One Immigrant’s Experience

Usually when I travel, I’m the guy with my headphones on and the scowl that says, “leave me alone.” Last night was a lesson for why I should take those headphones off from time to time.

I was in Tampa for work, but had dinner on my own. I took a Lyft from Tampa to Tarpon Springs, the Sponge Capital of the World, to get some good Greek seafood. It was about a 45 minute drive and on the way back I got to talking with my driver.

Turns out that he is a Filipino immigrant. In 1971, he spent a year with a couple who bought a 41-foot Taiwanese catamaran to sail it from the Philippines to the U.S. There weren’t any good Loran stations back then, so they navigated with their sextant. The hopped through the islands, but ended up 400 miles off course and got stuck on a reef in Figi. He then went to Australia for a year as the boat was repaired. Then they sailed it to Hawaii and over to the mainland.

In the U.S., he settled in Florida and was a truck driver for 25 years. He worked for several years for a company in Minnesota, so he regaled me with stories about traversing Wisconsin.

He had been to 49 states, excluding Alaska, and had wonderful things to say about the warmth and kindness of his adopted country. He also waxed on about the opportunities in America and how it allowed him to raise his 5 kids into the middle class.

At a time when the news cycles are often filled with negative portrayals of Americans, it was heartening to hear one immigrant’s American experience and to remember that it is, by far, the common experience that has been attracting people to our nation for generations.

16 Responses to One Immigrant’s Experience

  1. Mar says:

    I think this guy’s experience is typical of most legal immigrants. Maybe not the traveling, but his experience.
    I think, with the exceptions angry left AND right, most people are satisfied with the US and would not want to leave or speak ill excessively about it

  2. Mark Hoefert says:

    Quite a few years ago the independent motel industry was taken over by immigrants from India.  The “mom-and-pop” American family operators were selling out because the 24/7/365 nature of the business was grueling and made personal life unbearable.

    For the people from India that bought the motels, this was their “heaven on earth.”  Being self-employed business owners that provided jobs and support for their families was a much better opportunity than what they left behind.

    It always comes down to perspective.


  3. Kevin Scheunemann says:


    That is why it is so puzzling when it comes to the hate America attitude!

    If America is so bad, why are they not warning immigrants to NOT come here?

    Hypocrite liberals drive me crazy.

  4. Le Roi du Nord says:

    No where does Owen mention if the Lyft driver was legal or not.

    k:  You can turn a feel-good story into your hate-filled screed without even trying.  What a sad little life you live….

  5. jjf says:

    Hey Kev, if America can improve, should it?

  6. Mar says:

    jjf, yes it can but not the liberal way.
    We don’t need a bunch of racist, bigoted elitist thugs trying to improve the US.

  7. Kevin Scheunemann says:

    Nord, JJf,

    My improvement plan for America.

    Sens all spoiled liberals, who hate America to North Korea for 3 months.

    Problem solved.

    Bet they come back as wonderful, America loving, conservatives.

  8. Jason says:

    >Hey Kev, if America can improve, should it?

    Hey jjf, America will improve whether any one here thinks it shouldn’t.  It improved when Trump took office.  Do you agree?

  9. Mark Hoefert says:

    @ Nord: No where does Owen mention if the Lyft driver was legal or not.

    Well, Owen does mention that he was an interstate truck driver for 25 years.  To do that you have to have a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License).  Something not available for illegal immigrants.





  10. Mar says:

    Kevin, send them to socialist paradise, Venezeula. It’s worse than North Korea.

  11. Kevin Scheunemann says:


    I’m a diverse guy, either one is good with me to cure the infection of liberalism.

  12. Kevin Scheunemann says:


    That Nordic’s is right up there with his there are “no mandates” in a wastewater permit lie!

  13. jjf says:

    Again with the wastewater permit oppression.  Why not tell the whole story, Kevin.  Tell us what you’d like to do and how the Man is keeping you down.

  14. Le Roi du Nord says:


    At least you did the research, and make a valid point.  Can’t say that for others who are quick to make assumptions.  Good work.


    Since you won’t share (no surprise there) your WPDES permit, the EA/CEA, planning and engineering study, etc., we will have to conclude that: You are making it all up .

  15. Kevin Scheunemann says:

    I love liberals in continual denial how their mandates hurt the poor when it comes to water rates.

    Their shame is complete.

  16. jjf says:

    In what contexts are you opposed to laws simply because they hurt the poor, Kevin?  Can you think of anything you support that hurts the poor in a disproportionate fashion?

    And again, please tell your water mandate story in detail.  I’d love to hear it.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.