Eleventh 1000 days: The Challenge of Take-off


From February 9, 2015 to November 4, 2017 is the eleventh "chapter" in my life. To summarize that 1,000-day period, take-off is the most appropriate phrase to describe it. Take-off is not entirely hassle-free, it is actually one of the risky part of the plane journey. It has its risks, turbulence and uncertainties are part of it. Like that phase in my life, I experience some of toughest challenges, heart-breaking events and there were some low points I was at the verge of giving up. This blogpost will use 8 points to highlight some remarkable things that made this time of my life unique.

Traveled to 19 countries, 41 cities

I started traveling very often at the start of 11th chapter in Copenhagen, Denmark. I really did not expect I would travel that much thereafter. All the travels cost a lot of resources, but these trips have expanded my knowledge and even lowered my threshold in accepting differences with others. From east to west Europe, to Asia, I made sure I was not "missing a thing". I want to use the learnings and pictures I have taken from these trips to make a sort of a book or compilation in the near future. To enumerate, I went to Denmark (2 cities), Sweden (3), Finland (1), Estonia (1), Poland (4), Germany (3), The Netherlands (3), Belgium (4), France (2), Luxembourg (1), United Kingdom (5), Czech Republic (2), Slovakia (1), Austria (1), Hungary (1), Spain (3), South Korea (2), Malaysia (1) and Singapore (1). In Norway, I have been to over 15 cities as well, among them are Bergen, Haugesund, Bodø, Trondheim, Halden and Fredrikstad.

Focus on 5 languages

I do not want to stop learning new languages, and improving the current ones. My Norwegian skills is significantly improving. By chance, I got a unique foreign Asian accent and a rare North Norwegian intonation. I had a time I got the Oslo dialect before I suddenly lost it with North Norwegian intonation. I really did not know how my mind was able to retain it. I heard it, then suddenly the way I spoke changed overnight. It even affected how I spoke my mother tongue, Cebuano, highlighting an accent and intonation I only use when I speak Tagalog. Aside from that I use Duolingo to learn more Spanish, French, Swedish and German. I allot time for it daily even during short trips and vacations. I promise myself to converse using those languages in the next 12th chapter of my life, and learn perhaps new languages as well. Japanese, Chinese and Russian are on my list.

More focused on health

Recently, I was more focused on my health. Never did I do this before. There were some challenges there, but generally speaking, I am fine. I started going for walking tours. That is on my to-do list repeating at regular interval. Now, I will commit myself into sports. I am thinking Squash, there is a gym just bus ride from home. There was a time I lost weight excessively to 62 kilos from my heaviest 76 kilos in the entire period. It made me worry but I am at my stable weight around 67-68 kilos. I still have sugar cravings. My diet is not particularly healthy yet. The problem lies on the fact I am not fond of cooking. I wanted to improve on that in the near future.

Reestablishing family ties, new relationships

Just recently, I renewed my family ties. This means I communicate now with them in a regular basis. I never had the need to do so before. Now, I see to it my family doesn't miss me so much. I love them so much. Moreover, during this time, I and my sister has the closest connection ever. I literally can be open about anything with her now. Well, I think she knows too much. (Hehe). I admit I am in a relationship throughout this period. There are challenges on the way, but I believe on time as the lone factor in solving them. Not in a hurry as well. I am expanding my social network as well. I am meeting new friends, and presenting myself in a casual way. I am no longer the teacher back in the Philippines, rather the young Asian man in Oslo.

Beginnings, tough challenges

I am more open about myself. That itself yielded beginnings and challenges. Honestly, I no longer care what others would say. If they do not fit in the puzzle, so better remove them. A missing piece will not ruin the entirety of the piece. I see the missing spot, an art itself to be treasured and seen in harmony of the rest. The greatest challenges were not really personal, but on the family level. My sister had to make a tough decision of moving to the Northern part of Norway. That was tough for me in the personal level. It tested almost everything in me. Some of challenges remained unsolved but that is just it. If there are still solutions in sight, so just wait in excitement, not in anxiety.

Stable status, tenured job, new home

After 3 years of having work, I got permanent residence in Norway. Well, that was the goal in the eleventh chapter of my life. I am still waiting to formally get my nursing license. I have a stable job. I am tenured and do not see that from changing in the future. Recently, I move out from a shared apartment. I am 30 years old so I need a space on my own. I still rent it, but it is a step forward. I bear the burdens and responsibilities of an adult, so I am doing my best to act like one. At the start of the 12th chapter, I am exploring varied employment opportunities. I do not just have to have a tenured job, but I should find says to earn faster, wiser with reasonable amount of effort, but still giving me adequate for my family, friends, leisure and ofcourse more travels.

Writing and learning more, living now
I write quite often in my blog, Conozco Pablo. In the recent months, I failed to reach my blog's quota for posts but I will improve on that in the 12th chapter. I am learning more daily. This is a driving force for me to continue. I want to learn more about economics, biology, history, politics and ofcourse nursing. I will focus on that in the next months. More importantly, I gained a new life philosophy. This is characterized with no regrets, moving on, acceptance and more tolerance. I want to live now, not by my past or for my future. Now is the time I taking steps to be happy. What will happen tomorrow, I have some clues but I will never know how it would be. So, I have no choice but to live today.

Personally, I am excited starting the twelvth chapter of my life. I am now 30 years old, and there are many responsibilities I need to think. I know the next phase is crucial in defining where I will find myself in the future. I do not concrete plans. I may either study or work more. Certainly, I will acquire learning and experiences from people with contrasting backgrounds. However, I would want to travel more with my family and friends. There are ofcourse uncertainties that cloud the beginning of this new chapter of my life. However, I choose happiness now, rather than dwelling of what has been in the past and what will be in the future.

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