Ok, my previous post, the first one about this important topic (please read it before reading this one), talked about the expectations we have about Australia (or other country we want to “live” in) and about migration.
The last issue I addressed was about how we think we’re going to adapt sooooo quick to the new culture and to our new country, and I pointed out that it actually depended on us and some factors linked to our own attitudes, and that’s the main focus of this post.
Why? Because once we arrive in Australia, we get hit by reality and there are lots of things that we didn’t know or just didn’t want to know, or that just didn’t even crossed our minds… and how we react to those is key to a really successful or painful migration process.
Variables relating to adaptation (and how they relate to your attitude):
(1) personal strength: well, not everyone can take migration and what it involves. So, keep a close look on how you really are. If something happens that affects you emotionally, how quickly do you come out of the sadness / pain? What personal resources do you have to manage stress? How long does it take you to feel good after a “down”? Do you usually rely on other people to solve your problems? Do you usually need family support to get over things? Well… if you answer yes to the last couple of questions and it takes you a while to feel better after bad things happen, and if you don’t cope well with stress, so in synthesis, if you are not built up with a lot of personal stress, the migration process is not going to be that easy.
(2) self-esteem: if you have low self-esteem, or at some point of your life you had issues with this, be careful. Being rejected in the professional area, finding yourself alone, being stressed about having to support yourself and your family and finding yourself struggling with this, are matter that is going to affect your self esteem… FOR SURE. So, you have to be really confident in yourself (not cocky) and believe in yourself so much that no matter what comes in the way, you can stay still.
(3) self economic situation: this is very simple… if you don’t have enough money to support yourself (and your family if it applies), just don’t come here… and if you come, you HAVE TO be aware and be really comfortable to actually do whatever is necessary to survive, without any regrets and without letting it affect your self-esteem.
(4) family and friends’ support: this is very important, but not vital. Talk to your family and try to make them understand (if you don’t have their support) how important this is for you and if still the don’t support you, well, take a positive attitude and just remind yourself how vital this process is for you. Besides that not only generate a social network, work hard to maintain it, you have to nurture it and really have the willing to have new friends and a new family.
(5) openness to new situations and people: if you are arriving to a new country, to a new culture, OF COURSE you have to be open to new experiences!!! If you have an attitude that you’re going to keep your own culture no matter what, well, you are not going to do well… and I don’t mean you have to leave your culture behind (e.g.: I still dance salsa and eat arepas), however, you should want to meet other people, you should want to get to know and understand how things are done here, you have to adapt (and it goes till basic things as the pronunciation of “TOMATO” [tə-ˈmā-(ˌ)tō] – and not as in US English “tomeiro” [təˈmeɪ.t ̬oʊ])
(6) a flexible plan and goals for your new life: when you migrate COME WITH A PLAN and GOALS… but it needs to be flexible, because since you’re starting your life from scratch, you can’t be sure what it going to happen. You could relocate, you could get a job later or sooner than you wanted, you can begin having couple’s problems (yes it happens… and A LOT)… so… be flexible.
(7) knowledge about the country/city you’re migrating to: ok, not all places are the same, not all cultures are similar… soooooo, getting to know about where you’re getting into, is always a good idea because you are vulnerable to have a “Cultural Shock”. You may feel disoriented not only regarding the physical aspect of the place, but regarding the locals and most important of all, within yourself. Reading and talking to people won’t guarantee this won’t happen to you, however it’ll help in your understanding on what to expect from the new place, and how to react and behave in it.
(8) visa type: although it’s not a vital issue, the visa type you have when migrating to Australia makes a huge difference. E.g., if you have a 175 (now 189) which allows you to live wherever you want to for how long you decide, it’s a lot easier because you don’t have the constraint of deciding what you want for your life. Now, if you have a regional visa (whether permanent or temporary) it starts to get a bit constraining because you have to stay at the sponsoring city (or town) for 2 years, so if you don’t like… well, you’ll still get to be stuck in it. How to fight this feeling? Simple, research about the place (relates to the prior point), start loving it before even arriving, look for and focus only on the positive aspects on the place… and if there’s an ideal city in Australia you’d like to live, that is not the one that sponsored you, well, DON’T GO THERE, not even for a couple of days before going to you final destination… it’ll do no good. And nowwwwwwww if you came as a student, be aware that you’re gonna live in constant stress and distress, because of the uncertainty about your future.
(9) detachment to your origin place + attachment to your new city: ok, I think this puts altogether the prior points… and adds a little bit more… in order to make the aforementioned process a bit easier (liking the place you’re going to move into), you have to detach from your home town / country… and I don’t mean forgetting about it, talk trash about it, deny that part of what you are is because of that place… I mean that you have to say goodbye, embrace the reasons why you’re leaving, and most of all, be open to call a new place “home”.
(10) living in the right place for you (considering your way of living): first of all, if you’re planning to migrate, within your possibilities, chose a place that suits you... first of all the country: I always tell this example about myself… I wanted to live in a place with a better quality of life, where I didn’t need a car, where I could ride a bicycle as a transportation mean, close to the ocean, with a non-extreme weather, with employment opportunities in my area, and with a culture not so far from mine in regards as extroversion and friendliness, in addition to aspects such as respect for authorities and rules, openness to different cultural backgrounds, etc…. Soooooo…. the best country for me was (IS) Australia… then, when choosing cities, it’s just the same… look thoroughly at your lifestyle and at what you really want for yourself, and then find a cityy that matches that ideal.
(11) detachment / attachment to your family/friends/activities/things: as with places, you also have to go through a process of detachment from your family and friends… it doesn’t mean that you don’t love them, and that you wont miss them from time to time, but it’s realising that you have your own life, and that you have to follow what’s best for you and the ones migrating with you (if you’re not moving by yourselves as I did). At the same time you have to be open to relate to new people, things and friends, that may become your new family… and that in the end is going to be part of your new life.
To conclude, as important as having grounded expectation, is having a positive attitude regarding your future and all the things that may come along, but the ones that at first sight seem perfect, as the ones that ar first sight seem too difficult and horrible… we have to be aware, and keep in mind that every that happens is not only because you chose that, but also, because in the end it’s going to be the best thing for you.