Updated: Dec 8, 2020
I get many, many questions on how I moved 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 special 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 essential subjects such as immigration, studies, work, cost of living, and much, much more.
The bi-weekly videos are in Portuguese, and you can watch them on my Instagram 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 genuinely feel like a part of me will always miss Miami. Miami was my first home in America, the place where we built our life together and have strengthened our connection as a couple. It's 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 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. 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 and a 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 an only child hit hard on my family and me in the beginning. I've always expressed my wish to live in America, so my parents knew that that would happen sooner or later. 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, most specifically in California, which is 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 most challenging 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 tough... 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 in, 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 I've experienced here, and I am totally looking forward to what's still to come.
Now that we're done with the introduction, the next posts will be based on specific themes: 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!