My experience moving back has been nothing I could have ever imagined or prepared for. I always imagined moving back home to be the start of my proper ‘adulthood’. So far, expectation not equal to reality unfortunately.
The thing I’ve definitely struggled with the most since I moved back has been the ‘loss’ of my independence. Let me provide some context here, I won’t say I have ‘strict’ parents, but they certainly are quite conservative people, my dad especially. So coming home late, staying out all night or staying at a friend’s over the weekend and always having to tell my parents exactly where I am/going has been the major reason behind the many arguments we’ve had. Overtime however, I’ve learnt that the key (hey Dj Khaled!) is understanding and compromise. I’ve accepted that I live in my parents’ house and so I must follow their rules, and they’ve accepted and understood that I’m no longer a child and can handle myself in an emergency. Both parties have decided that I can stay out late/all night as long as it is a ‘once in a while’ thing (I get ‘checked’ whenever I get carried away).
Another issue I struggled (and still struggle with, quite frankly) is the complacency of the average Nigerian. Coming from a system where everything works because laws/rules and regulations are adhered to and enforced strictly, it can be extremely difficult adjusting to one where, well, those words don’t particularly exist or are not taken seriously. For example, the words ‘orderly queue’ is legit a myth in this country. You can imagine my frustration in dealing with our many fuel scarcities, mandatory BVN registration and just queuing/waiting your turn for anything, basically. Patience has never really been my strong suit and so in that regard, living in this country has been a real nightmare. Everyday is a constant struggle in learning to be patient and really just picking my battles wisely, just so I don’t lose my mind.
There are a million things I miss about living in the UK, for example the sun not trying to roast me alive at every opportunity it gets, but to keep things short, a couple of things I honestly miss are:
- MY INDEPENDENCE (see 2nd paragraph)
- Affordable unlimited wifi (unlimited wifi here costs an arm and a leg and is unreliable at best)
- The underground. The ability to get from one side of town to the other in about 15 minutes is a luxury I really miss, especially given the traffic situation in Lagos
- Online shopping – not many online retailers ship to Nigeria.
- Uninterrupted power supply. Need I say more?
Do I regret moving back? Absolutely not! It’s been a difficult transition for sure, especially in the first few months and there certainly were times I second guessed my decision and felt like I should have just stayed put. However, I can honestly say that I made the right decision simply because I’m wayy happier here than I was when I lived in the UK. I have a career now, I’m no longer so financially dependent on my parents, I’ve made a lot of new friends, and life in general is good! So I really have no regrets.
My advice to anyone considering a move back is simple; Don’t rush it!! Take the time to really weigh the pros and cons before deciding what’s best for you, ask questions and manage your expectations.