So my last update was sometime in April 2014 I believe. How time flies. Well, I'm happy to announce that I am now re-united with my wife and two sons, here in sunny Jacksonville Florida :) The journey back 'home' began on the 11th of April 2013 when I decided that I would not go forward with Thai residency status, thus ending almost-decade-long stay in Thailand. I literally just had a few more months to go before I qualified for permanent residency status in Thailand. I had grown tired and weary of almost ten years on the job, with no car of my own, no house of my own, but all the support of my Thai family. 10 years of that. My thinking was that, in America -- despite having only lived there for a year (when my US parent 'kidnapped' me and my siblings) where I was a citizen-by-birth -- would "enable" me. And enable me it did. It wasn't that I was given freebies or living off government assistance -- heck. I had zero of that (not because I didn't have access to it, I just didn't know where to go for it). I left with literally $1000 in my pocket -- which was pretty much all the savings I had from a decade of work in Thailand (keeping in mind the 2 kids and wife) and went about starting a new career from there. By the grace of my youngest sibling (who was raised in the States), I was able to get a foot in the door with my first job in the USA -- as an insurance service rep. I had ZERO experience with customer service and was genuinely surprised they would even think of hiring me at all -- well, maybe a bachelors degree from Australia and a post grad certificate from the UK helped establish that I was someone they could at _least_ trust. In any case, I was given a job, and easily passed the government exam for obtaining an Property & Casualty license (required for every insurance agent working in the US). Boy, the "review classes" here are about as much of a sham as they are in Thailand. Take note of that. In time I was butting heads at work and learning that, in America, people are not as free to voice their opinions as people overseas all think we are. Oh yeah. Things I could have gotten away saying back in Thailand? I'd pay dearly for over here. It wasn't immediately _apparent_ -- and that's the thing. Still, I learned to keep my thoughts to myself, and well, when in Rome... I learned, albeit grudgingly, to become a 'Company guy'. A year in the States and I had an insurance score higher than 60% of other Americans. It helps to have ZERO debt from student loans etc. etc. (that's part of The System, by the way). Half a year more and I got my own car (and now anchored down by monthly payments). Another half year goes and my visa paperwork for my family is coming together, and I decide to move from Virginia to Florida. I prefer the 'simple people' of the South to the politically-correct, 'complicated' Northerners. Also with the cheaper housing and climate that matched what my family would be more accustomed too -- it was an easy choice. Almost a year later the visa paperwork is approved and I'm finally reunited with my family. Three long years. Then we get a house. And another car. My wife of course, made it all happen. She put forward a considerable investment in the house (and second car). If there were a truly balanced union between husband and wife -- this was it. In Thailand I wasn't making quite enough to support everyone (despite having our own place to stay and all), here at home I am. It's good to finally be the main bread earner! Still, I can't help but concede that life here isn't perfect. We still have struggles. There are still ladders to climb, and report cards to be framed. At the end of it all, at least I know that in Thailand I have a solid place to return to, when the kids have carved out their own careers and it's time for the old bones to retire. Well, that's my update for now. I'll poke my head in here from time to time as I still have grand schemes and wanna-be projects that I'd love to start, and Thailand is a good staging point for all that.