So this is it. It’s real. It’s really happening. I announced on InstaStories Live last night that my family and I will be moving to the UK in a few months time.
Yes. We’re moving back to the UK.
Those of you who have been following my blog from the beginning will know that I am actually Zimbabwean and that I spent ten years in the UK.
After meeting my husband and finally getting married, we decided to move back to Africa. We were ready for a new adventure and so decided to seize the opportunity at the time. We moved back to Zimbabwe and after three and a half years there (and two babies), we moved to SA.
Since we moved to South Africa in 2013 we have moved a lot, and frequently. Thankfully we’ve been settled for the past three years. Last year we were making plans to move again to East London, but at the last minute, we decided that wasn’t the right thing for us as a family and so we called it off. I think it was at that point that whilst we knew East London wasn’t right for us, we also felt it was time to move on again.
Some people call it wanderlust, others call it itchy feet.
To us it’s our own version of normal.
Our reasons for leaving are many, but it’s more a case of what’s available there than what we need to ‘run from’ here, as so many people might assume.
At the top of our list is a high standard of affordable education for the girls, and access to medical facilities, all for free. In the coming months, I will refrain from voicing my political opinions on these issues, but I will never apologise for my maternal opinions on education in particular.
Leaving Africa … again.
Nothing worth having, comes easy.
The way I feel about leaving Africa, again, is that I feel like I have to close a part of my soul away. It feels like I have to lock that part of me away so that the emotions it makes me feel won’t cloud my approach to the new life I need to help create for my family.
I feel like if I don’t lock that part of me away, I will forever think back to my happy life back in Africa, and in order to start again, and in order to be happy in the future, I will have to accept the new life. I will need to embrace our new lifestyle, and everything I am moving back to. Comparing and contrasting is natural, but it’s about a mindset.
My Mindset Challenge
I lived in the UK for nearly ten years. I know what I am going back to. In once wrote a funny post about ‘Why I’m Glad We Left The UK’. It’s not so funny anymore! Let’s just say, never write something down if you don’t want karma to call you on it!
The cold, damp, rain, dark days, rain, etc. I know. Back when I lived there though, I didn’t have children of my own. I had a step-daughter, but the saying ‘you don’t really know until you have one of your own’, is true. However, it did give me a fair insight into what my future will hold, and that’s something I will positively embrace.
I am not someone who reacts well to change. Back when we moved towns every eight or ten months, my husband would come home, give me the news, and then make himself scarce for a few days. He knew that he need to give me time to adjust, to come around to the idea, and accept the situation. This time it’s taken me over a month just to wrap my head around this.
No, strike that. My heart.
Pulling on the Heart Strings
In my head I know it’s the right decision for us as a family. But it’s taken my heart a little longer to convince.
I think I’m there now. I’m finally starting to get excited. I’m looking forward to the positives, rather than focusing on the negatives. In every change of situation of choice, there will always be pros and cons. The moment we can focus more on the pros than on the cons is the moment when we can start to move forward.
I’m the mother, the wife. It will be up to me to hold us all together. I will be the one who will have to hold our family together as my husband goes back to work in a first world country after eight years of working throughout Africa (Zimbabwe, Nigeria and South Africa). Say what you want, but it’s a completely different world.
I am also going to have to be the one to support my children whilst they enter a completely different education system. COMPLETELY DIFFERENT! The support and understanding they will need as they navigate the challenges of adjusting to a new world to them.
The Future Of My Blog
As a blogger, I am excited by the new material I will have to focus on as our family transition through this journey that lies ahead. In recent months I have focused a lot on promoting toys and products for kids, but as we won’t be taking our ‘stuff’ with us, I don’t intend to continue down that road for now.
Instead, I will shift my focus to all the things we need to do, and consider, and achieve in order to immigrate from South Africa to the UK. The list o things you need to do when immigrating to the UK from South Africa is endless! Future potential blog posts about moving to the UK will likely cover:
- Getting your paperwork in order
- Travel Arrangements – flights, etc
- Pet Relocation
- Ship it or sell it. Take it or leave it
- Education challenges – registering the kids in a new school.
- Relationships (family and friends) – Saying goodbye is never easy.
Urgh – the list is endless. It’s overwhelming. It makes me anxious just thinking about it.
One thing I won’t be focusing on at all is ‘how to get a visa’ or ‘how to get a work permit’ because that is not a factor we need to consider. In my experience of moving countries four times since I was 19, immigration rules change so drastically and frequently that it’s never wise to rely on information other than that which comes from the actual decision-making body.
Leaving is going to be hard. Starting again is going to be even harder.
Whilst I am only 36 years old, I’m tired now. I’ve been moving for over 12 years. Twelve. Years! That excludes my first move to the UK back in 2000!
This move from South Africa to the UK needs to be the last one we make until the girls have left home. They need to settle down, put down their own roots, and feel like the place they are in is their forever home.
A word of warning to us all … Never say “never”, but fingers crossed anyway.