Filipinos are generally happy people. In fact, we ranked 20th on a recently held survey of the happiest countries on earth. We are so cheerful that we can play basketball in the midst of a flood. We can even create funny memes in the face of disaster.
We’re Not Depression-Proof
That’s not to say that we are immune to sadness, especially when we are away from our loved ones. This is especially true when we are overseas, and nothing in our environment reminds us of home. One friend says that the loneliest that he has ever felt was during winter, with snow all around and Christmas decors were nowhere to be found. It was November, but considering we start playing Christmas songs on September 1, well, you can imagine that he was homesick something fierce.
People, Where Art Thou
Boredom also kicks in when nobody is going in and out of your house regardless of whether the people coming and going live there. Having people around is something that all of us take for granted until we are forced to live inside four walls day in and day out without anybody to talk to besides English-speaking co-workers. When we were in Australia, my Mom asked my cousin-in-law where all the people were, because nobody was milling about in the streets. Needless to say, he couldn’t understand the question. He was Aussie, oy, oy, oy.
Take Up a Hobby and/or Learn a New Thing
Going on overtime is an understandable go-to when you’re bored abroad. It’s just that there are limited times that you can go overtime and sometimes, you need more than work to look forward to at the end of the day. Take up a hobby that you can get excited about. You can even try a hobby that can end up supplementing your income, like nail art that you can do for other co-workers. Some OFWs also try cooking kakanin and selling it on their days off or even during their break.
Learn about the culture of the country where you’re at. Learn their language, learn to cook, and learn to play the guitar. I learned how to bake and I also learned to cook Biryani from google because I had nothing else to do while I was abroad. My cousin was able to climb somewhere in the Dubai boondocks when she joined a Facebook Mountaineers’ forum.
Finally, don’t sit around and brood. Be busy. Being busy means less time to mope and be sad about not being able to attend that party that your Kumpareng Entong has for his birthday.
Remember that they are in the Philippines wishing that they could be where you are right now. It’s all a matter of perspective. Your attitude in everything will set whether you’ll be bored and homesick or happy with whatever you’re doing. In the end, you’ll be the one to choose which is it to be.
Meme Picture Attribution: