Reading this article Advice From a Serial Life Reinventor, I can’t help but be amazed at this story of an accomplished family, whimsically moving to Paris for no better reason than to live their dream and continue to challenge themselves. I believe I had exactly the same reason why I moved to Canada. To others, it must have seemed like a crazy idea. To me, it felt like I was just travelling beyond the horizon to see what’s out there for me.
My family and I travelled to the US and Canada for the first time in year 2000. My initial pleasure trip opened my eyes to a whole wide world that I haven’t explored yet. All of a sudden, my life in the Philippines seemed small and inconspicuous. I thought that if I had this chance to grow myself in a much bigger world and didn’t take it, I would regret it down the road. So I took the chance.
My friends thought I was crazy to leave my position as a GM in a flourishing staffing company, give up my home, and everything I owned. I left Manila leaving behind everything I had including my career. Of course, it came at an initial cost. The adjustment was not easy and it was a struggle. It was difficult to reinvent being a mid-career professional starting in a non-level playing field where I didn’t know a single soul. I was in a complete disadvantage. What’s amazing was that I never felt so at peace. Maybe it was the prospect of starting with a clean slate or the fact that there were no expectations that was freeing. The bar for me in this strange place was set low.
I had to reinvent myself quite a few times to survive and to set myself up for success. It wasn’t easy to be at the bottom of the totem pole when you have lived near the top of it. Being in an unfavourable circumstance and needing to continually prove yourself can be an exhausting journey. But it is the path that I chose. Looking back after 12 years of living in a foreign country that I now call home, it is amazing how my life has evolved.
How could have my life turned out if I didn’t go and left Manila? That’s a question I would never have an answer to, because as Robert Frost puts it in The Road Not Taken, “Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way I doubted if I should ever come back.”