All those people like me who have grown up in developing countries have either dreamt of settling down or travelling at least once to the US. There is something about the country which makes it attractive to experience at least once in a lifetime. Whether it is the weather, nature, lifestyle or the Corporate America.
As a typical Indian girl, I grew up watching Bollywood movies. Many of the movies I watched were shot in America. All those movies always intrigued me to explore this American fuss. With years, my plans to move to the US became even more concrete and finally came true in 2013 when I finally moved there after exploring it during few of my trips as a visitor before.
For me, American Dream was all about Corporate America at first. With time, I learnt how wrong I was. Well, the picture I framed about America was far different from what I actually experienced.
- I learnt to be independent!! While I was in India, the only job I had was to study. Rest was all taken care of. The moment I landed the US, I knew I was all by myself in a place which was completely new to me. No one knew who I was. I could be the TRUE ME. Now, my job was not just studying. But I studied, worked, cooked, cleaned all by myself. The 24 hours in a day which seemed very less before were so well organised now.
- Work-life balance was the key!! If you can’t manage between work/study/social life, you would loose it. This was the key lesson I learnt. Social outings during the weekends was a must to avoid insanity during next work week.
- Being alone was not that sad!! At the end of the day when I was all by myself, I started valuing little things around me. A run out in the midst of nature was the most amazing feeling rather than club hopping in downtown.
- Your values might not align with that of your friends!! I made some amazing friends from across the globe. I had friends from Russia, Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Dominican Republic and I can go on and on. None of us had the same culture or mother tongue but to our advantage, we all spoke English. All of us had completely different backgrounds and values but America made us one big family. There was no room to judge each other despite all the differences. I travelled and spent some of the most amazing times with these people. I had never experienced such level of friendship in my life and I will cherish this throughout.
- Things do not come easy!! I have never been afraid to work hard to achieve something. America made that quality even more firm for me. I was ready to accept any challenge that came my way. The best part about those challenges was my attitude towards it which definitely was because of the people and experiences around.
After 3 years though I am back to India, but I would say I lived a True American Dream for the past 3 years. I learnt, laughed, travelled, cried, made money, lost some and saved some too. Overall, I lived a lifetime in just 3 years. I am sure there are still many people out there who are seeking to live the American Dream. My only advice to them is that America is definitely a land of opportunities. However, you should also be ready to face the sacrifices that come with those opportunities. Your attitude and little experiences can take you a long way. My attitude and reactions towards those experiences are a direct result of my real American Dream and contribute to who I am today as an individual as well as a professional.
As once pointed out by Benjamin Franklin “A huge part of the American Dream is money. You cannot beat the opportunity that there is in this country to create wealth.”
Well, agreeing with Benjamin Franklin’s point, I would also like to add, You cannot beat the lessons and experiences that there are in this country which I believe is the real wealth for a person.
Founder & Entrepreneurial Lead, SUNPAC International
Project Manager, Mixeron