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Eliab

4 Years Later Homesickness Or Just Not Busy Enough

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Hi All,

 

Hopefully someone can share some light and more experience. I moved to the US mainly because of the opportunity it provided, not running away from crime or something or other. I have been busy for almost 4 years straight since moving here, but lately I hit a bit of a lull. I am well settled completed certifications and now all the great opportunities are coming my way. But somehow I still miss home, I have visited twice this year and inspired to help make south Africa better. Is this the idealist in me or does every immigrant go through the 4 year itch. In my case about 3.8 yrs.

 

I am afraid I will pack go back to SA and regret it. Everything is working just right and friends are good (nice close nit community), its just this nagging feeling of wanting to do more, and lets say I've always liked travelling and the new experience.

 

One option is looking for work that will allow me to travel more.

 

Please share your experiences.

 

Its just driving me mad. I don't feel like starting over.

 

 

 

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Hi Eliab, I think everyone has similar feelings especially if you have recently returned back from SA. Every time we go back we also wish we could just move back. It's hard to shake that off. I would suggest you stay until you get your citizenship at least then you could return. Going through the naturalization process will probably make you feel more secure. Also you may want to consider a job change. Currently the market is very good and a lot of activity there is nothing like a good pay raise and new working environment. You are going through all the normal stressors of immigration and it takes years to come right.

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Oscar, you are a life saver. I think since we only talk more about coming over and less about the stresses involved when all is settled and dealing with regular life. As human we like struggle. I will definitely start looking at either a new job or volunteering some more getting used to normal life. Instead of adventure and worry all the time. Its interesting reading other peoples experience.

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Thanks Eliab, but you are doing great. I know someone that is a mentor to a kid from a troubled home and they get a lot of enjoyment about giving the kid advice and counseling over the weekends. There are lots of volunteer organizations down your way. But get yourself whole first.

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Hi

 

Its so good to hear I'm not the only one having these thoughts as well. Its been a year since I've moved here to the US. I'm missing home feel like packing up and going back .

The only reason I made this move was for my kids , now I'm not sure if my future is here in USA, it took me 5 months to find my 1st job and its not secure because its contract and can't seem to find the right job that fits my work experience and skills Still Been looking actively .

Cost of living is also very expensive here in CA. Life is lonely.

 

The thing that scares me the most is what if I'm unable to secure my next job as most jobs in my field are contact positions 6 months to 12 months and having to move towns or states for the next job and having to start again which is not easy when you have young kids that are in school

 

I had a comfortable life back home and wonder if this journey is worth the pain and stress I'm going thru everyday.

It has always been my dream to come here , everything looks so rosey and easy from a distance, now that I'm here things are certainly not as I imagined and hoped

I can't seem to make up my mind one day it I'm staying the next is I'm going. Life is certainly not a bed of roses . I'm soo confused

 

Please share your thoughts and ideas and stories. I sure I'm not lone it this journey.

 

Thanks

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UPS,

All I can say, been there done that. I also had a comfortable life in SA, sold up and went to Canada for a year or so. Homesickness set in and before I knew it I was back in JHB with a suitcase and no job. That was 1999. It has taken me till now to get back the life I had. Should I have done it ? No? It was a dumb, stupid, emotional decision. When living overseas , a person ONLY gets to think of the good things in SA. I had visions of Table Mountain, Kruger Park etc , and I use to envy my friends soaking up the sunshine in Plett, while I was freezing in December . The list goes on. For the record I have been to Table Mountain and the Kruger park once in the last 10 years. What triggered the move back home was Johnny Clegg's Scatterlings of Africa that I heard at a friends house. I am now in the position you want to be in. But, I have won the 2015 DV lottery and can't wait to be out of here. I am prepared to start again in the US. Unless you have major financial resources, you will find it hard to be back to where you were in SA in a short period of time. Do your research properly, and get a balanced view before making a decision you might regret. I'm not saying SA is not an awesome country to live in but it has it's problems and they are getting bigger by the day. At least stick it out until you get citizenship in the US.

Edited by BenCee
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I'd advise anyone who has a yearning to resettle in South Africa to read a bit about the country's current economic situation.

 

There are:

 

High unemployment figures.

Constant labour strikes leading to a weakening of the rand.

Frequent power cuts and load shedding.

Lack of public services.

Deterioration of public roads.

High prices of food.

Shocking conditions in public hospitals.

 

And so on and so forth - and there is no sign of any improvement regarding these matters at all. It's only getting worse.

 

South Africans are also getting poorer by the month and are steadily sinking deeper into debt, an issue that is frequently addressed by newspaper articles. Opinions that South Africa is moving towards a recession are also on the increase, but this is (of course) denied by the government.

 

Julius Malema's EFF is another worrying factor, because it enjoys the support of the unemployed youth and its leader is saying the things that they want to hear. In fact, something like 45% of the people between the ages of 18 - 35 are unemployed and they like Malema's idea of nationalization; to take away from the rich and to hand it to the poor. They also support his idea to take land away from those pesky, stealing and conniving whites, just like Mugabe did in Zimbabwe, someone who Malema admires and Jacob Zuma is quite fond of the geriatric dictator as well.

 

And to think that Julius Malema is not a significant player in South African politics will be a big mistake. Everyone laughed at his "antics", but now he sits in parliament and is the leader of the third biggest opposition party in the country. And they are big enough to be a threat to the constitution. Malema has declared that he will gladly form a coalition with the ANC to create the majority needed to change South Africa's constitution.

 

And then there are the crime stats...

 

So, please feel free to visit the old country as often as you can, but think long and hard before you move back there. Things might improve in future, but for now I'd stay here where there are more opportunities.

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Hi Elias, Oscar and UPS. What I know is that, pschologically, a person reaches a state of climax after staying in a new environment to acclimatise. When you have reached that state, which can take you 3 to 6 years, depending on the individual, you reach a state wherein you feel confused. Hey, but this is not confusion, it is just that your mind is at the apex (top-of-tops) and had to cross-over or get you dejected and withdraw to original position. There are a number of things that influence you to reach this state; the language (accent and so on that may strain your hearing), type of people around, regular activities you engage in, mental exercises (issues you spend time thinking about), among other factors. If you can pass the 3 to 6 years transition phase, you are out of danger and you will simply find yourself acclimatised to your new environment. I am not suggesting assimilation, but you will find yourself relaxed and taking things easy. Trust me, many people go through that process, even those who move from one province to another within South Africa. Can ask you a few questions:

 

(a) Do you have more than 100 contact numbers in your cell phone?

( B) Do you have poor friends (or friends you regard as poor) within your circles?

© Have you been to SA less than twice in the last three years?

(d) Have you attended more than ten social events (birthday parties, anniversaries, networking events, etc) in the last three years?

(e) Do you know more than four people in your neigbourghood?

(f) Have you attended more than ten church/synagogue/temple services in the last three years?

(g) Have you exercised more than four times in the last month?

(i) Are you involve in more than three sporting activities?

(j) Do you work more than six days in any given Week?

 

 

If your answers are YES in six+ (more than six) of the above; then you should keep holding on. If your answers are NO to four+ (more than four) of the questions, start packing to move to another state or consider going back to SA.

Edited by shatale
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All I will say, not having left yet and kind of being scared of these same kinds of things, is that for almost 20 years neither my husband nor I really considered leaving SA. Crime etc yes but we still believed in it. We have reached the point now where to quote my husband "it's easier to rationalise going than staying". Those of you who followed my story will know that my husband just did not want to leave. Well it's now decided, we leave in December. We believe it would be wrong to have this option for our kids and not take it. Minimum 5 years to get citizenship but we are selling up everything and moving properly, the plan is for a new life. I am sure we will find it difficult. I am sure it will be more difficult than we expect. But I also look forward to a house with no electric fence and armed response, to being able to walk or cycle in nature without fear of being mugged, etc. The change in political leadership in SA has for us been a massive negative factor. Nowhere is perfect, but somewhere you have to find where you can make your best compromises personally. For us for a long time, that was still in SA and for some people, it still is. But for us, we think it is no longer there.

Edited by SJ27
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100% agree with Janneman, Shatale and SJ

Could not have said it better

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My journey has been no cakewalk either but I decided to hang in till I have citizenship before I make any major decisions. At least then, if I decide to leave the US, I can return if leaving the US turns out to have been the wrong move. For me it would make a huge difference to find employment and feel more like I am "part of the system" - I had an interview yesterday with a prospective employer, 2 recruiters called me today with job openings they have, so fingers crossed that something actually comes to fruition.

 

Since I am unattached I also think that (for me) meeting a partner would also make me feel more settled here. I dated a few American girls, even a Russian girl, but so far none of them really worked out..... I am beginning to think that maybe the solution lies in finding a South African specimen.... someone who understands my warped way of thinking. Any single girls out there????

Edited by Superkruz
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I can relate! I have been here 5 full years now (and it is nearly 6 since I 'landed') - I still feel unsettled, despite the citizenship. Like Superkruz, I feel being unattached does make integration and 'feeling at home' here much harder. I still feel sowewhat adrift, despite working steadily for the same company for 4.5 years. (It took 5 months to get the job - luckily turned out to be with a really good company. 15 months into the job, they moved me to San Francisco - totally voluntarily - I didn't have to go) - where I knew no-one and had to start again. I actually felt more at home in England after just 2 years there, than I do after 5 in the USA. Going back there is still on my mind sometimes - even now.

 

It isn't about being lonely - I have lovely colleagues, and have made some friends, rather it is about a feeling of really belonging. America is, despite the language, a different culture. Some aspects of life here are easy, others are hard.

 

I'm trying to figure out if this place is my forever future. I actually took a sabbatical from my company for 3 months (told you they were great), and am half way through that - a road trip around the west seeing if there is somewhere that resonates with me. It has made me appreciate the diversity and beauty of this country, but at the same time, isn't helping with grounding me, but I figured that would be the case going into this. I just wanted to see if there is a different America out there that works for me than the corporate city American that has been my experience thus far.

 

All this sounds very flaky, I know! :-)

 

The 'upside' of being unattached is the freedom to make choices such as this, without having to consider anyone elses school, job etc. Still, it has been a tough journey doing it all solo.

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Agree with you Malamute! you even get those feelings after living here for 10 years. I would think that living with a single income must be daunting as you can so easily fall into developing a lot of debt and struggle to pay off those bills especially the early years when you are only paying back the minimal balance due. You have to have a double income household to live comfortably.

There are lots of things to get used to. Too much control I just found out from someone that when walking in the sidewalk or in shopping malls you must stick to the right same as if you were driving in the traffic, and not walk on the left as you would be confusing the locals.

I'm just switching jobs after working for the same place for a decade, and looking forward to some new challenges and meeting new people.

 

But at least we feel safe going to sleep at night and my OCD of checking that doors are locked has diminished, sometimes forgetting to lock the front door during the day.

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I actually felt more at home in England after just 2 years there, than I do after 5 in the USA. Going back there is still on my mind sometimes - even now.

Isn't that strange? I felt the exact same way - after 2 years in Australia I felt completely at home and loved everything about being there.... virtually everyone was "mate", I wore Aussie-flag clothing on Australia day, knew the anthem.... hell, I even got a tear in my eye when singing it at rugby matches while wearing my Wallaby jumper with pride. In the USA, on the other hand, I feel zero sense of belonging after more than 2 years. It is almost as if my time here is an adventure that will end after 5 years. At this stage I cannot see myself staying here much after that and have a strong desire to return to the place where I felt that I belonged.

 

Yes Malamute this is seriously flaky sh*t!!

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I couldn't really - at this stage in my life - contemplate moving to the other side of the world alone, I must be honest. I don't envy you guys trying to settle in like that.

 

Malamute and Superkruz - I'm curious - if you were already living somewhere you felt comfortable and settled, and crime etc obviously not a problem, what was the motivation for moving to the US?

Edited by SJ27

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