Leaving home, I always knew I was going to come back, so moving back wasn’t much of a big deal if I be honest. I’ve always seen Home (Sierra Leone) as a beautiful place to be in.
My home sickness didn’t pick until I went to the GP when I had a skin breakout in 2016 and was told that I need some vitamin D (no not what you are thinking dirty mind) Vitamin D as in the Sun.
Immediately, Sierra Leone came to my mind. Since that day, I began planning my move. Obviously it wasn’t an easy decision at 1st but I did it gradually and it happened.
Speaking to other Sierra Leoneans living in the U.K. who had no intention of moving back home was the biggest challenge I faced because they always have things to say about security issues, health care, job etc.
For some, living abroad gives them the idea that they are more secure etc. For me, I’ve always felt secured living in Sierra Leone even before I left for the U.K.
I had my 1st ever minor Lump removal operation in Sierra Leone and everything went on perfectly, never had any after effect from that.
So I found it really strange when some people will comment on these issues. I had an absolute amazing life when I was living in Sierra Leone so I really wasn’t one of the many people that migrated for a better lifestyle.
I believe moving back home will have to be your own decision and only that because you know what you want. People will always have something to say especially those that don’t have any intention of moving back.
I had fantasised about moving back to Sierra Leone the whole time of my living in the United Kingdom.
The Cultural Shock
Getting a job in Sierra Leone is totally different to that of the United Kingdom. In Sierra Leone, you will need to have a connection at the organisation, by recommendations or in some cases, having to sleep with your potential Boss.
As a young female, you will face a lot of sexual harassment from men but again, you need to have a mind of your own, you should know your worth.
By all means, if you are happy to sleep with someone for a job, go ahead, I’m not judging you. But for me, I don’t believe that’s the way forward. I have other ways of getting things I want (that’s my secret haha). Just remember there are always another option to get things done.
The good culture shock is labour is really cheap, like you can get an amazing pedicure for £2, Hair done for not more than £25, you can get a dress made for £3 for example.
Local transportation is really cheap, so you can get on a shared taxi for £0.15p per journey.
Some of the things I had to get used again was the fact that electricity and water can go off for like 2 days, so you have to result to other means of sourcing electricity and improvising water by bathing with bucket.
I be honest with you, in Sierra Leone you can basically live in a house with no electricity during the day because of the natural sunlight and most things in the house are not run by electricity compare to that of the United Kingdom. Like I can’t imagine myself with no electricity in the United Kingdom for a couple of minutes, I mean it happened once and the whole house was on standstill.
Your old friends might have moved on. Also people living there might have already form their own friendship circle. So find your tribe and form your own band.
It is so normal to have married men speak to you. I mean I was so shocked, I’ve never had so many married men approach me until I was in Sierra Leone. I will have to write a whole blog post on this topic.
To be honest, I don’t have much of a personal experience in the dating scene in Sierra Leone. I’ve only dated one guy since I’ve been here.
But from what I’ve heard, it is a small place and everyone pretty much knows each other so they talk. Be careful, if you are not sure about someone, don’t date them because before you know it, you might get the Queen Hoe title lol.
You can explore the dating scene but I don’t recommend you get sexual with the guys.
Omg I feel like I’m being biased now as I’m only speaking in the perspective of a girl. But guys too behave yourselves because the women can corner you and finish your money making you lose your focus.
Advice On Moving Back:
Moving back home feels amazing, I feel like this is where I’m meant to be. I feel free, I feel safe. I make more use of my voice.
If you are living abroad and you want to move back. You should visit during non holiday seasons to begin your transition. For example Christmas or Easter holidays are not the time to visit when you are planning to move back.
You should evaluate and see why you want to move back.
For me, I feel like it’s home, this is where I want to live my purpose. I want to help my country/my people with my expertise.
I want to be able to portray to other Africans especially Sierra Leoneans living in the diaspora that is okay to move back home.
So you need to find your own reason that makes sense to you.
Things You Should know/Do:
- Be real to yourself and others, just because you have come from the United Kingdom doesn’t mean you have all the money in the world.
- Come with a good and positive attitude. Don’t get frustrated when things don’t go your way, understand that is a different culture.
- Come with patient and a healthy attitude
- Be willing to learn the ground rules there to be able to work with your people but still hold on to your values.
- Jump in with your 2 feet and don’t be looking at the other options you have in the diaspora, from experience, this will only make things harder and you might end up moving back.
- Be open to build a new life, your old friends might have moved on, so you should be able to make new friends and get on with life just the same way you move abroad and was open to start a fresh life, you have to be able to do the same here.
- Be prepared before you move back because you might not get a job immediately you move back so you will need money for your upkeep. You don’t need a lot of money to move back just like you didn’t need a lot to move away. Believe life goes on and things will gradually fall in place. You really don’t need to move back with the latest 2018 Range Rover for example or move into a big mansion if you don’t already have one.
- Don’t try to put it in people’s face that you are from the United Kingdom all the time. Just let it be, if you are different, people will recognise you. For example, I met a returnee from the United Kingdom at a Salon, she couldn’t stop comparing how things work in the U.K. to that of Sierra Leone. I mean even I found it annoying and you can tell by the looks on the other people’s faces that they’ve had enough too. I mean you have a personality, let that shine through, coming from the United Kingdom is not a personality.
In conclusion, Sierra Leone is completely different from the United Kingdom and that’s what’s unique about it, so you can not get the same experience you get in the United in Sierra Leone.
Also Sierra Leone is a very beautiful place to in.