Why people migrate is influenced by different factors. Push factors describe the aspects that make you leave a place, whereas pull factors are reasons for moving to a certain location because it offers circumstances attractive to you. At the moment I am indecisive about the balance of push and pull factors when thinking about my next move. The move is: I'm going "home". "Home" means my home country, which I visited regularly during the last four years but have avoided living in for the long-term. After travelling for a year, I decided to study abroad and additionally 'go abroad from abroad' for a semester in between. Before finishing my Bachelor degree I had to make a choice where to continue with my Master degree. Should I go to another foreign country, should I stay in the country that had been my host for the last years or go back to where I come from?
As I had discovered many pull factors of my home country during my time abroad I decided to go back and give it another chance. My antipathy and suspicion towards my own nation has faded and I have found multiple aspects I could only start to value being somewhere else. Now I am looking forward to a life I had turned away from - to use my native language, to eat food you can get nowhere else than there, to go to a shop and buy a newspaper addressing politics I have a voice in, to go to a doctor without a hussle about insurance matters,... There are many things - mostly small things - I have missed the last years and am happy to regain.
However, my vagabond life has left its marks. It has even increased my curiosity to see, learn and feel new places. I love to learn and speak foreign languages, to get to know new people and cultures and to live in an international environment. I like the characteristics of many other nations and am afraid I will return to dislike those of my own.
The pull factors to return to my home country are strong. But now and then the push factors pop up in my mind and try to get me to far-away places. Will I enjoy being back or will my feet soon get itchy again? I admit, subconsciously I'm a little torn.
Catharina Rudschies, Alum European Studies