When I sat down to write this post, a line from one of my favorite movies popped up in my mind.
What do you do when you realize all your dreams have come true?
Since I was young, I was bitten by the travel bug, and yes, this pandemic had been difficult, with travel, signings, and flights put on hold. But deep down, I’ve also always wanted to live in a different city. In a different country. And for a while, when I had just finished college, I had the opportunity, and I spent four years in England. I had found myself there. I had some form of freedom to be someone other than the girl I had come to know. And for some reason, I had never truly felt at home in Johannesburg when I returned in 2006. I never really felt as if I belonged. I can’t explain it, I definitely won’t try. But I focused on work, on heading into the office each day and sitting at my desk, but still, my heart longed to leave once more.
In 2007, I met my husband, and he too felt the same about the city we lived in–it just wasn’t home.
Over the years, we had plans. Big ones. One day, we would travel together, but as life moved on, we became set in the life in South Africa. We did make a big move in 2013, where we packed up our lives and moved to Cape Town. The city along the coast of Africa, and we did love it. There was a sense of belonging, and once again, I found a new me. I fell in love with my writing again. After a long, arduous dry spell.
But, even though we both love Cape Town, there are still things we weren’t happy with. Mainly the fact that we still struggled to be able to travel. The cost of an international vacation was just out of reach. And even though I had been to the US to attend signings, he was always stuck at work, or something just didn’t work out.
And so, for a long while, seven years in Cape Town, to be exact, we got used to the life here. We in a way, resigned ourselves to just being here. Until the pandemic hit. And yes, 2020 has been a year of pain, heartache, and frustration, but it’s also brought us to the next chapter in our journey.
This week, the final week of November 2020, we headed to the city, to an office where we would hear what the outcome of our future would be. You see, my husband’s grandfather was born in London which means he would be able to apply for an Ancestry visa, allowing us to live and work in the UK for five years, and after that, we would be able to apply for settlement, to live in the United Kingdom permanently.
I won’t even attempt to explain the stress of the wait. It was excruciating. Leaving your life, your future in the hands of someone you’ve never met, you’ve never seen, is more than difficult, it’s debilitating. We both got an email to let us know our passports were ready for collection, and a decision on our application had been made. They hadn’t given us any indication of the outcome. So, we got in the car, and we took the twenty minute drive to the city, to the offices where we had to send in our application. To say that I was nervous would be a gross understatement.
We arrived. My hands shaking. My emotions all over the place. The guy behind the glass screen slid the two small gray envelopes toward us, and asked my husband to sign that we have received our passports back. I couldn’t sign, I was shaking too much. This young man looked at me, and said, “Would you like to open it and make sure your passport is correct?”
I didn’t think I could. I didn’t even consider opening the damn thing. You’d think I would be like a kid at Christmas ripping at the wrapping paper, but I was frozen. Perhaps scared, maybe terrified. So, with shaking hands, I tore open the envelope, and pulled out my passport, inside was a folded letter, and I didn’t need to read it, all I saw was the visa, the sticker that confirmed my life was about to change completely. I burst out crying, right there, in the visa office. My husband of course didn’t know if it was good or bad news, because he couldn’t tell if I was crying tears of happiness or sorrow. Ha!
He checked his passport, which then confirmed, we were about to uproot our lives once more, and this time, not just move to a different city, but a completely different country.
And that brings me to my post today.
Over the next month or two, I’ll be posting on my social media about the move as we pack our stuff, as we head to the airport, and I’ll post about the trip. If you follow me on Instagram and Facebook, keep an eye on my stories, as I’ll be giving you a bird’s eye view of my life.
If you’re still reading, thank you. I know the next few months are going to be manic, because beside the traveling, I have two releases in January, plus I’m trying to finish my March release, so it’s going to be a crazy time. But let’s look forward to 2021 with hope, excitement, and prayers that it will be a better year for all of us.