“I have this little notebook. Whenever I meet somebody who I get close to, I ask them to write me a message in their native language. The rules are they can’t tell me what it means, and I can’t use Google Translate. I have to wait until I meet somebody else who speaks their language to translate it for me. I’ve had this book for three years and I think there are over 60 languages in there now.

I was doing programming in the Philippines for two years. I was comfortable, I could buy the things I wanted and needed, and I was able to save some money. But I wasn’t happy. Perhaps the worst thing was the fact it would take me three hours to get to work in the morning. It was only 21km away!

This is a good thing and a bad thing about Filipinos. After a certain amount of time we adapt and get comfortable. I said to myself I didn’t want to be like that. I don’t to get comfortable with a three hour commute every day. My friends were telling me that I’m too picky or “entitled” and that I should just accept it. I didn’t want to get complacent so I quit my job and I decided I would take a master’s degree in Europe…

Some of my friends’ opinions about me are interesting. They say that I may have been everywhere, but what have I achieved? 

My Mum also thinks I’m wasting my time here. It’s kinda funny, she actually bought me an apartment in my name. That’s kind of her way of saying “come back home, get your act together, and get a real job”. I got really upset about it. I was angry at her for trying to force responsibility onto me while I’m trying to chase my dreams. I want to see the world. I want to be irresponsible.

I’m young and I don’t want to have responsibility thrust upon me.

When I go back to the Philippines I’ll need to start over, I’ll be back to square one again. But the people I’ve met here, the experiences I’ve had. The way that’s opened my mind. It’s something I’ll probably never regret. It’s my dream. And I would probably regret it more if I never gave myself the chance to chase my dreams.” 

About 500 Coffees ☕️

I'm on a mission to get coffee with 500 strangers from all over the world. I want to speak to humans everywhere about their lives and how they experience the world. And cafes are the perfect place for this. Comfortable, cosy, illuminated with a cacophony of other human voices. 

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