exactly 3 years ago today, i was on a flight that would change the course of my life forever. it was a risky move, but a calculated one nonetheless. i needed to leave my comfort zone. needed to be away from a relationship that was clouding my judgement. needed a new perspective; a new life.
i wasn’t scared. traveling alone for the first time to a whole new country i’ve never been to before didn’t really scare me. and that’s saying a lot for somebody who can be such a scaredy cat.
i wasn’t scared that i didn’t know anyone in melbourne, apart from the distant relatives i’ve never met before whom my mom told me to contact, just in case.
i wasn’t scared that i only had $700 on me which should last me 3 months for the duration of my study.
for some reason, i don’t remember feeling any fear. if anything, it felt like it was something i needed to do for myself. for my future. sure, i was sad that i was leaving behind my family whom i love more than life itself but at the same time i thought, well, i’m doing this for them too. and besides, i’d see them all again in 3 months’ time. which was how long my visa allowed me to stay in australia per entry, valid for a year.
as the plane taxied out of mactan airport, i tried to take everything in and memorize everything i saw because i didn’t know if i’d see them the same way i saw them when i come back again — the warmth of the sun on my face, the small airport buildings, mactan’s landscape getting smaller and smaller at takeoff. i imagined my folks walking back to the car, driving back home probably worried about me while praying that i’m gonna be okay.
sitting by the window during my 7-hour or so flight to melbourne from singapore, i remember waking up at dawn and looking down into melbourne’s flickering city lights neatly laid out like a well-organized urban grid and thinking:
what does this city have in store for me?
apparently, heaps. i just had no idea.