Friday, June 14, 2013

Road Babe Dispatch From The Philippines

In two months, I'll make what could turn out to be the most excruciating decision of my life. I stand at the crossroads of staying or going. For a year, I've been looking forward to traveling and living abroad. Now, it’s time to leave and I'm having second thoughts. My feet seem to be glued down.

I'll be spending three or four years on a Ph.D. program in a nearby country. A few months ago, this would've been a no-brainer. I'd be rushing toward the place. My first application to study abroad was rejected, leaving me numb with no contingency plan. I soon met a guy, who filled my mind with how much easier life would be for me and my family remaining home. Then, out of nowhere, I got the opportunity to study in a reputable university. Still, the idea of staying put had taken root in my head.

Familiar faces and places

Here in the Philippines, it's traditional to live with or close by your family, especially for single people. This is practical and we're accustomed to it. As a matter of fact, I'm the only person in my family wanting to go elsewhere. It's hard for them to see me go. At some point, it hit me that I'll be losing sight of my parents and missing the chance to watch all my adorable relatives progressing through the phases of their lives.

Leaving likewise reduces the opportunities to find romance within my own Filipino culture, as I might by just remaining for a few more months. I must also say goodbye to all the yummy food and treats found only in the Philippines. So, I'm constantly having to tell myself that it’ll all be worth it.

Going to the unknown

Since I'm seeing this guy who knows that I’m leaving soon, he has made me fully aware of all the downsides to going abroad. Aside from the aforementioned, he emphasizes that I'm venturing way out into the unknown. That there is a strong possibility things won't work out as I imagine. I'll be an outsider, needing to adjust to a new culture and way of life.

I'll have to break up with old habits and my almost romance. Amidst the unknown, I'll have to remember why I even wanted to leave. Meeting new people, learning a new language, eating new food, drinking the local beer, discovering the weirdness and greatness of another country. To travel, to be lost, to be found - of course, it's worth it. The adventure of travel is what made me fall in love with the opportunity in the first place. For all those stepping out on a new journey with cold feet, hold on tight. A new life is waiting for us out there somewhere.

Reya Arimbuyutan II has been a homebody most of her life. She spent a year exploring China and fell in love with the world of travel, food and language. She likes meeting people and learning about their cultures. She has no sense of direction, but still insists on going places. Getting lost is her favorite hobby. She has a Master's Degree with studies in English and Mandarin Chinese.


  1. Thanks very much for your large information .And knowledge full description . I think it is Sus a topic that many kinds of people face many problems. thanks for this.
    meeting people,

  2. Good post, Reya. It's a part of the world that I've never seen.