This is a story of a mother of two kids, Tiffany Soulbird, who relocated from Southern California in the United States of America (USA) to the West of Africa, Ghana to be precise, to continue her life.
She moved into the country with her mum and according to her, she has never regretted taking the decision to move from America to Ghana for the past seven years.
She wrote a long piece on Twitter to talk about her experience and what caused her to move from the developed nation to a continent described as a developing one.
Read the full story below:
In 2010, I made a trip to Ghana, W. Africa. It was 6 months that changed my life.
For me, it was an important part of piecing together my identity. I swore I’d come back. So in 2013, I made the move from Southern California to Ghana, West Africa & I haven’t looked back.
Firstly, my name is Tiffany. Originally from L.A, California and by trade I’m a freelance writer and editor. I’m 35 years old (elder millennial ✌🏾) and I’m a mama to two girls. I live in Ghana with them and my lovely mother.
2ndly, I see what y’all are going through back in the U.S. Weary face I’ve been doing my share of petitions & Twitter debating. I just want to say #BLACKLIVESMATTER. It’s an intense time and I’m doing this cause I feel some of you might want to seek refuge for a lil while or longer.
But overall I’m glad to call Ghana my 2nd home. Even if you wouldn’t live here permanently, I suggest every person of African descent visit Gh for at least a month. You’ll be warmly welcomed, filled with good food, baked in sunshine, & overall very enriched by the experience.
A couple months after coming to Ghana, we had both shed several pounds as we were eating a healthier indigenous diet. My mother also drastically cut down on the number of medications she was taking. It refreshing to see the life come back into her.
Why did I leave the U.S? I had been fascinated by Ghana ever since I found out through my aunt’s ancestry DNA test that we had ancestors from here. And I believe it was my ancestors that were ultimately guiding me to come here from the time I was a teenager.
I know this doesn’t cover everything there is to cover, so feel free to ask me any questions. Healthcare, work, junk food, real estate, schools… I don’t have every answer but I’ll do my best. Use hashtag #goGhana so I’ll see your question.
Pardon the tweets being out of order. Face with tears of joy I hope they make some kind of coherent sense.
It wasn’t easy because at times I was just totally broke. One time I had gone to make copies of visa applications at Kinko’s and on the way home, I had to beg the bus driver to let me on because I was 80 cents short! It was hard but I was really determined to make it happen.
My mother chose to come with me because she needed a break, as she was struggling with the cost of living (live in L.A is expensive…) and also she was just stressed out to the point of being on disability.
How did I afford the move? At the time that I started saving, I had just gotten a couple of lucrative freelance writing jobs, I put almost all the money I was making toward buying plane tickets, visas, my mom’s passport etc.
I was at an age where I really needed a sense of identity, so knowing my ancestry really influenced my sense of self. I’m also a Sagittarius rising so I’d been kind of obsessed with long distance travel most of my life. Smiling face with open mouth and smiling eyes.
A lot of people don’t know that Ghana was once home to over 70% of all the slave forts in Africa. So coming here to visit the slave forts can be an extremely emotional and spiritual experience for black people in the diaspora.
Ghanaians also only have a vague sense of linear time. Face with tears of joy This is annoying but there’s e a joke that GMT stands for Ghana Man Time. You just have to accept that you’re gonna have “Omg I’ve been waiting for this man for an hour” moments & he’s texted he’s almost there 3 times.
People greet each other in the street and children are polite to a fault. My mother says it’s a lot like growing up in the south (minus the racism of course). Ghanaians overall are notoriously friendly people.
The most challenging things I’ve found about Ghana: 1. The country is not fully developed as far as infrastructure goes. So unpaved roads and power outages, and sanitation problems in certain areas can be inconvenient and irritating.
How is life like here? Life is a lot more laid back in Ghana, meaning that strangers actually talk to each other and people are not in a rush like I typically experienced in SoCal (unless you’re in crazy Accra traffic, but thats another story…)
Eating is also healthier here, like I mentioned. People are more likely to plant gardens and have fruit trees. Many black ppl come to Ghana & starts farms for a living. We have KFC, Pizza Hut, etc. in major cities, but eating local is just cheaper. And usually DELICIOUS.
Water supply is also an issue in many areas. In the U.S I depended on the city water supply to pipe water to every home, but here municipal water is only available in some places. There are ways around this, but it’s just something to be aware of.
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