The ‘japa’ syndrome is something that has hit a lot of Nigerians in the past years. Japa syndrome is probably due to internal problems ranging from the bad economy, terrible leadership, frustrating educational wahala, and fear of what the future holds in Nigeria (if there’s any).
As a result, many Nigerians still living in Nigeria have thought of leaving the country. Other Nigerians can be seen scattered outside the shores of their motherland in search of greener pastures.
Traveling outside the country is not as easy as it seems, whether temporarily or permanently. There is a lot of preparation and planning to be done amidst other actions. So, whatever the case may be, if you’ve had japa thoughts or you’re already making plans, here are some factors to consider before traveling out of Nigeria.
Factors to Consider before you Travel out of the Country (Japa)
Prepare your mind
This is the first requirement to travel out of Nigeria because leaving your country, family, friends, and everything familiar to another man’s land is difficult. You have to be convinced that you’re taking the right step.
Most Nigerians believe leaving the country is the best thing, but this doesn’t work for everyone. Leave the country based on your convictions and not just because everyone else is leaving. Trust me, and japaing is not for everyone.
While preparing your mind, you must also be realistic with your expectations. Money doesn’t grow on trees in other countries, so don’t go with the mindset of becoming rich overnight. It would help if you prepared your mind to put in actual work to make an honest living and be comfortable over there.
It won’t all be “vibes and insha Allah.”
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Have a plan
Mapping out a plan is a salient factor to consider before traveling and a fundamental requirement to travel out of Nigeria. Remember that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Having a clear plan gives insight into where you’re going, what you will need, how you will get there, all you hope to achieve and how you will survive.
A plan entails all necessities and details about the country you want to go to, what living there is like, the weather conditions, and how the locals relate with citizens from other countries. It also entails how you intend to raise more than enough money to take you there and keep you afloat for the first couple of days, weeks, or even months while working within your budget.
It also considers the standard of living, working conditions, job opportunities available there, and if you’re professionally competent to grab these opportunities. In addition, if you have a partner, spouse, or someone you would like to join you, please include them in your plans.
Read also: Guide to booking flight in Nigeria
Seek professional and personal advice
Seeking advice is an important requirement to be done before you plan to travel out of Nigeria. Professional advice can be from Visa Consultation Establishments or Travel Agencies. They would guide you every step of the way, assessing your budget and interests and giving you different options while stating their pros and cons. This would help your decision-making process and provide a certain level of assurance.
Personal advice can be from those who have gone through the whole japa procedure and are willing to help you. By engaging with them, you would get free advice from someone with first-hand experience.
Gather all your documents
Certain documents are essential to travel out of Nigeria, the most important being your International Passport. I’d you don’t have it, day play.
Depending on your purpose for traveling, you would need several other documents like; birth certificates, school certificates, enough passport photographs, tax clearances, professional certifications, medical reports, account statements, hotel reservation tickets or proof of private accommodation, and so on.
All sorts of information needed about you should be found in your documents. They might come in handy when you travel. You never can tell.
Learn a skill
No one likes to hear this, but it’s really important.
Skills like hairdressing, barbing, and tailoring, considered cheap here, are a big deal, and people pay a lot of money to enjoy these services.
So, while settling in and maybe still searching for a job, you could offer your skills to locals in exchange for good money.
Find a community
This shouldn’t be hard since Nigerians can be found on almost all continents.
A community of like-minded people would help you stay close to your roots and remind you of your home. This would reduce loneliness and the feeling of being homesick.
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Don’t rush the process
Rushing may put you in a vulnerable position, making you prey for scammers. Many Nigerians have fallen victim to this in their bid to hasten things so that they can travel quickly. Your country of choice is not running away; neither will opportunities be exhausted. So, calm down.
Also, make sure you find a tested and trusted travel agency, if possible, referred by someone that has used them and is already in their preferred country.
Additionally, ensure to follow all the steps and procedures carefully. Check, recheck and cross-check to ensure you have all you need before traveling. If you forget anything, sorry, we can’t send a dispatch to you.
Seeing that this wave of japa is going around, and is going around real fast, you should consider the above mentioned factors before leaving the country. Considering all that goes into it, turning back may not be easy.
So whether you want to travel to study, work, get married, or even permanently stay abroad, the above-listed factors to consider before traveling out of Nigeria would give you the enlightenment needed before, during, and after your japa decision.
Wishing you great success in all your japa plans!
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- I am a student of Obafemi Awolowo University. A Gen-Z and advocate for the Soft Life. I spend most of my leisure time as a freelancer, creatively curating content and telling relatable stories. I am also passionate about quality lifestyle.
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