Have you ever dreamed of packing your bags, bidding farewell to your familiar surroundings, and embarking on a new adventure in a foreign land? Many individuals around the world have taken the leap of faith to live abroad, often referred to by Nigerians as “Japa.” This journey is not for the faint of heart, as it comes with its unique set of challenges and triumphs. In this article, we will delve into the three distinct phases that define the Japa experience and uncover the tales of living abroad with courage and resilience.

Phase 1: The Lag Phase (0-2 years)
The beginning of the Japa journey can be daunting, as it is often marked by the “lag phase.” During this period, newcomers may question their decision to move abroad and face the initial struggles of securing a job. The apprehension of not finding a good job, especially if one has sold off their properties to fund the move, can be overwhelming. Those on student visas may find themselves grappling with long hours of work for minimal wages while hoping to secure a work visa in the mid-term. Even those who left their home country on residence visas may face challenges in obtaining a professional job, triggering imposter syndrome and affecting their perception of the Japa experience.

However, it’s important to note that the lag phase is transient and varies for each individual. Some may find themselves stuck in this phase for a longer duration, depending on factors such as the country they moved to, the available opportunities, their visa class, and the quality of information they have. Others may move through this phase relatively quickly, with their determination and resilience propelling them forward. It’s crucial to seek advice and guidance from those who have successfully transitioned out of this phase when seeking information about Japa, as they can provide a more balanced and realistic perspective.

Phase 2: The Steady Phase (3-6 years)
After navigating through the initial challenges, individuals in the Japa journey often enter the “steady phase.” This is when they land their first professional job, move up in their visa class, and start earning a more substantial income. They may have paid off personal debts and can afford little luxuries such as regular travel to nearby countries. Those on residence visas may feel more settled during this phase, having secured a stable professional job or even changed jobs to earn a higher salary in a reputable company. Individuals in this phase often have a different perspective on abroad, thinking more in terms of the big picture and being less inclined to paint a gloomy portrayal of living overseas.

It’s important to note that there is no fixed timeline for how long one stays in this phase or transitions into it. Landing a good job is often the first sign of entering the steady phase, but it varies for everyone. Listening to advice from individuals who have successfully navigated this phase and have the practical experience to share can be invaluable. Many individuals who move abroad, secure a job, and, maintain a clean record eventually find themselves in the steady phase. Some may remain in this phase indefinitely, while others may choose to move on to the next phase.





Phase 3: The Peak Phase (7 years and above)
The “Peak phase” is the pinnacle of the Japa journey. Individuals who have persevered and thrived in the abroad experience may find themselves in this phase. They have reached a point of stability, earning a substantial income in six figures, and have achieved significant professional success. They may hold high-level positions such as Directors, Senior Executives, or Partners in prestigious firms. Some may have even started their own companies and become employers themselves. During this phase, individuals may have secured their citizenship, making travel and other endeavors more.

In conclusion, the Japa experience is a journey of courage, resilience, and determination. It is not without its challenges, but it is also filled with triumphs and personal growth. The lag phase, steady phase, and peak phase mark different stages of this journey, with each phase presenting its unique set of opportunities and obstacles.

Living abroad is not just about the physical location, but also about the mindset and attitude one brings to the experience. Arming oneself with the right information, seeking guidance from those who have successfully navigated the journey, and maintaining a positive outlook can greatly influence the outcome of the Japa experience.

For those considering or currently living abroad, remember that there is no fixed timeline for each phase, and individual experiences may differ. It’s important to be patient, resilient, and adaptable, and to keep pushing forward despite the challenges that may arise.
In the end, the Japa experience is not just about the destination, but also about the journey itself. It is about discovering new cultures, expanding horizons, and pushing oneself beyond comfort zones. It is about developing a global perspective, building meaningful relationships, and gaining a deeper understanding of oneself. The tales of living abroad with courage and resilience are stories of personal growth, cultural exchange, and unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.

So, if you are considering embarking on your own Japa journey or are currently living abroad, embrace the challenges, celebrate the triumphs, and make the most out of this extraordinary experience. With the right mindset and determination, the journey of Japa can be a life-changing adventure that shapes you into a more resilient, adaptable, and globally aware individual.

Featured Image Source: NewsWireNGR

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