Thursday, April 21, 2011

My experience being onshore

Last year I was assigned onshore (Florida) by my company. I can say that it was one of those best experiences that I wouldn't want to repeat (well, that's a little exaggerated ;). Best because I really learned A LOT of stuff in those 3 months. In terms of experience, nothing can beat being onshore. You practice speaking in english, learn how to deal with clients, and be exposed to a totally different culture and environment. The first 2 months was quite fun, since everything was new for me. I was curious about everything. Maybe think about when you're still learning how to program. Everything is really abundant there, especially if you have the money to spend. I usually find myself browsing Amazon for my next gadget to buy (thanks Amazon Prime!). At some point, we were being materialistic to overcome the sadness of being away from home.

My experience there is a little different because we did not have our own car. We had to get a cab even just to buy some groceries. That is a big deal if you are in Florida, since almost nothing is walking distance. One good thing though is our hotel is near the office so we don't have to commute -- but for everything else, it's a cab ride. Since our budget is limited, we didn't go out as much, so most of the time we're in the hotel watching TV or browsing the web. I guess this is where things get sad - feeling very far away from your home country, feeling alienated because you're not a citizen of that country. By the 3rd month we were all eager to go back, everyday seems the same and we counted days. This is also the time when I reflected on a lot of things that otherwise I wouldn't think of when I'm here in the Philippines. Being away from your comfort zone opens up your mind. I missed the Philippines so much. I missed how I just called up my friends and meet up in a whim. I missed how my family is always around. That time I decided that when I get back home, I'll be more open to meeting new friends, and spending more time with everyone. I'll be traveling to all the beautiful places in our country whenever I can. These are things you won't realize unless it's taken away from you.

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