I moved to Canada five years ago and I never thought that it would go by so fast. It feels like I just arrived here yesterday. So many months have passed and yet it seems like everything happened in a blink of an eye. It’s actually quite fascinating how I never wanted to come here in the first place but now I consider it my home. I mean, can you blame me? I lived my whole life in the Philippines. I was completely content with how I was living my life back then. I’ve spent years establishing my name. I got into the university that I wanted, with the program that I wanted, at the campus that I wanted. I even made lasting friendships. But even then I knew that I wouldn’t be staying in the same place for long. I knew I was destined to see the world and experience greater things beyond my imagination. Yet still, I resisted. I longed to be reunited with my mom, who moved to Canada when I was about six years old, but that means leaving my entire life behind. And at the time, I was scared. The life in the Philippines was the only life I ever knew. I worked so hard to get into the University of the Philippines and now that I’ve finally made it at the gate am I really just gonna back down and leave it all behind? Were all my efforts for nothing? I don’t know if you know this but getting into the top universities in the Philippines is a pretty big deal and where I was from, the University of the Philippines was one of the biggest. So like me, a lot of people enslaved themselves in getting to the top. Some, even more so. And with everyone in my entire school who took the test, I was one of the handful of people who passed. My teachers, aunts and uncles, my neighbours and friends were all so proud. But I knew deep inside it was irrelevant. I didn’t even enroll that year because we were already set to leave two months after school starts so it would just be a waste of time and money if I enrolled. Even before I took the test I knew that even if I passed there was no way that I would be studying there, especially with the campus that I chose. My family, my father in particular, would never allow me to study, let alone live, so far from home. But still, I wanted to test my abilities and see if I would pass. It was actually the only university I applied to. Which was kinda foolish on my part. What would’ve happened to me if I didn’t receive the notice that we were moving away and I ended up not passing? Where would I end up? At the time I didn’t really care. My mind was set on that one place and that place alone. I thought I was on the right path. My life felt like it was in place. But then our visa got approved and everything went by so quick. The next thing I knew our flight details were already established and we only had eight weeks to prepare and say our goodbyes. It wasn’t really an easy process. It took my parents YEARS to prepare everything. Not to mention all the hindrances that tried to block our departure but eventually, everything worked out. I guess the hardest part of it all was letting go of the life I worked so hard on building. The friendships, the memories, the future that I dreamed of. I wasn’t ready to go but I went anyways. And I’m glad I did.
Fast forward to a few years later and now I have established a new life here. I have adapted to the way of living, the weather, how to interact with people and I found a different part of myself. I used to always be so heated up, my friends back in the Philippines could attest to that. But now I’m more calm and collected. I don’t rush into things and I have learned to hold my tongue. I guess all of that is part of growing up but I doubt I would be the person I am today if I didn’t move here. Moving here has truly changed my life in a good way.
Now its been five years and my family has decided its time to visit the Philippines. This would be the first time I’m going back since I left. To a lot of people five years is already a long time but honestly, I feel like its not at all. If it weren’t for my grandmother who’s really ill, I would’ve preferred not to visit for another three to five years or so. Not because I don’t want to visit but I feel like I could still use the experience to grow before I face some people from my past.
This blog was originally created as a travel blog back in 2014/15. But because I was busy with other things, I didn’t really get to travel or write a lot in 2016. However, now that I’m going back to visit the Philippines (and neighbouring countries), I have decided to document my process along the way and I hope you join me in my journey! I would be writing at least one post hopefully every week. It will be from my itinerary, to my visa process, to my travel gears and such. I have dreamed to travel the world and I’m starting with my motherland. Can’t wait to see what the world has instore for us!