Well, well, well. I made it to three months in Ghana. Wohooo. Let’s just say I give thanks to God almighty for blessing me with strength, patience and perseverance to survive Mama Africa. Sometimes, I wake up to touch my face and look around to see my dreams become a reality.
Ever since, I started travelling frequently at 21, I have said to myself that I really would love to move aboard and have that expat experience. There is something so alluring of going to a new city and experience the expat life. I remember going to Atlanta a few times saying I want to live in Atlanta, watching British films declaring I would move to London, and researching teaching abroad opportunities saying I would move to Spain, France and South Korea. Like my desire to live the expat life was obsessive!
It wasn’t until I visited Ghana 2 years ago and fell in love with the culture, food, music and the people. I seen the opportunity, breathed in the pan-africanism spirit and was truly inspired by those who relocated back to live the African dream. I wanted that life and those experiences. But in true Jessica nature, I dreamed it, I spoke into existence but I did not act on it based on fear. Fear? Jessica and fear? Yup, that’s right I engaged in false events appearing real just like the rest of people on this planet. I believed how am I going to survive? I mean I am used to working in a comfortable mixed economy. How will I save? I can barely save already. How will my parents feel? They will be sad to see me set off into a different environment. What if I fail at being an expat? That fear alone nearly crippled me.What will I do when I get there? I am only a recent graduate with a lack of corporate experience. My friend, I was my own worst enemy!
However, one thing about myself that I truly love is the fact I am believe I am powerful, I can make things happen. But. Yes, but that requires work and the work is too hard. So with these limiting beliefs running through my head, I stopped myself from applying to teaching abroad gigs, international jobs or furthering myself in my small business venture ( Yes, I own a thriving lifestyle travel brand!) while staying stuck in customer service positions which I grew to resent. I felt trapped, low class and frustrated with how I lived my life versus what I believed I deserved.
Let me give you a short story. I graduated from University feeling so good about myself and my future. I decided to take time off from looking for career and enjoyed Summer 16′ in the 6ix( that’s Toronto for my inquisitive readers). When it was time for me to get back into the mode, I did the necessary things to keep me motivated. I enlisted a career coach, attended career workshops at school, extensively researched career, participated in online training and attended networking events. I was doing what a fresh undergrad does to get the career they want. Finally, I seen a job online that was for a tourism board based in Toronto but it required travelling across Canada. That is perfect! Also, it was a entry level position. Even better!. I felt I was a shoe in for this job, I mean I have marketing, sales, customer service experience that fit the qualifications. So I catered my resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile to the job description. I harassed my friends and family to look over my resume and simply say a daily prayer for me. I submitted my application package and left the rest to God to get me the job of my dreams. Days turned into weeks, and weeks into a month a half of not hearing nothing. I emailed them to receive no response. I harassed my career coach to inquire WHY? WHY? Why are they not giving me the job I want? Nobody had the answers I was looking for. My mind, body and spirit was bruised, shattered and deeply sad. I spent the next few weeks depressed in my room, calling in late and sick from work, and letting my wander to a negative place. It was bad, my eyebrows weren’t fleeky, my hair was a mess and my aura was unwelcoming.
Til one day, I decided to book a trip to Mexico to chill at my girl Melanie’s place(
I know first world problems, but let me tell my story. lol) While I was out in Mexico, we played a travelers card game and I picked a card that asked me “Where is the one place you would love to live in the world?” Melanie and her boo were like “Ghana!” They already knew my dream to live in Ghana and decided to question what is stopping me from going. We talked and talked and they were so helpful in me walking me through the next step in pursuing this agenda. While they were out at work, I looked over my qualifications and searched the web looking for an opportunity. And long story short, here I am, working for a respected International NGO in the field of gender equality.
3 months later, I love Accra and the possibilities it offers. The life I live here is a testimony to my manifestations, determination and the almighty God. Like I am really adulting in these Accra streets on a daily basis a single female living on her own. Let’s just say that I am really planning to make this transition a permanent one and taking actionable steps to make it happen. But don’t tell my mom because she will have a heart attack!