3 months ago, I boarded a plane that would fly me to a country I have never been to before. My family and I just bid farewell to Singapore, our 2nd home for the last 6 years and I was embarking into yet another new adventure. I was never known to be the adventurous type, the kind of girl you can spontaneously invite to climb the mountains at a short notice or someone you can surely call your bungee-jumping partner. I may not be the sporty, thrill-seeker kind-of adventurer but I lean towards a different type of adventure: living in an unknown country. Some of my foreign friends call it bravery, being carefree and adventurous but I am not sure if I exemplify that bravado they described me to have. But I know that I can attribute this “bravery” on several factors: for being a daughter of an overseas foreign worker, exposed as a third-culture kid (Wikipedia: Third culture kids (TCK) are people raised in a culture other than their parents’ for a significant part of their growing up years. They are often exposed to a greater variety of cultural influences), living in Saudi Arabia with my family during my adolescent years and the typical Filipino culture of finding greener pastures (or in my case, finding more exciting new pastures to test my resiliency).
I felt it for sometime that I needed to move on and close my chapter in Singapore. There is a nagging feeling that I should embark in another adventure somewhere else. It was also during these times I couldn’t help but noticed that my old profession as a doctor is beckoning me back louder & louder everyday. (FYI: if you didn’t know, I gave up being a doctor to work as quality management professional 2 years ago). Then just like that, I found an answer to my bewildered spirit: an offer to work in a different country as a doctor. The universe is telling me: “Time for a new adventure, Miss Honey!”
The Hows & Whys
It wasn’t an easy decision. I have to run it by my husband to make sure he is on board with this next step. Moving countries when you are married with kids (especially young kids) is not as easy as being single & ready to hop on a plane to wherever. It needs careful discernment and meticulous planning. In our little family, we make sure we are agreeable 100% to all big life-changing plans we decided on and my hubby was game to be my adventure partner along with our perfectly adaptable kids. It was out of the question that I will embark on this new life alone. We are all in this together. As long as we are together, we will be okay. We were given ample time to prepare for this big move. It was decided, of course, that I will have to journey to the new country alone, at first, to pave the way & prepare before the rest of the family follows. The kids were well-prepared for the months of separation with me and I have my husband to thank for that.
We could have easily decided to say goodbye to Singapore and settle for a comfortable easy life in the Philippines. But when an opportunity knocks for a new escapade to an unknown land (with risk examined), would you say No? A wise doctor friend once told me, “You are young & enough grit to hurdle the life abroad, go grab it“. Plus I would love to expose my kids to new culture and new experiences and train our kids to be resilient, open-minded, respectful & adaptable. And the best way to do that is living abroad, which is very different from travelling. I know it won’t be easy but I am sure, it will definitely build their character.
Where in the World is Little Miss Honey?
Sometimes we don’t choose the country we are going to. Sometimes it choses us. So an opportunity opened up to work as a doctor in a country known for dazzling souks, superb seafood and breathtaking terrains: OMAN. Oman is a Muslim country in the southwestern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia, known to be the 4th most peaceful country in Middle East & North Africa region as of 2019.
I am not alien to living in an Arab country so that would help me in adjusting smoothly to the new place. I am excited to find new discoveries in Oman. I can’t wait to try the food & their delicacies. I would love to go to the tourist spots that they are known for. I would love to make new friends and learn to speak Arabic (We had Arabic subject when I was in high school in Saudi Arabia. They taught us how to write in Arabic. My grades in Arabic subject was the lowest in my report card. Haha!) I am excited for my family to join me here soon so we can discover the country together. I know it won’t all be fun & games, like loads of instagramable photos in social media that some people would perceive living abroad are made of. It is far from that, really. Those happy smiles faces with an exotic background or piles of yummy foods ready to be devoured are just snapshots of what living abroad is. I know there will be a lot of adjustments, a lot of sacrifices, tons of relearning & recalibrating, tackling the new norms and challenging our comforts. But my family and I are facing this new adventure with a very realistic mindset: expectations are at the bare minimum and we are just here to take in as much as what is offered for us.
Like most things in life, nothing is of the certainty. Living here may or may not work for us. We will just have to wait and see. And if we decided that it is not for us, at the very least, we are happy that we have tried and not wonder with the “what-ifs” of life. We are never afraid to take on challenges like these because we are confident with our abilities to be flexibility and resilient in what life’s surprised will throw at us.
Like my blog’s motto, Explore Life’s Surprises With Me, I am asking if you, if want to join me in this new adventure. Are you game? I will take you along for the ride. Discover Oman with me. Shukran, my habibtis!
First Sunrise in Oman