Before you emigrate, it is really, really, really (10x) very important to know why you want to make that major move.
I know because when I signed up with a migration agent all those years ago, I have absolutely no blinking idea why. I had vague notions of “I dislike Malaysian politics” and “Wouldn’t it be nice to experience the four seasons?” As a result, my journey out of Malaysia has been a great source of stress and worry for me over the last few years.
I like what SP (a lady I met on the Malaysians in Adelaide Facebook group) told me when I met her in Adelaide last year. Ask yourself: “Can you do what you want to do elsewhere? Why only in Australia?”
Sit down and think very, very hard because your answer could determine your life’s path. It will also be your source of strength as you face difficulties in Australia or whatever country you’ve chosen to go to.
For me, what I really wanted was a career break and a chance to travel the world. However, I didn’t know how to do it, so I thought emigration was the only way. I have since found out that there are many options out there (which I will explore in a future post). Also, I had a very vague idea what I wanted – back then, I was too afraid of taking a career break and was in denial so deep that I didn’t even realise all I wanted was a break from the grind. It took many years of thinking about my decision and listening to wise counsellors to realise what I really wanted, to formulate a plan to achieve it, access the risk and then through much faith and prayer, jump off the proverbial cliff.
Here is what I want:
I’m tired of the rat race. I’m tired of climbing the corporate ladder, trying to find meaning in my paycheck and title, and filling the void in my heart by buying endless amount of crap. I’m tired of suffering now so that I could live the life I want someday.
I want to life the life I want now because life is so short and life can swipe you sideways when you don’t realise it.
I want to travel and experience new cultures. I want to meet people. I want to carve a life that is centred around my passion to write. I want to create new worlds, and bless people. I want to live a life that is kind to the Earth. I want to live a more physically active life. I don’t want to sit all day in the office. I want to walk and work the Earth. I want to be physically present to people who are suffering and in need of help.
The truth is, I don’t have to emigrate to achieve all this. But since I did things backwards, and I now have this precious temporary residence visa, I would have to try fit my dreams into the visa. Now, I would not advice you to ever do things the way I did because it causes unnecessary headaches.
However, fortunately, I have discovered a way to achieve the dreams I have, and now my heart is light and bouncy because I will now fulfill my heart’s desire. (Topic of next post!)
So, here’s what you should do:
1. Sit down with your significant other (or yourself) and ask yourself this question: What doI really want? Give yourself a few days to think it through. Write your mission statement (like the one I wrote above). This will be your guiding light.
2. Next: To achieve what I want, can I do this in Malaysia? If no, why not? Write it down.
3. So, you have decided that Malaysia isn’t the place to achieve your goals. Now, choose a few countries that you think will help you achieve your objective.
4. Research the countries thoroughly. What is the job situation like? What are the risks? Is there any way to make things less risky?
5. Then, ask yourself. Really, really ask yourself: Are you and your family able to tolerate the risk? Is there a way to make the stress of the move and adapting to a new culture less strenuous? For example, to avoid landing in the new country without knowing anyone, why not join groups online to get to know more people? Or, when you’re in the new country, aim to volunteer so that you’ll get to know more locals.
For me, research was the backbone of my decision-making process. I talked to a lot of people – migrants, wise counsellors, people who have done what I wanted to do (take a career break) and read blogs. Through this I discovered options. Because I have options, I could make decisions with a clearer head.
So, guys, be wise with your decision to emigrate. Sometimes your desire for a new country is an expression of a deep desire inside of you that you just need to dig deeper to discover.
Photo by Roxaria.