Are you one of us who migrated to another country? Then, this topic is for you!
Today, I wanna talk about this matter that is quite difficult to explain. You all know that I am a Filipino. I was born and raise in the Philippines. I am now married to a handsome American man ,as you all know if you’re one of my reader. We both decided to live in San Antonio Texas , which is thousands miles away from my home. At first, I was skeptical due to the fact that, I am nervous with all the changes. Not only that, I was so used to be surrounded with my family. There were also tons of questions like all the “What if?”. It was hard, nerve wrecking and scary thinking I am going to start all over again. Some thought that coming over here is a lot of fun. Nope! You are absolutely wrong. Well, a lot of fun in the terms of you being with your husband ,of course. The adjustment process is really like a wrecking ball. Changes of emotions will just smashed you in the face from one minute to the next. It will take lots of patience and time in both sides. Hey! It’s not only you that is going to be adjusting. Your partner, friend, or whoever is with you will be adjusting as well whether they like it or not. I am happy how wonderful my husband guided me to finally embrace this new lifestyle and country. Although, I admit, I felt the excitement of a new life when I first got here. However, it doesn’t really matter how excited I was, because eventually it hit on me. Things just catch up, that I am in a foreign land. Everything is not the things I am used to. Don’t ever think, that chicken is chicken. It’s not! Every little things are all different in so many ways. You’ll be surprised how much you are going to miss the rice and the beach. In this post, I will share with you my ways of adjusting in this 5 major changes from my country to here.
1. TIME – What time is it? It’s morning and I was yawning. Feeling tired and sleepy while in the evening,I was wide awake. Now my dear! This is the very first thing that needs to be worked on the first couple of days, weeks or months. It depends on how you deal with your time difference. Flying from Philippines to here takes 1 whole day by plane. Take advantage of it! Sleep and take all your rest on the plane, so you are all fresh and alive when you land. This will give you energy for the couple of days and days after that, the misery begins. Behold yourself! Do your best not to ever ever sleep in the morning no matter how sleepy you are. This was the technique, that my husband did for me and it works well. He already traveled in different continents in the world, so he pretty much know what to do. He tried hard to distract my eyes from sleeping by bringing me to different places and keeping my morning busy. He tire me up in the morning so I’ll be dead as ghost snoring in the evening. It was hard though. Your body can really tell the pattern your supposed to. After a while of doing that, I got used to it. It became a routine now. I don’t munch on cookies in the middle of night anymore. lol!
2. LANGUAGE – ehem! this is one of the things that connect you to this nation. You gotta know the language, if not? You will be totally out of the loop. I don’t have perfect English as you can see, but I tried hard to at least speak clearly. It felt like I was starting to learn my basic alphabet again. It sucks too, when some people started criticizing the way I speak. Like “She doesn’t know how to speak English”, “She has a weird accent” and “I couldn’t understand the way she speak. That really prevented me from speaking in front of other people. It brought my confidence of learning to down. But you know, somebody always and will always be criticizing us. Nobody is perfect and so as that person. First thing I did is accept that I am still learning and I am prone to errors. Who cares about my wrong grammar sentences? Listen carefully to them too. They also speak ungrammatically. I am proud of one thing ” I am already brave enough to fly over here and face a new life. How much more learning to speak English like learning to speak over again? As long as my sentences are understandable, eventually I will get to the way they speak. Now, I always practice speaking with my husband of course by copying what he says and how he pronounced words. I imitate everything he says. I eventually speak somewhat like him. I don’t watch Filipino shows anymore, instead I watch American movies and shows.I learned their expressions, facial expressions, their basic sentences and culture in that way. English-speaking is all about memorizing and understanding that sentences. I tried practicing to random people. Some of them were actually impressed by me. Many of them had asked me how long I have been living in the US, because I speak good English. It’s not really I speak perfect English. I just distracted them by showing my confidence in speaking English. It’s all about confidence you know! It boosted my confidence more and now, ( not really perfect ) I can hold a long conversation and anyone can understand me better.
3. WEATHER – all of us adapt in different ways when it comes to weather. I live in the hottest part area, which is Texas, and some is in the upper side of United States, which I don’t know how they did it. To you, I am proud of you for embracing the cold ice. Are you? I read some of Filipino status ,who live in the snowy area, hate cold weather. Who doesn’t? I live in Texas and we only have winter in this side. I hate it. I don’t like feeling cold. Heavy jackets are just so heavy period! Luckily, when I first land on America, it was summer. It was very humid, that I couldn’t even breath. Well, I shouldn’t exaggerate but that’s how I feel about it. I wasn’t use to this humidity at all. No wonder my husband loves my country’s weather. And you know Filipino, we don’t like exposing ourselves to the sun. We don’t like to turn dark or at least I am. However, I don’t have choice but to let go of my being precious. I learned to walk without shadow or umbrella that is. My hubby used to cover me up with his body, but not anymore. I love the sun and it makes me happy. I don’t care how dark I get anymore as long as I can still see myself, then I am good! Fall and spring are the most beautiful season ever! I don’t think anyone will ever complain about this seasons. Then, the winter came! I didn’t exactly expect how fast winter came. I wasn’t ready, but I was excited. For the first time ever, that I experienced coldness on my face to my toes. I was amazed how soothing it felt. Well, that was on the first minutes of feeling it. The rest doesn’t feel good anymore. I was shaking and my head feels numb. Aside from that, we really can’t really do much anymore. One thing that I always check before leaving the house is the weather forecast. I swear! Make it a habit, so you know exactly what you need to wear and to bring. During winter always put all the basic things you need ( jacket, boots, gloves, extra thin shirt and etc. ) in your car , for the weather is just gonna go crazy on you. You don’t even know it. It’s fun adjusting to the weather, since it’s new to us. It’s like a discovery of what’s this season feels like. At the same time prepare to get sick, because that’s what you’ll get first. Honestly, I didn’t can’t feel the adjustments when it comes to weather. My body just gradually accept it. My daily routine has been affected though. I was feeling gloomy and not much energy. I was waiting for the sun to come out. I know! That’s funny, because sun won’t come out until spring. But, I love the change of weather. It feels like a change of personality many times.
4. FOOD – The worst experience ever in my life that I couldn’t even explain why. First couple of months were crazy and I was a pain. Thank you to my husband for all his patience. I didn’t hear any complain about my being picky eater. Everything that I swallow has all thrown to the trash. I don’t like the food, ingredients and smell. I don’t like anything period! I keep on looking for rice. ( Don’t judge me! ) I was thankful that they have Chinese restaurants. That at least accommodate my hunger for rice and all my Filipino Viand. The worst part is, I don’t know how to cook. Thank you to blogs and YouTube, because I learned how to cook through you with the mix of my mother’s techniques! Thank you mom ( if your reading this ). I cook more now and go out less. Although, I did not like any of those food at the restaurant at my first try. I was brave enough to keep on trying until I get used to it. It was my hubby’s idea to let me try again, so my taste bud eventually develop its taste to that. It was hard you know, but it made me become a very adventurous person now. I love trying different food. It made me appreciate the different food more. I started by eating half of anything my hubby gets from the menu, before ordering my own. It took months for me to finally get my very own meal and finally get used to the food. Tell me, does it feel like everything were just an appetizer until you eat some rice? Oh man! Yeap.. One week of no rice was like not eating anything the whole week. I am still that way until now. I guess, rice is essential for Asians. By the way, to Asians out there! There are lots of Asian store around US, so it’s not too difficult to buy our own food. I also found an Asian store online where you can purchase food through them. However, there’s still no food like home. I still do miss those specialties and I am still looking for my Filipino food. I do go to Filipino restaurants sometimes just to relieve my Asian craving. I got used to American food now. My husband is a picky eater too, but read my COOK with me on how I introduced my Filipino foods to him.
5. WAY OF LIFE/CULTURE – I don’t know about you, but the best culture for me is back on my homeland. Don’t get me wrong. I like American culture. However, you can tell that there is a division in this society. Even in families, unlike Filipinos we are so tight. As a matter of fact, our neighbors can even sleep in our house. Over here, they are all busy. That is one of the reasons too. Americans are hardworking people and they focus only in paying their bills as well as their responsibilities. Actually, it’s not hard to adapt their culture. It’s because they are so individualistic that you just also do your own thing. See? It’s not that hard. Americans are friendly. Well, some of the Americans that is! They are easy to talk to, yet they are very straight to the point as well. Don’t mess with them! Just letting you know. Law is law in this land. As an immigrant, we really got to be very careful on what we are doing. It doesn’t only affect us, also it will reflect on person that sponsored us. Now, TV shows over here are not the same as Philippines. I know how we love our Prime time drama. I have been living here for 2 years and I have never found my own channel yet. Is that weird? Though, there are tons of free Filipino movie streaming online or you can subscribe to a Filipino channel. and Oh, transportation? This is one of the things I complained a lot. If you don’t know how to drive and you don’t own a car? You are screwed and stuck in the house all the time. Learning how to drive is essential and hard! You got to really have the desire to do it or else, it’s never ever going to happen for you. Just remember that you are doing it for yourself. Migrating to another country just means one thing. You are on your own. The plan, work, job, your life and decisions are all by yourself. Of course, husbands or anybody you’re with will only be there to support you. It’s a big challenge, especially for us who are so used to rely on our family. When it comes to house chores, don’t worry dear, you will survive as well. Their stuff in here are so into technology. You don’t need to sweat just to wash clothes and dishes or anything at all. And if you ask me, I don’t miss the Philippine style at all. Well, sometimes I do since it was fun actually. Above anything else, adapting to accept the people around you. Foreigners are a lot different from what we really think they are. Each of them are very different in their own way. They are very outspoken, so learn not to be very sensitive. In which, I am having trouble with. I am a sensitive person, so whatever you tell me that is offensive. I cry it all out in the restroom. lol! ( True story ) I am working on that and still on progress. I think that we just gotta be strong and that’s all we need to transition ourselves.
I salute each one of us. Our transition and adjustments were not easy. Still, we are the luckiest of all people. Lucky in the sense that we experienced the different things that some people never got to experience. We have seen the other parts of the world that made us realize. It is not what we thought it was and it is way different than what they describe. Despite of all, we have learned to embrace the difference. To the people that’s still going through the process like me, there are 3 things I can say.
Be Confident, Believe and Embrace the new beginning..
How did you adjust yourself to another way of life?