Dear girls of the world: It’s possible to travel the world while financially supporting your family

Dear girls of the world,

Yes, it is possible to travel the world while supporting your family.

In the past few years, the digital world has exploded with loads of amazing people who travel and pursue their burning desire to see the world. That’s great! They have my utmost respect for pursuing that path. However, not all of us have the same life circumstances and privileges.

I’m Ryazan, I was born and grew up in the chaotic and the less privileged part of Manila. Since I was a kid, I dreamt of seeing the world. I had no clue on how I would do it, but I knew that it was what I wanted to do. I persevered to finish my education through the government and church scholarships and graduated with a degree in Tourism and Hotel Management in a respectable public university in spite of my meagre means.

As cliché as it might sound, my life is probably one of those stories that you can see in a “telenovela” or tv dramas. My parents were always reminding me that education was one of the ways to uplift our lives from poverty. We didn’t have much; it was barely a hand to mouth situation. My experiences of poverty helped to push me and try to be the best person I could be. I am the bread winner of the family. Each month I have to send money back to the Philippines to pay off the family’s debt, send my sister to university, pay the bills at the same time paying my own bills. In other words, I have a few mouths to feed. I ended up having the responsibility to provide for my family on behalf of my parents. It is expected of me as the eldest daughter. This is the norm in our culture.

As young as 22, I persevered to move and try my luck abroad. I told myself that it’s my only way to get out of this poverty and fulfil my dreams. As you probably know, life can be a bitch sometimes and will knock you down. I arrived here in the UK as a student with a head full of hopes and dreams. I told myself, that it’s a step closer to the life I wanted to have. A promise of a new beginning and a great thrilling
adventure. That didn’t last very long!

Few months after my arrival in the UK, I was caught up in the immigration policy changes. So I ended up with no school, jobless, empty pockets and hungry. However, still top of my priorities was to send money to support my family. At this point of my life, I have no other choice but to be tough. I guess you won’t know how tough you are until that’s the only option left. There were a few good Samaritans that helped me along the way.

I’ve done all the possible menial jobs. I even worked in a care home (even though I had no clue about healthcare). But hey! It paid my bills and my family’s bills! There was a time that I thought I had to let go of my dreams to see the world and accept  defeat. Thank goodness, I didn’t listen to the evil thoughts that I had. I bounced back! I told myself that I’m not here just to pay the bills and die! I want to live! Live
life to the fullest. I saved money and enrolled myself in a hospitality college in London, within a few months I landed a job in a 4-star hotel! Viola! I’m back in the industry I love most!

If you are in the same boat as I am, please don’t lose hope and give up on your dreams to see the world. Instead, look for an alternative way to change the tide. Each month, set up a budget for everything including your travel funds. Look for a job that will enable you to travel, like working for some airlines, travel agencies or cruise ships. If needed, get a flexible 2nd job. It’s easier said than done, but trust me I’ve been there and done that. You might be asking, where would I get the time to work full time and travel at the same time? Like the cliché says, if there’s a will, there’s a way. You will definitely find the time. Consider this as a “Me Time”, surely you will have a great time discovering things and exploring new places. There were some occasions that people commented that I’m neglecting my family while living abroad. Ignore them! Please don’t let close minded people drag you down. The responsibility on your shoulders is something that you should be proud of. At times, you might feel frustrated, but that’s ok, it’s human nature.

Always remember, you can only do so much. Supporting your family is a noble and selfless act. While you’re doing this mission, please don’t forget about YOURSELF along the way and be mindful of people who might take advantage of you.

As one of the most inspiring poems says:

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Our life circumstances might not be the same nor as privileged as those who travel full time, nevertheless, travelling is all about personal experiences. It is not how far you have been, but it’s about the life skills you’ve learned and the journey. So chin up, keep calm and carry on! A great adventure is coming your way.

Love,

Ryazan

who is currently living in England with Mr. Grumpy and her two cats.
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If you have a chance, what will you say to girls all over the world?

This post is a part of the P.S. I’m On My Way’s Ambassadorship for Girl Rising – a global campaign for girls’ education and empowerment.

Girl Rising uses the power of storytelling to share the simple truth that educating girls can transform societies. Our mission is to change the way the world values the girl and ensure that girls’ education is part of the mainstream conversation.

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Ryazan is named after a Russian city near Moscow. The Miss Zan-shine of Everything Zany, she likes to travel, history, meet people & try exotic foods! Ryazan has a degree in Tourism and Hotel Management from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (University of the City of Manila). She also has an extensive and outstanding experience in the field, gained from working in the hotel and travel sectors in Asia and Europe. Planning to explore more countries with her D.I.Y trips as a Dual Citizen (British - Filipina).

Comments

  • May Surtido
    July 31, 2017

    Dear Ryazan,

    You were me 20 years ago. I am still in the same role now, albeit with much less responsibilities and much better circumstances. Yes, it is indeed possible to get out of that rut called poverty. If I may just add– please don’t also forget, not only to provide, but to teach our family to provide for themselves. That said, go, go, go, Ryazan! Continue to inspire not only our kabaro but also the world! ?

    reply
    • August 1, 2017

      Thanks a lot, May! 🙂 Well, noted on your tip. Yes, I aim to inspire and be an example to others. I’m not perfect but I will keep on trying. <3 xxx

      reply
  • July 31, 2017

    This is so relatable to most Filipinos. Thanks for this inspiration! You just made my day <3

    reply
    • August 1, 2017

      Thanks a lot, Mike! 🙂 It means a lot. x

      reply
  • wanderlustcatalyst
    July 31, 2017

    Hey, this is very inspiring! You have achieved a great deal!

    reply
    • August 10, 2017

      Thank you very much! That’s very kind. 🙂

      reply
  • Lesly
    August 1, 2017

    loved the post!
    I always dream with seeing the world! but at the same time I think about a job to help my family in South America!
    thanks for the inspiration 😀

    reply
    • August 10, 2017

      You are very welcome, Lesly. 🙂 Just keep going and don’t ever let go of that dream.

      reply
  • tina
    August 1, 2017

    hello Ryazan!

    wow!! your article inspires me to travel more. like you i am also helping my family but as working in the family business. i like it here because i have unlimited vacation leaves (LOL) but it needs to be planned well because of the responsibilities that i have.. Sometimes, i wish i could full-time travel but i could not do it because of financial constraints and the responsibility that i have. but i know traveling is not a race. I must travel in my own pace and time. I choose to travel because of the joy that gives me. More power and YNGATS!

    reply
  • August 6, 2017

    Ryazan, your story is so inspiring! I’ve been there as well, living abroad and helping my family out along the way. I wish more stories like yours are told to show people that travel is not only for the privileged.

    reply
  • August 6, 2017

    Hi Ryazan,

    Such a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing your story!

    This is what frustrates me most about my friends back home who say they could never afford to travel. These are middle-class people with high-paying jobs who spend their money on expensive houses, cars, and Starbucks – then complain that they could never afford our life (which costs far less than their own, by the way). I think their complaints are an insult to anyone who would love to travel but truly can’t afford it!

    J

    reply
  • August 6, 2017

    Great post to read and good inspiration to those others. I love reading posts like this and to see the joy it gives you. 🙂

    reply
  • August 6, 2017

    Thanks for sharing your story! England is quite expensive, I’m amazed you were able to survive and still send money home — that’s strength for sure

    reply
  • Candiss
    August 7, 2017

    What an inspiring story! Congratulations Ryazan on finding a way to pursue your dreams and fulfill your obligations to your family!!

    reply
  • August 8, 2017

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Ryazan! You are such a strong woman. Thank you for putting yourself out there and showing us all how important traveling is, no matter the destination. Also, I love the first picture on this page; it’s adorable!

    reply
  • August 9, 2017

    Wow Ryazan, you really are tough and such an inspiration! Like you said, where there’s a will there’s a way! You’re really showing people out there that working and traveling is possible, even with major responsibilities! Continue doing what you’re doing!

    reply
  • August 9, 2017

    This article is such an inspiration as someone who is about to start thinking of having a family. I love that I don’t have to give up my lifestyle of wandering for a family!

    reply
  • Sol
    March 27, 2018

    Very inspiring…

    reply

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