Leaving the American Dream: The World I Come From and the World I Call Home

When your family is blended with cultures and countries it can seem hard to find a place to fit in.

Story by Kiri Wihongi-Croxford. Edited by Rick Scherpenhuizen
The United States , Northern America
Published on Sunday, 6. September 2020

Reading time: 2 minutes 30 seconds.

This story is also available in tr



When your family is blended with cultures and countries it can seem hard to find a place to fit in. My background is very mixed. I hold nationality in 2 countries as a dual citizen and I have chosen to live in neither of those countries. My mother is British and found home in 4 countries of the world. My father is indigenous Maori (New Zealand) and made a home in 3 countries of the world. So it's no surprise I would follow in their foot-steps and find a home in more countries than just the one I was born in.

I come from the USA with a brief stay as a child in New Zealand. A dual citizen with most of my years spent as an American. A common belief that many Americans hold is that no other place on Earth is greater. The USA is a melting pot of cultures and religions, it's the epicenter of many technologies and life-changing innovations. Equality, freedom, money, power, safety and stability to name a few, are reasons some decide to stay in the USA or choose to immigrate there. To live the “American dream”. 

Everything should have felt like it was right at my finger tips, but something was not aligning there for me. I couldn't find a balance with those things that felt right for me. 

Both my parents have passed on from this life. When I was presented with the opportunity to leave the USA after they were both gone, nothing was holding me back. If they were still here I would have stayed for them, but my anchor to the USA was no longer there.. thus I decided to leave, to live a life in a country with affordable education and accessible healthcare for everyone, a life with personal growth through learning a new language, wealth not from money but wealth from a better work/life balance; in short, it was all those things in hopes of gaining a better quality of life and world perspective that made me decide to leave. 

Unfortunately many countries in current times are experiencing politically heated situations and war. Those that live in those places have love for their country and deep roots planted there. Regrettably they cannot stay and must seek refuge in other places. 

My wish to leave the country I was born to was not life or death. I am privileged to have been able to choose to follow in my parents foot-steps. I did find the things that I sought and so much more. It has allowed me to open my eyes to a new perspective. My previous perspective was shaped heavily by the American dream. Whatever the reason for my new mindset, the world I come from and the world I call home have given me a vision for what my parents did in their lifetime and why I have chosen to do the same in mine.


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Kiri Wihongi-Croxford

Kiri Wihongi-Croxford

I am born in the USA to immigrant parents. I am now living in the Netherlands and experiencing life from a perspective that many Americans never will. I am also a citizen of two countries, a hairstylist by trade, wife and mother.

Topic: Migration

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