Our experiences on our relocation journeys are different but our experiences are similar!
Relocating, living and thriving in a new country is not an easy journey but it is worth it. This post continues the "Her Relocation" series which I started with my blog post My relocation journey: 10 things I wish I knew before I relocated to the US a few weeks ago. I know I am not alone on this journey.
A few months ago, I asked immigrant women mostly in Germany, UK, US and Nigeria: "What are the top three challenges you have faced in your new home country". In this post I will be sharing some experiences and learnings from other women who live in a new home country and are thriving. We will take a deep dive into some of the challenges the women shared and some advice you can apply. A major realization for me through the process, was that our experiences are very similar, and we have a great opportunity to learn from one another.
Challenge 1: Feeling lonely
Her Experience: "I was completely alone without friends or my family", "There was no one to help specially with my kids", "I struggled with meeting people", "I missed my family and friends"
Challenge 2: Lack of local Food
Her Experience: "I could not find food she I accustomed to", "There were no African food stores in my little town"
Challenge 3: Different culture and language
Her Experience: "Culture shock"," I didn't speak the language", " People had a different accent, personality, slangs"
Challenge 4: Professional/Career challenges
Her Experience: " I struggled to find a job", "I had to start from the beginning professionally", "My university degree was not recognized"
Challenge 5: Financial hardship
Her Experience: "I was always broke", "Money went away very quickly", "This was the first time I had to deal with all my bills without my parents"
Challenge 6: Legal and immigration issues
Her Experience: " I didn't know where to go with my immigration questions", " I was afraid of my appointments at the Immigration Office"
Challenge 7: Settling into new life
Her Experience: Settling In: finding accommodation, understanding daily specificities, opening a bank account -
Challenge 8: Relationship/Marital problems
Her Experience: "My husband and I grew apart as were so busy trying to settle down here", "I was in a distance relationship for years and almost broke things off"
Challenge 9: Inferiority Complex
Her Experience: " I felt like I was not good enough and everyone in my new country knew more than I did", "They treated me as if I was a 2nd class citizen"
Challenge 10: Personal Growth and Self-development Challenges
Her Experience: " While I was growing up, I was taught not to challenge what I was told, when I moved I suddenly was expected to", " There were a lot of things I didn't know about life', " I had to grow up very quickly"
Thanks to all the ladies who contributed to this post. I appreciate you sharing your painful experiences so other ladies can learn from you and thrive on their relocation journey.
In upcoming "Her Relocation" series blog posts, we will be delving deeper into more practical steps, sharing helpful resources and sharing in-depth stories from to immigrant women who are thriving.
Call to action:
Please share any additional challenges you faced or are currently facing in the comments section below. Let's share and learn from one another!
13/3/2018 02:23:40 pm
I can relate to the most of the things in this post. The loneliness is the worst. Sometimes even with people around you, you still struggle with discovering who you are in this new environment and what your role is. My friends who had faced similar difficulties helped me more than words can say. I had to quickly learn to tell the difference between people who could give good advice and those who just liked the sound of their own voices.
13/3/2018 02:41:22 pm
All extremely important points. You've really got to proactive and intentional about everything you do in a new environment. Most importantly there are always others in similar situations, whom you can engage with. Be Careful not to get caught up in preserving your past and in so doing fail to explore new opportunities.
13/3/2018 02:47:11 pm
I can relate on every level with the women who participated in your study. It's a learning curve pretty much and it gets better with time. Yes loneliness is worst part of it. I still feel alone as I have none of my siblings around!!!
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.