Thousands of Nepalese leave the nation everyday in search of a better future for themselves and their families. Higher rate of unemployment and unfavorable conditions for setting a business are the key reasons one is compelled to leave home to go to a foreign land. Some people think that all their troubles will end once they just set their feet overseas and their struggles will be over. But the fact is completely different and you only learn it once you take the big leap. The struggles actually start when you find yourself in a completely new place among strangers talking a different language.
We asked our readers about their experiences of living abroad. We asked them about the best things (apart from earning more) and the hardest things (apart from missing home and loved ones) they have experienced so far. Let’s read what they have to say, listed in alphabetical order.
1. Alish Rumba Tamang
Current Location: Dubai, UAE
Best Things: It’s been 2 years since I came to Dubai. I was just 23, immature and extravagant before I came here. My lifestyle has completely changed after coming here. I wake up early, go to work and I have definitely learned the value of money and how to spend it wisely. I feel like a complete new matured man now.
Worst Things: This is my first working experience as I didn’t use to work in Nepal as well and I sometimes find myself in very difficult situations. The inflexible working hours can be extremely depressing sometimes as I have to work 12 hours some days and the other days I have to work 16 hours as well. Secondly, the most difficult part is when I fall ill. There is no one to take care even though I have other Nepali friends but they need to go to work.
2. Anish Jung Chhetri
Current Location: Melbourne, Australia
Best Things: The best thing about living here is that I have learned to follow rules and regulations. Secondly, I love the power of individuality, like how being independent makes you grow up psychologically and makes you more confident to deal with the real world.
Worst Things: The worst thing is how we sometimes get over-charged for some stuff, mostly on education fee. And also, even though they say there isn’t racism in Australia, but there is. It may not be coming out directly but you could see it on a daily basis.
3. Jenisha Pandey
Current Location: Sydney, Australia
Best Things: For me, there are many perks of living abroad; I get to blossom independently, I have become stronger and way more self-reliant and more independent as an individual. I have become more punctual and know the value of even the little things we have in life. I get to meet so many different people from around the world and learn about their culture and language. Having a lot of friends from different nations and cultures make you a well rounded person with a unique world view. And the beaches, I just love them.
Worst Things: Apart from various good things, there are a lot of struggles as well. There’s a 5 hour time difference between here and Nepal and that kills me sometimes. I hate missing important events and celebrations back home. They say time is money here and these people actually act that way. Everyone here is running for something, to work, for food, to catch a train, basically for everything, which depresses me sometimes. And then, some rules are very strict here. Not to forget, the weather here literally frustrates me sometimes.
4. Pratishna Thapa
Current Location: Minnesota, USA
The best thing about living here is definitely the new experiences I’m getting everyday and the independent life I’m living. Now talking about the struggles, it’s realizing why people call it “The Land of Struggle”. By now I’ve learned that, It’s completely different than what you expect, if you work hard you win! If you don’t make an effort, pack your bags along with your dreams and return back.
5. Sagar Kafle
Current Location: S. Korea
Best Things: Living abroad has its own pros and cons depending upon the individual’s diversity and mostly the reason behind residing. Firstly, I learned to live in a new environment away from home. I was able to learn a new culture and also teach about my culture to the people of different nationalities. Also, I could fulfill my quest for knowledge and hitched my wagon towards fulfilling my dreams. Moreover, this opportunity taught me to be a complete man in myself. In about 2 year period, I have tasted more food menu and made more friends of diverse geography than in my 24 years of life. I have learned to deal with completely new people and to live alone. Last but not the least; I have learned to fit myself in a very small space (a single room).
Worst things: Regardless of several good things, I have experienced some of the worst things during my stay abroad. Most importantly, besides missing my friends and family, I miss the aromatic fragrance of my homeland. Because of the difference in values, norms and culture, I experience a gap in understanding the feelings of the people and encountered several misunderstandings. Learning a foreign language is not an easy job; communication barrier sometimes really make it hard, it makes me an alien sometimes – a mute person. Then there are some hard times when you really need to be there for your people but you can’t. Like recently, when my people were in grief and catastrophic situations because of earthquake, my helping hands were tied and I wasn’t able to help directly. Lastly, the time difference really upsets me sometimes.
6. Sapna Karki
Current Location: Tokyo, Japan
Best Things: The good thing about living here is definitely the working experience I am getting. The fast paced life and learning how to get in tune into it is something I enjoy.
Worst Things: As they say, the struggle is real. Struggle with the new language, struggle with finding a job, struggle with paying the fees and bills; struggles and some more struggles always follow.
7. Shib Shahi Thakuri
Current Location: Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Best Things: The best things about living here definitely includes no load-shedding, no fuel-crisis, no political instability, strict law and order encourages to less crime, and good medication facilities.
Worst Things: Along with various good things, there are many things that I don’t like about living here, such as, no alcohol, religion conservative thoughts, no cinema halls/source of entertainment, language problems, no freedom of speech, dominating behavior or nature towards other nation, caste and creed. Also, there is always a fear of such strict rules and regulations in every foreigner’s mind as they might be breaking a law unintentionally. And the feeling of loneliness makes as if we are living in an open jail and last but not the least, there’s no interaction with ladies.
8. Sunny Singh
Current Location: Lagos, Nigeria
Best Things: The best things about living here would be meeting new and unique people with some amazing stories and the opportunity to learn a new language. We can experience personal growth in us and it broadens our knowledge of the world and the different cultures. Professionally, it improves your communication skills and the work experience makes your resume more valuable.
Worst Things: About worst things, it would be the feeling of loneliness for sure. Learning a new language in a short span can be very frustrating. Also learning about the new laws and norms can be a tough job. And the worst of worst things is not being able to enjoy the traditional holidays as in back home.
9. Toofan Chhetri
Current Location: Saitama, Japan
Best Things: The life experience I am getting here, learning the real meaning of growing up and having responsibilities.
Worst Things: Right when I boarded the flight to here, I thought that the journey of my dream has started. Everything about here looked so extra-ordinary and amazing but it was only after some time that I started realizing about the actual struggles of living away from home. The 90 sq. ft. room, the early morning alarm and a cup of noodle to kick-start a day full of struggles. Didn’t use to like the taste of ‘Dal-Bhat’ back home, and I have started liking the taste of boiled noodles here. Didn’t use to wash my own plate after eating and now I have started enjoying washing several others’ as well. They said that the life abroad is not as fancy as you think, I now realize why.
10. Yangmali Rai
Current Location: Missouri, USA
Best Things: I would say, living in US gave me lots of opportunities for career advancement. It also made me realize how much love I have for Nepal and Nepalese people.
Worst Things: Well, I would say the wrong impression that people have about the USA. I usually come in contact with people who think that as soon as you land in USA, your career is set. But reality is different. This is a country that has opportunities but sometimes, even with the right skills and qualifications, the American dream is far away from reality. So sometimes it is hard to make people understand how the perception and reality of “This Land of Opportunity” are so different.
If you ever decide to make the move, just remember this thing: There is not going to be a Genie waiting for you to fulfill all your wishes. There are going to be a lot of struggles, a lot. Do let us know your experience of living abroad in the comment section below.
(On cover: Pratishna Thapa/Photo: Kerwin Rajkarnikar)
Read More: 9 Kinds of Nepalese You’ll Find Abroad