It has been 3 years since we left for Nairobi. Thanks to Facebook, we are well updated of our life events these days! So I am going to back track a little today. At the cost of sounding sarcastic, I am going to talk about the resistance that people face when they decide to relocate.
It is strange how humans try to have a point of view on everything – people they don’t know, situations they haven’t experienced and places that they haven’t been to! And more or less these views are disconcerting. I wonder why…Venturing out of your comfort zone, especially doing something that very few in your close circles have attempted, instantly raises an alarm. And then there is an inherent need to play the guardian – warn those who are doing the unthinkable of the perils of their decisions (Well…)
When we decided to leave for Nairobi, a lesser preferred travel destination for most Indians, we heard stories that probably were the worst fragments of people’s imagination. Stories of thefts, break ins, robberies and worse. Some even hilarious!
I completely understand the concerns of our families. It is out of love and care. The geographical distance between them and you can cause anxiety. The fact that they will not be around physically to help and care manifests into worries.
What I don’t understand are the inputs by acquaintances, friends of friends and distant relatives. Rather than making the relocating experience effortless and enjoyable, some tend to go overboard with their warnings and create chaos. I wonder how they do not realise that they are NOT helping! They are, instead, adding to the apprehensions of the family members and making the travellers antsy!
I was amazed at how many people we knew had some or the other connections in Nairobi. Most people we spoke to either knew someone who:
- has lived there and faced problems
- has traveled there and faced problems
- knows no one there but is aware of the problems that the residents there face!
Well, I must say, we are a well connected community! And so mindful of global issues too…Strangely, we never met these close contacts of our well wishers. Did the Africans eat them up?! (ohh..nooo…:P)
I’ve come to believe that ‘when you can’t convince them, confuse them’ is passe….When you can’t convince them, create! is the new mantra.
Humans are queer; they fear the unknown. And instead of trying to familiarise themselves with what they do not know, they guard their fears. They rationalise their timidity and at times inadequacies with false stories. And these stories spread…
Here I would like to say that I have had the best time of my life in Nairobi. I met some amazing people, got a chance to explore my potential and traveled to my heart’s content…I truly miss the city!
So here is a tip for those who are relocating to the lesser known destinations…
- DO NOT FEAR! Every individual is different and so are his/her experiences. What might not have worked for somebody else might just work for you…
- LOOK FOR WHAT’S GOOD! Knowing that so many people are concerned for your safety is always a good feeling. That should be the sole learning from the myriad dreadful stories that you hear
- DO NOT BELIEVE! There will be stories that will help you cope in a new environment, absorb those. But discard the ones that cause unnecessary panic. Validate the stories you hear, do not blindly believe!