Moving to Cape Town, South Africa

So it’s time that I finally tell everyone.

I’m moving to Cape Town, South Africa. Well, I’m studying abroad there – for a long time.

I leave for South Africa in 1 month. And I won’t be coming home for 6…
As I let this really sink in, it’s one of the most terrifying and yet absolutely thrilling things I’ve ever written. I’ve been working on getting all of my thoughts – and things – together, but so far, all I can say is that there is a definite process to this whole ‘leaving’ thing.

I call this the stages of pre-departure.

First, I was in denial. A little over half a year ago when I decided to do this, the only thing that ran through my mind was, “Huh. That’d be cool.” There was no real processing of, “This is really happening.” I was not comprehending going to a developing country for 6 months and I definitely was not believing that such an amazing opportunity was knocking on my door.

Then there was anger. I started to realize a few months ago that this was happening. And as I started mentally packing, I realized that I absolutely could not do this. I was not going. Why? Simple. My four favorite coats, twenty shirts, unnecessary amount of pants, and billion “must-have” shoes, will not all fit in my travel pack. So, nope.

Bargaining came next. I bought my ticket. OK. Then I tried to see if my coach seat for the 30 hour flight could be upgraded for low-to-no cost. I checked how many bags I could possibly take because I need all four coats. I emailed Netflix about getting South Africa’s limited viewing, upgraded.

No. Depression set in.


My coats won’t fit. My shoes won’t fit. I’m still flying coach – with my luck, next to someone smelly. I can only bring two bags, maximum. Goodbye unlimited Netflix. Oh, and I have to leave my family, my friends, and my favorite taco truck.

But I soon moved on. Here came acceptance. Biebs will not be sitting next to me on the 30 hour flight. Laundry is a thing. I don’t need TV. I will be living in Cape Town, South Africa. And it’s going to be the most amazing six months of my life – for better and for worse.

I’m terrified, but I’m beyond excited. And I’m ready. I have been preparing for studying abroad in college for as long as I could remember, and while ten years ago I probably wouldn’t have told you that I was going to choose to do this in South Africa, I did. I’ve decided to let myself experience life and culture in a country that I’ve never been to and that is still developing. I’ve decided to allow myself to be changed by what I hear are “beautiful people and beautiful minds.”

I’ve decided that these next six months will change my life.


2 thoughts on “Moving to Cape Town, South Africa

  1. Congratulations! Chelsea told me about this at Christmas and I’m so excited for you. Tom and I spent a short week in Cape Town and loved it. If it’s any consolation, the whole area feels a lot like Southern California. The race issues are complicated and interesting. Learn as much as you can and continue to have a positive outlook. 6 months. Not a long time considering your lifespan. Spend it wisely. See and do as much as possible, but make good choices and be safe. You’ll never regret this experience. Can’t wait to read about it!

    Liked by 1 person

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