“There’s no place like home” says our dear OFW.
It was on my 3rd year working as a full time Staff Nurse in a government hospital when I realized I want to work abroad. Not having so many reasons except for greater income and to experience what it is working in a different set up with more sophisticated equipment yet handling the same cases.
No, I haven’t experienced working in other countries but I’ve tried many times submitting my resume to different agencies. When I felt I’m ready to leave the country, I told myself I will just spend just two (2) years abroad.
Job offers arrived, salary was competitive, there’s paid vacation, free housing and other benefits but my planned did not pushed through when my grandmother learned about it. She kept on asking me why I am always in a hurry. I was 24 years old then and knew I wanted to go out but she requested me to stay in the hospital where I used to work.
My grandma and I worked in the same institution that time so she knows my ins and out. I don’t know how but she knows the reasons every time I filed a leave of absence - to attend a job interview. Grandma knew every time I went to POEA. My application in the Middle East was set aside and forgotten when another opportunity came. I got a job offer to work in New York and that’s when I became busy for NCLEX and IELTS.
But what is it becoming an OFW? Sacrifice, sadness, loneliness and even depression being away with the family. There’s emotional, physical and even spiritual adjustments and culture shock some OFW experienced. There may be heart breaking stories however there are also inspiring OFW stories. My uncle used to work in the Middle East, spent more than 10 years and was able to raise his family, all his children graduated in reputable schools and universities and has decent job.
It is indeed true when outside the country and problem arises home is where we want to be. We were running for the embrace of our husbands or wives. If you’re an OFW, how long do you plan to stay as an OFW? Answer that depends on family status, individual’s concern. OFW should know when to go home for good and how many more years to bear being far from his family.
I don’t hold the future. I may or may not be an immigrant or an OFW but once upon a time I also dreamt of becoming one.
OFWs and Immigrants are just the same, being away from the family and going abroad for whatever purpose - work or migration.
At the end I know that spending even half of my life abroad, there will be no place like HOME and that I will choose to retire to a place where I was born.