Wednesday, June 04, 2014

What is My Purpose of Being Abroad?

During one of my catch-up meetings with my client recently, we had gotten “out of focus” from work and ended chatting more about our personal lives – especially relating to life’s choices, retirement decisions and plans for the future. He was married to a co-Asian and recently had their first child, a bouncing baby boy, last month.  It was a great opportunity for me to listen to thoughts of someone who grew up in a first world country and to learn from his elderly thoughts of setting out plans for the future.

He told me that our resident place is surrounded by materialism – I agree! Our place is called “tax-haven” and all professions here are mostly related to finance, managing wealth of the wealthy! Most people have forgotten about family values – parents usually send their children to nursery day care centers, while they keep themselves busy with work to earn.  On another hand, this man had made a choice to be the sole provider for his family, with his wife tending to their son, and had a mortgage for a house near the beach. His thoughts were as simple as ABC – nurture his family with one parent looking after their kid/s (he plans to have another baby soon!), he balances out his work so he can be home early to play and see his son goes to sleep, stays at his house over the weekend to spend time with his wife and son, buy a house to serve as a capital asset which he plans to sell 15-20 years from now, and use the money to retire in Asia! Wow….! He told me that Asia has been growing and with its low cost of living, he can have a comfortable, simple retirement life there with his family.

I admired his thoughts and plans. For awhile, I sat there silently in front of him – and digested everything he said. I was inspired and it made me re-think and re-focus of what my purpose of why I travelled more than 7,000 miles away from home.

As what every Filipino had thought of every OFW making a sacrifice to be away from home, it is true. It is the sad reality. But being an overseas Filipino worker for more than 3 years now, I have realized that it is the change in perspectives that we can appreciate the reason and purpose of why we are abroad. There are days when I have to ask my God of His purpose of why He sent me abroad. I keep on asking what His future plans for me are. Until I let go and surrender, and tried to look back on the first day I set my foot abroad up to the present day. What has changed about me? What are the lessons I realized for the past 3 years? Who have been the person that I become during those trials and struggles I went through for being away from home, being away from my comfort zone?

I matured even with my child-like nature.
I appreciated my parents, brothers and hometown. (It’s true that you can only appreciate something when you have gotten away.)
I grew stronger in my faith and I was able to choose the people to be with who nurture me in my spiritual journey.
Being abroad has given me an opportunity to earn more than I used to earn when I was in the Philippines. I became thankful that I was able to invest and still continue to learn on how to manage finances effectively.
I had learned not to be lazy to boil water when I needed a hot drink, especially during winter times. I could only be the one to look after myself. I learned to be more independent.
I had learned that distance was never a hindrance – if you really appreciate someone, you “work it out” and even with distance, I can still make my presence felt. Thanks to technology – and for promo fares to travel cheaper.  Being away teaches one to be independent and to know what/who matters most.

I still find myself thinking about what tomorrow could bring. But I have learned that instead of worrying about it, tomorrow is something to look forward to for a new day that it brings. For the renewed spirit. For another blessings to receive and an opportunity to bless others, too.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know well the plans I have made for you, says the Lord, plans for your future and not for woe, plans to give you joy and a future.”

Purpose of Being Abroad

Love Lots,


  1. Love this post!

    One of the things I really regret was not living on my own before I got married. It would have been nice to know who I was outside of being a daughter or a wife, and to have my own space before I settled down.

    If given another chance, I would love to live abroad too. Which is not to say that I don't like my life now, I just have those "what-if?"moments every now and then.

    Hay buhay talaga:p

  2. Hello Ate Jill! I suddenly remember a quote from the movie Letters to Juliet saying, "'What' and 'If' are two words as non-threatening as words can be. But put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life: What if? What if? What if? You need only the courage to follow your heart." :) You have been blessed with the kind of life you have now. Who knows, someday, you may also migrate or be given a chance to live life abroad - and even more happier that you will have your family with you. :)

  3. That's true, I do feel blessed with my life :)

    Unless life suddenly throws us a major surprise, I don't think we'll be leaving the Philippines any time soon. But I do see lots of travels in the future for my little family, so that's something to look forward to :)


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