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Don’t we all want the best for ourselves? We spend our lives looking for it, “the best,” without necessarily knowing where and what. We also see the need to escape what limits our ability to thrive and shine with glory, but we often don’t know how.
I found my where, my what, and my how, and it was not back home.
There is this one question that we expats so often hear: “Do you plan to eventually move back to your country? Why not?” Whether it is a well-intended question out of simple curiosity (which is totally fine) or an indirect attempt to make you feel like an unwelcome immigrant (unless they are a border control agent, it’s none of their business), it’s a fact we don’t really like to justify.
We are often judged, even by our own people, for not wanting to go back to our country and do something good for it. But, excuse me, you don’t have to be inside of your country to be able to help it. As a good friend once said, you can even be able to do more for your country from outside of it than inside.
Anyhow, reasons obviously vary with each person, some come out of fortunate situations and others from very unfortunate. I had the privilege to choose, and I chose out for good.
My reasons had to do more with myself than any external factor. So here you go, here is why:
Because I liked the change and wanted it again
It’s true when they say “a different country, a different world,” and therefore a different lifestyle. My idea of a normal life, normal habits and normal routines was altered significantly the moment I stepped into another country, and I loved everything about it.
My whole time abroad felt like a break from my old boring life and when I came back. Of course, at the beginning it was wonderful and interesting to be back home, taste familiar flavors, see familiar views, have back everything I so dearly missed, you name it… but once I started adapting to my old routine, I got scared to miss out on the life I wanted to have and felt like it was moving on without me.
I felt like I was going nowhere, I was getting stuck in life. So I had to do something.
Because I had to seek bigger challenges
I had never faced so many challenges as I did during my first time abroad. And every time I overcame them, it felt good, I felt powerful and unbeatable. But being back in a place where you know the surroundings, how everything works, are clear about your limits, and the lifestyle that is waiting for you (which is not the one you love) makes you want to look for better options… because you can do better.
Why stay where you aren’t challenged enough? Why stay if you can’t grow as much as you want?
No one should.
Because I wanted to know myself better
No matter how much I love my country, how proud I am for being from there, and how much I want everyone to know how great it is, I didn’t feel completely happy with myself and who I was while I lived there. I honestly felt lost, didn’t know really much what I stood for, what I would really like to do for a living, and the kind of future I wanted to have there. If you’d ask me before to describe myself I would have given a pretty lame answer.
Sure, I was abroad once, that should have been enough, right? It was not.
If I left I could shine and if I stayed I could not, as simple as that.
Living in a city far away from home and figuring out alone where to next, when, and how, is letting me have a better understanding of who I am as an independent and self-sufficient person and I love that, I needed that.
Because happiness didn’t coincide with staying
The first time I went abroad, I was not certain about the people I was going to meet and how they would impact my life. The second time I knew who was waiting for me and how important that person was in my life.
Love is also the reason why I left.
We met abroad and have been together ever since, however, we used to live on different continents for quite a while. The thing about long distance relationships is that they some-when have to end, either by eliminating the “long-distance” factor or the “relationship” one. So, one of the main reasons to have chosen the final destination was the removal of the first factor, because if I hadn’t tried, I would’ve not been happy and would’ve always wondered “what if.”
It’s been some time already since I decided to leave for good and although I miss a lot my country, family, and friends, I can’t deny that I’ve taken the best decision of my life.
I’ve never been happier, I’m enjoying myself, living in a wonderful city, having a life I love, and leading it to a great future.
So why go back? Would you?