When I lived in United States for one year, soon I understood that I couldn’t be an immigrant. I was able to stay another year living there, ILEX program would give me another year visa but I denied. But why? So many people struggle for a USA visa and I was simply saying no? It was an awesome experience, but was it, I didn’t feel like moving there.
Even though I consider myself a World Citizen and I have an hard time answering the question “Where are you from?” with a single country (I usually reply “World” or “I born in Portugal”) I just can’t move to another country to live there several years. I understand that tons of people leave their countries hoping for better life conditions but only they know how hard it is to be far away from family (sometimes even wife/husband and kids) and close friends. You can build your new friends network but it’s a long process with ups and downs. Only 9 months after being in the States I finally started going for dinner and shopping with my closest american friends, also my coworkers. You probably will feel lonely in the first year or so but you have a purpose and you gotta fight for it.
For me, money is not happiness, it can help to make your wishes come true but I can live with few that I will be happy. So migrating to another country just to save money, as much as possible, having a life of slave of work-home-work-home-work is definitly not for me. I rather be close to my parents, relatives and friends and being poor then reach the 60 years old age, look back and find out I didn’t enjoy life because I was too busy working my butt off.
In the other hand, I just can’t find a better place to live than Portugal. I have been in almost 50 countries and so far I didn’t find another country that gives me so much and don’t ask anything in return. Ok I gotta admit the economy situation is not good, but anyways, is it good anywhere in the World right now? You can make your own economy living as frugal and sustainable as possible. But this deep blue sky, Summer half of the year and the other half a Winter with no negative temperatures, isn’t awesome? Just not to talk about the soil, pretty fertile, we get so good quality fruits and vegetables, there’s no such thing as organic food, it’s all bio! (well, there might be farms using pesticides and stuff but they aren’t many… I hope).
Portugal is rich in culture: we have diverse and delicious traditional dishes, our own folklore dancing, Fado music, many festivities all year long in the country and each town, great artists, etc.
Portugal doesn’t have any issues with other countries. Actually do you know where is Portugal? I get questions often about Portugal being a state of Spain or which continent is situated. What about the people? Portuguese are known as friendly, nice with tourists, try to speak all languages. Also, it’s a safe country! It’s hard to beat Portugal!!
Alright is time to stop braging how amazing is Portugal and how much I love it. This is not a post from someone who is nationalist and patriotic, this is someone who is well traveled and appreciate much the country she born and grew up. All countries have their own pros and it’s normal we feel closer to the country we have roots.
This being said, I want to say you immigrants out there, you are my HEROS, you managed to have the life of your dreams with much sweat and hope, you never gave up! You left all your beloved ones to give them a better life, you cried many times missing your food, your home, the ocean, your people but you made it. You are amazing!