Leaving your home land for another country is never an easy decision; of course there’s the excitement of the unknown, the opportunity of starting anew, but there’s also the sadness of looking back at what’s left behind. Just watching the news will tell you that immigration is not always glamorous. I recently, however, found myself reflecting on what I am grateful to immigration of and I could list 3 things that perhaps you could also identify with as well; there are certainly a lot more.
- There’s joy in being the outsider
Now before you cringe let me explain. The early years of moving to a new country made me more observant, curious to learn and observant about this new place I was to call home, in my case South Africa. Being the outsider meant that I had to learn very early to engage with locals and their cultures rather than remain closed off in my own.
Now I didn’t have a sinister journey to SA and I am fortunate that my parcourt, although difficult, has been enjoyable. I left home at 17 to study in SA and carried with me my parents’ dreams and high expectations. What living far from my parents and away from that comforting shoulder to cry on has taught me is that failure is not an option, that too much has been invested in me and the opportunity was just so great for me not to always give life my best. That’s my kind of immigrant mentality; just knowing that you need to fight and be the best you can because the odds are against you from the very beginning.
Remembering home. It’s strange to say this but living 16 years out of the DRC has made me appreciate home even more. Let’s face it, you’re always reminded that you’re not home, in one way or another. Traveling and seeing other nations grow and develop over the years has only made me want more for my home country and as an entrepreneur, to get more involved in telling a different story.