Erin Cabanawan - “3 decades and counting”

Erin Cabanawan

Erin Cabanawan is a postgraduate student from the Philippines studying Gender and Development at Flinders University. 

Somehow, I always celebrate my decades outside of my hometown. When I was 10, I was spending my summer break in another province in Central Luzon, Philippines. When I was 20, I was in a summer camp in the mountains of Cebu in Visayas, Philippines. Recently, I turned the big 3-0, and I happened to be in Adelaide, South Australia. 


“Being an international student was something I never thought I would do...”

Growing up entails going further and further away from your comfort zone. It might be physically moving out of a geographical location, but more importantly, it is also going beyond the limits you have set for yourself. Moving to Australia for a whole year was truly a challenge for me. I felt like I was leaving behind my other responsibilities and half-finished projects, and embarking on a big change. I realized, though, that making the move did not only mean getting on a place and relocating. It also meant moving into a new part of my life, and possibly a new version of myself. 


“...and yet here I am experiencing new things every day”

It may have been a coincidence that I celebrated my third decade in Australia, but it also feels like it was meant to be. Being an international student was something I never thought I would do, and yet here I am experiencing new things every day. A year may have been added to my age, but I also treasure the changes that I have undergone as a person this past year. It certainly has not been easy, but living life outside of my comfort zone allowed me to break the limits I thought I had, and to appreciate change better.

On most days I dread aging, but I also look forward to where life would take me, and where I would celebrate my next decade. Here’s to moving forward. Cheers!

Happy Birthday, Erin!! - from the i-studentglobal team