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Moving to Ghana after a lifetime in the UK brought its challenges and triumphs. After 3 years in Africa, Elvina Quaison is changing course.

Moving to Ghana after a lifetime in the UK brought its challenges and triumphs. After three years in Africa, Elvina Quaison is changing course

In answer to the question you are yet to ask…I will begin with the headline; I am returning to the UK.

The response to this life update has been met with varying responses, mainly ‘Why?’, and queries as to whether it all got too much in the end.

Listening to people and their openness in admitting that they have been watching my journey to get the courage/ inspiration/ insight to perhaps make their own journey has been interesting and emotional. As I have found over the years, you have no idea what or who you are influencing just by simply living your life.

The response implies that I somehow failed in ‘Making my Move’ and they knew it would happen and now they will go and reconsider their own plans; better to be safe than sorry? So my letter from Africa will be to look at this idea of ‘if the chances of failing are high, why do it? Why make that move?’

A Shock to the System

To begin, let me state categorically that in my three years of living in Ghana I have failed and failed and failed, time and again. I have cried, been stressed and frustrated. I have been lonely and miserable, lost and confused and all manner of emotions we often go to extreme lengths to avoid. But through each failure, every challenging emotion I had to live through, I did just that - I lived through it. I learnt lessons, I got stronger and I carried on improved, or at least a little wiser.

Moving to Ghana has been a shock to the system on a number of fronts, the main one being I have had to learn about myself, look at my strengths and my shortcomings and decide what my priority in life is right now. Three years ago, that was moving to Ghana and that priority was an amazing decision. All of my life experiences, as you have seen over the course of my letters from Africa, have brought invaluable growth and learning – the key one being that there is no failure when you try.

The next key learning is that wherever you are in the world, people will have an opinion on your life and choices. The main thing to remember is that it is their opinion and therefore none of your business - your business is your life plan and your reasons why. When I said I was going to Ghana, lots of people were telling me not to go, finding every negative angle to put me off going. Had I listened I would have done myself a huge disservice.

When I said I was going to Ghana, lots of people were telling me not to go, finding every negative angle to put me off going. Had I listened I would have done myself a huge disservice.

A point to add is that I left because I needed to live in Ghana; I didn’t hate the UK or have negative feelings about living there. UK is home as Ghana is home - just in quite different ways with ties that bind in accordance with the country those binds are attached to. Right now, the binds in the UK are calling more strongly than my Ghanaian ones and so I see that my next phase is in the UK, empowered and matured by my time in Ghana.

Retaining Ties

My ties in Ghana are long and enduring so in response to the other question I am asked, ‘Where are you having your leaving do?’, the answer is there is no ‘leaving do’ as I’m not leaving. I am merely basing myself in the UK and will continue to be connected personally and professionally to Ghana. I have found that as long as you let it and focus on it, your life and how it is organised really is your decision. In these last few weeks before I am back in the land of muted colours and efficiency, I am putting my life in the order I wish to live it.

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So, in answer to your question, no, I am not leaving Ghana because I am fed up, it was too much, I can’t take it any more, there is nothing here for me. None of that is true. I am leaving Ghana for reasons wholly personal and not the business of anyone else.

However, I will say that my experience - good, bad or somewhere in between - is my experience. Yours will be different. I can advise, provide guidance, broker introductions and assist you to make that transition a little easier. That is what I created Silk Solutions for. However, in the end you know why you want to move, you are clear on what you wish to accomplish and what your new life will look like. Whether I went out in a blaze of glory or broke, frustrated and angry should have no bearing on what decision you make. We are not the same people and we may have been looking for very different things.

I will miss my Ghana life but I am very excited at what is to come, and who knows which destination or content my future letters will hold. That is my main learning from Ghana; who knows what the future holds? So plan to have it be as exciting and fulfilling as you want, then take steps to make it happen.

Have a very Happy New Year and make it amazing!

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