Tag Archives: Emigrating

How to grow real friendships, naturally

How to grow real friendships

I know this blog topic might seem strange to a lot of you. What is this “How to make friends and influence people”? But it feels increasingly relevant and I thought it might be worth sharing. I keep seeing articles and videos about how despite us living in a more interconnected world, people increasingly feel isolated and alone. Many struggle with how to grow real friendships, and social media can create the illusion that everyone else is happier and doing better than you. So, what is the secret to forging deep and meaningful bonds with other people?

This might seem silly, but The Sims wasn’t totally wrong. Okay, it was wrong in many ways – friendship isn’t best cultivated by locking two people in a room together, forcing them to make jokes and exchange gifts until they finally get to a green level of friendship. What, don’t tell me you haven’t done that! But the game was right about all of us needing friends. We need them to feel happy and social, connected and understood, as well as to possibly meet our partners or find the dream job. But how do you grow real friendships, the kind that goes beyond superficial smiles?  Continue Reading

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Peace of mind is my biggest privilege

got privilege

White privilege is a very touchy subject. Probably that first sentence already turned many of you off of reading the rest of this blog post. This isn’t a blog post to make people feel bad about being white, or the privileges that go along with it. This isn’t a blog post to try and pretend that white people don’t have problems or struggles. Instead, it’s a realization I’ve had over the past few days just how privileged I am – in part because of my race, but also because of other factors as well. And thanks to that privilege, I have peace of mind where others don’t.

But, let’s start with my lack of peace of mind. I am sort of terrified about moving at the moment. Not the actual act of moving, although that’s also so daunting that I choose not to think about it most of the time. No, I’m talking about what happens once we get to America. What if we don’t get the amazing jobs we’re imagining? What if the political leadership ends up causing economic disaster or even another world war? We live in a very nice bubble here in South Africa – what if by moving we actually make things worse for our family instead of better? But in the past couple days my perspective has shifted again. Continue Reading

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Registering a citizen born abroad

american citizen

There are all sorts of complications that come with an international relationship. Many of them are fun – I love having an “exotic” husband. He uses words and language that I find intriguing, and we are both continually discovering aspects of each other’s lives that are amusing or strange to each other. It’s enjoyable for both of us as we get to explore our different countries, our different perspectives from an outside angle thanks to each other. We are global citizens and it’s something that I’m excited to pass on to Harley as she will come from both backgrounds, a true citizen of the world. However, the admin involved isn’t too pleasant.

I already wrote about the mission we had just to get her birth certificate resolved. But that was just on the South African side. With our plan this year to move to the States, I wanted to get her American documentation sorted out. But it’s not as easy as it might sound – like so many nationalities, passing your citizenship on through the blood isn’t a simple matter for Americans. Well, it was in the end, but it wasn’t easy in the middle. Continue Reading

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2017 Goals – Here’s what I’m aiming for this year

2017 goal

2016 was a pretty big year for me. I brought my baby home and my entire life changed. I had some wonderful successes and crazy difficult challenges, but that year is over and now we’re officially in 2017. Sure, I will still get the date wrong for a few days and weeks, but it’s a new year and with the days ahead there are some big things that I want to do.

But first, let me be clear – I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. I hate the very idea. You can change your life at any time, any day. You can set new goals for yourself at any point, and changing your life shouldn’t be something you wait on for a specific day or time. That said, I have some goals that I want to reach this year, and I figure that sharing them with all of you will help me focus on those core things, as well as hold me accountable. Perhaps at the end of this year I can look back and assess how well I did. Now, each of these goals will be quite big, which means that there will be subgoals involved, too. Here goes… Continue Reading

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Where in the world is safe and normal?

the world

I have lived in a few wonderful places. I grew up in New York and loved it. Then we moved to The Hague and it was fantastic for me while in high school. Then I moved back to the States and tried living in LA, which wasn’t really a fit for me at that point in my life (being under 21 and without a car, I felt so restricted after the freedom of Holland). Then it was back to the Netherlands to study in Maastricht, which was a wonderful student town. Then Joburg, which has its flaws but has been a fun  and wonderful place for me and Dean to start our lives together. But now South Africa is changing, and I’m not sure about the rest of the world, too.

I don’t like to talk politics here on the blog. It’s supposed to be about my thoughts about my family, my life, and all things geeky parenting. But I can’t help but think about how politics are impacting on those very things. Thanks to poor political management, the Rand has gotten so weak that buying games and books and whatever else has gone from a monthly norm to an expensive extra. And as we start to talk about emigrating and making a better life elsewhere, I have to consider the potential risks associated with any move. Continue Reading

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