Hi! I’m Crestine Carson. I would love to inspire you to live a happy, healthy, and abundant life. I want to inspire Filipinos who’s working abroad. I want to share to you my day to day life experience on how I achieved REAL HAPPINESS and SUCCESS despite being miles away from home. I thought working abroad will make me achieve all my BIG DREAMS for myself and my family, I was WRONG. I discovered that it wasn’t all about going abroad, it’s actually about changing perception.
I’m an OFW. I’m a Registered Nurse in New Zealand and a Modern Entrepreneur . I’m working as a nurse in a very reputable company and at the same running small businesses with my family and friends , Hip Events Limited – an event styling company , Proactive Care- an aged care and companionship services in New Zealand and franchise company in the Philippines- Shake’n Slurp. Aside from that, I have online businesses for extra passive income and working on to achieve the freedom of time that I want. I also volunteer my time to serve a charity Caring for Humanity International Foundation and our local Filipino Club CFTI.
I was born and grew up in Pagadian City, Philippines . I am the second child among five siblings, all girls. I have a big extended family with a very interesting family dynamics. When I was growing up, our life was never perfect, it was an exciting rollercoaster ride but I always remember it was fun and we enjoyed every bit of it together as a family. It brought us closer to each other.
I remembered when I graduated in university as a nurse, my Uncle Kerwin who lived and work in the US for many years came home for his holiday. We enjoyed branded pasalubongs (gifts ) from the US like Dolce & Gabanna ,Versace and Prada bags, sunglasses, perfumes, clothes and a lot of amazing stuff. We stayed in Waterfront Hotel and went shopping and dining with him and he paid for almost everything. We went Rustan’s in Ayala Mall Cebu because he wanted to do more shopping and he saw this belt from Salvatorre Ferregamo which cost P 9,000 and he was delighted because it was cheap. I still clear in my mind until now how l reacted at that time as a teenager, P9,000 for one belt and it’s cheap? In my mind, he must be really earning a lot of money… and so I told myself, I should go abroad and work as a nurse very soon! I’m a fresh graduate nurse and I know I have a long way to go but I’m going to make it happen. I haven’t even passed the licensure exam as a nurse yet at that time.
After few months of hard work and with my strong determination, I passed the Nurses Licensure Exam not once but twice, because that was the year when there was a huge controversy of June 2006 Nurse’s Licensure Exam leakage scandal where everyone who passed the exam we were asked to retake the exam to prove that we did not cheat, otherwise USA will not honour our license as a nurse. And I wanted to work as a nurse in the US at that time so I did it again.There was also a long waiting list for nurses to USA at that time, many of my co-workers has been waiting many few years already. Fortunately, a family friend shared an opportunity to work in New Zealand, it was faster and easier at that time. I didn’t even bother to do my research, I never heard of New Zealand before. They said it’s a very beautiful country with many sheep. So I decided to take that pathway. All I want is to be able to work abroad as a nurse. That was my ultimate dream at that time. But then again, the process of going to New Zealand was not as smooth as I thought but I kept on pushing and going forward. And finally, on June 2009, at the age of 24, I find myself venturing into a new country with seven new friends with me. Starting in a new country is never easy, the struggle is real. I found myself crying at night and feeling home sick. I never thought it will happen to me because I’ve always been independent because I left home to go to university away from home but it was being in another country feels so scary. Everything is unfamiliar, different people, culture, food, and even the weather. It’s cold!!! I was so scared to answer the telephone at the hospital where I work because I’m scared I might not understand what they’re saying. But one thing I was grateful about is that there are Filipinos who are very welcoming and helpful to new comers. I’m amazed how generous they are too. In my first flat where I stayed at in Wellington, my flatmates told me that everything in our flat is given to them from the spoon and fork to the couch and bed. We had a dining table too with only one dining chair, we’re still waiting for 3 more chairs to be donated.
My first job was in an Aged Care and it was not an easy start for me. I was asked to work on regular night shifts for 6 days a week so I struggled to learn more but my passion to care for elderly was there. My patients reminded me of my inspiration to become a nurse –my Lola Goyang – my grandmother. She was in the hospital due to Lung Cancer when I was deciding on what degree I should pursue. I always wanted to become a journalist when I was young but suddenly, it all changed and I wanted to become a nurse when I looked after her last days of her life in the hospital. She said I will be a good nurse because I am loving and very patient. I missed her terribly when she passed away. I was one of her favourite granddaughter; she even passed on something hereditary to me, her ASTHMA. 😉
After 6 months of working on night shifts on my first job, I encountered a lot of trials and challenges with other staff and my manager. It was really tough and I felt really scared and helpless at that time. Fortunately, I was supported by my agencies human resource and I was given an option to move to Auckland and work on a different facility. It’s like a breath of fresh air, I was a lot happier in my new workplace with a very supportive manager and helpful and friendly staff. My exciting life in New Zealand started in Auckland- the super city when I slowly adapted the Kiwi culture. I started to enjoy life more and I became more curious to experience more things. I became more free spirited! I started meeting new people. I was having the time of my life in Auckland….
I’ve met the love of my life in Auckland. A Kiwi bloke with a beautiful soul. I can’t believe he proposed to me after just over a year of dating. How did it happen? It was magic! No I did not hypnotize him or something. I have been into relationships that ended because we are not the perfect match. When I was a teenager, I said I wanted to get married at 26 and I kinda have a clear picture of his look in my subconscious mind. My dream man but I have not met him yet. So I started circular dating and decided to make that dream come true. Believe it or not, I self studied and I’ve learned from a love guru. My first online mentoring experience, her name is Rori Raye. I found her blogsite in facebook entitled Have the Relationship that You Want. And so I did! We had our Wedstival ( wedding and festival ) , our dream wedding last October 2014.
After I’ve ticked off my love life, I’ve started looking at improving another area of my life. And so I’ve moved on to my FINANCES. Well I had big realizations after going home to the Philippines for a holiday for the first time after 2 years of working in New Zealand as a nurse. On my first day in the Philippines, I spent P30,000 for my hotel room, shopping, and a dinner for the whole family and relatives. That actually made me stop and think. That’s $1000 New Zealand dollars and I can’t remember spending that much in one day in New Zealand. But I thought it was for everybody so I did not mind. Then I enjoyed my holiday with families and friends for a month in the Philippines. I was so happy to be able to have fun and spend time with them. And then I have to leave and go back to New Zealand and work again. When I got back, I checked my bank account and realized I splurged on my holiday in the Philippines. I ended up spending P500,000 in total of cash and credit card use. It actually took me months or even a year to work and save that amount of money. I spent my one year of savings working in New Zealand as a nurse on my one month holiday in the Philippines and so I have to start from scratch again. As we termed it in the Philippines “ balik sa uno”. And this cycle can go on and on without us knowing. So I started investing into business with my family but most of it just failed. I even ended up investing into a crazy Ponzi scam that promised us to grow our money 100% in just few weeks without doing anything. I was counting my eggs before it hatched and I got too excited only find out after few months, my hard earned money was all gone. The lesson that I’ve learned in a hard way- IF IT’S TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE THEN IT PROBABLY IS. I was getting anxious about not growing my finances well and I was feeling frustrated about it. Then I again, I MADE A DECISION and look for solutions. Fortunately ,my sister invited me to join the Truly Rich Club founded by Bo Sanchez . Truly Rich Club’s tagline – HELPING GOOD PEOPLE TO GET RICH. It was just more than a year when I started to notice great changes in my life, even into my bank account and stock market portfolio. I shared my story in a blog about my experience with the club. I mentioned in my blog that I am now confident that I will retire a multi millionaire or maybe billionaire at 45. But the most important thing, it made me A BETTER PERSON. It changed my whole perception about life itself and money and wealth. Yes, it is important and necessary but money is not the most important thing – it is used as a servant to be able to love more, to be able to serve and give more. I’m 30 years old now and I HAVE BIGGER DREAMS– not just for myself but for the people I love and want to help – my family, my friends, my community, and the world that I live in. I never stop learning everyday and I keep myself getting better. I’m passionately working hard every day to make those dreams come into reality. I wanted to reach as many people and touch their lives through my stories.
I see my life as close to perfect. Well, I’ve learned to train my brain very well. I now have the eyes to focus on what’s good happening rather than look for what’s missing. I don’t mean a Pollyanna but a POSITIVE GENIUS. I’ve learned the skills from an amazing best selling author and psychologist Shaw Achor from Harvard University. Shaw and his team’s goal is to the gap between academic research and the real world, so that our message is not only instructive and inspirational, but evidence-based.
My mind is now focus on the blessings I have. I live in one of the most beautiful country in the world, NEW ZEALAND. I’m happily married with two baby pugs and waiting for a four legged one. We’re living the simple life, the kiwi lifestyle with a Filipino touch. It’s an amazing blend. The kiwi lifestyle is what I call having all the luxury in life without paying for the cost. As simple as the fresh air and water, picturesque views everywhere, the best organic veges from my backyard garden, the restaurant quality food from my kitchen. On top of that, New Zealand is one of the safest and the least corrupt country in the world, we get free medical treatment and medications, the government help us save money for our future through the Kiwisaver. I’m so amazed of this country that there’s a government funded national project to help the Kiwis build their wealth and help everyone get ahead financially. I can go on and on and tell you more about the things around me that I’m thankful about. And I want you to do that too, that’s the main reason why I take time to do what I do. To inspire you to LIVE a HAPPY, HEALTHY, and ABUNDANT LIFE.
Here’s my favourite line….. YOUR LIFE IS YOUR MESSAGE TO THE WORLD, MAKE SURE IT’S INSPIRING….