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Wednesday
Jul192017

Are you living in the same place that you were brought up in?

 

For those of you who have changed the country you live in, you will probably find out that migrating solves some problems, but can create others.  For example, homesickness which varies with stages of life and individuals. Your love partner may be more homesick than you or vice versa.

 Moving countries for ‘a better life’ requires a substantial amount of investment in money, time and energy. Hopefully you are feeling the move was a good one. Perhaps there are times when you are not sure. The uncertainty is often fuelled by emotional reasons rather than economic; such as missing people and the sense of familiarity. Some migrants may consider repatriating.

To have to repatriate is a lost opportunity. Be informed. Here are some insights and resources for solutions and strategies to overcome these emotional challenges you face as a migrant.

A move to another country means for a while (sometimes years) you have a heart in two homes. The migrant or expat has both a double sense of disconnection and a double desire for connection as shown in the matrix below.

 

The disconnection firstly from your adopted country, the country you are in: the history of the country, the language, the customs, culture shock, and secondly from the country you have left: missing events (weddings birthdays funerals,) being less up to date with news and politics, trends of the country.  As well as feeing disconnection, you are striving for connection: firstly with the country you are in; working towards a sense of belonging through work, clubs groups, becoming familiar with language and colloquialisms, and generally fitting in, and secondly the sense of connection that you are likely to try and maintain with the country you left; visits ’home’, remittances, Skype calls, trying to keep up with the news. At some point you have to decide how much energy and time you will put into your homeland and how much into your adopted country. Straddling the two countries becomes counterproductive to maximising the benefit of the country you are in.

Changing countries, living as a migrant can be more of a challenge than you anticipated. You may think that the grass is greener ‘back home,’ but perhaps your new garden just needs more attention.

See below for links that will improve your migrant or expat experience.

 

  1. The strategies to become a more settled immigrant is discussed in the book,  ‘The Emotional Challenges of Immigration, Stories and strategies of those who stayed.  The book is a self-help book for migrants and those close to them. Its intention is for migrants to become more settled. Based on the experiences of twenty five migrants, it identifies core issues faced by all migrants and offers solutions for them.

“…a sincere and well-written manual. …it points out the challenges and struggles of the migratory process, but at the same time, the rewards of being able to ‘survive’ away from home.”
Maria Angel, BA, Msc, MRes, Doctoral Candidate, Anthropology Department, University College London 

“This book is a must-read for immigrants and those considering immigration…... This is a brave book that refuses to accept 'no-go-areas.' It is packed with psychological depth and practical strategies.”
Henriette Politano, BA, Dip.Couns, Reg. Psychotherapist (PBANZ), MNZAC, MITAA, IARPP 

 

  1. A blog for migrants with posts such as; how to make goodbyes easier, how to improve the grandparent relationship. www.migrantemotions.com 
  2. Support and community for smart expats http://expatriateconnection.com
  3. Finally if you are repatriating:http://migrantemotions.blogspot.co.nz/2015/06/ten-solutions-for-repatriate-blues.html#more

 

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