Living abroad indeed offers incredible experiences, but it's crucial to recognise the challenges that can arise.
When complexities emerge, they can be overwhelming. Picture a scenario where you lose your job and have no savings, having already invested in a room, for instance, while paying a deposit and rent. Adjusting to sharing a flat and feeling restricted in a room - probably a tiny one, if you are in London - further adds to the difficulty. What is more, when you can't easily communicate due to language barriers, it can make you feel even more isolated.
The story of the accountant I encountered while interpreting for healthcare at a hospital in the South of London, revealed a series of unfortunate events following her move to the UK. Her life took a distressing turn with a terminal illness diagnosis, job loss, and homelessness, culminating in profound depression. After her consultation, we sat for a while, and she began reminiscing about her former life when her body was responsive and mobile. She cherished her job, cherished time with friends, and maintained routines like swimming twice a week. It was crystal clear how much everything had shifted after the move.
Her story got me thinking: How can we change these tough situations? Who should be giving her support? Have we, as human beings, missed the point of empathy and putting ourselves in someone else's shoes? Maybe everyone should live as a foreigner somewhere to get what it's like. It made me reflect on my own life and luck, as usual. But, what can we actually do to help people feeling isolated?
I've decided to ask myself this every day and try my best to help out. Being there, understanding, and lending a hand to folks dealing with challenges in a new place feels super important. I'm committed to pushing for inclusivity and support networks that welcome people in unfamiliar territories.
Living in a new country is already a challenge, and feeling alone should never be part of the deal. It takes real guts to make that choice and keep pushing through. I really admire my friends—they face tough times but still choose to keep going, showing so much grit and determination. Take a page out of their book, lean on them, pick up lessons from their experiences, and make sure to check in on how they're doing.
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