Now it’s official: I’m relocating to South Africa. One the one hand, it’s a big relief to tell everybody how my life’s going to change this year. On the other hand, making it official somehow makes it more real. While struggeling to get my visa, sell my stuff and find a new lessee for my flat, I made a couple of realizations: there are certain feelings and situations you will come across frequently once you’ve decided to pack your bags and leave.
5 things that happen when you’re going to move abroad
You are running out of time
Believe me, the struggle is real. At first, you still have half a year until day X. You apply for your visa, you move out of your aparment, you sell your furniture and most of your stuff, you visit family and friends… and all of a sudden: there are only six weeks left. And still so many things you want to do! It hits you hard and you get the feeling you’re just not ready for it yet.
There are stupid questions
When you’re moving to Africa, everybody has an opinion on that – no matter if these people have ever been to Africa before or if they have lived abroad ever before. They have some (more or less) useful advice for you. And they have questions. The best ones so far? »How long did you say you’re staying?«, »Are you going to learn some self-defence before you’re leaving?«, »Why did you take a job with such bad pay?«, »Are you not afraid of AIDS?« and: »Are you going to live in a shack?«
There is fear
No only all these people ask stupid questions. Your brain just does the same thing. There are thoughts and questions buzzing in your head like bees. »Where am I going to live?«, »How will I ever manage to move all my stuff there?«, »Will my colleagues be nice?«, »What if I’m homesick?« Yes, your own head will make you crazy with all these questions you just don’t have answers for yet!
There are unexpected obstacles
A visa is a document that enables you to enter foreign countrie to stay there, live there and work there? Oh so wrong, my darling! A visa is as hard to get as a photograph in ›Germany’s Next Topmodel‹. And the jury is not Heidi Klum but some official who’s having a bad mood and who’s working for a bureaucratic authority. So if you’re already looking forward to holding your visa in your hands soon, be warned: form 2.62D might just be missing.
You feel nostalgia
Most likely, you’re already feeling a bit touchy (see visa!) and then, nostalgia hits you hard! You realize how beautiful you’re hometown is, how great the nights are that you spend with your friends and how close you are to your family. You know you’re going to terribly miss it, do you? Nostalgia is okay, it’s normal – as long as it doesn’t make you doubt your decision. If you really feel like you won’t leave anymore, think twice if you really want to do it. If you still want to go – enjoy those last weeks at home!
Is there something you would add?