Tag Archives: Emigrating

Emigration: we have arrived

arrived

I keep starting and closing or deleting this post, I think because I don’t know quite how to write it all. Or even how to just get started. I’m writing this on an ancient laptop that will be my machine for the next few weeks or months. I am writing this from my mom’s dining room table, which will be my desk for the next few weeks or months. I suppose you could say that we’ve arrived at our new home, but that doesn’t quite feel accurate.

After a ridiculously long journey (and let’s not even talk about moving day) from Joburg to Phoenix, Dean, Harley and I have arrived at my mom’s place. The flights themselves weren’t so bad. Harley slept a lot and was generally just a trooper. The first flight was pretty nice, but the second one was a much older plane and less comfy. Regardless, eventually we made it and have started our new life here. But it all just feels a bit surreal still, and I feel so totally out of place. Continue Reading

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After (almost) 10 years, one week left

one week left

October would have been ten years of me living in South Africa. Almost a decade of my life spent in this amazing, complicated, beautiful, bizarre country. I have lived here longer than I lived in The Netherlands, which was a huge part of my formative years, and despite the fact that South African Home Affairs never resolved the issues with my residency, I truly feel like South Africa has been my home for a decade. It’s hard to believe that in just a week, Dean, Harley and I will be getting on a plane and moving away.

On the 15th of August, we fly to the US to start our new life. It’s something we’ve been working towards for months now, something that seemed to take forever and then all of a sudden is happening so fast. We only have one week left to sort everything out. One week left to finish packing, one week left to finalize all our arrangements, one week left to say all our farewells. It’s emotional and stressful and chaotic, I’m feeling so many mixed emotions that I thought I’d try to blog them all out, but apologies if a todo list sneaks its way in – that seems to be how I think these days. Also, huge apologies for the infrequent blogging at this point; there just aren’t enough hours in the day for all the things. Continue Reading

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Emigration: From concept to hearing “congratulations”

emigration

I’ve written about our emigration process before. I talked about when we first started thinking about emigrating, how it was officially a goal for this year and even my ambivalence about really making the decision and feeling sad about leaving our wonderful life behind. I’ve bemoaned how long the admin was taking us and made a bit of a list of logistics I needed to put down so that they wouldn’t keep rattling around in my head. But we’ve hit a major milestone – we heard “Congratulations” at the consulate, and so I wanted to take you with me from start to finish.

Getting Dean’s Green Card has not been easy, and we still aren’t totally done. But I’m taking this milestone as an opportunity to reflect back on the process and talk about some of the big things we’ve gone through. If you’re planning to emigrate in general, or get a Green Card in particular, let me tell you that it is not easy, not for the faint of heart, but hopefully totally worth it. I did a Facebook Live about this as well, if you’re keen to watch me talk about this through Facebook or YouTube. Continue Reading

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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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