I’d been keeping it quiet for ages, but the news leaked out so I’ve stopped trying to avoid the topic. Here’s the news: Luc and I are emigrating to London some time in the next few months. Luc might be going up as early as February. My family permit only becomes valid at the beginning of April, so I have to wait until then. Originally we were aiming for a May departure, but we’re both getting restless and not particularly enjoying our jobs and we feel as though we might as well just get the process over with. The sooner we get there, the sooner we can find a place to stay, find jobs, and settle in.
Why are we leaving? Are we joining the ranks of dissatisfied and grumpy South Africans who leave to “escape” the terrible terribleness of this terrible country? No. Not at all. There’s nothing terrible about this country. If I could take the whole place and just about everyone in it with me, I probably would. I love it here. I’m going to miss my family, my friends, everyone else, the weather, the mountains, the sea, the sky, EVERYTHING. We’re leaving because we’re stuck in a rut and we need an adventure to break out of it. We want to do something different, something difficult, something we’ve never done before.
England is a fantastic launching pad for exploring the rest of Europe, which is something we really want to do. That said, we’re not fully committing ourselves to the place. If it doesn’t work out after a year or two, we’ll move somewhere else, or move back to Cape Town. We have several ideas for a “plan B”. We chose London for many reasons: the lack of a language barrier, the buzzing centrality of the place as a world city, the fact that Luc has an EU passport, the presence of relatives of both mine and Luc’s in case things go wrong and we need support, and, last but not least, Kasha moved there last year and I miss her to bits! My parents lived there for a year and a bit when I was a baby, and all the photographs and stories from that piece of my childhood are lovely and give me a weird sense of connectedness to the place, even though I can’t remember any of it.
I am extremely excited and extremely nervous and, at times, extremely sentimental and sad too. It’s going to be one of those life-changing things for me, no matter how it works out in the end.