Living Abroad: It's Not Always Lonely for other OFWs

“Life is not just the passing of time. Life is the collection of experiences and their intensity.”
-Jim Rohn

Hot Balloon Ride done on 2018

 You don’t have to be lonely in a foreign land if you don’t allow yourself to be.

I am getting tired of hearing and reading stories that Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) live a very lonely life especially if the whole family is back in the Philippines. Many picture an OFW holed up in one’s apartment after work, work that he doesn’t like. Not all OFWs are working 2-3 jobs only to sleep for a couple of hours to go to the next job. Not all OFWs despise their job.Not all OFWs drown themselves in social media after work. 

Mural Art Work by Kobra at New York City
Fact: There’s a Filipino population of OFWS out there who actually love their work! I, myself am one, who was trained as a physical therapist in the Philippines and am currently working in a hospital where I have enjoyed working for the past 6 years. I see a good mix of patient cases who I enjoy working with. I have Filipino friends, who are nurses, a few in finance and IT who love what they do and continue to thrive in their careers.  We were fortunate enough that we were armed with the education that led to our respective career paths that we liked. And that we are privileged to have the option to have work and find other work options if we want to.

I am in no way demeaning the fact that there are OFWs out there where their family back home in the Philippines are depending on them. If they don’t work, a huge chunk of basic needs and education provision will be cut off from their families. In fact, I am in admiration of the sacrifices that they have to make and continuously make to continue financial support to their families back home.

But please don’t be short-sighted that there are ideal and happy stories too as an OFW. And that we do enjoy our life in the States.

At High Line in New York City
I would be a hypocrite if I don’t say that I don’t miss and long to see my family. Of course, there are days that I really do miss my family. I always look forward to visiting them in the Philippines when I plan for vacations. But this does not mean, I allow myself to wallow in sadness and longing everyday. 

So let me just keep your mind open to the idea that there are a few of us, privileged enough, to actually do what they have intended to do in the States with a long-term goal in mind without having to sacrifice our personal and professional happiness.

We are out there too!

As one of my favorite motivational speaker Jim Rohn said, “Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.”