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October 19, 1998.
Zelimir Koljesar


In Search of a Home


It is believed that the most comfortable area in which a person can live is their childhood home. This is an area where one is completely familiar with the surroundings, people and customs. It is also a place of belonging and security. In some countries, however, a number of factors, such as poor social and economic situation, war and disease are making living conditions tougher and limiting the range of success for individuals. Therefore, many families choose immigration to safer, more affluent country as the best solution. Nations like the United States, Sweden and Australia attract immigrants because of their continued economic growth. Even though parents understand that they will be facing an extensive process to finally obtain a visa, restarting life with limited means and confronting the difficulties of communication, they will take the risk of immigration when they realize that a higher standard of living, enriched social life, fulfillment of dreams and brighter future for their children could be hiding just around the corner.

Before arriving at this corner and entering this new passage, one has to receive a long-awaited visa, to sell valuable possessions to strangers, to encounter a tiresome airplane trip and to only hold on to priceless memories. Who would want to experience this? But thinking ahead about all the opportunities that are in the family's reach and having enough persistence to maintain this tangible goal is important. The main point is that both, parents and children, will surely benefit from the immigration experience.

Changing residential location tends to set families back, forcing them to start climbing their way up as if they were beginning again. It is certainly a terrifying thought for parents to face this rebuilding stage. So many years of hard work will have to be repeated again to reach the same level. Emigrating into a country that is already developed, however, allows the newcomers to quickly earn back what they had to give away. Numerous employment opportunities is one of many reasons why it is worth taking the risk and reaching the top for the second time.
Working their way up, emigrating families find that the foremost obstacle is language. Communication is an essential component of human life, so not knowing the language slows down the adaptation. But the greater the effort given, communication becomes less of a problem. After a period of living in a different nation the obstacle of language should slowly disappear.

The road towards the top means improving one's standard of living. One of the main areas a family, after the immigration, primarily concentrates on is employment. Life can be like a roller coaster in the beginning until at least one of the parents finds a job, usually low-paying and far below their level of education. If the income is higher than what the family had received previously, many satisfacting things tend to follow. The rise in economic standard usually leads to more leisure life. The stability in a family is achieved when the family is financially secure. As the time goes by and when possessions like a house or a car become affordable, one can be proud of the accomplishments achieved.

Experiencing life in a different country can be a difficult task to do alone. It is true that the contact with dear relatives and friends decreases to a minimum and homesickness is severe, but this is the main motivation to start a new social life. Meeting a variety of people who shortly after become friends quickens the adaptation and makes it much easier. Two immigrating families usually talk over similar problems, pushing the nostalgic thoughts far away. Friends can make an individual feel safe and comfortable. Knowing people is the way to regain self pride and respect from others. Furthermore, having friends around simply allows life to become filled with enjoyment.

To make life even more exciting, immigration, for many individuals, is a chance to fulfill their childhood dreams. This relocation can simply facilitate visits to some memorable places, like Niagara Falls or the Sydney Opera House. A person could enter a specific career which is non-existent in his/her homeland. For an athlete it is truly a gift being able to develop the skills and use the talent up to its fullest potential. Today, numerous immigrants own companies, receive Nobel prizes and play professional sports at professional levels. Their dreams undoubtedly have come true.

The opportunities generally revolve around children who are most valuable to their parents. Even if the parents' social status is lower than ever, but economically they live a better life, they are ready to sacrifice in order for the children to have a good start. In a civilized country, the education received can open many roads for youth. By choosing the right path and striving for success can help one reach the peak of his/hers abilities. Children benefit most from emigration. Parents are greatly satisfied when going to a commencement of their child, who is dressed in a graceful graduation gown, anxious to accept a diploma. Parents then see the value of their immigration choice as the correct decision.

Even though humankind is rushing into the twenty-first century with enormous speed, a large number of countries are still facing a variety of problems that force people to consider immigration as a last resource. It is a sad thing to say that a homeland cannot satisfy the needs of its citizens. Taking this kind of a risk is a serious matter for most people. It is always possible, however, not to fit-in with the chosen second culture. Considering all the points one question remains unanswered; is it better being the last man in the city or the first man in the village?



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