The Psychology of moving abroad

This is “I Viaggiatori” a sculpture by the artist Bruno Catalano, symbolizing the void created by leaving one’s country, one’s family, one’s people for another life.
For some, this can be true. For others, the country/family they left behind may have caused such a void, that they need to go someplace else to fill it.

Have you ever thought of how does it feel to be an immigrant?

Since I am an immigrant myself, I find it natural to speak about this experience in opposition to others. If you are an immigrant, you probably already found out that there are layers of feelings that scatter our bodies in the process of adjusting or just being in the new country we’ve chosen for ourselves.

I find this issue little spoken about. I think it may have to do with the fact that many immigrants find themselves in a survival mode even from the beginning.

Survival mode means being able to buy food and pay rent. When people struggle with these issues, the experience in itself with many emotions and experiences can fade away.

When people are “hungry”, or they are “cold”, it is difficult for them to take time to think about how is it, really, to be an immigrant?

To make it feel ok, and to be able to enjoy the stay, we all have coping mechanisms. And those would be “trying new things” in the new country: food, drinks, festivals, concerts, hobby clubs, and for many, overworking. Because if people don’t have friends or family, or a group of people to hang out after work, they will do what feels familiar, and that would be to work. It is better to have something to do than not doing anything because one does not feel comfortable with doing things alone. 

If you are an immigrant, have you ever taken the time to think about how does it feel?

If you would like to emigrate, have you ever taken the time to think of what would you need so you could adjust better to the country you want to move to?

I speak about a few perspectives of this issue as a guest of Life in Norway Podcast, episode 56, which you can listen to here.

Happy listening!


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