The magic of a European dream

Have you ever wanted something so bad that it makes you forget about the world and just focus on what you aspire for? It consumes you entirely. The only question is, for how long?

Dreams have beginnings
When I started my application for a nursing job in Belgium while living in Zamboanga, Philippines, I was physically and mentally consumed. Requirements, exams, interviews – these were the basics. The more crucial requirement was language proficiency.

We needed to learn Dutch so I took up a language class, from Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm for four whole months. I was once again, a student. Learning the basics, from counting een-twee-drie (one-two-three), to determining the gender of each word, and to the highly complicated subject-verb agreement of the Dutch language. There were exams in between.

​Even though my Dutch classes just started,  my job interviews were already scheduled. The interview will be IN DUTCH. Fast forward, I found my employer, or lets say they found me. Sounds easy, but believe me – it wasn’t.


Dreams take time
Learning Dutch was not even half of the real battle. The real battle was the waiting – where my patience, hope, and faith were tested. Months of waiting turned into a year, then another year, and yet another. Before I knew it, I was already waiting for three long years. Some of my fellow applicants saw a little light at the end of the tunnel, others were completely blinded by darkness.

I didn’t have a back-up plan. Or I didn’t want to have any. Because all I wanted was Europe, nothing else. I’ve bet all my chips in and hoped to land a royal flash.

​Along the way there were countless of times that I’ve lost my ground. I couldn’t help but have second thoughts but instead of giving up, I tried harder to stay focus on what I want. The secret weapon? I overdosed myself with self-help books which turned out to be more than helpful. I’m so glad.

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist


The Magic of Dreams
​On June 2012, I woke up inexplicably consumed by The Magic. I woke up to a fine day, had my coffee and did my “task for the day” based on my holy book. The task was “Rejoice and be thankful to the good news you will receive today”. I read that and just knew it was going to be true. I’ve always been a believer of every single task written on my Holy Book.

But today was different, I had an overwhelming feeling you get from believing something and claiming it beforehand. It was beyond explanation. I was about to go to school (postgraduate) when I received a phone call saying my work permit is finally approved.

Work permit- approved. Again, my work permit is finally approved! Approved! Finally!

I had to repeat the message a hundred times before I finally understand the message. Even at this very moment that I’m typing this, I can’t stop my redundancy. You can just imagine how ecstatic I was at that very moment. Tears started flowing down my cheeks. I had goose-bumps all around me. I called my brother overseas and together we shared the same emotions. Tears of joy.

My dream came true. I am going to Europe.

12241300_10205380742662172_648935773438983311_nAbout the author
Aileen Penaflor  relishes life in all its glories and adversities and pin it down into writing. She’s a 30 year-old nurse who earned her diploma in Southern Philippines, and currently works in a hospital in Ghent, Belgium. 




This article was  was first posted on, digital window to the Filipino soul, under the title A Filipino Tale of Magic.

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