This is a guest post from my friend Mary Rhodes of Fine Tune Finances, a Zimbabwean born but now British resident who is embarking on a mission to become as thrifty as possible. Go check out her site – she has had some amazing experiences!
Immigration is a hotly debate challenged in most western societies. But I’d like you who might have other concepts of immigration to have a think about the true value to those making the big plunge into another country:
Personally for my family and me this was extremely stressful. We left our home as the Government forcibly took our farm off us, which made our personal security untenable and therefore forced us to seek refuge in another country. We chose the United Kingdom because of their humanitarian record; however, when we arrived we spent countless hours in a room for a decision from the immigration department if we’d be granted asylum.
OK, in most cases this is unlikely to happen for new immigrants; however there is a significant emotional value in moving. Especially when it comes to having forms rubber stamped and seeking approval from your new country.
Exchange rate from old to new country
Again, our situation was a massive extreme. The value of the Zimbabwean Dollar dropped significantly, in fact the Zimbabwean Dollar suffered the worst economics hyperinflation in the history of Economics. For us this meant that our possessions (or lack of at the time) were virtually worthless. Understandably, most new immigrants won’t have to endure a sharply devalued currency when they move, but it’s definitely worth considering if you are moving from one country to the next. One country to consider is what is the true value of the currency I’ve got compared to the currency I’ll earn in the new country.
Loss of Contact with family
It goes without saying if you move to another country you are also leaving loved ones. It is always best to ensure that you keep all your best memories and keep in contact as frequent as possible. The invention of Skype and other video functions has made migrating at least bearable.
Assimilating into a new society
This has to be one of the biggest factors to consider when migrating. Will you fit into the new society and are the locals accommodating to those less fortunate enough to not come from their country originally? My personal experience of assimilating was tough initially, but at the end you start to learn new ways of thinking you couldn’t have imagined if you never left home.
I miss my country very much but I have made a comfortable life here in the UK to be successful. I also hope one day it will be safe enough for me to visit my farm again in Zimbabwe, but at the end of the day we’ll just have to wait and see. Personally the true cost of immigrating is essentially the emotional status you’ll achieve by making a move, even if it’s an Asylum bid or a work visa status.