there !

    • It’s really inspiring to hear that you’re making the move! Our plans are a little complicated so our time frame is within 5 years. I totally understand when you talk about “decadent nonsense.” My assawa and I already have a simple lifestyle but we’re simplifying it even more. You’re lucky you already have land. We still need to secure ours (part of the process). I’m in the midst of getting my Philippines citizenship to make it simpler for us. Wow, we’d love to join you in Aklan one day!

      • ur welcome to visit us 🙂 but why do you want to get the citizenship ? my filipino husband grew up in germany and made a life here, his parents lived here and on the phils – and my assawa will never try to get back the citizenship, only because of being able to travel without problems. “should be one of assimilation and acceptance…” -> the most important sentence/wisdom for everyone… especially whities in the philippines should learn that soon…

        • I’m a Canadian citizen so I’m able to have dual citizenship with the Philippines. Without it we will be limited as to buying property as well as living there permanently (visa hassles). Our goal is to open a small resort. My husband is German but surprisingly gets along really well with Filipinos – perhaps even better than I do!

  5. Indeed: the realities even of living a first-world life in a third-world country show serious shortcomings!

    • I think that’s why a lot of people give and end up going back home. They think they can bring with them their first world habits that end up being very expensive to maintain. Living in another country should be one of assimilation and acceptance of how things are done there.

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