Dumaguete as a base for Asia Travel
Stuart is a vibrant Scotsman with a warm smile that barely fits on his rugged face that has been bronzed from thousands of miles cycling throughout south-east Asia. Aged forty- seven, everything about him suggests excellent physical and mental health. It also confirms his excitement about life and satisfaction with his place in it.
We met Stuart near Dauin, which is nineteen kilometers from downtown Dumaguete. He’d just completed his regular morning bicycle ride. Saying he’s a keen cyclist would be an understatement. Cycling is central to Stuart’s life and has been since he was a child growing up in the highlands of northern Scotland. Back then few people owned cars, so getting around was dependent primarily on walking or cycling. Steward took his love of cycling into his adult life. Now aged forty-seven, he’s not yet ready for retirement but, when that time comes, he’s convinced Dumaguete will be his home. There are many reasons for this.
Because he’s an engineer, Stuart analyzes every aspect of any project that might impact the quality of his life. He sees Dumaguete as a base for asia travel, but not exclusively, in south-east Asia. Before I arrived in Dumaguete seven months ago, I’d been to Indonesia then Vietnam. While the people were lovely, the language barrier created significant problems. Also, from the cycling perspective, where I was staying in Vietnam was hilly with bad roads. It was also mountainous, so overall it was difficult to ride my bike and enjoy the cycling experience.”
When asked why he was so favorably disposed to the Philippines and Dumaguete in particular as a retirement destination, Stuart laughed and said “Well, where do I start? They’re so much positive to say about living here. I’ve mentioned the excellent cycling. Cycling routes are plentiful not only in the mountain areas but also along the coast. Dumaguete as a base for asia travel, was just one more reason.
Then there’s the people. Long before I arrived, I’d heard about how friendly the locals are here. The country is also beautiful with over seven thousand islands, and an extensive variety of nature’s wonders to be enjoyed. In the Dumaguete area alone, the mountains offer excellent climbing and outstanding views the higher one climbs. Clean, sandy beaches are the norm rather than the exception. Dumaguete is an exceptional place for cycling which is my passion.
Coming here gives any retirees an opportunity to get away from urban areas while still having most of the big city amenities available. With over 7,000 islands, it’s so easy to island-hop, to move between islands inexpensively and easily by ferry. Just stand on Rizal Boulevard. There are three islands within easy traveling distance.
I don’t view being required to remain in Dumaguete because of the C19 situation as being in any way a negative situation. I’m an engineer and much of my work can be done online. While it’s not ideal, it’s manageable. There are job opportunities here I would enjoy, so perhaps I may come to live here sooner rather than later.
Local transportation is plentiful and inexpensive – the buses are in excellent condition, air-conditioned with WiFi. They usually take me all around both Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental, and also to Cebu by ferry, even over to Manila. There’s an excellent social life, with some of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. Live music is available. It’s inevitably accompanied by enthusiastic crowds joining in.
There are good restaurants, and also street food where local delicacies can be so inexpensively enjoyed. And compared to some Asian countries, and to all countries in Europe, the cost of living is extremely low. Overall, it’s a delightful place to live. In time, I hope to call Dumaguete my home.
If you are a person who likes to explore, Dumaguete as a base for asia travel should be a great incentive to live here, and we invite you to check out our travelers section here