As somebody who works abroad, you may find it difficult in adjusting to your environment in the beginning. Plenty of us OFWs have sacrificed our time with family for better opportunities to help and provide a better future for our loved ones. We get to miss important events that are crucial and sometimes may make us feel guilty and we normally get homesick.
But with this time outside work, let’s try to look at things on the brighter side of homesickness.
How Homesickness Can Do You Some Good
- You get plenty of time for yourself.
This might not be the main reason why most of our kababayan dare to try their luck in an unfamiliar country, but this is certainly one of the good things they gain from doing so. When you’ve got no one to depend on but just yourself, you learn to adapt to even the most challenging situations in life and then you develop confidence and learn important skills. These things, for all you know, would not have been in the horizon until you’ve embraced independence as an OFW. Some important life skills that you may learn from being apart from family are budgeting, negotiating, organizing and house maintenance skills. More importantly, when you’re in a different land, exposed to different cultures and walk of life, your eyes become opened to so many new things and worldviews. These ultimately, add up to your growth and value as an individual person.
- You come across and make friends from various walks of life.
When you go out every day, you expose yourself to new experiences and opportunities—part of which is meeting and building relationships with the people around you. For all you know, these people would be the ones whom you’d make lasting relationships even when you’re no longer working abroad.
- You become more adaptable to your new life.
Living away from home can be both scary and exciting; after all, you’re practically starting anew in a place where everything is totally different and probably unfamiliar to you. Living and working are two different yet very similar things. You need to blend and function in your new community, and in order to do so, communication is very important. Sometimes learning a new language doesn’t become an option but a way of life. You learn the natural way of how people do things and you immerse in this new kind of pattern and structures in the form of observing the law, understanding norms and thriving in their culture.
- You depend on yourself when you’re on your own.
Sure, friends can help but don’t expect them to always be there every single time you face a problem. Family is far away and they can only do so much. Now living alone can be difficult at first, but it’s important to understand what you can and cannot do so you can explore new possibilities and try to be creative in dealing with your own struggles.
- You develop a more confident version of yourself.
Taking all the aforementioned things into consideration, the end point is a much-improved version of your self. When you surpass all the challenges with little to no help, you begin to trust in your capacities more and this adds up to your self-confidence. The little things that could have frazzled you once become insignificant when you get through life’s seemingly insurmountable hurdles. Of course, more than your present successes, the experiences and lessons you’ve learnt will be your reward and guide as you continue on with future endeavors.
Without a doubt, people who leave the place they consider “home” will experience some sort of homesickness in varying degrees. For OFWs, it’s important to be prepared to rise above this experience and use it to improve themselves despite being miles and miles away from their comfort zones.