” THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME” is such a common phrase yet we all have our own definition of it. If you were to ask me, home is where my family and I have shared mixtures of beautiful and sad memories together. For some, it might be a perfect, sad, lonely, traumatic, or any feeling you can think of for having a place called home. It is without a doubt that having a home is a privilege. But what if you have to leave your first home and build a new one in an unknown place? Will you still call it a privilege or a misfortune? One thing’s for sure, there is no right or wrong answer but let me share with you mine.
Back in 2014, I had to leave home (Philippines) to start a new journey in the United States (The Land of the Free). I was lucky enough that my sister and parents did everything they could for me to get here. It was my dad who decided that I can improve my life here in America even life back home was sweet and good enough.
I was 21 here and very sheltered that I don’t have any clue what awaits me in a place that people just dream of going into. I was excited yet sad leaving all my friends and the other half of my family. For 21 years, all I knew was my beloved Philippines but unlike most people who needed to live outside their home – in this case – their own country. I was so blessed by God that I didn’t go through a lot of hardships. Hardships like home sickness, hunger, homelessness, and sadness.
Through my first and second year living in my new home, it was crazy – I was going crazy! I was working 2 jobs for more than 12 hrs a day on a back to back shift for 7 days straight. I had to wake up before the sun shines and go back home on the wee hours of the night. Working almost everyday only meant not spending time with my family and it was heart-breaking. I had to lie and pretend I am sick just so I can get one Sunday off work and enjoy my family’s company. It was for sure a totally different lifestyle from what I’m used to and to be honest, I didn’t know I had it in me. I didn’t know I will be able to handle everything in the span of 2 years.
Living away from home isn’t glamorous at all that’s for sure, it is full of hard work. You have to have a strong body, mind ,and soul to make it especially in the U.S. For most, my new home is so fancy and welcoming from all the movies they saw and stories they’ve heard. But I can tell you this, it has its own twist plot when you’re part of it. A lot of things goes into living in a very advanced country. Everything is so fast paced and you will feel like 24 hrs a day is just not enough. You have to go with its flow or else, life will hit you hard and you just can’t get back up. You have to know how to balance work and play or else you will lose your mind. You have to be prepared for almost anything because life is just unpredictable especially living outside your own home (country).
Like to what I’ve said, “There’s no place like home” means differently to every one of us. As for me, it was for sure one hell of a roller coaster ride living outside my comfort zone (my home for 21 years to be exact – PHILIPPINES) yet I am very thankful for my God, family, and friends for all their love and support. For the past 3 years, I have learned to embrace United States and call it my home. And I hope that I can continue to create new and wonderful memories with it. As for those who wants to make the Land of the Free their new home; I hope that you may gain FAITH, COURAGE, STRENGTH, and PERSEVERANCE to pursue the dream.
And you, what is your decision of a home?