WHAT’S MY NAME? ALEXIS URBIZTONDO
ENTREPRENEUR / MODEL / BRIDAL CONSULTANT
ENTREPRENEUR / MODEL / BRIDAL CONSULTANT
Just a girl from Seattle, WA. Never in a million years did I ever think that I would someday move across the Pacific Ocean to a foreign country to start a brand new life. I started off working for a high end retail store straight out of high school, but it just wasn’t giving me the growth and satisfaction that I was craving for.
So one day my mom threw out an option of trying something new, going to the Philippines. I mean I figured since my mom was from there she wouldn’t steer me in the wrong direction. Plus, I’ve gone a few times for vacation and they were all good times. I was young and carefree with no obligations so I decided, why not?! Not everyone was for it though. Family and friends who didn’t want to see me go. I thought long and hard and decided to just do it. I figured home will always be there so if it didn’t turn out then I can always go back.
Two months in living in the Philippines, and I started feeling very homesick. I was ready to book my ticket right back home, but it wasn’t fully in me yet to just give up, so I held off just a little bit. I got accepted into a pharmacy program and started working in the commercial modeling industry as a side job. I also ended up meeting the man of my dreams who also made my transition moving abroad much easier. Within a year we were engaged, married, and then pregnant.
I had my first child at 21. I couldn’t even celebrate my 21st birthday the traditional way, but I wasn’t bothered. Starting a family young never stopped me from achieving my dreams. If anything, it motivated me to push even harder so I can provide for my family and give them the life they deserved. I then enrolled into online schooling to finish my degree in business and marketing. With my technical skills and knowledge I then opened a few businesses while we continued living in the Philippines. It kept me busy but still gave me the flexibility to care for my family.
A few years later, we welcomed our second child. We raised our girls to never take anything for granted. Driving through the streets of Manila (and other Asian cities), our girls saw it all. The slums and high rises. They were always filled with so many questions. We were glad that they got to learn from living through an eye opening experience first hand. They even experienced staying in the province and didn’t complain once!
Fast forward and our family finally made one of the biggest decisions yet, moving back to the United States. We thought long and hard and decided it was in our family’s best interest. Sold and donated everything we had, tried to condense 10 years of our life into 15 check-in boxes. We were filled with mixed emotions; Fear, excitement, sadness, worry, and motivation to name a few. It was a scary decision to make because the lifestyles are just so different and we knew we were in for a ride. Not a lot of people are willing to take that leap of faith for many reasons especially in such short notice like we did.
Most hope to be more prepared before making such a decision. To be honest, we didn’t have a lot of time to prepare before we made the final decision. We knew we had each other and we were going to get through whatever came our way TOGETHER and that’s all that mattered to us. We were blessed to have the amount of family support that we did to help us during the transition back. Took care of business once we arrived. Got the girls enrolled into school and applied for jobs.
With our hopefulness and positivity we were lucky to land jobs sooner than we expected. In fact, I was satisfied with the feedback. I accepted a career in the bridal industry, as well as the local school district. My girls love school, their new friends, and their extra curricular activities. My husband loves his new career and still stays involved in the basketball community. We haven’t looked back since and are happy we made the decision when we did. We can’t live in fear of not being prepared enough to make a change. There is always a way to get through it. It may not be easy, but it is definitely doable if you just put your mind to it.
Even though we moved on from the Philippines we will forever cherish all the friendships, memories and lessons we learned from living there.