Moving Back to Jamaica

A blog about my Move Back to Jamaica after 20+ years of living in the US. Most of the articles focus on the period from 2005-2009 when the transition was new, and at it's most challenging.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Think Before Migrating

The following letter appeared in the Gleaner:

Think before migrating
published: Friday | March 28, 2008

The Editor, Sir:

I am not a teacher, but I'm a professional living abroad for over seven years and I still grieve about the loss of job satisfaction and acceptance. Monetary gain may be realised, but peace of mind is not here. There is this overwhelming feeling of uncertainty about your job and your effort cannot be recognised.

Every output is measured against the almighty dollar. If I am not careful I will return worse off financially than how I came with my mental faculties irreparably damaged. Any teacher or nurse should consult all family members before embarking upon this risky transition.

Weigh all the pros and cons and think deeply about what one writer said: What good does it make to gain the Yankee dollars and sacrifice a family?

I am, etc.,


Via Go-Jamaica



At 4/09/2008 1:52 PM, Anonymous Gillian Campbell said...

So the land of the land of gold has really lived up to its name!

(Gold is shiny and attractive on the outside, but tough and hard on the outside and in.)

Thanks ever so much for your honesty in relating to us as Jamaicans, what your experience has been like,living in the USA.

Unfortuntely your experience is shared by many migrants and American-born citizens alike.

But what is even more unfortunate is that:

1) Most Jamericans (Jamaicans living in the USA), on visiting Jamaica, paint the USA to be very rosy, whilst omitting the hard work involved in achieving the "American dream".

2) Most Jamaicans living abroad are afraid to come home, due to the increasing levels of crime and violence, here.

I still maintain that Jamaica's quality of life, is one of the best in the world, despite our problems.

We just have to convince more Jamaicans, who can really make a difference, to remain, versus having one foot in Jamaica and the other, outside!

Nuff said! (Jamaican, meaning, enough has been said)

Gillian Campbell,
Owner, Girl With a Purpose (GWAP) Blog

At 4/09/2008 3:42 PM, Anonymous jericho said...

I don't think the negative experience arises as much from doing hard work. We as a people are accustomed to working hard for our rewards. It is more to the struggle to balance identity, aspirations, and personal and professional growth in often trying situations. This applies to both professionals and labourers, skilled and non skilled. People really need to stop perpetuating the myth of the USA where life is supposedly more bountiful.

At 4/10/2008 4:48 AM, Anonymous jamaican girl said...

I don't know if I find these isolated cases that have been published recently convincing enough for the average Jamaican to be dissuaded. The authors need to be more specific about what exactly is making them unhappy. Is it really the job? the weather? the longing for that informal way of doing business?

At 4/10/2008 12:48 PM, Anonymous jamaican girl said...

another thought came to me.....should I use someone's fate to determine my own? What if i were to go and become very successful....way more than I would be at home? Suppose I love money more than the authors and don't want to make do from a Biblical perspective? Suppose I am a hardworker from Day 1 and I am prepared to work just as hard if I relocate? Why shouldn't I chance it? What do these people label as "professionals"? I am sorry but all these little isolated cases here, there and everywhere are just pathetic! I have not ONE friend who is leaving Canada (for example) for Jamaica. Not even one!

At 4/12/2008 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jamaican Girl: You hit the nail right on the head. These little anecdotes don't give enough information to really judge the decisions the reporting person made and aren't really good "evidence" that everyone should follow in his/her footsteps. Printing them is a lot like what American Republicans do: ignore everything that contradicts the point they want to make.


At 5/15/2008 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a jamiacan who has alot going for her, I agree with the author. AMerica is not what it is alot of people migrate her thinking that life would be better but ITS HARD I know people who are coming back to jamaica that have owned homes and have great jobs it just reach apoint hwere you want a certain quality of life and being in America it is always a day to day battle with MONEY, how to make it or how to make more to survive.

No one can tell you what your destiny is but If you chose to come to America and start a life, come prepared to go against Europeans or American born who have a leverage over you.

Just my opinion ...

Me the 5th Avenue Lawyer

At 7/08/2008 7:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I still maintain that Jamaica's quality of life, is one of the best in the world, despite our problems."
- Gillian Campbell

After a year and change of living (and working) in the BVI, I fully endorse Gillian's statement.

The fact is that a lot of people think that the US is the "land of milk and honey", where money grows on trees. They think about the amount of US that they will earn, but do not consider how much they will have to spend just to LIVE there. Not to mention the fact that they are discriminated against...

As someone who has traveled outside of Jamaica (first to Miami 1977 when US$1 was worth LESS than JA$1), and has had foreign nationals (even white persons) solicit money from me, I say to my fellow Jamaicans, "The grass looks greener on the other side".

A cousin who went to New York six (6) months ago is now realizing that fact. He has returned home...

One good thing arising out of my BVI experience - I can appreciate Jamaica all the better for it!

IT Professional
Kingston, Jamaica


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