The below post was written by South African returnee Roxanne Grey who returned home after 10 years in the United Kingdom.
If you have ever been on vacation to Africa or if this is where you once lived you will know what I mean… Africa creeps into our hearts and once in, will never leave.
10 years ago I went on a gap year, ended up in the beautiful Cotswolds (south west of England) for 8 years and then Bristol for 2 years. I had the time of my life, made memories, made friends and spent my early 20’s covering a few of the most beautiful parts of UK. All in all this experience has moulded me into whom I am today, and I shall forever be grateful for this awesome experience!
That gap year came to an end when I visited my home town, Cape Town, on vacation in December 2017. I saved up all of my holiday for a year to be able to have a whole month of summer, sunshine, family and friends. If you are a Foreigner, living abroad, and go back home, you will understand how precious and special these times are being so far away most of the time on the other side of the world. I fell truly, madly, deeply in love with this beautiful city again! The people, the beaches, the bluer than blue skies and of course the braais and crayfish (growing up in Paternoster this is a standard “Sunday Roast”).
I did not want to leave. I did not want to say my goodbyes for another 12 months. I didn’t want to go back to grey skies. But I had to.
I thought to myself, my life is in the UK. I can’t pick up all of my belongings, pack-up all of my memories, leave all of my amazing friends and my awesome job behind… England is my home, South Africa is just a place for holidays now.
But in the words of Bob Marley “None but ourselves can free our minds.” I opened my mind. I weighed up the options and I thought really long and hard about it.
I decided my heart is in Cape Town. I needed to get home. My true home! Within 6 weeks I had secured a job in Cape Town, packed up my house, massively minimized my belongings, packed some stuff on a ship, resigned from my awesome job.
I didn’t need to come home because I was unhappy in England, or didn’t enjoy my job.
I want to make it clear that I loved my time in the UK, I made life long friends, I worked for an amazing company. It was very very difficult saying goodbye, I had a panic attack whilst resigning, I cried leaving my antique furniture on the streets to be collected by whoever needed it.
But… my heart does beat to an African drum and I knew I needed to see those bluer than blue skies, have more braais and see that GORGEOUS mountain everyday. Not just once a year.
So, 6 months in – was it the right move?
I am absolutely loving being back, I have joined an equally awesome business, made new friends in my colleagues and even got THAT mountain tattooed on my arm!
If you are a Developer living outside of South Africa and feel the same, I can help you get back to South Africa. There is an equally high demand for Developers in Cape Town as what there is in the UK and the salaries are pretty much on par… with a much lower cost of living.
So please spread the word and get in touch if you would be interested in getting back to the land of sunshine and smiles!
PS – I took this picture of our beautiful Table Mountain 🙂