…. Migration involves loss. Even when you’re privileged, as I am, and move of your own free will, as I did, you feel it. Migrants, almost by definition, move with the future in mind. But their journeys inevitably involve excising part of their past. It’s not workers who emigrate but people. And whenever they move they leave part of themselves behind. Efforts to reclaim that which has been lost result in something more than nostalgia but, if you’re lucky, less than exile. And the losses keep coming. Funerals, christenings, graduations and weddings missed – milestones you couldn’t make because your life is elsewhere.
If you’re not lucky then your departure was forced by poverty, war or environmental disaster – or all three – and your destination is not of your choosing but merely where you could get to or where you were put. In that case the loss is bound to be all the more keen and painful….