As my husband and I move out of beautiful Bristol and progress into the lovely town of Cambridge, I couldn’t help but wonder:
What if we never had the courage to move out of our comfort zones and head out to a new country?
Even as a teenager, I took these two words to heart. I always believed that the higher the risk, the higher the potential return of investment. And today, as I reflect on our life choices and settle into a new city, I couldn’t help but just be in awe with how much we have changed since Bristol.
Rightly so, for me, time is the most genuine and true gift. Whenever I go back home, may it be Asia or America, it always amazes me how little things have changed. When you move a lot, everything is measured in “chapters”. For my husband and I, there was the Los Angeles chapter. And then, there was the Bristol chapter. And now, as swiftly as our move went, we’re officially two months in our Cambridge chapter. Each episode educates us in such a way that we always feel that we are constantly growing and evolving. If someone was to ask me today – “How’s everything?” – I truly would not know where to start because “everything” is four cities and three continents.
Dress | c/o ROSEGAL
Shawl | GIFT FROM MY AUNT
Bag | CHANEL
Watch | CARTIER
Jewelry | c/o LILIES AND CROWN
* LAUNCHING SOON *
What if questions resonate to me so much because it is the single most important question of human beings that hint on one of the most undesirable emotions we can ever feel in life: Regret. Whenever I go back to Asia, in my home country of the Philippines, I always wondered what if I had never moved to Los Angeles. And as I look around and try to regain my memory of “home”, I realized that I need not try so hard because nothing much has changed. And in many ways, I quite like that. I like tradition, I like heritage, and I like that “home” has a very clear-cut identity for me. Having moved a lot, I wanted to share some life lessons I learned along the way to encourage those who perhaps are thinking of moving or traveling long-term. Here are the top 6 Valuable Lessons I Learned After Moving to a Different Country:
Never Be Attached to Anything Material
Whether we like it or not, physical belongings tie us down. Maybe it’s a house or perhaps it’s a car. Surely, something tangible will at one point deter people from the thought of moving. Luckily, our move was made as comfortable and convenient as possible since we received a lot of professional help. But no matter where you look at it, moving house, city or country means: Somewhere along the way, you will lose something, you may have to sell something, or you may even have to just give some or a lot of things away. The less attached you are with your possessions, the easier it would be.
Be Accepting No Matter Where You Are
When you move, you may or may not have the same way of life in your new city. The lifestyle, values and traditions of your new home may be poles apart. If you keep on looking back, you will never move forward. It is vital to be accepting of new ways of living. Remember that there is always something ideal and imperfect anywhere you live. I still reminisce about the time I first moved to Los Angeles. I preferred the brighter city life found in New York and always dreamed about living there someday. But Los Angeles became my home for ten years and I learned to love it eventually too. When my husband and I first moved to Bristol, we’ve heard nothing about the place. We had no expectations but fell in love with it instantly. We’re hoping that Cambridge will treat us just as nicely.
Dream Your Own Dream
If there is one thing I learned, the goals and dreams of people living in the U.K is so different from the dreams of people living in the U.S. While the concept of the “American Dream” is truly fictional out here, what remains is this: To be happy is to know your own dream. I can’t even begin to tell you how many people I’ve met while traveling that have changed careers or vocations so late in life. There were also plenty of wealthy people I’ve encountered who gave up the high life for a much simpler life of community service. The earlier you know who your true self is, the quicker and easier you will be able to fulfill your real purpose in life. In order to know your vocation, you must know yourself first. Being a copycat is never the answer because to be happy is to be authentic… especially to your own self. I once came across a man whose dream was to show the beauty of his hometown to the world and so he became a tour guide. He was one of the most content people I’ve ever met. Some people want to live on a boat while others dream of a white picket fence. Don’t judge. Know who you are. And just be you.
Every Place Has Something Amazing to Offer
Before I moved, I always thought that there was no better sunset than where I lived… or the food where I come from is so much better than anywhere else. But as I continue to travel more and to live in various countries, I realized that every place has something amazing to offer. Honestly, I miss so many things about every single city and country that I was lucky enough to call “home”. If one was to ask me if I missed home, I genuinely wouldn’t know which home they would be referring to because home could mean so many places for me now. God is so good that He has placed beauty everywhere.
Action Verbs Will Always Be Better Than Nouns
Nouns, for me, are labels. And labels can be cliquey and stifling. Who would always want to be referred to as the American in the neighborhood or the quirky person from Great Britain? Action verbs on the other hand define the present. And the present means possibilities. When you travel or move around, the possibilities are endless. If we had never moved to England, my husband and I would never have been able to travel to thirty countries so quickly like we have now.
There Are No Perimeters in Friendships
It is undeniable that Bristol has allowed my husband and me to meet new lifelong friends. Moving has taught us that friendships are not confined within age groups, or even the borders of our own neighborhoods. We have friends who are much younger than we are, as much as ones who are much older than we are. You will learn a lot from each and every one. Having young friends keep your spirit youthful, while having older friends will help you avoid mistakes. Don’t set limits. What is important is that you share common values and mutual trust. A true support system will not confine you, but rather, they will help you evolve and grow. True friendships are achieved when there are no judgements or boundaries.
Life is meant to be a journey – sometimes literally! Regret is often related to fear. And fear is often related to inaction. What if you never evolved? What if you never changed? What if you stayed the same? What. If. There are many opportunities in life but it usually only comes once. If you ever get the chance to move or travel – do it. We only regret the chances we don’t take. Keep calm, don’t stress, smile more, and just learn and grow. Have fun… and take lots of photos!
Dress Sponsored by ROSEGAL | Photographed in Bristol, U.K.