On August 9th 2001, I boarded a flight with destination Frankfurt Germany to start a new life. At that time, I could never have imagined that I would be where I am today. It's been 19 years of many experiences - some good, bad and ugly. Living in Germany for 14 years and now in the US for 5 years, I have experienced and learned many life-changing lessons.
In this blog post, I will answer five of the most common questions that people ask about my relocation journey. Check out my other "Her Relocation" posts for more of my story.
Were you scared to move to Germany so young?
I moved to Germany when I was 15 years old. Interestingly, I felt very prepared for the Journey ahead. Although I could never have imagined what life would bring, I was very hopeful and confident that I could face anything. Looking back, my attitude was one reason I was able to survive in the early part of my journey . This set the tone for how I approached challenges throughout my journey.
What were some of the challenges you faced?
In my first year in Germany, the loneliness from being away from my family was something I was not prepared for. My first Christmas, which was also my first winter was one of the saddest ever. I had been very used to celebrating the holidays with my family in Nigeria. The next set of challenges that I faced living in Germany was feeling that I did not belong. It took me about seven years to start feeling at home. And then another three years until I confidently felt that Germany was my home.
After 14 years in Germany, I was thriving and then I decided to make a huge jump by moving to the US. I left my sister, niece and close friends behind. It is still hard sometimes to be far away from them.
What lessons have you learned so far on your Journey?
I have learned many valuable lessons from my experiences on my journey. My top three lessons are the following:
What has been your favorite part of living abroad?
There have been many highlights on my journey so far. Some of which include the following:
Would you move to another country?
My answer is simple - absolutely. When the right time comes to move to a new country, I will embrace it fully. The great thing is that this time, I will be moving with my family. I am very grateful for all that I have learned on my journey so far. Moving to new countries has expanded my perspective on life.
The past 19 years have been a very formative phase of my life and I would not trade any of my experiences for anything. Sharing my story will definitely be a part of my journey. Watch this space for more on my journey. I am very excited for my future.