After a crazy, hectic 3 months filled with a rollercoaster of emotions, I'm back at home.
Saying goodbye to the Filipinos proved to be very difficult, it's very likely we won't ever see them again. Communication through Facebook would also be difficult because of their English - so Skype would be the best solution. But then there's always the time difference.
On the Saturday, we flew to Manila, and already there was a big difference. It reminded me a little bit of London, with those tall skyscrapers and busy traffic. We stayed in the hostel we stayed at when we first arrived - and it felt surreal. I was thinking, I was here when I first arrived - completely innocent of what I was going to face, and now I'm back here, overcame all of my challenges and I'm about to fly home.
Me and the 5 other British volunteers were discussing our thoughts on going home. Some were ready to go home. Others weren't. For me, I didn't want to, yet. 3 months was not enough. It takes about 2 months to settle down, and there, you've got a month to yourself.
We had to wake up at 3:30am to leave for the airport. I was having mixed feelings, I felt nervous, sad, excited and pretty much overwhelmed by the 3 months. We had a long journey ahead of us, and I was dreading it.
Once I arrived in Dubai, I was already stunned by the food prices. How the hell am I going to afford things when I'm back at home?! Oh, the living costs back in Cebu were ridiculously cheap. I saw shops like Costa Coffee and Cafe Nero.. I started to get excited, but there was no turning back.
The flight to London was difficult - I tried to stay awake to be able to adjust to the sleeping patterns for when I arrive but I failed. Soon, it was time to land, and I was feeling extremely nervous.
Wait, why am I nervous to see my own family? It's never been like that before? I've been away for too long, I guess!
When I landed and saw my family at the airport, all of them. There was my mum, my dad, their partners, my sister, my best friend, and the other UK volunteers who left in the middle of the program. I was stunned, I obviously felt like all this was just a dream. It was SO nice to see everyone again!
It was cold. Very cold. I arrived back at home, feeling so strange. Roast dinner was waiting for me in the oven, I had some tea and there was my bed.
It hasn't hit me yet that I'm back at home, but I think it will eventually.
This is my last blog, seeing as I am now at the end of my 3 month journey in the Philippines. This is definitely a trip I will remember forever, and it was worth it. I've met so many people, faced so many challenges and overcame them. I would definitely recommend it to people who are considering volunteering abroad.
Thank you everyone for supporting me throughout the 3 months, I definitely wouldn't have been able to do it if it wasn't for the support!
Hopefully one day, I will fly back to Cebu and visit my host family again, and travel the rest of the Philippines! As they say after all, "it's more fun in the Philippines!"