Leaving your country for the first time can be very, very hard. Just like what had happened to me. I’ve been working in my country for more than 10 years, leaving your comfort zone would not be as easy as you think. Your family, your friends, neighbors, colleagues, the life you’ve used to, your routine and environment will change instantly.
Before my flight, I am too excited, and nervous as well, searching my destination country, the people, temperature, rules, crimes, etc… But as the day of my departure is approaching, the butterflies in my bellies are moving more and more, hahaha. And when that day finally came I can’t move my feet, leaving your family behind. I told them not to bring me to the airport because what I’ve heard from people leaving the country, it is much harder if the family are with you to say goodbye (our place is 5-6 hours travel by land to the airport). So literally, I was crying so hard, released my arms from my sleeping angel, my youngest child, so painful that I need to get my things, put it inside the car. Giving my two other children, my son and daughter a never ending “words of wisdom” explaining things and reminders (that I think I’ve told them millions of times already) There’s no turning back. I need to do this and be strong.
I arrived the airport and still nervous, you know why? I am one of those Filipinos that will try their luck to pass the immigration without any hassle. I am exiting the Philippines going to Hong Kong for 2 days (tour), then from there will go to the Middle East. The interview went well, Whew! They kept on asking me questions, again and again, trying to make me feel more nervous and maybe I might give them wrong details. But maybe, I am destined to leave the country that day. Then I arrived Hong Kong, alone… eating alone, talking to my family on skype that I am safe. Good that the next day is my flight going to U.A.E. or else I will be crazy. 🙂
As I stepped my feet here in the Middle East, Aha! at long last, I am here after the too much waiting, crying, traveling, butt-aching in the plane. My friend and High School mate named Richard picked me up. So this is Dubai. As we are in the Metro Train, he was telling and showing me places, the names etc. etc. but nothing was registering on my mind. I think I left my brain inside the plane. I am still worried, again why? I came on a tourist VISA, now it is up to my luck again to find a job.
Competition here is very strong, you are competing not only with your own “kabayan” but rather with different nationalities, Indians, Pakistanis, Russians, Chinese, Thailander, Indonesians, Arabs and so on. A resume is very important and how you defend what’s in there are far more than important. Be confident, pray and more LUCK as well.
Luckily, before my visa expires I got one. But the struggle doesn’t end there, you really need to adjust, the way of living, especially your home, here, it is normal to own just a “space”, home is the most expensive thing here. You want to be more comfortable, pay more. For food, Filipino cuisine and ingredients, spices are everywhere. As you are abroad, you will work, encounter different people with different characteristics, attitudes, and you have to deal with it. Even the smell 😦 . For private companies, it is normal to have just 1 rest day, and usually, it’s Fridays, not like in my country that we have Saturdays and Sundays. For me it is OK now and already used to it, as you don’t realize the days are going so fast because homesickness doesn’t have any expiration, it will attack you anytime, communication with your family is the number one treatment. I am already working here for almost 6 years in the Middle East, but still, more to learn. For OFWs, the best way to survive is being strong and always remember the reason why we are here, our FAMILY. Life is not that easy as we know it, but it always depends on us how to deal and be happy in our own simple way. We have our own problems and we also got our own and different kinds of luck. Be responsible, follow the rules wherever country you were in, keep safe and be alert all the time too. & Don’t TRUST easily.
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