I believe that living overseas expands a person’s horizons and helps them become global citizens.
In September 2004 my mom, my sister, and I moved to Saudi Arabia to join our father, I was 5. I didn’t fully understand what was happening to our family. I felt happy to finally be with my dad. But slightly confused on being away from my extended family in the Philippines. I still remember the stacks of brown cardboard boxes scattered all over in my grandparent’s living room floor, ready to be shipped off. I still remember saying good-bye to my grandparents, who have been in my life for my first 5 years, and my nanny, as I like to call her (Ah-teh) Ate Ruby.
I would miss our good times together, the humorous jokes we shared, the way my grandpa carries me and swings me back and forth on his strong arms, and the treasured family stories. As each day goes by, I miss them being in my daily life.
Living in Saudi Arabia is very different from living in the Philippines. We didn’t have the luxury of having help around house, thus I was able to do household chores. I learned how to be more self-reliant. I learned more of what life is like in this conservative Muslim country. Lastly, I got to experience the hot-sizzling sun, the arenose windswept-air, and the dry yet wintry freezing weather.
The small Saudi Aramco community camp, Udhailiyah enabled me to meet a wide range of people with various kinds of cultures, religions, and races. Due to being a small school, I had the opportunity to have close one-on-one relationships with my teachers and friends.
Upon graduating from my small school in Saudi Arabia, I found myself saying bye again to my family, my friends, and teachers. It was a drastic life experience moving schools, countries, and surroundings. I remember asking my loving mother, “What will I do when I get there?” My mom restored my confidence and told me everything is going to work out just fine. I found vitality in her words.
Living in different countries has given me wonderful and rare opportunities to grow and develop in a positive way. I befriended people from all over the world and gotten to know more of their culture and beliefs.
During the course of living overseas, I’ve experienced travelling places and sites in other countries. I’m continuously collecting sentimental stories of my life to share with others.
Looking back through my treasured memories, I realized that without such events, I would not be the person I am to this very day. If I hadn’t moved countries, I wouldn’t be standing on this red-colored sand here in Sedona, Arizona writing a whole new chapter of my life as a global citizen.
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