Hope is all you really need if you move abroad

  • A positive attitude is the best thing to pack when you’re moving to a new country (Photograph supplied)

    A positive attitude is the best thing to pack when you’re moving to a new country (Photograph supplied)


Last week, I wrote an article about how I left my home in Russia and I took with me photos of beloved people and my father’s favourite painting. I was interested in what my Russian-speaking readers would take to a new life abroad if they left their homes for ever and could not take much. What would be most precious and memorable?

I would like to share some of their answers with you.

Maria: “Who is waiting for me there? If there is no one then I would take my photos, favourite books, my computer and flash drives. If my beloved is waiting for me in a new place, I would take only my dream. The dream is to be with him for ever.”

Elena: “Things don’t make a person, but memories do. I will take with me my great memories of all that I love!”

Olga: “A couple of art books, photographs, the shoot of a living plant and my cat.”

Irina: “I’m not attached to anything at all. By tomorrow I could get myself together and leave if necessary. My style is minimalist in everything!”

Tatyana: “I’ll take with me the icon of my Guardian Angel, my passport and carry-on luggage.”

Larisa: “Everything material is secondary. We are swamped with unnecessary things! The most important thing is self-confidence in what you do. New life — new things!”

Lena: “My daughter and my mother’s embroideries.”

Lubov: “The book my father wrote, my phone with its photos and my jewellery. That is all.”

Maryam: “When I left for Stockholm, I took with me self-confidence, strength of mind, hope for a beautiful future and my mother’s photo.”

Katya: “The Ukrainian flag, which I put it in the most visible place in my house.”

Elena: “Health, strength of spirit, and faith in oneself.”

Anna: “I left home without anything, just a passport and curiosity. I was barefoot and 13 years old.”

Lana: “My family album and my notebook with plans. When you leave, there is always sadness, so a good mood, too!”

Olga: “My dog and some of my favourite books.”

Margarita: “I would take all my tools, in order to start working as soon as possible.”

Tanya: “I would take the religious icons with which my mother blessed me. Very few people are able to start with a clean slate, but this is the best part, to start a completely new life.”

It turns out that we do not need much. People were far less materialistic than I anticipated. Many thought more about their attitude than their possessions; most important was optimism and faith. Underlying this positive attitude was something unmentioned, but essential: hope.

To emigrate from a closed country like Russia was to take a step into the unknown. We stepped with determination, because the road would be hard, and we couldn’t go back. Wherever we go, what we all take with us is ourselves.

Nina London is a certified wellness and weight-management coach. Her mission is to support and inspire mature women to make positive changes in their body and mind. Share your inspirational stories with her here: ninalondon.com

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Published Feb 22, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 22, 2018 at 8:12 am)

Hope is all you really need if you move abroad

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