Today, many people who are born and bred in developing nations often choose to leave their country and homeland at some point in their lives and move to the Western world. To escape on-going violence in the homeland. To find a job or get an education. Or to seek greener pastures and find a pot of goal at the end of the rainbow in a modernised city.
But is life really more cushy in the new land than back home for these newly arrived migrants / third culture kids / international students / refugees who with limited resources on their backs? Even in the long run?
Migrants in Western countries are able to live with modern, solid roofs over their heads.
Migrants are able to earn a place and study at esteemed education institutions.
At times they struggle to comprehend the English language and fall behind in their studies.
Some migrants work hard and manage to attain a diploma or a degree. Even two.
They attack the workforce after settling in in the Western land and land a job just like that – as a waiter in a restaurant waiting tables or a taxi driver driving people around in circles. A job that has no correlation with their professional qualifications.
And sometimes they work multiple jobs of this kind to make financial ends meet.
Migrants are dedicated to these jobs anyway as these job pay much more, maybe two or three times more, than the same job back in their homeland.
But they are always asked to work overtime below the minimum wage and basically perform “slave labour”.
Some migrants tough this out and do manage to suss out a stable job with a proper paycheck in the Western workforce, a workforce where employers considerably favour employing Anglo-Saxon locals.
And it is not surprising for migrants to face racially motivated office politics or a ruthless boss with xenophobic attitude which in no way makes a pleasant work environment.
Out of the office, there is plenty for migrants to see and do for leisure – geographically checking out their new surroundings if they like exploring new places or participating in community groups or classes such as yoga or swing dancing. Perhaps together with new found local friends.
Sometimes their happy times are dashed when migrants unfortunately, unexpectedly, fall on the receiving end of racial insults or treatment.
And sooner or later migrants realise just how out of place, different, they actually are. Different in terms of speech, skin colour, religion and beliefs compared to most of the Caucasian people around them who at times do not welcome this difference.
One misses the authentic lip smacking food that can only be found back home.
And family. And the culture and homeliness of home.
The possibility of going back to the homeland always lurks.
So there comes a point when some migrants struggle to choose between staying or going back, weighing up the pros and cons of each decision.
Going back would mean going back to a place where traffic is absolutely horrendous, bumper-to-bumper where road rules and public transport are pretty much non-existent.
Going back would mean saying hello to precariously riding motorbikes to get around once again for some.
Going back would mean being paranoid about one’s safety in the high crime-rate homeland, being paranoid about carrying a bag outside or waving one’s iPhone around too much.
Going back would mean easily getting a stable job – but one would really be earning just enough to get by.
Going back would mean strictly adhering to traditions and being silenced from expressing most personal alternative views one might have, and for some walking into arranged marriages.
Are the sacrifices and compromises made while living in Western society really worth it for migrants?
For those who yearn for an economically and socially stable future, the answer would most likely be a definitive yes.