After moving back to South Africa four years ago (from the UK) we’ve decided through a year of deliberation that we’ll be moving countries. Again…
This time very far south, also maybe known as the “arse end of the world”, to the North Island of New Zealand.
This process will take place over the next few months, as Hubby Dave has gone over to Auckland ahead of me and Abi to get the ball rolling in NZ, while I wrap up the SA side of things (including selling our house, bleh!)
The excitement on one hand is good, but on the flip side, the overwhelming list of things to do before we move (including moving Pippa, our 2 y/o Beagle over with us) is growing by the day.
Then, there is a whole other process of “leaving South Africa behind!” While reading the”expat” forums, one of the first points I have seen from those who have left, is they created a list of things they didn’t like about South Africa, or “reasons why they chose to emigrate” to refer back to when the honeymoon period after the move has worn off… Because lets face it, emigration is tough, and it’s not for the faint hearted.
I’m hoping I won’t need to refer back to this very often, and that settling into the NZ way of life will come easy to us (me), but I know the first year or two is going to be a big adjustment and a culture shock. So, I set about creating two secret Pinterest boards, one named “Why we left South Africa” and the other named “New Zealand”.
Whenever I see an online article highlighting a negative point of South Africa, (such as this taxi driving down the wrong side of Fields Hill, a road I use every day,) I pin this, and whenever I see an online article I like about NZ, I pin that too. I know those connected around me (online of course) get a bit of insight into the process I’m working through. They see some of these online articles thanks to Facebook likes/comments, and may be offended by the negativity (toward South Africa). In fact, I’ve been warned by a friend not to alienate myself because she is very happy running a business, and raising her family in South Africa after returning from the UK. That’s great, but we’re walking a different path, and that includes moving to a new country, and having our own reasons for why we’re doing this. I’m not going to feel ashamed about my choices and my views on why I’m leaving.
Although South Africa has its area’s of concern, South Africa will always be part of us and our heritage! We do not despise the country, or feel bitter about having lived here, and we are not leaving with the premise of never coming back. We’re leaving in search of new opportunities, and experiences, and for what we feel will be a better and safer way of life for us.
Having said this, we’ve been getting out to experience South African heritage with Abi, so she can have these memories with her through her new travels and the life she chooses to live in the future, be that in New Zealand, South Africa or the UK, (she is also a British Citizen).
The people around us, and who’s opinions and relationships are important to us, are the people who understand why we have chosen to leave, and are supportive and understanding of the process we are working through.
Now, even though it’s more American heritage than South African heritage, we’ve just booked tickets to the Trick or Treat Dolphin Show at uShaka Marine World taking place on 31 October, so I’m off to create a new Pinterest board named “How to make a red dragon Halloween costume”…