“As I’ve Left Nigeria, I’ve Left Forever” — Abroad Life

April 22, 2022

The Nigerian experience is physical, emotional and sometimes international. No one knows it better than our features on #TheAbroadLife, a series where we detail and explore Nigerian experiences while living abroad.

On a trip to the US in 2020, today’s subject on Abroad Life decided he wasn’t returning to Nigeria. Well, the US didn’t work out for him, so he processed his master’s in Canada and japa’d last year. Now he’s there and he has no motivation to come back. 

When did you first decide to move abroad?

My mum and I visited the US in December 2020 and somehow, we decided I wasn’t coming back to Nigeria. I’m not a US citizen or anything. One aunty in the US said, “Let him stay now. He has finished university. He can stay with us while he processes his master’s application. There are more opportunities for him here.” And my mum thought it was a great idea. 

Did you think it was a great idea?

I didn’t mind. I’ve gone to the US on holiday multiple times, so finding out I was going to be staying behind wasn’t a big deal. I told my two best friends in Nigeria, we laughed about it, and that was all. When we started making more defined plans, we decided I was going to stay with an aunt, work at a warehouse so I wasn’t idle and apply for my master’s. As time went, it became clear that we weren’t going to go ahead with the plan. Schools in the US were too expensive, and the process for applying for university was generally stressful. What we decided to do was return to Nigeria in January and start processing a Canadian school’s application. 

What did that feel like?

I had mixed feelings. I was already getting used to the idea of staying abroad, so the change of plans was a bit unnerving. 

On the other hand, I got to see my friends and spend time with them again before leaving. I also got to spend time with my parents. I’m an only child, so I’m pretty sure they were already missing me before I left. 

When did you eventually leave?

October 2021. At some point, I was scared I wasn’t going anymore. I waited for my visa for about four months. I honestly think it’s things like these that make Nigerians hide their travel plans from friends and family. Imagine I’d told everyone I was traveling and the visa eventually didn’t come. Thankfully, I’d told only my two best friends. Other people knew when I was on the plane or when I’d gotten to Canada. 

Where in Canada did you move to?


What do people there think about Drake?

I’m more curious about what they think about Kizz Daniel. What’s my business with Drake?

LMAO! What do they think about Kizz Daniel?

I wouldn’t know. I’ve been indoors almost throughout my stay here. I haven’t socialised one bit. My school is online, and I live alone. I studied communications in my undergrad in Nigeria, and I’m here to study computer science as I try to pivot into tech, so school is also super difficult. I don’t have time to go out. All I do is work.

Expectation vs reality: Canada edition.

Because I’ve been to the US multiple times, I didn’t expect Canada to be any different. In my opinion, they’re almost the same — same language, people, cultures, e.t.c. My predictions were correct. The only thing I’ve noticed is that food, clothes and other everyday things are more expensive here than in the US. 

A lot of people have told me recently that they get really lonely abroad.

I don’t even have the time to be lonely. I’m occupied with classes and tasks and assignments all the time. I also talk to my friends in Nigeria pretty frequently, so I can’t get lonely. The only person I really miss is my mum. Since I got here in October, there’s been only one day where I didn’t speak with her. The next day we spoke after that, it felt awkward — like I hadn’t spoken to her in ages. I can’t go a day without talking to her now. 

You seem satisfied with things the way they are.

I am. There’s not so much I’d be doing differently. I’m not the type of person to go out for parties or to hang out with people. Staying at home and focusing on school is how I imagined I’d be spending my time in Canada and that’s what I’m doing. 

I’ve been thinking of signing up to play football occasionally, so I can maintain my fitness, but that’s pretty much the only thing I’d change. 

That’s great—

Oh, and I’m looking for a job. Once I start making my own money, I want to buy mics and cameras so I can start a podcast and a YouTube channel where I talk about football.

Tell me about your favourite part of being in Canada so far.

It’s the fact that I don’t have to worry about things like electricity and good roads. I can decide to cross and all the cars on the road would wait for me. 

And your least favourite part?

The winter cold. It’s unbearable. 

What’s the plan for after master’s?

It’s to stay o. My mum and dad are thinking of coming to stay here too, so we’ll just continue our family here. As I’ve left Nigeria, I’ve left forever. I’ll still visit, but I’m now one of those IJGB people that just go and come from time to time. 

I’m in my new dispensation.

Hey there! My name is David and I’m the writer of Abroad Life. If you’re a Nigerian and you live or have lived abroad, I would love to talk to you about what that experience feels like and feature you on Abroad Life. All you need to do is fill out this short form, and I’ll be in contact.

Want more Abroad Life? Check in every Friday at 9 A.M. (WAT) for a new episode. Until then, read every story of the series here.

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

October 16, 2020

As the #Endsars protests continue into the week, some protesters might be losing focus. We’ve heard reports of [some] bad behaviour among protesters. We the good people at Zikoko thought it right to remind us all of the dos and don’ts of a peaceful protest. Let’s begin: 1) No alcohol. Alcohol and good behaviour rarely […]

September 9, 2020

The Edo State Governorship election is on the 20th of September, and it will be interesting to know who governs Edo State for the next four years, including how the winning candidate eventually makes the state better. Will Adams Oshiomole have his man, Osagie Ize-Iyamu become Governor of Edo State? Or will Godwin Obaskei hold […]

Obasanjo Oputa panel
October 27, 2020

On October 19, 2020, the Lagos State Government set up the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution for victims of police brutality in Lagos state. But, judicial panels are not new in Nigeria. In fact, about 20 years ago, we also had a popular Oputa panel. Read: #EndSARS: The Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry […]

October 12, 2020

You can recall your Senator. Many of them have refused to make laws that are focused on making the life of the average Nigerian youth better. And as we focus on the #EndSARS movement, I think it is important that we remember our many rights as Nigerian citizens. Read: We Stand With The #EndSARS Movement […]


Now on Zikoko

May 21, 2022

The subject of today’s Sex Life is a 27-year-old man who masturbated for the first time when he was 22. He talks about the transition from saving himself for marriage to just enjoying sex, and why he never considered masturbation till he started having sex.

Recommended Quizzes

November 15, 2019

There are two types of people in Nigeria right now: those who are proud Marlians, and those who are still in denial about stanning the divisive star. So, for those who proudly wear the Marlian tag, we made a quiz to test how well you really know Naira Marley. If you get more than 6 […]

November 22, 2019

It can be very stressful when you’re trying to find the love of your life, but you only keep meeting people that are exactly like your yeye ex. To help you be more aware of that problem, we’ve created a quiz that lets you know the kind of people you are attracting. Take it to […]

April 3, 2020

While the rest of the world loves to treat our continent like a country, there are actually 54 African countries. So, in a bid to test your knowledge (and educate you), we’ve created a quiz to see how many of their capitals you can correctly name. Go ahead:

how much of an ajebutter
February 12, 2020

Are you an ajebutter or not? Well, if you’ve gone through life blissfully unaware of its harshness, then you probably are. Now, we want to know just how high you rank on that ajebutter scale, using your food preferences as a (very accurate) measure. Take to find out:

February 26, 2020

Are you all set for marriage, or are you still figuring it out? Well, if you’re curious to know the answer, then this is the quiz for you. All you have to do is create your own ideal Nollywood wedding film, and we’ll tell you if you’re ready to say “I do”. Go ahead:

More from Citizen


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.