There’s only a month left until I leave the Philippines, go to Thailand for a month, and finally return to the US. Although I plan on coming back to Asia next year, it’s actually scary to think about hopping on a plane to leave Davao.
As of today, it’s been over 10 months since I first left. Believe it or not, I’m more scared to leave the Philippines than I was to leave the US.
It was the first time I’ve been outside the country. I began my location independent journey in the Philippines and this place has become a part of me.
I’ve met dozens of great people. I’ve befriended mentors, companions, and the kindest people you’d ever meet.
There are so many “firsts”—which seem to occur on a weekly basis—and my experiences here not only improved my business acumen but they have expanded my personal horizons.
I’ve grown accustomed to the culture and even use the common local phrases on a daily basis when I’m hanging out with my Westerner friends. They started off as a joke but the phrases crept into my regular vocabulary and I say them without even realizing it sometimes.
You should see the joy in the locals’ faces when I say things like “joke lang”, “acheche”, and “salamat.” It may be difficult breaking the habit when I’m back home as I’m sure I’ll accidentally call someone “kuiya” out of habit.
Now, with great pride, I consider myself a Davaoeño.
So why am I so sure I’m not coming back?
The same reason I’d encourage anyone to shake up their routines.
We all need change.
Sometimes this means leaving a place you feel 100% comfortable in and doing something that scares you to death.
There’s potential for me to go almost anywhere! I would be content to stay in the Philippines and I would be as equally happy in the states. But I wouldn’t get the value of challenging myself in an unfamiliar environment.
I need change as much as you do. I need to keep testing my adaptability. As do you.
Thrusting yourself into change is how you avoid complacency as it gives you new baselines for appreciation.
The fact that I don’t know what’s waiting for me in my next adventure is exciting. It scares me but I’m excited nonetheless.
The struggles I face in the next chapters will let me appreciate my time in the Philippines even more. It’ll give me time to miss it.
I’ll soon be be a different person compared to the one who you’re reading from today.
Yes, I’m ready to leave this country… But damn is it hard.
“It’s more fun in the Philippines,” they say. I believe it.