I have long aspired to live and work in London. It's difficult when it's a long time dream to ever see it actually happening and turning from a dream into reality. Leaving home was one of the most difficult things I ever had to do. If you are thinking of a similar move which is straight from the house you've lived in your whole life, I can't sit here and lie to you. It will not be easy. Ultimately, it's a decision for you and you alone to make. You need to feel that the pros outweigh the cons and that its something you really want to do. The reason I might seem to be overstating the need for being absolutely positive about it is simple. It's really hard and inevitably, at some points, on some days all you want to do is jump on a plane and go back home. You will cry and you will feel sad. You will miss your friends and family and you will feel like you're a million miles away. I won't bother telling lying and saying that I haven't ugly cried on the phone to my Mum and Dad more times than I care to remember.
I still don't think that it has quite hit me that England is my new home. It's where I live now, it's hard to get to grips with. I still feel like I'm either on holiday or in some sort of weird dream. I constantly feel like I should be packing my suitcases back up and going back 'home' to South Africa. Sitting here and writing this blog post in Joe&The Juice in London is bizarre, to say the least. I'm looking out over Oxford Circus and seeing all the people, the people who as a little girl I desperately wanted to become one of, and here I am. I am looking for flats to rent in London and finding my feet here. None of it feels real.
Within a week of being in the UK, I got sick and it felt like I was dying. I am used to my Mum being there for me. Used to her bringing me medicine and tea and looking after me and suddenly, she wasn't there. Living with my Aunt is different (not bad but different), at home I knew where all the medicine was kept and I knew what we kept in the house. I ended up in Boots and Superdrug finding medicine and have spent a casual ￡50 on medicine alone to date (someone help me please). It's sudden independence and it's hard and weird and difficult and at times I just wanted out. I'm lonely a lot of the time at the moment but I know it will go away. I know I can do this.
This is just the beginning of a dream slowly turning into a reality. I am so nervous and so excited. I miss home more than life itself. I miss being able to go out with my Mum and Dad on the weekends and drive my own car around. I miss having my dog with me all the time and my friends being close at hand. I also miss South Africa and its stupid power cuts and obnoxious government. I miss it all. I don't know whether that ever goes away really. Whether you ever stop missing it, yearning for it...somehow, I doubt it. I think that it gets easier to deal with and as you build a new life and develop new relationships you stop being as sad.
I don't think that I'll ever learn to live without South African sunsets and the beautiful sunny days which can turn to violent storms with little to no notice. Everyone I have spoken to who has moved away from South Africa has said that Africa keeps a piece of your heart, no matter how long you spend away from it and in a strange way, I hope it does.
If I can give one piece of advice, it would be to arrange to Skype or FaceTime once a day if you are close to your family like I am, It really helps to see their faces and see the house and the dogs and my room. That's a key piece of advice I would give.
If you are doing this, I hope this helps to prove that at the very least, you aren't alone and there are other people in the same boat. I will keep up the blog posts as my journey progresses.