Relocation: N to Z… If we are being Alphabetical
Let’s get the drama out the way.
Any move, change, growth in any shape or form can be scary, exciting even. Mainly because it is new, unfamiliar and our human reactions, throughout history have shown that we all react differently to these changes. Change can be necessary for some and unimaginable for others; just depends where you are in your life.
So I took the time to ask, what about a small move? A move made from a point of strength. What’s it like to live away from your home country and then move back for a career in a profession you love and no other reason.
Here are the responses I got from a young professional who moved from Windhoek, Namibia to Kitwe, Zambia; to be a practicing Lawyer. I asked the questions that help you relate as to why anyone would move from N to Z. The responses resonated with me in so many ways and regardless of your journey I hope they resonate with you.
Q: Why immigrate? From your own experience
A: One can immigrate if they have been out of their country of origin for a long time and want to (re-)establish themselves. Conversely if they want to see more of the world 😊.
Q: When is it a good idea to move to a country and a bad idea?
A: It’s a good move for work, school, to see more of the world, or you need a major change which ever one of these 3 reasons facilitate your needs. It would be bad to move if you have no idea what you are going for and are just deciding to go. Being a foreigner in a strange land can be very difficult, as not every country’s immigration policies or citizens are accommodating to foreigners. I would add that if there is civil and political unrest it is a bad idea, unless you have a special assignment related to the turmoil going on.
Q: What was it like immigrating for a profession? The paperwork, the grind and the challenges you found along the way?
A: I was immigrating back to my home country for school, so there was not much paperwork to do. The major challenges were in adjusting to a less developed African country after enjoying a lot of conveniences in a more developed African country. When I say conveniences I mean like constant wifi and power, easier transportation systems, better infrastructure.
Q: With relocating, what was extremely fun for you?
A: I think the most fun part was getting to start afresh, discovering new places, making new friends and realising I was becoming an adult.
Q: So, what are the perks of the place you moved to; the culture, professionally, social aspects?
A: The major perks were that the city I relocated to (Kitwe) was just about the same in size; slightly bigger. It also had a similar pace of life as the city I left (Windhoek). This I really treasured as I am not a fan of big cities.
Q: Having known you were going to move, any preparations you did before?
A: I scouted out a law firm in advance, ensured all my documents were in place, arranged for accommodation and of course said bye to my friends (that was the hard part) 😩.
Q: What was your border experience like?
A: The border experience was pretty smooth. I had my passport stamped, filled out the relevant forms, no questions and voila, I had crossed over.
Q: When did the place you moved to start to feel like home for you?
A: Kitwe felt like home when I started personalising my room, and the friends I made there were so genuine that I couldn’t help but feel accepted, loved and at home. (Shout out to Janet and Esnart).
Q: Given we are not islands, what was the response of your family, friends, to your move?
A: Aww my friends and family were so sad but accepted that it was part of my growth. My nephew would always ask me when I was coming home. I would be emotional after speaking to them on the phone. We made sure to keep in touch as much as possible.
Q: What were the factors you wish you considered when you moved about? Anything that took you aback or by surprise?
A: I wish I considered how real culture shock can be; even though I was relocating to my home country. Having been away for so long, made me out of touch with some of the everyday things e.g getting on a minibus. I got so many scratches on my feet and legs from climbing into and alighting from the minibus. Not to mention the discomfort of being packed like sardines 😹😹😹. I had to learn to be careful, in Namibia majority of the intracity public transport is by sedan taxis. That part, I didn’t need to take much care or consideration towards before.
Young Professional Advocate of the High Courtfor Zambia: Beenzu Mapani
Location: Kitwe, Zambia.
Final Remarks on Relocating:
Relocating is a great thing, and a chance for a new beginnings as long as you are well informed and prepared.
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