When I emigrated from Sweden my dad was very worried about me, not that I would be exposed to danger, he knew I could take care of myself, but that I would be lonely.
He himself had relocated to a new country as a young man. He and mother fled Hungary during the 1956 Revolution and ended up in Sweden. They were both big city kids which loved socializing, and when they came to Sweden, they could not speak the language, did not know about the culture and knew only the other Hungarians who had been stationed in the same area in Sweden.
As they were not yet married mum ended up in Boras (a city in Sweden) and dad who already had a career as a welder, ended up somewhere in southern Sweden and was then transferred to Gothenburg. There they lived together in an apartment in Olskroken, mom got a job at Jacob Dahl factories and dad ended up working in the yard.
At that time there was no Swedish education or something like that but they had to start working as soon as it ever went.
When dad ever talked about that time it was always with sadness in his voice. Not that they had come to Sweden, but the lack of a rich social interaction. When after a few years, they learned the language, and several other Hungarians had come to the same city, life was easier and they had a rich social life. They had also developed really close friends, which of course is so important.
But the time until things became “normal” was difficult, he thought, he often felt lonely and it was difficult because it was something he had never experienced before.
He did not think I would have to go through the same thing.
It did not help that I explained that I had so many more benefits than they had.
I could speak more languages, I did not flee but chose myself to move, I was older than they were and more experienced/well-travelled and I was confident in myself and never felt lonely. I like being by myself.
Well, it did not reduce his anxiety so I had to prove to him that I really enjoyed this. When I had been here for four years, Dad came with his wife to visit (for the second time) and simultaneously celebrate my birthday. It was so fun to have them here and dad was overjoyed to meet all my friends here. The first time they came to see me I lived in the middle of nowhere with no neighbours but this time, I lived in Lapta surrounded by friends.
He had been very sceptical at first but after meeting my husband, obviously a father always examines very carefully (they got along) and met all my friends so he relaxed and became calm.
He understood that I was feeling good and very much enjoyed my new homeland. I have learned so many new things in my years here and have had a broader view of the world and a new confidence in myself.
So all of you who are troubled about the possibility of moving away from family, friends and acquaintances; don’t be. See it as an exciting adventure and a challenge. Today the world is smaller than you think; it’s easy to travel and there are technological tools that allow you to stay in touch whenever you want. In addition, when you live in a warm and sunny country, everyone will want to come to visit, it can be quite stressful to arrange all who want to come.
Bet on yourself, treat yourself to laugh at your mistakes and most importantly release the old and let the new come in. New friends, new life, no stress and in a wonderful setting, what could be better?