Immigrant Story: The Truth About the Greener Pasture and How You Can Reach ‘It’

Story By: Chek, RN(Ph)-RPN

Have you heard of the expression ‘it’s a greener pasture’ on the other side of the fence? And then it ends to ‘…meh… not really…

I have a confession: during my premiere years in nursing back in the Philippines, I have read a resignation letter drafted by my senior nurse – either by chance or by choice – I can’t remember, but I know its not appropriate reading somebody’s letter.

On her letter, she wrote, ‘I chose to expand my horizon, and seek for a greener pasture for my family…’ (not her exact words though.)

Reading the letter, it occurred to me that seeking the greener pasture is like looking for the promised land. The sound itself and what it connotes seems to me, that if I imagine myself (as a goat) it is an abundant place where I would not worry of food and anything. A better place and its not even the after life!

I don’t know if that inspired me and my other colleagues back home to seek for ‘it’. I don’t know if everybody is looking for ‘it.’ If a greener pasture is ‘something better’ than what ‘it is now’, then where for-heaven’s-sake can we find ‘it’?

I started my journey to find the place. It took me 11,158km which is about 6,933miles (googled, not manually converted) and 23 hours of flight (with stop over) to finally question the concept of the greener pasture and find a viable answer.

Is it here in the great white north? Is it on the land of the sand and oil where my friends usually are? Or is it on the pearl of the Orient where I come from?

The answer: go ahead and read.

I really love the trend of ‘expectation vs. Reality’ posts in social media. It tells how people sees the world (expectation), and not how the world really works for people (reality).

Fast forward to six years, I have been seeing my senior nurse on Facebook and as ‘expected’, she seemed to have found the greener pasture. As to me who have pictures of the Canadian Parliament Building behind me, people ‘expected’ that I found it too.

But what is the reality? The reality is: the picture does not give you a bigger picture.

I have to survive my first year in Canada. Survive means doing the stuffs I am not comfortable, learning from it and applying everything as one piece. (you can read my post: From South East (Asia) to Great White North:How I Survived My First Months in Canada as an Immigrant’ to give you an idea and tips.)

I am pretty sure too, that those who seek for this ‘greener pasture thing’ has to struggle and survive.

Are you in for the ride?

Every great journey has its own stories of survivals. Every super heroes at some point has to challenge themselves and live outside their comfort zone. Every person who we consider successful has its own failures.

I have a great book recommendation by the author named Steve Kamb. His book Level Up Your Life: How to Unlock Adventure and Happiness by Becoming the Hero of Your Own Story (affiliate link here) is a great read if you think that you have a potential of reaching your own greener pasture.

If you don’t think that you have a potential, I will tell you that you have and please start to think that way.  “What your mind can conceive, your body can achieve.’

Now, where do we go from point zero to the promise land?

Many of my friends would assume that Canada as a rich country and I, as someone who landed here, instantly become ‘one of their rich people’. I hope it works that way.

I don’t blame them, because as my good friends work on different areas of the world and been earning many times as much as we did in the Philippines, I assume that they are ‘unstoppable millionaires.’ But, of course it is not true.

Many of the foreign workers, seeking greener pasture, go home broke (financially, physically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually), for reasons that they mismanaged the system. So, ‘going-abroad-and-become-rich scheme’ is not always true.

And many of those who do not have the opportunity or chance to go and work abroad, think that they are missing a chance of a lifetime. That is not true, too.

Ladies and gentlemen, after rigorous meditations, I came to realized that ‘the greener pasture’ is not a place. I used to think that way, but I was wrong.

The greener pasture can be found within ourselves and outside our comfort zone. It demands enormous energy to challenge ourselves to change for the better.  It takes a great effort, discipline and sacrifice to succeed on the struggles.

We don’t grow financially by just earning more. We must embrace the habits of saving, management and investing if we aim for financial freedom. We must be enterprising. If it doesn’t sound like you, then hold tight because the challenge to become one great money manager is a rigorous and hideous process. You will create enemies and most often its yourself.

We don’t grow professionally or personally by just doing the same thing over again. The steps towards growth is painful on different levels.

So, the resignation letter thus makes sense. To find the greener pasture, she has to expand her horizons, including herself. Something I have learned to do by myself too.

My nursing process here in Canada is not just a paper to be filled up and submit. After all my ‘nursing experience’ back home, I have to endure the process. (Ten Important Things to Know if You Want to Be a Certified Canadian Nurse: for IENS).

It is on the looking farther and focusing on my goal that helps me to keep up. Great family and friends helped me too. Mentors pushed me forward.

It is a great relief that achieving a greener pasture is also a chance for everybody. It does not matter where, when or what are you doing right now, but a matter of deciding to be better NOW.

If you decide to be better on every aspect of your life, you take the steps towards it, you appreciate the hardships of the journey and you look forward to the goals you want to achieve; you are one step nearer to the greener pasture.

Anything worth it is not easy though.

You must embrace yourself because it’s gonna be one-hell-of-a- ride that you might want to back up.

The moment you feel that you want to retreat, it is when you experience growth. Smile and tell yourself, ‘I need this’. Remember: when people don’t grow they die – just breathing but dead.

And through your efforts I know you will succeed, and if you do, I hope you give back, because nobody will.

I want to hear your comments, struggles you’re having and plans to survive it and your success stories in the comment box below.

We can start giving back now by simply sharing our stories and hopefully inspire at least one person who needs a boost.

Thank you for your time.

Chek, RN(Ph)-RPN
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