Thursday, May 7

7 Lessons I Learned Working Abroad

There is no doubt that being an OFW was one of the hardest decisions I've made in my life. While almost everyone thinks that it is so cozy and comfortable leaving your home for a good amount of money - well, there are two sides to every story; and today, I decided to tell you most of the lessons I have learned in being an overseas worker abroad.

1. The world does not revolve around you. Being an OFW for merely around 8 months, I have realized that the world does not revolve around me alone. I am just one in a million, one in a million people who fights to survive, works hard to chase their dreams, and aims to take on what they think they deserve. Considering that there are more than a million people in the world, who am I to think that not every single person around me also deserves that something I've been wanting my whole life, who am I to think that for a single dot I am that person who deserves to earn that job, who deserves to be loved, who deserves to be on top. Not really - we are all reaching and wanting almost the same things. So if it doesn't go to you, well honey, that's how the world goes. Accept it and move on.

2. It places you where you should be - on ground. When I started looking for a job abroad, I lived on believing that everything will come the way they should be. Easy breezy, free lance, nothing to worry about because once I find that job, I will surely be on cloud 9. However, the way to the top is not always easy. You got to fight hard. A lot of people won't see you as you see yourself - great, fearless, and competitive. Some people doesn't simply look for those things. And unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, you will still fail sometimes. But it's not that bad. When I left Singapore to have another thirty days, even if I already had a hint of having a job, I still felt grounded. Contemplating on my journey from the beginning, it has kept me grounded. It taught me that not even a single minute should I be so arrogant because at any time, someone can burn everything I've worked hard for just because they can. It's not to make you lose your self esteem or make you feel worthless though, it happens because you have to recognize that it's not all you. People, no matter how long you've known them or seen them, contributed something. You owe them something.

3. There's no one else better to look after yourself than you. One of the hardest lessons I've learned here is independence. I am not really someone who always needed someone to survive but when I made it here - I've learned independence in a whole new level. No one was there to tell me to drink my medicines on time (when I'm sick), no one takes my laundry for me, and no one would cook my meals for me. My mother was such a big part of my life and she would always do things for me, look after me, remind me to do this and that, and when she wasn't there to pick me up from everything and the hardships of working abroad - I felt frail. I thought I couldn't be anything if she's not with me, but I'm wrong. I can do things, even surprisingly, I can do things on my own. She has taught me a lot and it was my turn to finally put those lessons to good use. She has done me proud. She was anything but a wonderful mother.

4. Family is everything. There are times when I felt really down and wished I was just back home, sitting, and enjoying my comfort zone. But then I think again, and I realize they are the main reason I am here. I want to help my Mom pay all her debts; debts that she acquired just to make me study and finish in a good university. I almost had breakdowns every single day, even more than once a day, and it made me strong. I'm awakened by the thought that every day I fight to survive is a day closer to being with them again.

5. In the end, everything will get better. At the end of each day, no matter how stressed or tired I am, I always comfort myself with the fact that tomorrow is another day and it's gonna get better. Even if now feels like I am the saddest person alive with my family away and friends being separated, tomorrow will be a new one. Tomorrow might still be sad but then there's another tomorrow and who knows what it will bring? No one. Not even me. And that's such a solid guarantee for something better - believing in something you haven't even seen. Believing that happiness might just be around the corner and it will get to you, you just have to wait and see.

6. Work hard. Your dreams are your fortress - source of your strength and comfort. Even if it's hard, continue. Always keep in mind that everybody's working hard just to get to the same place as you. If you don't keep on working, they'll get it and tomorrow will be another day put to waste coz you were too busy working on the wrong things. I'm not saying you should work hard to the point of extreme exhaustion and lazy days aren't completely wrong because you deserve to have chill days too but don't get too relaxed. Work hard! Your boss will love you for that. Appreciate it, even.

7. Be strong. Stay strong. As cliche as it sounds, you are your own hero. Yes I know you've heard this a lot of times but it's true. Life is amazing and you have to be strong to witness that. Constantly looking for ways to keep alive and kicking and blissful as the universe! You are here for a reason, you deserve to be alive. Show the rest of the world what you're made of, prove them your place. Believe that you're just as wonderful as the world and you are strong! You deserve to be alive.

There are probably more things to learn and I can't wait to discover all of them. For the mean time, I will keep on living by these lessons - hoping that it will help me get through each day smoothly. I am inspired and I always thank God for giving me the opportunity to learn these things at such a young age. There are times when I feel really really lonely but it will get better. Risks are meant to be taken, hardships and scars are to be celebrated, and surviving each day is always an accomplishment. There's no time better to enjoy it than now - be happy and keep learning.

PS. Will get back to my traveling stories once I get the chance! Happy reading!



  1. Great article, Faye! This made me cry! I am so proud of what you have become. Continue chasing your dreams one day at a time. See you soon! :)


    1. Aww! You know I miss you! See you soon, love! xx


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