How to Move to a New Country
The pandemic and anti-Black violence have our Black family reconsidering what home means to us
It’s a common refrain these days, especially among Black Americans: “I’ve just got to get out of this country.” But how do you actually find a new home abroad? After years of nomadic living, my family and I have recently found a place to settle, and so I can tell you this much: You have to ask yourself a couple of serious questions first — mostly about yourself.
What are you trying to solve for in your personal life?
What is your current life missing? When I moved to Cairo, Egypt, it was because I had a dream of a life that was about more than just paying bills and dreading the day I turned 30.
I’m American, and had always lived in the States. In 2015 I was working a temp job in Washington, D.C., to supplement a career in broadcasting that didn’t pay a living wage, and I was yearning for a life that didn’t feel so stressful. I thought traveling the world would mean I was living on my own terms — and it did feel that way, for a time. As it turned out, the nomadic path has its own set of stresses. My expat journey would lead to being displaced due to the pandemic.
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I had a good run before Covid-19 crashed the party, though. I lived in Egypt for seven months before I met the man who would become my husband. Like me, he was an American expat. He coached American-style football, but his seasons would only last about three months — then he’d be off to work with a new team. I fell in love with him and with the opportunity to see the world. We would have kept traveling, I think, had the pandemic not made settling feel so suddenly urgent.
What does the United States lack that you need?
The United States is not a country where I feel safe and healthy. As Black Americans, it’s easy to…