Living in a country other than your own opens all sorts of windows that you did not have in your home country. The “window” that I want to talk about today is having friends from all over the world.
I never really thought about this topic until about a year ago. I have an American friend that I have known for years who lives in Iligan. We knew each other in the States before either of us moved over here too. Well, about a year ago, my friend told me that he and his wife were going to come to Davao for a visit. We were quite happy that they were coming, as it was their first time to visit Davao. We had been to Iligan a few times, but this would be their first trip to Davao. My friend, Marc, told me that a few other friends would be coming along on the trip too.
Well, when they showed up at the house, I was surprised that there was Marc, an American, and also people from Switzerland, Australia and Haiti! My goodness, what an International Crowd we had. This got me thinking about friendships. I realized that I now had friends from countries all over the world. When I lived in the USA, almost all of my friends were Americans. Those who were not Americans were immigrants to America, and thus were “becoming” Americans.
I find it nice to have an International group of friends. It opens up my eyes and helps me understand things differently. Maybe my view is still very American, but at least I can see other sides of the issue, and consider those other opinions.
Of course, living in the Philippines, most of my friends are Filipino. I have a large number of ex-pat friends too, though. Of my ex-pat friends, probably half are American and the rest are from all over the world.
So, as you can see, moving outside your own country really does open many culturally different windows of opportunity. It’s a learning experience to say the least! I believe that it broadens the way you think, and makes you a more interesting person.