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    Leaving homeland…

    I see a lot of expats in our little GS community MA.
    i would like to throw in a question, was leaving home worth it? Was the price too much?
    What did you learn in this whole journey!
    I’ll go first. I left my country, achieved a decent and a comfortable lifestyle that I thought I would never be able to achieve Alhamdullillah.
    Along the lines, I feel like there is a part of me that may never leave Pakistan, my beloved country.
    Feels as if I am in the middle suspended in air neither here nor there. I think of life as a journey now with no idea of “home” now.


    The key to success is Sanu Ki

    #2
    I've noticed that not everyone who leaves Pakistan, feels the same way.

    My parents, for example, have no intentions of going back, even after spending 50+ years in the middle east. Even though my dad is completely engrossed in homeland politics, he just can't see himself going back. Also, my mom, is of the opinion that its not safe, nor healthy living in Pakistan.

    Me, on the other hand, having been born and brought up here, would move back to Pakistan in a heartbeat, but only if certain conditions are met.
    "Some people believe that necessity is the mother of Invention, but they're wrong, its War" - James May

    Comment


    • LP
      LP commented
      Editing a comment
      Same here... My family as well as extended family has no intentions of moving back to our homeland.
      I'm surprised you'd move back even though you were born and brought up in the middle east. I wish I never have to leave the middle east.

    • a7mado
      a7mado commented
      Editing a comment
      LP

      I've been going back and forth to Pakistan for the longest time. And every time I visit, I feel at home, despite everything, despite all the shortcomings, aik alag kism ka sakoon milta hai wahan par.

      Also, you should visit Islamabad during the winter to spring and then spring to summer transition period. Its quite possibly one the most beautiful capital cities I've ever seen, and I've been all over the world.

      As far as living in the middle east is concerned, I'm fine with it. But the summertime temperatures and constant sandstorms really do get on my nerves. I enjoy winters here, cos the weather is pleasant, very Barcelona like. But yeah, winters only last maybe 4 months of the year and its back to the same old sand in your mouth, burning steering wheels and sticky car seats.

    • LP
      LP commented
      Editing a comment
      Maybe I haven't visited Pakistan enough to feel that connection.

    #3
    For me it was worth it. I had a comfortable life in Pakistan but there was just too much competition for my abilities there. I realized very early on that good jobs in my field were meant only for the top 10% of students and I was clearly not going to make the cut. I wish more students could find good jobs in their fields within Pakistan so they don’t have to go through the troubles that I went through. I also had some big family problems so I needed an escape. I spent my entire 20s in modern day slavery also known as work visa program. I had some good bosses who didn’t exploit my situation. But when I had bad bosses, it was terrible. I had to take the kind of humiliation that I would’ve never taken in Pakistan. Unglamorous details that people don’t tell, but they made me understand the value of Pakistan.

    I often think of going back permanently and even applied for many jobs there a few years ago but got no response. Talking to old friends there seems like being interrogated by the BBC so I’ve stopped talking to them. Lawlessness is so bad that even the graves of my parents have been stolen. I had a colleague from the Philippines, she went back to her hometown near Manila after her retirement to live there permanently in her home that she had maintained all her life from abroad but returned back within a year due to similar challenges she faced there. Perhaps it’s not the fault of those places where we once were, it’s that we become “institutionalized” after living under so many restrictions for so long. [Reference from the movie Shawshank Redemption].

    Comment


      #4
      I've only visited Pakistan a couple of times but never lived in Pakistan so the idea of ever having to move to Pakistan gives me the shivers.
      Be someone that makes YOU happy

      Comment


        #5
        Originally posted by Santiago TheShepherd View Post
        I see a lot of expats in our little GS community MA.
        i would like to throw in a question, was leaving home worth it? Was the price too much?
        What did you learn in this whole journey!
        I’ll go first. I left my country, achieved a decent and a comfortable lifestyle that I thought I would never be able to achieve Alhamdullillah.
        Along the lines, I feel like there is a part of me that may never leave Pakistan, my beloved country.
        Feels as if I am in the middle suspended in air neither here nor there. I think of life as a journey now with no idea of “home” now.

        Always a great topic and WOW what a loaded set of questions.

        I left home to join my family who had already left Pak and settled here. Leaving home country in a sensible age is always a bittersweet feeling. On one side joined the parents/siblings on the other left out the other chunk of family and ofcourse a lot of friends. More importantly a super strong connection with the culture, traces of which we keep trying to find here as well despite decades have gone by now.

        Now talk about the price and whether its worth. I personally didnt struggle much here, never did odd jobs etc. But my family had a giant share of struggle. It aint any exaggeration if I say they were living like kings in Pakistan but when moved to a new country and having not much resources it was very tough for them. Specially my younger siblings faced tough time so much so that right now they dont even want to remember that or talk about it at all. Thats the price they paid.

        Now about my price, I paid in more emotional ways. My father passed away here and for some reason I was abroad and the embassy didnt let me in. That left my rest of the family here in a deep shock and I wasnt there to console or support them. Extremely painful for all of us, so much so that it still hurts.

        But as time passed we all grew up, educated ourselves and got settled with good jobs and social contacts enough to have a better quality life, shukr Alhamdulillah. Nothing to our credit, its all ALLAH's blessings. So to answer your first question, leaving home was worth it but only if things could happen as we hoped.
        Attitude is more important than facts.
        "Life is 10% what happens to us..and 90% of how we react to it"

        Comment


          #6
          People who stay attached to tribal, hierarchical culture and subscribe to non linear thinking and are disagreeable and combative have an insanely misreable life here, their wives often call police on them, their adult children swear and cuss at them, they go and drink and hang with girls without their parents knowing. My BIL who my wife portrayed as a saint and he in turn would gloat about how Parsaa his kids are, yupp!! my nephews went out drinking with me, they told me they dont really believe in religion but they like the warmth of culture so they are cultural Muslims, their father does not know his kids are non believers, all their friends are the same way. The older married a hindu Guyanese girl, she is a very angry misreable, negative lady, gives FIL ****, she is extremely homely, ZEE is a multi millionaire and she threatens with divorce and taking away kids. Younger Farhan married a Pakistani divorcee and she is a playa chaloo kindda girl, came to destination wedding with 20 plus male friends, was jumping 6 feet in air on dance floor with her male companions, one guy was constantly sitting in her feet with teary eyes. Safy educates me and he says those guys are orbitors and girls use then to enhance their value by posing, look how desirable I am.

          I just adopted western culture and my boys made early mistakes and Safy at 22 now educates me, he can sense fake, insincere girls from a mile. I gave them all sorts of freedoms and guided them along AND MA they are doing fine. I am not going to tell them what to do, I have matured them enough to make all their decisions, they can ask for my input.

          A lot of issues come from female rejections and majority of my focus has been for them to be desirable, to be fit, funny, have interesting personalities and ability to keep girls happy and excited. Look at Bill Gates, girls will reject the richest guy and go with one who has a personality.

          I have seen most young Pakistanis get divorced so it is important to have proper expectaions and matching personalities and goals.

          Yes it was worth it, I have fun every day and allowed to live my life my way. I have forbade my kids to visit back home because of pollution, disease, dog and donkey meat, unhygienic conditions and corruption and deceit. I am still in touch with my best friends who are insanely influential and have an army of servants but I like to work, go hiking, workout and wouldn't indulge in a lazy life.

          Comment


            #7
            I left homeland amd stayed in US for close to 2 decades. I returned back to Pakostan and have not looked back.

            Its not as bad as some of you might think. It is difficult to adjust in the beginning but at the end of the day ylu adapt amd family is all that matters.

            This was destined for me and I have no regrets.
            We are all in the same game, just different levels•
            Dealing with the same hell, just different devils•

            Comment


              #8
              Honestly at this point I feel like Kawa chala hans ki chaal, apni chaal bhi bhul gya. I do see where I live now as home but I don't see myself fully belonging anywhere. Neither in Pakistan nor abroad.
              Anything worth doing is worth doing well.

              Comment


              • SID_NY
                SID_NY commented
                Editing a comment
                dilemma of most expats. As my one GS friend used to say, you guyz need the best of both worlds and mostly ended up with none

              • LP
                LP commented
                Editing a comment
                SID_NY It's tragicomic

                aqua70 , same here

              #9
              Guyz its a great topic, dont ruin it by posting irrelevant stuff. I'm sure most of us have a lot to say on this.
              Attitude is more important than facts.
              "Life is 10% what happens to us..and 90% of how we react to it"

              Comment


                #10
                Of course most of us have developed strong defense mechinisms and it is difficult to be honest. Especially since so many go back home and pretend to be rich, fulfilled, and completely content with their decision. Really, who wants to admit their regrets? I grew up in the states and have all my close family and cousins all here. Yet, there is some part of me that will always remain Pakistani. The first 8 years of my life are etched into my identity forever. Im pakistani even though i have spent most of my life in the west. Let us not pretend that just because you dont feel Pakistani, people will begin to see you as a local. Your grandchildren will still be seen as Pakistani despite how much alcohol they drink, pork they consume, begin fornicating in middle school, or send you a happy mothers day card once a year. There are 3rd generation Pakistanis living in UK who no one accepts as English. So this secular/ liberal hypothesis of integration into the west is a pipe dream. As long as you look paki, you will be seen as one. Most elderly people I know have regrets of at least not keeping ties with Pak, as closer they come to their death, the clearer their identity becomes to them. Spending your whole life in a foreign country and blonging no where is nothing to be proud of. We need to see migration for wage as a failure and a matter of shame, not somehting to be boastful of. Not personal shame, but shame as a people/ nation. My uncle sold his land to come to US in 80s. Now retired , regrets it all time. Thinks about the life he could have had in Pak. Here his whole life was lived as work slave. On the clock during the week and grocery shopping and running errands on the weekends. He lost his personal identity and became just another wage slave. He was a colorful person when he first came, but the mechanical life in th west sucked it out of him. Yeah he bought some material goods, but like many, his heart he left in Pak. Most people who were living middle class or higher lifes in Pak have some level of internal regret leaving. No Pak is not a hell and west is not a paradise. The truth is somewhere in the middle. There is some truth I feel to what some wrote earlier about belonging neither here nor there for those who have spent earlier part of life in Pak. Rant over.

                Comment


                  #11
                  The thing about the West is, you're on your own - you're an individual.

                  Depending upon who you really are, this can be either exhilarating or terrifying.

                  Desis are not typically trained in early life to be independent either by thought or activity. Group-think is the norm. Everything is identity-based.

                  The West is great in that your daddy can be a penniless nobody and you can still be Jeff Bezos or Steve Jobs in one generation. Or even on a smaller scale, you can do a lot if you want to. Bad news is if you're a loser, mostly you're to blame. But worry not, losers end up as presidents here too.

                  But if you like opulence and have an upper middleclass lifestyle already, the west has not much to offer you in terms of creature comforts. You have to tie your own shoe laces, drive your own car, pick up your kids. But if you're lower middle class or even less well off, you'd probably have a better life in the west.

                  Simple ain't easy.

                  Comment


                  • The Last Straw
                    The Last Straw commented
                    Editing a comment
                    That was so poignant. Damn right about early non-training of Desis.

                  #12
                  There's always a reason when one leaves "home" in the first place

                  and then you either make a new "home" or belong to neither side

                  Wasnt born or raise in pak but whenever left after travelling there , something was missing

                  the smell from that mitti is different

                  Comment


                    #13
                    Originally posted by queer View Post
                    The thing about the West is, you're on your own - you're an individual.

                    Depending upon who you really are, this can be either exhilarating or terrifying.

                    Desis are not typically trained in early life to be independent either by thought or activity. Group-think is the norm. Everything is identity-based.

                    The West is great in that your daddy can be a penniless nobody and you can still be Jeff Bezos or Steve Jobs in one generation. Or even on a smaller scale, you can do a lot if you want to. Bad news is if you're a loser, mostly you're to blame. But worry not, losers end up as presidents here too.

                    But if you like opulence and have an upper middleclass lifestyle already, the west has not much to offer you in terms of creature comforts. You have to tie your own shoe laces, drive your own car, pick up your kids. But if you're lower middle class or even less well off, you'd probably have a better life in the west.
                    You've summed it up perfectly.
                    Last edited by a7mado; 1 day ago.
                    "Some people believe that necessity is the mother of Invention, but they're wrong, its War" - James May

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