Migration, more commonly known as moving, can be tiring but exciting. I went through this process on the 18th of July, as I flew from Nigeria to Vienna, Austria. My relatively good life with my family and my happy childhood was uprooted by warfare. It was not by choice, but by obligation as we were forced out by extremist insurgencies. I had to abandon my home, my place of comfort, for a whole new world. It was an exciting moment for me because I wanted to embrace a new culture and study new ways of living, but at the same time, I feel like I’m losing some of my own culture. As a result, I have become a stranger in my new land, but the more I assimilate with the Austrian culture, the more of a stranger I become to my home in Nigeria.
My life in Nigeria was fascinating. I lived in the capital city, in a fancy house that was protected with barbed wires and two security guards. It was a two floor house that had five rooms. It had a pool decorated with marble. My taste of food varied; I didn’t eat bush meat, because I thought it was disgusting, but I loved suya, a spicy shish kebab like skewered meat and is a popular food item in various parts of Nigeria.
It was the escalation of attacks by the terrorist group Boko Haram that made me move. Life isn’t easy when you have to worry every second about whether you’re in danger. I had trouble making a final decision, but my mind was made up for me when a store near my house was blown up by a terrorist attack. The pieces of severed human limbs strewn outside my house shocked me into the realization that I was in actual danger, and needed to remove myself from a situation where innocent people were dying. I knew I would have to adjust to a new culture but I didn’t mind because being a stranger for a while was better than being in danger. There are many others that weren’t as lucky.