I would be a hypocrite if I say that I do not dream of quitting my job to travel the world. I think about it all the time, especially those times when I’ve had enough of my daily working routines. Wouldn’t it be ideal if I could just pack my bags, tender my resignation, and sail around the world? It is perfect, but when reality sets in I know I’m not ready yet, aside from it’s hard. It makes it even harder because I am a citizen of a third world country. Let me set it straight, I am not generalising, but some would agree with me when I say that it is hard to quit the job and travel the world for a citizen of a third world country.
I am a citizen of the Philippines and now an expat for ten years in Macau. Working abroad has afforded me to travel to some places and explore the world unknown to me. My current work gives me 12 days of annual leave plus some compensation days for national holidays which would then be divided for my time going home to be with my family and for some traveling. This year alone, my wife and I were able to visit the United States of America and Dubai but I wasn’t able to go back to the Philippines. So who would blame me for dreaming of quitting my job to travel the world?
As much as we want to quit our jobs (the jobs we’re all thankful for no matter how hard) and travel the world, it not feasible for most of us, well at least not yet. Our current situations cannot afford us to simply walk away from our professions. It is a ballsy but risky move add the fact that being citizens of a third-world country make it more difficult. Allow me to tell you the reasons why.
Being an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) or an expat can give us a chance for a better and higher paying job. And majority of us has our overseas job alone as the sole source of income. Lucky for some OFWs who have invested on businesses that can be another source of income. For those who do not have, then it is the bread and butter.
I am far from being called a successful travel blogger, in fact no success is found yet, nor I have enough skills to be a full-time freelancer or digital nomad. And if I have no source of a passive income, quitting the job is crazy.
I would say that working abroad for almost all OFWs is a necessity rather than a choice. We are working abroad primarily because of our families back home. Not everyone is a single man with no dependant, most of us have families to support. So, quitting the job without a steady income may not only hurt ourselves but our families as well.
Living the life of travel is something unorthodox in Asian Countries. We are bound by what our culture dictates. We are expected to do what we are all supposed to do. Finish college, find a job, get married, have baby and continue working. That’s what our parents did and that’s what we are expected to do.
Being open to nomadic life, especially in Asian countries, is only on its infancy. Getting there, but not yet.
Let us say some of us have the means to quit the job. We have enough savings to support our travel and stop working. What’s the next step? The next step to achieve this world of travel is to obtain visas. Currently, nationals of the Philippines can go to 63 countries visa-free or visa on arrival. The list do not include USA, Schengen countries, Japan, Australia, and basically those countries on the top of everybody’s lists.
Everyone knows how hard it is for a middle-class citizen of a third world country to obtain visas to some countries like US, Canada, etc. even if you have proof of employment. Imagine if we quit our jobs? How will we be able to get to those dream countries? We can obtain visas before quitting our jobs which is good for those who give ten-year Multiple entry visa, but for those, like Schengen visa, who on first application gives only 6-month visa, it is hard.
There are some success stories about obtaining visas, but not everyone has this success. Countries in SouthEast Asia are amazing and the culture should be experienced, but we are bound to say one day that we’ve had enough and time to move to another continents.
Living a nomadic life doesn’t necessarily mean not working for the rest our lives. If we want to continue this life we need to have passive income and a steady one. One job that expats can apply to when travelling is teaching English to countries like, China, Korea, and Columbia.
Most of these countries require that you are a Native English-speaker and a citizen of countries like US, UK, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, South Africa, and Scotland. I can’t say that the competition is stiff, because we are no longer in the competition to begin with.
Lucky, there are still other jobs we can do that do not require us to go back to our 9-5 lives.
In this modern age, I shouldn’t be saying this anymore. But, I am afraid that there are still cases of discrimination towards Asians or other ethnicities. I have been working in Macau for ten years now and I could say that the world has somewhat became more accepting of other nationalities, but of course every day we still hear stories about someone being discriminated whether at work or in everyday life.
I am quite optimistic and positive that the travellers we will meet along the way are welcoming and would accept you regardless of nationalities. We have been travelling for quite some time now and I can attest that it is true.
I know many people dreamed of traveling the world and even with lots of obstacles can still make it happen. This post is not trying to be negative but to simply state the reality citizens of a third-world country is facing. Some would argue that it is hard for everybody, even for citizens of first-world countries because it is a risk, always a risk. I have nothing to rebut on that because I know it’s true too.
Let me end this by stating that I firmly believe in the saying “If there is a Will, there’s a Way.” That saying is true, if you really want something you got to work on it. If it’s hard, work harder.
I am still not letting go of my dream on finally quitting my 9-5 job no matter how long I wait. So, see you somewhere and someday, I guess!
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