Let me start by quoting what one of the facebook users have posted "Happiness does not come from seeking new landscapes, but from having new eyes on the same life you’ve always been living".
Living abroad creates different atmosphere in our lives. For some it could be the most rewarding moments financially and emotionally. But for some it could be the nightmare and given a chance to rollback the past, I am sure they will wish that such experience of life abroad will not happen to them. Sounds awful isn't it?
Why do people still preferred to work and live abroad? Because our common goal is to seek a greener pasture, to earn money in a hope to give a better future for our family. We trade in homesickness and loveones separation in exchange for better opportunities which our home country cannot give. As an example, Filipino seamen are always suffering the dangers of angry waves, storms, pirates, sleepless nights and boredom yet they endure all the hardships to support their loveones.
Do you have any idea how many Filipinos are working and living abroad? There are about 11 million Filipinos abroad which totaled to 11% of Philippines population. In the Middle East, there are about 2 million Filipinos of which more than a million resides in Saudi Arabia between 1 to 1.5 million) as of 2009.
However not everybody have the same experience of going abroad. There are plenty of sad and happy experiences. The process of going abroad alone is so painful. We heard of those individuals who sold their properties but end up illegally recruited by fake recruiters, others opted to TNT scheme, and some women resorting to made-to-order bride to speed up their migration. Some are lucky enough to find a good employment and a good employer but some are not.
The first thing that may welcome you abroad is the culture shocks. You will find the things you used to do may not be applicable in the host country. Loneliness is the no.1 challenge in living abroad, especially in Middle East so called closed countries. You cannot just do what you used to do back home. Boredom may sometimes results to insanity. Thank you to internet technology. Right now it’s not really so difficult because of the advancement of information technology wherein you can easily chat and talk to your loveones via internet. Being alone or bachelor, you are force to wash your own clothes, cook for yourselves and when sick, you cannot just call anybody for help. Only few people were able to manage to bring their family and stay together.
In some places, there's a lot of discrimination. You need to adjust to environment and take the new challenges. A foreign worker may need to upgrade or enhance his skills in order to compete and retain his job, be equipped with new technologies to cope up with the changing world and workplace demands and expectations.
At worse, some overseas contract worker became a victim of sexual abuses, maltreatment, unpaid salaries, and labor malpractices. They become stranded or distressed OFWs waiting to be repatriated. There are those who are willing to go back home but they are financially unfortunate and could not even buy their own plane ticket. They want to go home but they cannot simply go home.
Abroad, you'll learn to cross out the days of your calendar. Who among you are not excited to go vacation? Of course everybody is excited. And those who went vacation after spending all his money will come back to host country empty handed. The thing is OFW have not learned from their experience. Normally the hard earned money goes to nowhere. Almost hundred percent is remitted to loveones to be used for comfortable living and no percentage is set aside to investment. Only few have learned the value of savings and investment. Realizing that even the family has very little or no savings at all, the poor contract worker has no choice but to return abroad. The promise of finishing only 2 years contract become 3, 4, and 5 so forth and so on, vacation and return and the cycle continues endlessly. So sad, they will only stop working abroad and go home only when they are very very old and sometimes already stricken by sickness or either paralyze or in a box.
Life abroad is full of challenges, test and trials. It could be emotionally devastating if you are not prepare and not strong enough. Some people decided to go abroad because they think that dollars will make them happy. Earning dollars is not a guaranty to happiness. There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way. Happiness does not come from seeking new landscapes, but from having new eyes on the same life you’ve always been living. The way to be happy is to be happy in every circumstance no matter what your condition is. Be happy and thankful for what you have. It could be enjoy wherever you are, home country or abroad.
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