The Unseen Triumphs of an Expat

Do you know what it feels like to receive sincere gratitude? It might come from your parents as the money you sent for their medicine covered the cost, from a sibling who finally graduated from college, a close relative who was finally able to pay their hospital expenses, or someone you love who is growing a local business that employs and empowers people who, thanks to your financial support of the business, are now able to work.

Most migrants constantly think of their families back home. They think of ways to give back and provide better lives to the ones they love. They occupy themselves with questions such as “How to send money faster” when emergencies occur, or “How to retire” when their time comes and they want to go back home. 

So, if you’ve ever found yourself wondering how to help a friend in dire need, or what is the best way to send money home in order to fuel the capital of your local cattle stock/poultry business, you probably know what I’m talking about. 

When you find answers to these questions and learn how to overcome these challenges, the success stories of your loved ones also become your own. Of course, the challenges mentioned above are only part of the many struggles a migrant faces when living in a new country while financially supporting loved ones back home. 

On a personal note, I can happily tell the world that my youngest brother has recently graduated from college and received his diploma. He personally thanked me for all the support he got from me – emotionally and financially. Over the years of his studies, I dealt with the questions mentioned above and continuously found solutions to wiring much-needed funds over to my family back home, partly to pay for my brother’s education. 

Naturally, when sending money home, I wanted to make the delivery of the funds as easy as possible for my family, and even more so with the covid-19 pandemic restrictions, which had us searching for creative money transfer methods. I tried various methods including wire transfers and cash pickups. While I am an avid fan of cash pick-up, I recently started sending money to mobile wallets, which proved to be a much faster and easier solution that does not put my relatives’ health at risk. 

This made me think of millions of expats and migrants, like me, who have the same routine: paying for tuition, helping out a friend, supporting his/her parents, growing a business, and saving for retirement. 

The need for funds may never end. Yet, when something ends positively like my brother’s college chapter, you’d feel unimaginable pride. But more than I feel proud of my brother, I feel proud of myself. I was one of many, who partially helped a person achieve their goal. This makes me part of his story (you know, regardless of the fact that I am his sister), as my brother was able to focus on his studies and work hard to graduate, while knowing that he is taken care of.

These unseen triumphs may be insignificant to some, but are very much gratifying for the individual migrant who was privileged to support a person they love on their path to making their dreams come true. It means a lot to be a part of someone’s success story, whether it’s a family member, a relative, or a friend. So, do you know what it feels like to receive sincere gratitude? To be part of someone else’s story?