From California to Ghana ~ “The Parks Family”

the parks family california

Migrating to Ghana or anywhere in the world is never an easy task or decision. Let us introduce you to the Parks family who are about to embark on this new journey from California to Ghana. Read their story and follow their journey as they enter into this new phase of their life…

the parks family- california
The Parks Family

Growing Pains
“The only thing in life that is constant is change.” This may sound a little cliché, but over the last three years that saying has really resonated with our family because we’ve grown so much through trial and error. We were chasing what we had been conditioned to believe was “The American Dream.” We wanted a higher education, a house with the picket fence, two and a half kids and a dog, thinking that would bring happiness and fulfillment but instead we were faced with emptiness and disappointment. Truth be told, we obtained the higher education but the debt that accompanied it wasn’t worth it. Our debt to income ratio was so high that we could barely get approved for enough money to buy a mobile home. We were able to have one of the two and a half kids but the cost for child care per month alone made us rethink the other kid and a half. As for the dog, we couldn’t afford one! This is when we realized in order to achieve the “American Dream” you had to be asleep because it really was just a dream. Our reality was that we wanted something totally different and knew we had to do something different to obtain it.

Thinking outside the Box
It’s funny how people have this way of wanting to do the same things in life as others. How we attempt to follow in the footsteps of our families or how we are influenced by what our friends are doing in life. Rarely do people get out of their comfort zones and venture outside the confines of familiarity. We participate in “group think” all our lives even if we are miserable. Our family appeared to be heading in the same direction until we gradually started to regain that innate sense of “questioning”. We have now come to know this as the “right way” to do this thing called life. Question everything!

In 2013 we moved from Chicago to Los Angeles and for us we thought the sky was the limit. My husband and I were highly educated and motivated individuals, with a new born son and the typical life plan. We would get great jobs, have tons of friends, purchase a home and live a life worth living. However, we found working for others didn’t bring the type of freedom we desired. The friends just did not materialize no matter how hard we tried because Angelenos are just a different breed of people compared to “us southern folks.” Lastly, to purchase a home in California required you to give your first born child, both kidneys, and 30 years of your life in financial bondage. This was not a life worth living! At least not the life we wanted.

We decided enough was enough and we had to change our mindset. We were going to create a new type of legacy for our family with a different life plan compared to the one we tried to conform to. No more working just to pay bills and survive. No more playing it safe. No more settling for less and living an overall dull life. We had seen our parents live this life and our friends pursuing it and it just was not appealing to us. We were not going to live like everyone else. Exploring the world and living in a country with a vastly different culture than what we had become accustom to in America was more appealing than punching the clock every day to make someone else’s dreams come true. Our son deserved to learn from his parents that you have to take risks to obtain rewards and the world is so much more than what lies within the American borders. We decided we needed to be examples of courage and determination to our son in order for him to know that you are in charge of your own destiny if you choose to be. We wanted more quality time together as a family and wanted to create memories that we could be proud of. We just wanted true “freedom” and we wanted out of the “rat race.”

After doing some research we starting looking at the world with a new set of eyes and believed that there were greater opportunities for us abroad. We wanted to build businesses that allowed us to have more flexibility and control over our schedules while obtaining financial freedom. We also wanted to give our son what we believed would be a more quality education through homeschooling/world-schooling. Try explaining to your “traditional southern African American” parents that you believe home ownership is a waste of money, you are leaving a great career to travel the world, you’re moving to a totally different continent permanently, and educating your child yourself. Thus far the response has been, “you all just think and act very differently.” Exactly! We want to think differently, live differently, and ultimately create a different legacy for the Parks Family. That was the overall the point of all of this. It was time for change!

No Turning Back
Time is something that is forever fleeting and we became very tired of waiting on the change to come. Initially the plan was to “get all our ducks in a row” and then make the move aboard in 3 to 5 years. We would save X amount of money, purchase an income property in the states to generate revenue, and continue to live the 9 to 5 lifestyle while we wait for the weekend to enjoy our lives. The weekends would come and go and we would be back on the “corporate plantation” every Monday morning ready to do it all over again. This had to change and it had to change quickly. One day while talking to some acquaintances and people in California, we told them, “We’re moving to Africa.” Not in 3 to 5 years, but in one year. The remarks were laughable but the overall consensus from those individuals was “Wait, what!” They were shocked that we would even think about leaving California, much less the USA. “Who moves to Africa?” That’s what everyone asks. “How will you survive? Where will you work? What about the diseases? What will you do about DJ’s schooling?” We couldn’t understand why it was such a hard concept to grasp. Africa was our future we just had to figure out the plan and then execute and leave the life we had in California.

I have always had some type of spiritual pull to Ghana and could never understand why. I had never been to Ghana before and unfortunately I know nothing of my ancestral linage, therefore I cannot say it is because my roots stem from there. Most if not all African Americans are descendants of west and central Africans so it wouldn’t be far fetched to say that maybe my roots run deep in Ghana. I don’t know the reason behind my unwavering desire to want to live in Ghana but I know in my heart that my family must go and with that we decided to follow the calling and plan our first trip.  As soon as we landed my husband and I both knew that this place would later become our home. Well, we did ponder on South Africa for a brief moment after the trip because it’s more developed and we would have an easier transition coming from the west. We even planned a trip to South Africa to research and explore the country as a possible moving location. However, after much research and communication with other potential repatriates, we decided that it wasn’t the place for us. We decided that our sights should be set solely on Ghana, West Africa.

Just the thought of the new adventures we would have once we moved brought so much excitement to our lives, but also disappointment. Everyday was starting to become more and more of a struggle to just get up and go to work. We came to the conclusion that since we were headed to Africa from California in January of 2017 for our South Africa trip, it just did not make sense to come back to California for only 6 months. The one year timeline went out the window and we determined that once we left for South Africa, we were staying in Africa. There is no turning back! As of today we have exactly 2 months and 25 days until our departure. The countdown begins!

Until next time…

About The Repat Diaries
Myra Parks is a blogger, vlogger, dedicated mother and wife. She aspires to teach and inspire others to follow their travel dreams while discovering a life worth living! Myra and her family have decided to set out on an adventure to explore mother Africa and discover the untold stories of descendants of African slaves who have returned “Home.” @TheRepatDiaries

52 Comments on From California to Ghana ~ “The Parks Family”

    • I have lived in the United States for 4years, I’m a Ghanaian I will advise you to invest in the good banks in Ghana some of the bank have 32% interest rates. Ghana is the gateway to west africa, and if you are looking for true freedom Ghana is the best option.

      • Hello Awotwi! Our first plan of action is to invest in treasury bills so im glad you brought this up. People don’t realize the best time to invest in a country is when its developing. You will never in a million years find interest rates like the ones in Ghana in the West! I hope to see you on the other side!

        • Lol that was my husband, we are so very tired of it over here. No true life but enslavement to a job. We are both nurses and cannot wait to head back to Ghana. I am American born with my father and his family being Ghanaian. People look at you that you are crazy. Even my father was not for the move but now he is even speaking of returning home due to retiring in less than a year. It is becoming more obvious to him this is not the life over here.

      • Hello Awotwi! Our first plan of action is to invest in treasury bills so im glad you brought this up. People don’t realize the best time to invest in a country is when its developing. You will never in a million years find interest rates like the ones in Ghana in the West! Thank for reading our blog!

    • I love this! I’m making plans as well. I have friends that live in Gabon and Johannesburg. Deciding where I want to settle is a task, but I’m dedicated to the life change.

      Peace and blessings to you and your family sister!

  1. Thanks for sharing your story. I look forward to hearing more of your exciting experience. Wish you and your family the very best.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing, I think it is incredibly brave to live in another country if your homeland is seen as ‘first world’ However ANYTHING is possible along as expectations are realistic and you are both motivated and driven to make wherever you lay your hat a home. I am very interested in hearing your journey, Ghana isn’t my place of choice but another African country will be. May your family be blessed, you guys are paving the way for others. Hotel

    • The beauty in moving to a developing country is you get to ground yourself and your family before the development happens which is a prime opportunity to create lasting relationships and build wealth for future generations. America isn’t our “homeland” we are just Africans that happen to be born abroad. I like to think of it as finally getting to have a say! The creator and ancestors have a plan, we are just following the ancestral call! Thank you so much for reading the post. Please stay tuned in for the good, the bad, and the ugly lol!

  3. I would love to visit this family in Ghana when I too eventually visit that home some day – hopefully soon! I am a South African in Jo’burg. Please have much fortune…light and strength. I’d be happy to show you the real South Africa too!

  4. Wow, you guys are awesome and brave for too many reasons to list. I wish you nothing the best and I look forward to reading about leaving old experiences behind and looking forward to the new ones. Best Wishes to you all!

  5. Your family is an inspiration to many of us. I want to follow your story & just may visit the Parks family in the Motherland.

  6. Thats incredibly brave. I was born in Ghana but went to grad school and worked as a lawyer in the US before I took the decision to return to Ghana and practice law here instead. It was not an easy decision but it is one I am VERY glad I took. I wish you the very best. And have fun in SA. Beautiful country.

  7. I will closely follow your blog, we need to know there is another way and options are available to those in search of them. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  8. This is soooo awesome!! As a Ghanaian I’ve been thinking about moving back but finances (and family) have held me back for years. Now I know it’s not our time yet, I still have a dream to fulfill where I am now. Since recently I’ve decided to take the plunge and start my own business here in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Your words have encouraged me to take this leap with even more faith and sincerity. My desire to explore Africa (and the rest of the world) with my son is one of the reason I’m risking it all. I can’t work a job when deep down I know there is a passion within to serve the people. Share your greatness, cause I’m looking forward to it!

  9. The exciting thing will come when the spiritual pull you’ve felt gives you your response. May you be a grudge for more Africans living and born in the US to seek business, spiritual and leave of mind connections in Ghana and other countries. I have a friend who just relocated there last week and a number of others who mostly live in Ghana. Blessings to your family in this move.

  10. Wohooo what an exciting move! I made the move 4 years ago and it has been a wonderful journey from the UK to Ghana. I too have a son and am married. You will grow, you will blossom and you will have a great sense of actually contributing to a country you feel you belong to. I wish you all the best, please get in touch.

    Oh and, they’ll be challenges but there are challenges everywhere.

    All the best!

    Rosie x

  11. My wife and I are thinking about this move and have been, regardless of politics and etc., mostly for spiritual reasons. I was thinking in 10 years, but could be 3-5. Glad to have found this blog. We just bought a home in Van Nuys and are thinking of using it as rental property in the future. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Greeting, do you mind sharing how to begin investing in treasury bills as you mentioned in an earlier comment you made. My husband and I have also talked about moving to Ghana, but we don’t know where to start. We know we at least one of us needs to have a job secured before we get there, we would just like to make investments also.

  13. Sis, I would love to connect with you! I’m from the Bay, just moved back here after living in the UAE for almost five years and would love to transition to Ghana in the near future. My husband and I just returned from South Africa and we gave it a moment’s thought, but I know Ghana is it for me on the continent. I know you are in full preparation mode right now and need every ounce of your energy (we moved to the UAE when our oldest son was 2 months old, so I know the hustle!) but please reach out when you have the time.
    I wish you and your family all the best and maybe we’ll meet on the streets of Accra one day, everything is possible!

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