You need to start planning your ‘homecoming’ now
Homecoming is my ultimate dream. Every time I visualise myself in that “happy place”, it is on a Greek beach, warm wind and the gentle rays of sun caressing my skin, the sound of the waves and the knowledge that I stand on the very land where world-famous historians, philosophers, politicians and artists have stood and will stand, under the Athenian sky. This is my anchor to the endless grey days of being an expat in the UK.
In my nearly 14 years in the UK, I have tirelessly collected the wishes and struggles of my fellow Greeks. Those who have left do “not see when they will go back”, there are “no jobs”, there is “no future”, they do “not want to work for a Greek employer” etc. Others have taken the “insane” decision to go back. Kolokotronis said “the foreign forces called the Greeks mad for revolting against the well established Turkish occupation in 1821”. This is the very reason we celebrated our Independence on the 25th of March. There always needs to be a mad one, to create a whole “movement”! These people do not expect things to be easy. But they are pulled by something.
Greek students in the UK are full of ideas on how to make a difference back home, some take action but others feel powerless to change the status quo. Other professionals have shared with me that when they will go back, they feel that they need to be business owners, as they could not work for a Greek employer after being an employee abroad. Isn’t it sad that the youth feels pessimistic about the impact they can make for our country? Worse, they do not feel they can live/work in their country? Is it a proven fact or a fear? It worries me.
The diaspora (yes you!), in my eyes, is the critical mass that will change the “wind”; we are very “potent stuff” (seeds programmed to bring about change). We are not visualising a better future, we have experienced it (abroad) and thus we can create it back home. This is our ultimate responsibility. Those who have gone back have started this “movement” already. There are many ways to “change” things and one of them is by going back.
What is your “Homecoming Plan”? This is the most powerful personal strategic decision you can make now for yourself. Your return journey has already began from the moment you left home – whether you knew it or not. So I urge you, start drawing your homecoming plan. Be it 2, 5 or 10 years away from this very moment. Take the first step now and start designing your path of return back to your “Ithaca”.
Have you recently gone “home”? What pulled you back?
Who will you be when you go (or take your family) back to your homeland and set up a new life? What will your dreams be then?
I cannot wait to hear from you!