Today, I've been thinking about how a friend of mine used to say to me: "I would never imagine you to be an engineer that's stuck in Penang. You seem much smarter and more adventurous than that. I always thought that you would end up overseas. I didn't envision you to be in such a screw up."
In truth, I wonder about that myself too, a lot. 8 to 10 years ago, that was what I envisioned for myself too, living a more exciting life in places such as Hong Kong, New York, London, Geneva, or whatever exotic cities at least a couple thousand kilometers away from home.
Sometimes, I look at photos of some of my mates who walked those paths in Facebook. Photos of mates all over the world: Singapore, Shanghai, Ireland, Munich, Los Angeles, Montreal, Melbourne... and I wonder, what could have been, what might have been.
Its not that I did not have the opportunities for these. If only I had performed better in the second interview for the ASEAN scholarship selection, if only I had made a spontaneous decision to follow someone to further studies Down Under, if only I applied for GMI instead of TARC, if only I decided to continue study for Masters in Liverpool, if only...
And then I had an epiphany. I realized that somewhere down the road, I suddenly had a change in mind. I did not want to be permanently based somewhere else. Even though 1Niajib & Co always think otherwise, the fact remains that my home is Malaysia, and I need to be at home. I still feel the need to be somewhere that has easy access to family, friends, and awesome pork noodles. I'd rather have myself speaking Manglish than speaking English with unintelligible slang and assuming I am speaking perfect English.
Besides, I did spend a few months in the UK to get my degree and I've been on a Europe tour after that. I even spent a few days in Dubai for good measures on transit when coming back. And my current job has brought me to Singapore occasionally, as well as getting me to set foot on San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Colorado for a couple of weeks. I can even claim that I've set foot on Hong Kong and Tokyo before, although it is just the airport :P
Is that not enough? I'd say that that's pretty enough. Although I can't afford exotic holidays by myself, I've been to more places than most people I know, I think I'm very lucky. I don't think I need to spend a few years abroad to feel special.
Of course, if the boss wants to send me to be based overseas for a few months or a year, I will still accept it gladly la, relo means good money, you know, and money is the most important thing in life after you graduate. Anyone who claims otherwise (ie job security, interest) should go and rot away in oblivion.