I can’t believe it’s the 1st of December already. Tomorrow is the first of December 2015, and I am in London. I’m sorry. I keep banging on and on about that, but I just can’t believe that I’m still here. I’m not a small town girl. I’m from a great city. Not a big city, but one of the most talked about cities in the destination marketing world: Cape Town. Last year this time I had not even applied for my visa yet. I had just about accepted my conditional job in the London office. (Conditional; because we did not know if I’d be granted a working visa yet.) And everything was uncertain at the time. I didn’t know what I’d like about London, or what I’d dislike. I didn’t know where I’d stay, or that kebab steaks would be my lazy go to dinner, or that I’d prefer the South to the North, or that Oxford Street was the worst place to be any day of the week, or that every new experience would be a new chance to get to know myself all over again. I didn’t know that this city would be the best thing that ever happened to me in 2015.
Last year this time, I remember my exact thoughts. It was the first perfect days of summer, and it always made my heart skip a beat. Because I knew I was guaranteed one of life’s greatest pleasures: summer in Cape Town. And I won’t be there this year to experience that, which makes me a little sad but also a little hopeful. For new adventures. New experiences. New expectations. New favourite things. It’s Winter over here right now, and if I’m lucky I might even see a little snow. For the first time in my life.
And that’s the way life should be lived don’t you think? At 30 years young, I can feel like a kid again.
They say this is the do or die moment. Six months in. (Seven, to be exact). They say you’ll only really know if you like a place or not, six months after you’ve relocated. Before that, all you feel is exhilaration and homesickness. You compare everything to the life that you used to live, because you have nothing else to compare to. Nothing is familiar. It takes six months for routines to kick in, and for preferences to take shape. Before that all you have is a mountain of learning and catching up to do, to get to know your new culture, and to try your best not to stand out like a sore thumb. And it’s been one hell of a ride. But it’s been worth it. Every single micro moment of every single day. I’ll take it all over and over again if I had the chance. The good, the bad and the ugly.
Here’s to a lifetime of new experiences.