24 May 2017

I'm Moving to A New Country... And It's Further Than You Think

This isn't the kind of post where I tell you that I'm packing my bag and moving down the street. I'm not moving across town, either. I'm moving to a whole new continent, in another hemisphere, on the other side of the world. I'm moving to London.
If your memory is pretty good, you'll remember that I visited London earlier this year (see here and here). I never told you this, but that was a sneaky 'could I live here' visit. And the answer, is a resounding YES!

Another thing I haven't told you all (and something no one's picked up on thus far) is that since January, I haven't been in school. I finished high school at the end of December and it's currently nearing June. So, what the hell have I been doing with my life and why haven't I been in school?

Well, here's the thing: My plan for several years now has been to study in London. In September 2016, I began the application process to study in the UK. My hope was that I would have an acceptance by a university before January (because universities and schools here start in January and end in December). Luckily, by December, I already had an acceptance. With a safety net below me, I walked the trapeze beam into a 9 month gap year, with the assurance of university entrance in the UK, starting in September 2017.

You may be wondering why I want to leave South Africa. South Africa is like no other country. It has such direct opposites and paradoxes. The country is diverse in people, food and culture. It boasts wildlife like no other country and beauty like few others. The famous Cape wine estates are vast and tranquil. If you came here, you'd see its uniqueness first hand- and I'm not just being biased. It's true. The country has the ability to make everyone fall in love with it. The country which forms the 'horn of Africa' is special. It's also a country that I'll always be grateful to have called 'home'.

Look, South Africa isn't as bad as all the famous stereotypes make it out to be. But, it isn't good either. Funnily enough, I presume that you're thinking the crime is bad. It is, but its never directly effected me- which I thank my lucky stars for everyday. Our economy and corrupt government have sent South Africa to the pits. The state of our nation is not positive. So, at 18, I am faced with this incredible opportunity to spread my wings and perch myself in a new home. I'm taking that opportunity with both hands.

Of course, I'll miss South Africa. My life has largely been here. I was born here, took my first steps on her soil and spoke my first words to her ears. I've made my first friends and then life-time ones. It's a country that has offered me a unique experience and witnessed every 'first' of my life so far- my first crush, my first failure and my first win. I'll miss Mrs. Balls Chutney and biltong, local delicacies that only a South African would understand. I'll miss the interaction of of its 11 official languages with one another- and the fusion of them all into one language sometimes. I'll miss its people. I'll miss my home.

In South Africa, we say 'cheers' as "good-bye". I quickly learnt (and very aptly on the tube), that in the UK, 'cheers' means "thank-you". Along with new accents, which I'm so scared I won't understand all the time and simultaneously SO excited about, I have to learn new slang. I'll have to get lost on the tube and stop myself from converting pounds to the South African Rand. I'm walking into a country where I know a total of 5 people- and none that I would consider friends, minus my sister.

So, I'm scared as hell.

But, I'm so excited; London will offer me new 'firsts', different experiences- European experiences- and a new city to explore.

I'll be studying at a university just out of central London. I won't tell you what (or where) just yet. In a few months, I'll pack my life into a suitcase and uproot. So, for now, I'll pack my bag with warmer clothes for the colder winters and a lifetime of memories and head on over to the famous pond everyone's always talking about crossing over.

It'll be the end of one chapter but the start of a whole new novel!

...and I can't wait.

Till next time-
Steph

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42 comments

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Little Yorkshire Girl!

      Delete
  2. I love your description of South Africa, all the little details that no one but the ones who live there would know! I've always wanted to visit, it's in the top 5 on my bucket list! Good luck in your new adventure moving to rainy old England, I promise you get used to the bad weather after a while ahaha :) xxx
    http://www.samanthafrances.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Living in a country for 18 years would do that to a person.

      YES! It's definitely a country to see.

      It's re-assuring to know that the weather blues go away! Thanks Samantha!

      Delete
  3. I feel happy for your new opportunities, new life and events to come in near future! You should've made one of the hardest decisions ever. It's really hard to leave your home country, but it's always good to experience more in a new place. Thanks for sharing Steph! x

    Dabin / http://dabindb.blogspot.kr/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Experiencing new places is something I'm looking forward to. It was an easy decision to make, actually, the difficulty comes in the execution of the move.

      Thanks for the comment!

      Delete
  4. Congrats on your new adventure! That will be so exciting! Best of luck :)

    Jamie
    Treats and Trends

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jamie!

      I'm very excited about it.

      Delete
  5. Oh that is so cool! What an amazing opportunity and experience. Congratulations, I hope you settle in and love buzzing London! You must be sad to leave South Africa and your family. I don't know much about the country except for what I've seen in films but like you said I'm sure there's much more to it than the stereotypes. London is probably very different. I'll be going there for a weekend in a few weeks with my family. There's so much to see there. I wish you the best of luck with whatever it is you will be studying!

    P.S it's so strange the school finishes/ starts in Winter....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a life-changing opportunity! I'm so privileged. I'm really looking forwards to buzzing about town and seeing all that this new and renowned city has to offer.

      London is very different- with some similarities. I wish people got to understand South Africa beyond its negative stereotypes.

      Enjoy it!

      Haha, I find it strange that you guys get the whole summer off.

      Delete
  6. Such an exciting new chapter in your life! It is kinda scary thinking you won't have many people you know in London, but it's also a great thing because you can make new friends and make London feel like home too. Good luck with the move :)

    http://www.myclusterofthoughts.com/

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    Replies
    1. That's the goal, Katherine: Make London feel like home.

      It's funny how some people's whole lives are in London and I don't know a single person. But, as you said, I'll make friends!

      Delete
  7. OMG Steph! That's such big news! And I'm so excited for you. I've never been to London, but it seems like an amazing place to live. I know how scary it can be to move somewhere far away (and this is really far for you!), but I think it will be such a great experience for you. Ah! So excited for you!

    xo

    Bobbi
    https://bobbihearts.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Bobbi!

      It's definitely going to be an experience... and a great one at that.

      It's simultaneously so exciting and scary!

      I'll update you as I go. My blog is coming with me!

      Delete
  8. Congrats on you move!!! Can't wait to read an update once you're there!
    xo | Cindy Elena
    www.boringclothes.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks!

      My blog is definitely coming with me! I'm excited to see how and if my blog changes when I move.

      Delete
  9. I'm very happy for you! I really want to read the post you will publish from there because they will be very interesting!
    I don't know why, I felt somthing strange on that posts about London because it didn't seem you where there for holiday, so when in Instagram you posted the preview I iimediately thiught that maybe you will move to London hahaha!


    and answering to a comment you left on my blog: thanks for your compliments about my english! (a weeks ago, that I didn't get hired from a job because I don't have any tittle that credits my english level and I felt very bad to not have it, so your comment has cheered me up!) more than learn english, blogging helps me to practise it, since I finnish my bachelor studies, I didn't had any english class, so internet makes me read it, and interacting with people in this language makes me keep using it, maybe if I don't do it, my skills would get lower...
    thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, C!

      Haha, I guess you were right then! Good detective skills!

      There are many ways to improve your English, so don't worry about the job.

      Delete
  10. Apropos of nothing ... Have you heard of "Dear Evan Hansen"? I think you can listen to the entire musical score on Youtube.

    Best of luck in GB!

    --Ray

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  11. Congratulations with that Steph!! I'm so happy for your new beginning. Don't be scared. Just go with the flow and open to the new adventures <3

    xx, Melissa
    https://elephantontheroad.com

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    Replies
    1. That's some good advice, Melissa. I'll try not to let fear from holding me back anywhere. It's all going to be an adventure!

      Delete
  12. That's cool! UK sounds a very amazing place to move in. Hope you have a smooth ride in your UK adventure! I'm sure you can adjust to their environment in no time ;) so excited for your future UK blog posts :D

    trulyfionaa.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your good wishes, Fi!

      I hope I adjust quickly! I'm also looking forward to seeing how my blog changes when I move over.

      Delete
  13. How incredible! I'm super jealous you have this opportunity to change your life this way. So excited for you! :)

    Katie // wordsbykatie.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Katie,

      I acknowledge how truly lucky I am.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I really appreciate it!

      Delete
  14. Congrats! It is so cool that you are moving to London! I wish you luck in the moving process and also just getting use to a totally different place.

    Nabila // Hot Town Cool Girl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Nabila!

      It may take some getting used to, but time shall tell.

      I'll update you all the way

      Delete
  15. Congrats! Good luck, I'm excited for you :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jolly!

      I'm excited to share this journey with you!

      Delete
  16. Girl! I am so dang excited for you (and also ridiculously jealous, but let's not talk about that)! Congratulations and I'm so happy for you. You're gonna have the best time of your life. Please keep us posted with plenty of photos of the gorgeous city xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shirls!

      I'll write about it so much, it will be ask if you're in London with me.

      It's definitely an adventure of a lifetime- and one which I'm so grateful for.

      Delete
  17. Congrats and good luck! I am from Spain and I moved to London when I was 18 to go to uni - it's been the best decision I've ever made. It was hard at the beginning (I knew no one in the UK before moving here) and very very daunting, but I am so happy I did it! I wish you the best in this new chapter of your life! x

    Ariadna || RAWR BOWS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Ariadna!

      It's reassuring to know that you don't regret your decision.

      It definitely sounds like it all worked out for you!

      Thank you for sharing part of your story with me.

      Delete
  18. This is amazing news! I'm SO excited for you! London is one of my favourite places in the UK, I just wish it was a little closer so that I can travel there more often. I'm really looking forward to finding out more about what you'll be doing at University and such!

    Olivia - The Northernist x

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Olivia!

      I haven't seen much of the UK. Well, actually, I've only seen London...so for now, it's my favorite place (but that's subject to change in the future).

      I'll let you know closer to the time!

      Delete
  19. This sounds like such an exciting opportunity. Good luck with your move, I hope all goes well!

    - Jo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Jo!

      I've already started collecting things and getting my affairs in order.
      I'm just eagerly awaiting for time to pass by now!

      Thanks for leaving a comment!

      Delete
  20. Ooh, London! I've never been, but it would be fun to go some day. Wishing you the best in this new endeavor!

    xoxo Abigail Lennah | ups & downs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. London is a city that you've got to experience on day!
      I hope to one day read a post about your trip to London!

      Thank you for your very kind wishes, Abigail!

      Delete
  21. Good luck with your move.. I live in London and it's amazing once you get used to it.. theres so much to do here! You'll make friends and get used to the slang in no time!

    Ronnie
    www.veronicabizzarri.com
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm looking forward to all that London- and wider England- has to offer.

      I hope so...
      Fingers crossed it all works out for the better!

      I'm excited and nervous for the move!

      Thanks Ronnie!

      Delete

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