11 Unadulterated Realizations I Had 6 Months after I Quit Public School and Left Philippines
If you were reading my writing and following this blog, you would know my story and the biggest leap that I took six months ago. If you just stumbled upon this, I would tell you. I am Adah from the Philippines; and I quit teaching in public school and left my home country of 25 years to chase my dream to travel, discover the unfamiliar, and experience life to the fullest. I am not well off nor privileged in life, so I am working my way through to make my dream come true. How cliché, isn’t it? In a generation where everyone seems to be doing the same thing, same storyline, same dream, what sets me apart? Nothing. I am just like you and everyone else who dreams of greater possibilities in life; I am striving and trying my very best to make things happen, while powering through all the struggles on the path that I have personally chosen. But what I can assure you is that I will not sugarcoat what this journey actually looks like. It has been 6 months now since I left Philippines and I am sharing with you the unadulterated truths and realization I had in 6 months of being away from home and living solo in a foreign country.
I will tell you the truth. When I was still planning about this, I would look at this journey in a bigger picture. It appeared quite easy. Although I knew that nothing worth having comes really easy, I sort of underestimated the amount of struggle that I may encounter along the way. I read on my favorite travel bloggers’ travel diaries. The way they would put their stories into words seemed like it was easy peasy. Being the strong persona that I am, I assumed I could do the same thing. . They seemed like they are all having the time of their lives. Their Instagram feed shows off a grandeur travel life that every human with gypsy soul is envious of and dreams about. The way they had woven their stories enticed me to do the same thing, to follow my passion, to live the life I have always imagined, and to really take that huge leap. It looked fun, traveling to places that we only see in photos. I built my ideals on their words. But amidst all the amazing moments captured by their camera lenses, nobody really knew about the real struggles and the awful-crazy stories behind all those beautiful travel pictures. Nobody really knew what one had to go through holistically before coming up with those impeccable and beautiful descriptions about the life of travel. Nobody really knew how these brave souls have become the people that they are; because the process is rarely discussed, all we see are the grand trips and amazing photos which are the by-product of blood, tears, and sweat that they had to shed just to make things happen. So now that I am in the process, I am letting you know, it is never easy beyond words. My Instagram feed may say otherwise but I have my own fair share of struggles. These are my take away:
1. There is no place like home.
No matter what happens, wherever I go. Even if home means traveling the 5-kilometer radius for an hour or two because of severe case of traffic jam. Even if it means feeling unsafe in daylight in the middle of the city, because of many reported and unreported crimes. Even if it means waking up to much worldly news; whatever you rant about Philippines, for me, there is really no place like home. Although I have no plan of coming home any time soon, my heart longs for the vibes of the Pilipinas kong mahal (my beloved Philippines)
2. I miss my own army.
Lately, I really appreciate the kind of friendship I was able to make back home. No matter how annoying those humans are, I miss them so much, it sucks. There would be nights when I’d wish I could invite them out for a coffee date just so I could rant about how adulting is making me insane and how I am coping up to keep my sanity intact.
3. Pulling my shits together is far more difficult than what it seems.
You know when you thought you have figured it out? Darling, the reality will slap you hard, because you have not. The journey is not linear, it is spiral with edges, sharp and deadly edges. Can you imagine that? No? Hi five! Neither do I. I can’t even wrap it in my head.
4. I was not very prepped for many life-changing decisions.
2017 is a year of thousands decisions. The decision to make things happen is just step 1, I was not told that there will be many more succeeding decisions that will blow up my mind and my soul.
5. I reassess my decision, million times over.
There will always be doubts. Have I done the right thing? I would constantly ask this to myself and the answer is always yes. I sort of want to believe that I am on the right path. Do I regret leaving a stable job? No. I’d rather struggle and live truly than to be a walking zombie.
6. I thought of giving up, trillion times over.
Because conforming with the majority seems a lot easier and less complicated, but is that really what I want? No. So I just shut up and suck it up. Giving up is never an option.
7. There will be many bad days more than high days.
There will be days when I could not create nor think properly. There will be days when things do not totally make sense. But they are just days, not years. They are just moments, and they don’t last. The best is yet to come.
8. You will need money and skill
Traveling is demanding and expensive. These are two of the basic requirements along with your heart and will. I may only have the skills, but I am currently trying to figure out how to acquire the latter.
9. You will be knocked off, crashed; you will stumble and fall.
Hard. real hard. But you will carry on, and you will continue to try again.
10. Taking a leap is just the beginning; you will still have to go through a lot for your becoming.
It is a spiral-ish slash zigzag-ish kind of journey with sharp edges.
11. You will get to know yourself more.
This is my favorite take away among all of the listed above. I am currently in the process of knowing my deeper sense of being. Honestly, I am thinking of going in hiatus from all these things in the coming days until early next year. No huge trips and decisions, only small progress and little moments.
You see, it’s not full of spice and it is not everything nice. To be honest, recent weeks have been really tough but upon thinking about the love and support that I get from the start up until now, my heart gets fuller and my soul gets tougher. I am more than grateful to all the amazing humans who are spending their precious time to let me know via email and messages that they love my writing and that my words have touched their hearts and lives. Oh man, that is huge. I am happy that you get inspired by my humble journey, but I’d be happier if you’d finally embark on your own, whatever that is. Also, those messages that you sent to pour you heart out and to share your struggles, they are all added fuel to my fire. Thank you so much, really.
My story is young and raw, and I will never sugarcoat how it really is to you. No euphemisms are appropriate to make this journey an eye-candy for you. So to you who thinks that this is magical and all, no. I cringe when people think that it is all happy times. So let me break it all to you. This is blood, sweat, and tears kind of thing. Yes that is right, we’re on the same boat, trying to pull our shits nicely together. These days have been rough and I am embracing it. I read somewhere that we often try our best to elude from bad feelings or pain. We often do not like it, so it’s either we escape it or we walk away from anything nice. But what we do not see is these are vital parts of the becoming. I myself was not aware of it until lately, that the universe has to really knock you off to make you who you want to become. This is the truth. If you can suck it all up, then you are ready.
At the end of the day I will borrow the cliche: nothing worth having comes easy. It is really about choosing the path you’d be willing to walk through no matter how difficult it may seem or it actually is. Also, beginning is always the hardest.
About the writer:
She is a young teacher-writer-wanderess from the Philippines. She blends her passion to touch lives with her lust to wander and with her love for life. She’s consumed by all things pertaining to places, people, culture, and words. Follow her adventures on Instagram@pinaywanderess and on Facebook.