Have you ever been given the opportunity to live in another country? Or maybe study abroad for a year or more?
I have, many times. Unfortunately, I have not said yes to all those times. I am not the most outgoing of people, so anything that involves taking me out of my comfort zone makes me shudder. Which is probably why I waited until everyone else stopped pestering me to go out there and experience something new, that I gathered what little courage I had and decided to study abroad.
However, the second the taxi dropped me in front of the students’ home where I would live for the next six years, I remember thinking to myself: “what the hell was I thinking?” Something you must know about me is that I am a very quiet person. I am not one of those who arrives at a new place and says “let’s go out and explore.” No. I need to know where I am going and how I am going to get there. I hate getting lost and worse, people noticing I have no idea what I am doing. I suppose it all goes back to this flaw I have which is I want things to work out perfect on the first try. Which is why I hate playing video games, because I don’t have the patience to try and try until I get it right. I know, it makes me wonder why I am not in therapy.
The upside is that I learned a lot from being away from what I was used to. As teenagers or a bit older, we tend to say how we need more freedom from our parents, how we want to be more independent. The only problem is we have no idea what to do once we get that opportunity. From some of the basics as what to buy and how much to buy at the grocery store, to laundry, moving around, and the fact that even though you complain about it, at the end of the day you have your family there, even if you don’t feel like talking to them.
I have traveled to various locations during my life, although even then, I find it hard to be less apprehensive and be more adventurous. You won’t find me raising my hand in the middle of a show so that I can do whatever tourists do in other countries. For example, during our trip to Hawaii we went to a luau and the second the MC asked for volunteers to go up and learn to dance, I shrunk as much as I could in my seat so no one would point a finger at me and say: “hey, you the one who really doesn’t want to do this, come on up!”
I’d like to think that once I have children I’ll get better in that aspect because if I don’t, my kids are going to be outsiders and I really wouldn’t want that. I don’t want them to be afraid like I am most of the times. Fortunately, my husband is more outgoing than I am, which that alone has made me step out of my shell , a little bit.
I was thinking about this whole experiencing a new country thing, because three people very close to me are about to embark on an adventure that I am certain will only give them tons and tons to talk about when they come back. I mean, it isn’t every day someone has to move from Mexico City, to Manila in the Philippines. Apart from the huge time difference and the amount of time it takes to actually get there, I think it is very brave to leave everything behind, and take your family, which includes a seven month baby, off to a brief yet still “who knows what will happen” adventure.
I don’t think I’ve ever told them this, but I admire each one of them. My brother in law and his wife have worked hard for what they have, and I am a firm believer that good things happen to people who truly deserve them. And even if bad things come their way, they have the strength of character to come out on the other side with a satisfied smile on their faces. I am sure that this new adventure will be just another challenge that they will face and they will conquer. And as for baby Sophia, I am grateful to her, because even though she is seven months old she has healed my broken heart in so many ways, I’ll forever be in her debt.
So Kenny, Miner and baby Sofia, embrace each day in your new home for the next months. I am sure you’ll come back with many stories, and that those countless adventures waiting for you in Manila will only add to the love and respect that I see in you as individuals and as a family.