“Hey Dan, Why Is It Easy for You to Be Away from Canada?”

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I always get this question so much so that if you’re reading this later in the future, I probably sent you a link to answer all your (possible) questions lol. I always get this question especially when I get into conversations and I express my interest in living somewhere else for medium/long term (assuming it’s feasible/possible). Some people find it weird and wrong that sometimes it’s easy for me to decide on things like this. They think I’m either not thinking about it properly or there’s something wrong with me.

Precedent

I was born in Philippines to begin with. We moved to Canada–a way totally different country compared to Philippines–when I was a teen. So to start, “moving” and uprooting your life is nothing new to me.

FAQ

Before anything else, let me address some of the quick questions I get most of the time:

“Is there something wrong with Canada?”

Nope, not at all. I mean all countries have challenges, but nothing big that everybody wants to do a mass evacuation of the place. It’s actually the opposite. People still continue to visit (and some move) here.

“Is Canada not great/fun/interesting/etc, that’s why you want to leave?”

Same thing: Nope. We’re fun and happy here. I’m just…different. I’ll explain below.

Also, I don’t want to leave. It’s just that I’m ok with being away for long periods of time. And in a manner of speaking, isn’t that what we’re all doing? Even if one moves?

“Don’t / Won’t you get homesick?”

To be fair, I have not been away for years at a time (from Canada). If you try to count the Philippines-Canada move, I definitely missed people, my childhood friends so much so that I flew back after 5 years. After that I’d fly back for some vacation and to spend time with them every 1-2 years. Do I miss places? Yes. Do I miss the culture? Yes. Do I want to move back there:

That specific move is different from the rest of my story because that was a permanent move. Canada was meant to replace Philippines as a home. I’ll also explain the rest below.

I would like to think that I yes I will get homesick. I am human and there’s nothing to be ashamed of with that. How I see myself different from the rest is that surely I’ll have the feeling, but knowing me I don’t think I will abandon or cancel any adventure I would be in.

“Are you running away from something/one?”

Nope. Why would I? I just told you life’s good here. Why would I run away from it? lol.

“So how you do find it easy to leave for long periods of time?”

Privilege

Well I can start with the privilege I guess. It’s definitely something good to be Canadian. I don’t mean this as braggy, but more on the grateful tone of things. I can afford to go places knowing that I can always return here: not just any country, Canada.

Yes I have the privilege, but everybody from all nations can avail of this thinking: if I was still living in the Philippines (and assuming I have this thriving finance machine and I am equally into travelling as I am now), I would still think and do adventures outwards. Why? Because any time if shit hits the fan or you’re just not feeling it any more, you can just go back to your country (lol). Your home country is not going anywhere. It’s not like you’re renouncing your citizenship every time you travel or try something new.

Going back to the Philippines-Canada migration, it’s not that I was excited to leave, but rather I was excited to try something new. Get what I mean? Also, “how did you get that?”. Honestly, it wasn’t something I was actively thinking about before. I was in my teens. The whole decision to migrate was made for me. I was just going with the flow. Yes there were moments during that time where: “shit, this is real. This is happening. Things will change. A LOT OF THING WILL.” but I don’t know how to explain or even motivate you to do the same.

It was natural to me. It’s my personality. I like trying new things. If you tell me don’t press the red button, I will squirm hard. Like your web browser, you can always press the back button, so why be scared on what’s on the other side right?

The World is Beautiful

Remember when you were a kid and it was your first time to play outside? At first, you’re probably just playing in a garage or in front of your house. After some time, you get the guts to expand and explore up until the first corner. You then learned how to ride a bike, and then suddenly you’re covering 3-5 blocks easy, not looking back, trying new routes and stuff so long as you know how to get back home.

In essence, it’s still the same for me, but this time there are oceans in the middle, immigration, borders, airplanes. The world is beautiful. People around the world are beautiful (in personality and just by existing). There are geniuses being born in India, the next beauty queen is probably growing up in Philippines. The next Elon Musk is somewhere in NA or EU. The best alps are in Europe. The best beaches are in Asia / Caribbean (mostly Asia :P). You get the point.

There is no one place where it has everything. It’s just not possible, physics-wise. Even if it is, it means that everyone wants to be in that same place so it’ll be chaos wherever that is.

I have long unsubscribed to the idea of just staying in one place. The world is beautiful. Go out there, explore! Enjoy! Experience! Sure Canada has a “beach”, but is that the best beach in the world? I love myself so much and I want the best for myself and for people I love. Would I just settle and deprive myself? Fuck no.

tldr version: it’s more on the curiosity and interest in knowing what’s out there, rather than trying to ‘leave something’.

How I see the world and travel

Yes there are countries, cultures, and borders. Those are material side of things. But if you go back to the very core of our being: Humans are pioneers. We want to discover new things, go to the unknown (shoutout: Star Trek). So me being me is basically just me being natural.

I’ve talked about how travelling(and language) lets you live multiple lives. That article is a good continuation to my thoughts. But going back to the point, there are no invisible forcefields preventing you from living a life outside your own country. It’s different, tedious, and can be costly but what do you expect: you can’t just reach Asia from the Americas with just $10 right?

Literally nothing is stopping you, so for me, I like the adventure. I LOVE learning new things, things that make sense, things that put meaning in my life, so WHY THE FUCK NOT?!

At some point we were just Pangea. Everyone’s our neighbour.

If I spilled water on the floor in between us and put a fishbowl in it too, we’re still the same: We’re friends, we’re people, and I can just hop over that fishbowl and come to your side.

Maybe you start acting, dressing up, and speaking a certain way; I’ll still hop over if I find it interesting. If you start cooking beef stroganoff, I’ll def hop over. If I have something you like, hop over too. So now, just scale the “dividers” up and if you think about it, it’s still all the same. This is why I’m fearless with travelling. It’s not like I’m buying a one-way trip to Mars.

Hop on, hop off 😀

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