Living in a new country as a migrant offers a wealth of experiences and insights that shape our perspectives and transform our lives. As a Filipino migrant who has called Australia home for the past decade, I have encountered a multitude of lessons that have deeply influenced my personal and professional growth. In this article, I will share ten significant lessons I have learned during my journey, shedding light on the unique experience of living in Australia as a Filipino migrant.
1. Embracing Multiculturalism:
Australia’s multicultural society has been a revelation. Immersed in a diverse community, I have learned to appreciate and embrace the myriad of cultures, traditions, and languages that coexist harmoniously. The respect and acceptance I have witnessed have fostered a deep sense of belonging and enriched my understanding of humanity. Filipinos like myself have always been known to be friendly and sociable so it wasn't really hard meeting and making friends in Australia but the majority of people mostly coming from different cultures and nationalities made it even more interesting and exciting meeting new people and learning about their home country's culture and traditions.
2. The Australian Way of Life:
Living in Australia has exposed me to a laid-back lifestyle that values work-life balance, leisure, and relaxation. Australians appreciate the simple pleasures of life, spending quality time with family and friends and enjoying the country’s breathtaking landscapes. Unlike in the Philippines or other countries were most of the shopping centres and big malls stay open until late hours, most of the establishments in Australia close early so as to make time with one's family bonding at home and spending time with each other.
3. The Warmth of Australian Hospitality:
Australians are known for their warm and friendly nature, making it easy for migrants to feel welcome. I have been fortunate to encounter countless acts of kindness and hospitality, which have made me feel like a valued member of the community. Filipinos are also world-famous for being such hospitable to guests so there's a bit of a similarity there.
4. Strong Sense of Community:
Australia’s tight-knit communities foster a sense of unity and support. I have been amazed at the willingness of Australians to come together during times of need, supporting one another through challenges and celebrating shared successes through what Australians refer to as "mateship".
5. A Passion for Nature and Outdoor Activities:
Living in Australia has awakened my love for nature and outdoor activities. With its breathtaking landscapes, pristine beaches, and diverse wildlife, the country offers endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. I don't think I will ever get tired of exploring the great outdoors as there's so much to see and do!
6. Respect for Work-Life Balance:
Australia’s emphasis on work-life balance has left a profound impact on me. I have learned to prioritise self-care, mental well-being, and quality time with loved ones, understanding that a healthy balance contributes to overall happiness and fulfillment. I can personally say that for me, the ratio is even more family time than work so I am able to enjoy quality time with my family.
7. A Strong Sense of Equality and Fairness:
Australia’s commitment to equality and fairness has been a valuable lesson. I have witnessed a society that strives to provide equal opportunities for all, irrespective of cultural background, gender, or socioeconomic status.
8. Appreciation for Diversity in Cuisine:
Australia’s multiculturalism is reflected in its vibrant culinary scene. Exploring diverse cuisines has been a delightful experience, allowing me to savor flavors from around the world and indulge in the rich tapestry of global gastronomy.
9. Resilience in the Face of Challenges:
Living abroad presents its share of challenges, but Australia’s resilient spirit has taught me the importance of perseverance and adaptability. I have witnessed individuals and communities bounce back from adversity with resilience and optimism.
10. A Sense of Belonging:
After a decade in Australia, I have come to consider it my second home. The country’s inclusive values and diverse communities have granted me a sense of belonging that I hold dear. Australia has become an integral part of my identity and has enriched my life in countless ways.
Living in Australia as a migrant from the Philippines has been a transformative journey, replete with valuable lessons and life-changing experiences. From embracing multiculturalism to appreciating the Australian way of life, each lesson has contributed to my personal and professional growth. Through the warmth of Australian hospitality, the strong sense of community, and the emphasis on work-life balance, I have found a place where I can thrive and contribute to the vibrant tapestry of this multicultural nation.