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My First Time Traveling Out of the Country

Updated: Mar 18


I was 24-year old when I decided to travel and began exploring out of my comfort zone. It was a nerve-racking feeling because growing up, I'd never actually tried going out except from going to school, or to work. The funny thing was, and my siblings know this, I couldn't even go to the neighbourhood area without having someone alongside me. So, I was surprised that I never felt even a hint of anxiousness when I received an invitation to go abroad. I was honestly going crazy about it. It’s England! And it was a super big deal for me.


FLYING TO YOUR DREAM LAND

After reading the job description, writing back couple of emails and attending an interview from one of the directors of the organisation, there was a hesitation in my heart before I could sign the paper works.

First, I had a full-time job. I was a human resource and administrative staff in one of the top performing logistics firms in Metro Manila. It was my first anniversary with the company, so it was difficult to say goodbye.

Second, I didn’t have savings to finance my travel plans. I was a fresh graduate and only had a year of experience working in the industry, so the salary that I was receiving was just enough for my daily expenses.

I felt hopeless for quite a while, and I had to be honest about it. At this moment, I remembered what my eldest sister, Lorna, would always remind me when I had doubts. "When you're not sure and you cannot decide, the answer is NO. God only gives peace and assurance, not doubts." So I made my choice. I focused my thinking that if this journey was really for me, God would make a way and everything would just fall into place. And truth be told, when I was ready to let it go; blessings came and I got the full financial assistance that I needed, had the opportunity to buy my first British Knight luggage and a free flight ticket to my dream country, England.


A quick WC selfie before my connecting flight to Manchester Airport

DOING THE THINGS YOU´VE ALWAYS WANTED

A dream is a dream but without proper guidance and prayers from the people around me, it was impossible to know if this was really what God had planned for me. I was so overwhelmed that even until now, I couldn´t contain the joy while remembering this event in my life.

When I landed to the kingdom of the English, I mean England, I was welcomed by one of the lovely managers of the organisation. I must say, I thought I´d lost my tongue because I couldn´t express myself to her. I just managed a quick and almost choked “Hello” the moment I met somebody as English as she is, face-to-face. For someone who came from the Philippines, I was glad she didn’t mind my terrible accent. Not that it mattered but I did recall her mentioning my english was good. And it gave a big lift to my self-esteem.

After a bit of a drive, we arrived at the place. I was warmly introduced to all the ladies and staffs in the centre. They were making crafts in the lounge area and it was beautiful to witness people enjoying the activity. Seeing those craft materials gave me excitement to start the job and made me even more in love with the place.

They showed me to my nice and cozy bedroom, all for myself, and a lovely kitchen full of goodies to indulge. It almost felt like I was just having a free out of the country holiday.

The next day and the days that came, I was full of energy doing the things I always loved to experience. For a week, I was accompanied with one of the lovely staffs to get familiar with the daily activities, faces, places, and answering telephone calls. I got to discover different characteristics of people and had managed to adjust to the freezing weather, even during summer season. I was able to share my story during short informal time of worship where ladies gathered together sharing how to better understand God´s love. I had the opportunity to introduce and cook some of the Asian cuisines for certain events or celebrations they hosted for the ladies.

What I enjoyed the most was, I got to participate with the arts and crafts projects and was invited to take part in a range of drop-in activities and trips with the community group to different locations around the UK (United Kingdom).


Photo taken during the community well-being creative art group project.

GETTING COMFORTABLE IN YOUR SEAT

A month later, I could say I had familiarized the job routine whether they put me in a day or night shift schedule. I was already enjoying the role and the process when they told me one morning, I was going to help out and observe in the nursery setting. It wasn´t what I was expecting because I didn´t have the right credentials to do the job but I was thrilled with the idea of spending all day working hand-in-hand with cute little babies and toddlers in the nursery. It was definitely a win win situation for me. I realised I didn´t have to rush myself into becoming a child counselor and this role would be a stepping stone for me to achieving my dream job.

To make the long story short, I accepted the role. They enrolled me to have certification in early years and childcare course and had participated in different early childhood development training to meet the requirements of OFSTED (Office for Standards in Education).

It was challenging but rewarding at the same time. I got to supervise children ages 0-5 in the facility and was able to learn many things about handling children. They have different activities for each season or event and it´s a delight to see children learning through play. We would have some sing and dance in the morning to start the day, would go to the park or playground for a little fun exploration activity and lots of art and craft times to support children´s imagination and creativity. I had fun exploring and experimenting with the little ones, doing all the investigation stuffs and supporting them discover new things on their own. My most favourite part was the circle time where all children were sitting down on the floor waiting for their turn, whether it was a story telling time, a game, review of the day´s activity, or sharing lessons they had learned during the day. Looking at their faces making every little facial expression and excessive reaction on their discovery made my day extra rewarding.






CONTINUE CHASING YOUR PURPOSE

I learned a lot through all the experiences in my almost 2 years of stay in England. I have to say it helped me become a better person and it expanded my way of thinking in life. I was honored to serve the organisation, Good News Family Care, the women they support all the way, and the loving children of nursery who became my greatest joy.

I am still pursuing my purpose and I think I am far away from getting to the finish line but every day is an opportunity for me to acheive it. I share this story not just to inspire others, but that every time I go back to this journal, it will remind me the verse in Proverbs 16:3

Commit to the Lord whatever you do and he will stablish your plans.

And I am sure His plan is way better than how we make our own.


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