“perhaps we are all immigrants
trading one home for another
first we leave the womb for air
then the suburbs for the filthy city
in search for a better life
some of us just happen to leave entire countries”
Rupi Kaur, The Sun and Her Flowers
When Patricia left Colombia for Australia, she embarked on a journey far greater than the physical distance between these two lands. Her migration was not just a change of location, but a profound shift in her life’s trajectory. When she first set foot on Australian soil, she carried more than physical luggage. Her backpack was laden with emotions – farewell hugs, hopes from loved ones, and her dreams and fears, alongside photos and Colombian pesos, reminders of home.
Raised by her grandparents in Colombia, Patricia imbibed a deep sense of empathy and community service. She recalls the vibrancy of Colombian life – the fried plantains, lively family meals, and a culture teaching her to “enjoy the small things in life.” Despite a successful career in Business and Project Management, a sense of unfulfillment nudged her towards new horizons. Australia beckoned with its warmth and sea, promising growth and new beginnings.
Years later, Patricia reflects on her journey, “Australia became that part of my life where I had the opportunity to do things I enjoyed.” Her work now involves assisting people who live with disabilities, a role where her past and present converge. The narratives of those living with disabilities resonate with her, echoing her feelings as an immigrant – the loneliness, the quest for understanding.
This quest led Patricia to the Possibility Fellowship, an experience she describes as “a complete migration process summarised in 11 weeks.” The Fellowship was a transformative journey, not just in a professional sense, but in a deeply personal way. One of her favourite quotes shared was, “a gift is not a gift until it’s given.” She is now focused on discovering how she can give her unique gifts to better support those she serves.
Patricia’s story is a tapestry of migrations – across continents, cultures, and inner landscapes. Her Colombian roots, intertwined with her Australian experiences, have enriched her perspective. “I feel that I have rewritten my life as a migrant,” she says, viewing each challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow.
As she continues her work, Patricia often ponders, “What can I bring to the table?” It’s a metaphorical question reflecting her journey – from the familial tables of Colombia to the professional and communal spaces in Australia. Each step has been about contribution, about finding where she belongs and how she can enrich the lives around her.
Patricia’s story is not just about physical relocation. It’s a narrative of emotional and intellectual migration, of building bridges across divides with empathy and understanding. In her own way, she represents the journey of many, each seeking their place in this vast, interconnected world.
This story was gathered in partnership with Patricia as she concluded her experience in The Possibility Fellowship 2023.