It’s time to say goodbye. The last few months have been a total whirlwind, and the reason for me not blogging at all. Things have just been so hectic and crazy, and I have been battling to keep up. On top of this, I am feeling very overwhelmed and nervous. I’m a jumble of emotions, and hoping that I’ll be able to clear my mind, calm down and start thinking clearly in the very near future. If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, Ross and I recently made this announcement..
Deciding to move overseas was by far the hardest decision I’ve had to make in my life. There are so many things that you don’t even consider when you start to discuss moving – and only once the decision has been made, does it all dawn on you. The admin. The people you’re letting down. The successful job you’re leaving. The financial implications of such a big move. The family and friends you’re leaving. The guilt. The other person you’re going with and how it affects them.
Ross and I started discussing leaving South Africa early in 2015. With my dad being so sick, I wasn’t quite ready to leave because I wanted to be in South Africa when he passed away, but I already started doing my research back then. A little while after my dad had passed away, I started throwing myself into researching it (which was my therapy and a great distraction) and Ross and I eventually took a deep breath and made the decision to do it. It was not easy at all.
In the beginning, all I felt was excitement – and now, after what feels like a blink of the eyelid, we suddenly have 6 days left in South Africa. I’m now feeling all the emotions. Excited. Sad. Happy. Anxious. Hopeful. Terrified. I don’t know whether I’m coming or going anymore. I’m being dragged down by admin, and by my immune system failing me causing me to be sick constantly.
Ultimately, I’m just so excited to travel – that’s pretty much all I want to do with my life right now. I’m lucky enough to have a German passport, so I feel that when you have the ability to travel the world, why not use it? Luckily enough, Ross and I have been together for a fair while now, and have been paying bills together which means he gets to join me on an EEA Family Permit. Of course we’d love to travel from South Africa but it is just completely unaffordable – it’s far out, and the Rand is too poor to us to be able to afford holidays.
On the other hand, it’s not often in life that you get the opportunity to start all over again. I have been feeling out of place in my life, and in my career for a while now and I therefore see this as an amazing opportunity for my future (and hopefully, one day, my children’s future).
Things have just run so smoothly throughout this process. We put our flat on the market ‘just to see the response’ and it was sold in less than 24 hours. We had a show day on the Sunday afternoon – someone saw the place at 4PM, and we received an offer to purchase from her at 9AM the next day. The transfer has already gone through! I decided to sell my car, and Ross’ uncle is buying it from me for his son! Our friend Candice and Rory have just bought their first place and basically needed an entire houseful of furniture, and appliances – they pretty much bought everything of ours. The rest of our stuff was sold simply, and easily, on a Facebook group for secondhand sales. We’ve sold everything for more money than it would have cost to ship everything to the UK. Side note – we decided not to ship anything to the UK because the houses there are tiny and our furniture was unlikely to even fit through the doors, plus pretty much all flats are furnished or part-furnished so we don’t really need to ship our things.
We found a great deal on our flights, we booked a well-priced AirBNB for when we arrive, in a great area (so as to avoid inital homelessness).
I think my biggest fear is what will happen once we arrive. We need to find a flat within five days, before our
cats children arrive. Speaking of which, some people have been very surprised to hear that I’m taking my cats with me. My cats are my children, 100%. I love them so much, I can’t picture my life without them. It may sound silly to some of you – but I was raised to love animals. There were pets in our home from the time I was born, and ever since then. Secondly, when I decided to get a cat (which then turned into two cats because they shared such a close bond, the breeder didn’t want to separate them), I knew that I was taking on a real responsibility and that they would join me – whether moving to another house, or moving to another country – throughout their lives as they are my responsibility.
So, I’m hoping we find a place to stay quickly. The other problem is that I don’t have a job yet, and I’m mentally processing the best thing to do in this situation. I will be unable to work as a midwife in the UK (let’s call it a midwife crisis – teehee. I’m joking but my soul is having a nervous breakdown by the way), as my degree is not recognized in the UK. I can work as a general nurse BUT I hate general nursing with a passion. It’ll cost me R30,000 to register and write exams. If I happen to fail the exams, I don’t get the money back. I’m not sure it’s worth paying that much money to do something I hate – but at the same time, a job is a job. I’ve been hoping to get into the marketing and communications industry for a while, so that’s what I’m focusing on but I haven’t found luck yet. I’ve applied for over a hundred jobs – easily! I’ve only heard back for four jobs but haven’t been successful through the interview processes. Rejection sucks. At this stage, I feel like I’ll do any work that I need to do as long as it pays the bills. I’ve never been unemployed before and it’s a really strange feeling.
To be honest, it all just feels completely surreal. I said goodbye to my closest friends this weekend, and will say goodbye to more people over the course of the week. I know the time is going to fly by and before we know it, we will be boarding our flight.
I truly love South Africa and I’m going to miss my country so much. I’m just hoping we have made the right decision and that there are plenty adventures awaiting us on the other side of the world. I’m hoping to update this blog as much as possible to document the process of moving countries. When I posted about us leaving, I had countless messages from friends (and complete strangers) wanting to know how I am going overseas and how they can do it too – so I will give more information about the EEA family permit as we go along and figure it all out for ourselves. Hopefully this blog can also become a resource for people wanting to move overseas themselves.
What I really must say though, is how amazing people are. People I have never met before have been so supportive and encouraging. I have been offered countless places to stay, countless couches to sleep on, countless offers to help find a job. Human beings are so pure and good. This was the most refreshing experience of all. Thank you to everyone who has helped us or has offered us help in the way you have – you know who you are. I think I would have lost my sanity by now if it wasn’t for all of you.
And so, it is time to say goodbye (for now).