Home and Away

“Move to a new country and you quickly see that visiting a place as a tourist, and actually moving there for good, are two very different things.” – Tahir Shah

An old friend just recently called up to say that he’s moving to New Zealand, and bringing along his family with him. He’s not alone, and this is not the first time. He’s following the footsteps of 4 other colleagues who seem to share the vision of a “greener” pasture abroad, literally and figuratively.

While catching up with an old friend, she mentioned choosing Australia to raise her kids instead of here in Manila. And while she notes that there are conveniences of community and family here in her hometown, the benefits of living abroad supported by the government (such as free education, hospitalization charges, etc) outweighs her own nostalgia. home and abroad

I have always weighed this choice myself. My husband and I have also discussed this multiple times, and we have considered the options and what-ifs. His family is exposed to the OFW scenario more than my family, as my FIL is a practicing physician in the US and only comes home once a year for the holidays.

While the hubby is open to the idea, I have yet to open my heart to the possibility. I love to travel and explore new places. But moving my life, moving with children abroad is totally different. I heavily rely on my family ties to raise my kid while I am working. I do not have currently the freedom to strictly choose my weekdays only for work–at times, we are called to duty even on weekends. I do not have the luxury of time yet to go home early, as my work demands attention at late hours especially when there are special events. And while the option is there to look for a more “regular” desk job, my family knows that this is best job for me, in terms of long-term health benefits and a more understanding work pace.

Countless times, relatives and friends have tempted us to work abroad. Promises of higher pay and less workload, and more work opportunities would always beckon. But for me, its not always about the money. I want my children to grow up with their grandparents, because the wisdom that they can impart does not have a price tag. I want our parents to enjoy their grandchildren, for time is all they have right now. I want my children to enjoy their Pinoy childhood and a school with Pinoy values. I want us to enjoy all the ups and downs of Manila, because this is where we grew up, and right now, this is home. Yes, I’m traditional and conventional and sentimental that way.

But then, that’s just me. Who knows what will happen in the future. All I know is, as long as we’re all together (for now), we can find happiness and fulfillment anywhere we may be.

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