All my bags are packed
I’m ready to go …
Taxi’s waiting, he’s blowing its horn,
Already I am so lonesome I could die
‘Cause I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again …
That about wraps the downs. They hit immediately, like jumping out an aeroplane door – you realise you really don’t know anything about parachute landing.
Doubts are huge and the final rituals of departure are agonising.
The children are with you and it doesn’t help them to see your snot en trane – so you have to pull on a brave face and smile.
Immigration is a bureaucratic odyssey of queues, forms, fees and fretful clerks. Fortunately my wife is calm and patient; if it had been left to me we would have been extradited immediately!
For years after you get there, you watch aeroplanes flying west, wistfully. You wonder whether you did the right thing, you feel you have denied your heritage, abandoned your roots and you long to return to your siblings – even though you usually fight with them after a few days together!
The ups are realised only years later, when we saw our children graduate, intelligent and independent and unscarred by the dichotomy of the society we had left, with only happy memories of the land of their birth.
We really enjoyed the high ups of immigration after our second immigration – this time in search of the sun, to a bigger land where our children were settling. This time we were on our own and free to choose without having to leave family too far behind.
Those that stayed were close enough to visit. Our dog came with us.
There was little pain on leaving and happy anticipation of the new promise of The Lucky Country.
So I suppose your emotional buoyancy depends on why, when and where you go and what you leave.
The security and calmness of your new world compared to the degradation, dishonesty and deceit of where you started, is consoling.
It is a gentle emotion, not raw like the verlang for tuisland, which lingers.
Story proposed by Linda Owen Guy and Rose Glen