Hope is all you really need if you move abroad
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