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Eleven Emotions of Emigration

A list of evocative words that capture the experience of moving countries as an adult.


“spirited and determined courage” My loved ones reminded me that moving to an unfamiliar place takes a lot of pluck, and I felt reassured by their faith in me.


“a feeling of fear or anxiety about something that may happen”

As I walked around my neighbourhood for the last time, a wave of trepidation washed over me. Though I was excited, I wondered if moving away was the right choice.

(Photograph by Aakanksha Gupta)


“a state of agitation”

The next morning I was all of a dither, trying to make sure that I had everything before I left for the airport at five o’clock.


“exhausted or worn out”

Two trains later and with three suitcases in tow, I arrived at the airport. I was bushwhacked and ready to sleep through the ten-hour flight ahead of me.


“energy; enthusiasm”

As expected, I slept through the flight, only waking up thirty minutes prior to landing. It was then that I caught my first glimpse of the city's bright and welcoming skyline — a view that immediately replaced my worries with vim!


“a state of physical or mental weariness; lack of energy”

My mind raced as I unpacked my suitcases. Eventually, I was overcome by lassitude and decided to call it a night.


“disturb or agitate (someone)”

My excitement abated after I finished the last of my unpacking. I grew discomposed and was overwhelmed by a sense of homesickness that did not leave my side for two months.


“(of a person) fond of company; sociable”

By the time the third month rolled around, I was tired of being alone and decided to join a cultural association. I was relieved to know that my gregarious nature had risen above my nerves.


“the state of being calm and composed”

My friends encouraged me to get some rest before the journey ahead of me. After they gave me a group hug and a cup of cocoa, I sat on the couch in quiet repose.


“accustom or acclimatize”

As I gradually felt more like myself, I ventured out into the city. It was a lot bigger than my hometown, but finding spots to call my own helped me attune myself to living there.


“optimistic or positive, especially in an apparently bad or difficult situation”

With time, I became more sanguine about my new home even though it was a thousand miles away from family and friends.


Written by Aakanksha Gupta, edited by Aradhita Saraf (Weloquent)

What are some other emotions you felt when you moved countries? Tell us in the comments below - or email us at

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