Towering multiple-storey houses, grand SUVs, top-notch school for kids - these are just a few of the things a lot of us think of when dreaming of working abroad or becoming an OFW, as if it's like winning a lottery jackpot prize. While these may be true to some who took the risk and jumped abroad to work, many OFWs live nowhere near their day dreams and have faced the consequences of working far from their families.
Common Realizations when you're finally living the OFW life:
1. You're working, not taking a vacation. Your mind may be ready to work, but your body should also be geared up for the heavy tasks, as much as your soul should be ready to take on loneliness.
2. You have to save more than you spend if you really want to make your dreams for your family a reality. Well, you will eventually notice you're spending more on things for your loved ones more than for yourself, anyways.
3. You are in a foreign land, you have to adjust - different people have different personalities everywhere - the country you're working in isn't exempted, for sure.
4. You will have to think about plan B, plan C, and so on... Our days of luck do not last forever!
The More Realistic Considerations for "What's Next?":
1. Invest on assets which can be additional sources of income in the future. This is similar to buying houses or condo units which can be opened for lease or rent, rather than grand vacation houses in isolated islands you see in movies. But hey, don't forget about your own home.
2. Purchase a car which can either be your family's service or a business unit. Note that TNC's (Transport Network Company) welcomed former OFWs with open arms to be their drivers, giving them a great opportunity to earn money at their own time and pace (I'm sure you've had a chance to ride with one who told you about his stories of working abroad, aside from Philippine Politics and, yeah, traffic).
3. Rather than taking a risk in investing your hard-earned money anywhere else you're not familiar with, start building a business you love! I'm sure you know huge shopping centers and restaurants started as small grocery stores and eateries. In the world of business, Big Bang Theory doesn't exist.
Sure, good education for your kids is part of your preparation - but the three listed above are more for your own backup sources of income in the future. I bet you won't be able to live without doing anything once you're back for good. Whether you are thinking about working abroad or you are already out there striving or thriving, consider these lists for your own good. For any questions or suggestions, just write to [email protected].