For those who doesn’t know, I was fortunate enough to live abroad for about a year and a month for my internship. My placement was in Chicago and I had the best time ever in my life. But now that I am back in the Philippines, I can’t help but miss a few things. Actually, it’s a lot of things but I don’t think I have enough time to enumerate it all. 😅 So here are some:
I was all alone for a year. No parents. No relatives. Sure, I got to talk to them via Skype for almost everyday but with the different timezones and whatnot, it’s just hard to keep up so there was no one telling me what to do and what time I should be going home. It was freeing since I haven’t really experienced NOT living with my parents before my internship. But when I came back and had to meet my friends after a long time, I was set with a curfew. I honestly can’t say I did not expect it coming but to be able to actually experienced it again was quite unbelievable. But really it’s not all about going out and stuff, it’s also about freedom to travel anywhere I wish and whomever I want. There’s also the freedom to make decisions on my own.
True to its name as the Windy City, Chicago’s wind can be very harsh especially to those from tropical countries like me. I remember my first day of work, I thought I was all covered good for the fall weather and went straight to open the door ready to go to work thinking the cold couldn’t be that bad but as soon as I stepped out of the door, I could hear the loud swishing of the wind. I was so wrong. I never felt so exposed in my life! The wind blew past my whole body as if I was not wearing anything. I immediately went back inside and gather my gloves, scarf and extra jacket. It was probably because I was still adjusting to the harsh weather, but still…poor me. I had to adjust for months for the cold weather. And just when my body was already settling in, I’m back again in my country experiencing heat wave everyday. I realize that if it’s cold, I can at least shield myself by wearing coats and hats and still feel okay but there’s no going around if it’s hot. Unless of course, you install an internal fan in your shirt.
I never was the kind of person open in dating other people but that was before I went to Chicago. The first time I decided to meet up with someone, I bought this draft beer at 711 and jugged the whole thing thirty minutes before the meet up. Why the beer? I can never do meet ups with strangers let alone talk with them SOBER. Reckless? Maybe. So yeah, we met at the train station near my office and since we were going the same direction, we rode the train together. The guy was slurring all the time it was so hard for me to make out on what he’s saying. I swear half the time I just nod whenever I felt like he’s done talking. I had an OKAY time and never called the guy again. Nevertheless, it was a first and nice experience I had. Back here, I don’t even dare open Tinder. Yucky. In fact, it seems like my sexual hormones has been shut off the moment I set my foot back in this country. It’s probably because Filipinos don’t interest me that much. I prefer getting to know someone from other places foreign to me. It’s lovely and exciting, for me. 🙂
I don’t mean to sound unfair and ungrateful, but with all the pre-exisiting family dramas plus my personal struggles mixing up, they just don’t add up to my list of reasons-to-look-forward-to-when-I-come-back-home/reasons-to-stay. Nu-uh.
I’m not sure how to explain this without sounding bias. I’ve only been to other Asian countries but never outside the continent before and I can tell you people in the West are very genuine and nice, in general. Of course, I can’t say that much since I’ve only live there—particularly in Chicago—for a year. 🙄 But like honestly, people would open doors for you, even WOMEN would do that. Also, 7 out 10 people would randomly greet or smile at you. Back here if some stranger do that, one would be very skeptical and think maliciously already. It’s funny. And kind of unfair that I’m thinking so negatively for my people but it’s the naked truth.
No One Gives A Fuck
I may be the the type of girl who does not care of what she wears, most of the time. I do get conscious though, when there’s like an event or something—I think that’s only normal—but definitely besides those, I don’t care. As a foreigner, I was conscious at the way I dressed at first but actually you’d be surprise how people don’t give a fuck about what you’re wearing. They dress up however they want. A lot of times, I had encountered males and females having such out-of-this-planet type of colour in their hair and I just found fascinating that they weren’t conscious about it and wish I could have the courage to do something like that. But here in the Philippines, people are just naturally judgy especially women. How did I know that? Well, I may have been one of those women from time to time. Yeah, shame on me.
My Dream Lives Up In There
Finally, this feels like the main reason why I miss living abroad. I feel like ever since I got home, my life has been on pause. Of course, I know it’s not entirely true because everyday I deal with stuff that makes me grow as a person. Things such as being considered grown up therefore having much responsibilities than before, the realization that I am not the same person as I was before I left and things like that. I wouldn’t say I’m unhappy here but I really see myself working my way up somewhere else. That I could accomplish something for myself. But you know what? I don’t dream of being a president of some company. I don’t dream of owning a castle. Although I know I wasn’t born to just pay bills and die, I only want enough for me and my family for the present and the future. And I wish I could say that I could get it all here where I grew up and I probably could easily get it, but still no. It’s already very much tangled up that I’d rather start from the bottom somewhere else far than have everything but happiness. After all, happiness is to be found along the way, not at the end of the road. And my map says the start of that journey is not here.
Yes, those are some that made the list of why I miss living in abroad. I may sound a little into living away home but that does not mean I hate it here. I love it mainly because I have my family here. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the country. Just so happens that I fell deeply in love in other places. So yes, I’m a girl who has such a big lust to get away and see the world.
Photo credits: Pictures taken from https://www.instagram.com/chicagobucketlist/ and Pinterest.com