My Story: How Did I End Up In The USA And Why I Stayed
I get many, many questions on how did I move to America and more details about my story, so I decided to start writing a little bit about it today.
This is the first of a series of posts including valuable information for everyone looking to rebuild their lives in other countries, as part of a dear project I'm working on with friends from Brazil who live all around the world, called "Reconstruindo No Mundo" (Rebuilding in the World).
In this project, created by myself, @paoladecampos and @amandasemfronteiras, we share everything we wished we had known before we moved abroad, including important subjects such as immigration, studies, work, cost of life, and much, much more.
The weekly videos are in Portuguese and you can watch them on my Instagram highlights by clicking HERE.
Where Do I Live?
I was born in Brazil and I live in the USA since December 2011. I've lived in Miami, Florida, for 5 years, and moved to Southern California in 2016, where I currently reside.
Living in California was always in our plans and I am beyond happy and settled here, but I truly feel like a part of me will always miss Miami. It was my first home in America, the place where we built our life together and have strengthen our connection as a couple, where we adopted our cat, Tom, and where these two kids learned to deal with life all by themselves, without parents or anyone to solve our problems for us.
And it's the same I'll always feel about Brazil, like there's still a part of me there. Family, friends, food, the places we liked to hang out at, the memories are so sweet, and will forever be some of the things that every immigrant misses the most! We travel the world to find ourselves, but I believe that as we learn from new places and experiences, a part of us also stays in these places, as reminders of such special moments.
I've traveled across many states, and one of the things that I love the most about America is that there's so much diversity, not just cultural, but for example, the weather varies a lot depending on the region you're in, as well as the landscapes... I mean, you can surf in California, experience the Caribbean sea in Florida, be in the center of the world in New York, explore the desert and natural wonders such as the Grand Canyon, watch the northern lights in Alaska... it is just so incredible.
Why Did I move?
I was planning to move to America to go to college, when I started dating in Brazil. Turns out that my boyfriend (who's now my husband), received a job offer to work in Miami about the same time. Do you believe in destiny?! lol
My best friend lived in Miami and was going to college in Miami at that time, so it made things much easier for me as far as planning, applying and everything else.
By the way, a post on higher education in the US is coming up soon, stay tuned. Two days after I graduated from college in Brazil, I hopped on a plane to my new life in the USA. My boyfriend had moved a couple months earlier, to kind of get things ready ahead of my arrival.
Many brazilians decide to move abroad looking for a safer place to live and raise their families, as well as better quality of life. What I can say is that, in this country, you will need to work very hard, but if you're up for the task, you'll be rewarded accordingly.
It's never a win-win situation, for every decision you make, you're choosing something and abdicating another. Which brings me to my next topic.
Why Did I stay?
First and foremost, I must say that I left my home country very young. And being myself an only child, it hit hard on me and my family in the beginning. I've always expressed my wish to live in America, and so my parents knew that sooner or later that would happen. Fortunately, my parents have the financial resources to visit us at least once a year, and friends are always popping in here and there.
But living far from everything and everyone you know is definitely not easy. The main reasons why I stayed are:
1- It was our dream. We always wanted to live in the US, and most specifically in California, which is the reason why we live here now. So, for us, moving here was the achievement of a dream, and that means so much that it certainly makes you overcome some of the hardest moments you'll experience while living abroad.
2- Because I am not alone. Sharing good and bad moments gave me and my husband both the strength we needed to go through all sorts of unforeseen events and made our connection grow deeper. Leaving your home country and everything that means comfort to start a completely new life in a different culture is much, much easier, if you have someone by your side to support you. You will miss your family, friends, your grandma's food, holidays will be particularly hard... but when you are going after your dream, and you have the one you love next to you, it certainly makes it easier to adapt to a new reality.
Was it worth it? For me, absolutely yes. But again, this is not an easy decision, and does require a lot of research and preparation.
Brazil will always be the loving home I was born at, and America is the home I chose. I am beyond happy and proud of the life we've built here and I honestly wouldn't change a thing. I am grateful, and feel blessed for all the opportunities and lessons that I've experienced here, and am totally looking forward to what's still to come.
Now that we're done with the introduction, next posts will be based on specific themes, which can be work, studies, cultural differences, etc., to help anyone interested in moving to the US. Stay tuned!!!
Read more about the project "Reconstruindo No Mundo" - Rebuilding in the World, and discover the reasons why other friends decided to live abroad:
France - Paola De Campos (Coming Soon)
Portugal - Amanda Sem Fronteiras - Click Here
Oh and please send me a message with any questions, suggestions and/ or critics you might have. I'll be more than happy to help!