Life as an Expat

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This month marks fifteen years that we now live abroad in Australia. I am constantly quizzed about life in another country so I decided to re-count just how my journey has transpired with a question and answer blog.

Why did you leave South Africa?

hereI am often asked this question. Fifteen years ago a much younger and adventurous me was keen to move abroad. We were feeling a bit disconcerted about safety and politics in the country and also concerned about what the future there held for our two young daughters.

Why did you choose Australia?

Several of my colleagues had relocated to Australia and kept proclaiming how amazing Australia was. I hectored my other half constantly about us moving abroad. At some point he yielded and so the application process begun.expa

What was the migration application like?

I have to say rigorous in addition to being stressful plus extremely costly. Australia is a strict country in terms of migration rules and policies. I was tenacious and our application was approved in under a year. We entered Australia on the skilled category migrant. Read REFUGEE WEEK 2016 if you want to learn what this means.

How old were your kids?

The girls were 3 and 5 respectively and have now spent more of their life abroad than as South Africans. They love it here besides this is home for them.

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Tell us about your arrival?

When we arrived I was aghast at what we had embarked on. True realisation at being so far away from home set in. The homesickness as well as getting used to a new country was unquestionably challenging. Additionally, finding our feet and settling in took a fair bit of time.

What is life like in Australia?

I get asked this question frequently especially with my blog being so global. Well Australia is titled the land of milk and honey. 100% true!! I cannot stress just how wonderful this country is. In terms of health, safety, education and economics life here is remarkable. Australians are treated so well plus if you are prepared to knuckle down, the opportunities are endless. Be warned there are many rules, rules, rules; but then again that’s what makes things work so well here!

expat-state-of-mindThe best part of migrating has been the remarkable people I have met along the way in addition to the safety as well as the multitude of opportunities that have opened up for us here in Australia.

The worst part of migrating has been having to constantly explain and prove yourself. Your culture, your education and your background is always under scrutiny so that can be suffocating at times. Personally the housework part and maintaining the home as well as juggling a family with a full time job can be difficult but over the years I have learnt to relax and only do as much as I can.

Do you have any tips for aspiring migrants?

Do your research. Be prepared to assimilate into the new country and culture as this helps a lot. As South Africans we come in with high standards and expectations so be prepared to accept a more laid back way of life. I have embraced this remarkable nation and you will need to come with an extremely positive mindset if you want the move to work out.expat

Would you do it again?

In hindsight and all honesty no. Our move has been brilliant and also has worked out magnificently for us. As pioneers we have set a solid foundation for our girls, however it has been a long, lonely journey for us, and being separated from culture, family and friends has been much too trying.

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I am keen to feature a few more stories on expats from South Africa. Readers in Canada, UK and USA etc.  Please come on board. Shout me a message via FACEBOOK or TWITTER or comment below to be featured. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14 Comments Add yours

  1. Natalie says:

    Hi Samanthra, I enjoyed reading about your expat life journey. It is interesting though that you say you wouldn’t do it again. For me on the other hand, I have no regrets!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. currychick says:

      Thanks for reading.mi guess the main regret is leaving ones culture, family and friends behind. Other than that I am eternally grateful for this new life we have created for ourselves. Also admittedly I wrote this post shortly after losing a very close loved one abroad hence the last hesitation to do it again.would you be interested in doing a guest post on life in the UK?

      Like

      1. Natalie says:

        I know exactly what you mean, it isn’t easy being away from loved ones… On a side note, yes I would love the opportunity to guest post thank you! You’re welcome to email me.

        Like

  2. Mel Naidoo says:

    We always wonder what life on the other side is like. Is the grass always greener? Honestly, I think you’ve made the right choice for your family. It might have been hard but you guys have persevered and made it work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. currychick says:

      I know we have Mel and I am truly grateful it has all worked out so well for us.that said I do feel sad that the girls have not grown up with family the way we did. But I think it’s important for people to always remember the grass is as green where you water it!

      Like

  3. Alfonzowords says:

    Didnt know you were in Australia. WOWOW! I frickkin just wanna hop on a plane after readin this haha
    I really wish my parents did that move, would’ve loved to grow up somewhere else.

    Like

  4. currychick says:

    Ha ha Alfonzo! Didn’t you read my blurb..I’m an Indian South African chick living downunder lol. Life here is super! I’m still a HUGE fan of Africa though and also of India and my heritage from there! Thx for the comment👍🏼

    Like

  5. Shivonne says:

    I would absolutely love to visit Australia one day. Awesome post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. currychick says:

      Thx Shivonne. It’s a fab place indeed.

      Like

  6. I enjoyed this. It’s amazing that you say it’s the land of milk and honey, because then it means your decision was good. Well done one doing what’s best for you. I am happy that you are happy there 🙂 Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. currychick says:

      Thank you for dropping by Melissa. Truly it’s an awesome country and run so well. I am grateful to be living here. Nonetheless my veins still have African blood lol.

      Like

  7. Lovely post. You are very brave to have made such a big decision and I am glad it has worked out for you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. currychick says:

      Thanks for reading! It truly was not an easy journey and even though my heart will always be in Africa, Australia is definitely a marvellous exciting adventure.

      Like

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