If your Caucasian and you live in Africa the continent of Africa is really not your ancestral native land. If your African and live in the United Kingdom or South America your native ancestral land is really not these continents. The same goes for South Americans, The Asian Communities who live around the world, The Greek Nation who have lived on other continents for centuries etc. If we be logic about the real meaning of immigrant, immigration and we look back at our ancestral heritage we really are all immigrants living somewhere else, living life and doing the best we can do to belong. Just some food for thought
Moving home and changing your life as you know it. Such as new employment, new school, moving provinces or even countries is and can be a daunting task. It is a huge stressor and can take a toll on your health, your relationships and your overall psyche. You can become overwhelmed as you feel as I like to call it "Lost In Translation"!
Anyway here we go I am and love being a New Canadian Citizen. I love everything about Canada, I love the people, I love my lifestyle, I love the weather. I have been provided the opportunity to start a new life, in a fabulous new place and feel blessed! I think it a blessing that immigration opportunities are open and available. To be accepted into a new community that you can call home and will hopefully provide a much healthier, secure, filled with opportunity lifestyle. We move because we want more for ourselves, for our families and for our future!. ** The key to your success is remembering your initial reason why you chose to move.
The winters were long and very very cold, I did not connect very closely with the people and truly felt like an outsider and as a South African we carry a certain amount of baggage that is handed to us not by choice but by the political, economic and social issues that still shroud Southern Africa today. My international counterparts with no ill will on their part have certain opinions about the place we called home. This was a mine field to face all on its own, besides getting to know the new health care system, driving license application, banking and more. One can feel like a kid on the first day of school, exciting, nervous but what and how do we handle this task at hand.
This in the beginning was a comfort back in Canada. Knowing I was not missing out on anything new and exciting because each time I travelled back everything was still the same!!
I have a girlfriend who immigrated from South Africa on totally different terms. Her family as a unit had for many a year strived to move to Canada. Her family were familiar with the city in Canada they chose to migrate to. A mother with two children wanting a more secure life, better education and overall lifestyle for her children. Their experiences have been mixed, they still miss South Africa but going back is not an option because although they feel lost in translation in their new hometown they love where they now live. It takes time to settle - 2, 3, 5 years...we are all different!
They have had to navigate the Canadian School System, the health care system and all the other bits we as immigrants have to face. You may think that well moving somewhere else it should all work the same - well it doesn't. Practical day to day life functions differently on every level. For instance in Canada everyone files their tax returns self employed, employer employed etc etc. There are even some different driving regulations!! That's correct you don't jump red traffic lights just because you are tired of waiting. And here people obey the law, Canadians are law keepers and I LOVE THAT!!!
My friend has faced a sense of loneliness as she navigates her new home and she does miss the place she still calls home BUT when I ask her if she wants to go back to her life in South Africa she says no.
So really what is it about being an immigrant. We are a breed of our own. We are millions and millions of people "Lost in Translation" navigating our way to some sort of equilibrium and happiness in our new home towns and cities. We as human beings hope for solace, happiness, security, freedom, a great life and the opportunity to enjoy our life - because Life is Short.
Being an immigrant with all the other immigrants being Lost in Translation actually in a weird way brings us together, unifies us. We really now don't belong anywhere! Thats why I say being an immigrant takes COURAGE - because what challenges we face with or without family and friends makes us stronger, more opened minded, understanding human beings. We perhaps look (I do) at the world differently, especially the places we came from our original homes!
Not everyone can take the step to becoming an immigrant but there is certainly a helluva lot of us out there and that is quite comforting...
If you can travel back to your home country during your transition as often as possible do it. That is if you feel comfortable with this, this could be extremely helpful in your transition. Trust me getting back on the plane to leave is heartbreaking BUT it gets easier with each visit.
Also keep your eye on the target, why did you move, what does your new home offer you and assimilate yourself into your new home countries traditions, celebrations and day to day lifestyle to make you feel more at home. DONT ISOLATE YOURSELF!!
Being an immigrant is certainly a courageous tidybusiness. I did it, I live it, And I appreciate it
Till next time
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