Making the decision to leave your country and call a new land, home, looks different for everyone. You will have so many questions and ongoing choices to make throughout your life-altering journey, not to mention the array of collective and unique thoughts and emotions associated with such a big change. I wanted to walk this process out with as much love, joy and peace as possible; I continue to want that for myself and my loved ones and imagine you do too.
Over and above reading and thinking about what I’ll share, I encourage you to write as well. There is ongoing research about the benefits of writing. It can help us organize our scattered thoughts and feelings, which can lead to deeper and clearer insights. When I was completing my qualification in Narrative Counseling, I became aware of the added benefits of writing that goes beyond standard counseling practices. Whether it’s personal journaling or writing thoughtful pros and cons lists with your family, it has the potential to have a therapeutic outcome.
Questions worth asking:
Why am I leaving OR why am I going? One is a push, the other a pull. You can have both.
Where am I leaving from and where am I heading to?
When do I know that I’m ready to start this journey?
Who is going and who is staying behind?
What needs to happen to make this journey as successful as possible?
How can the departure be done with minimal trauma?
How can I best approach the transition?
For most of these topics, one needs to take various factors into account. What is your personality like? Are you task-orientated and racing to get to your final destination? This can be beneficial to get the job done but if you have lived long enough, you will know that life throws you some curveballs. If you are more detail-orientated, be careful with fixating solely on the logistics and the here and now. The hard work will need to begin, but there are relationships that will need tending to as well. As strong as you may be, do not ignore the aspects that impact your emotional and mental wellbeing.
Big and small factors that will impact this journey
Relationships – family, friends, community, colleagues, pets
Finances – expenses, assets, savings, pension, possessions
Culture – language, education, mannerisms, food, entertainment, sports, hobbies, holidays, faith
Environment – climate, work, safety, health, politics, transport, services
Personal – future prospects, interests, comforts, familiarity, sentimentality, memories
These factors weigh in differently for different people and that is important to take into consideration as well. The value one person attaches to their pets, for example, may differ drastically to the next person; this is not to say that hindering factors cannot be overcome, but we need to support ourselves adequately for the losses or changes.
Are you ready to start writing?
There is nothing to lose from writing because even if it is simply for its stress-relieving benefits, it can only aid you during this critical time. Check out my Facebook page for some great links if you need extra encouragement to write. Feel free to share your thoughts, process and experiences in the comments!