I was 21 when I first arrived in America with just one baggage and a pocketful of dreams. I did not get a chance to formally say good-bye to family and friends as there was a big storm in the Philippines the week of my departure. While it was a sad and gloomy day, I never looked back when I entered the airport terminal. It was one of those moments I knew was going to define the rest of my life. No matter how much I missed and would have loved to see my parents, siblings and friends before I left, the thought of going somewhere and building a life of and on my own was a lot stronger than the emotions of farewells and goodbyes.