15 Jul Be Still, Sweetheart!
Although I have posted updates on Instagram, I do sort of feel like I owe the blog a bit of an explanation or perhaps, a catch-up. This past month has been filled to the brim with tremendous moments; we bought a car, travelled to Plett, took some rad pictures of wild animals, signed new clients and most recently, signed the lease for a new house. I guess, if you are still wondering… we are choosing to stay in South Africa for a bit longer. Understandably, you guys had a lot of questions! So, here’s a piece of my heart…
Deciding to travel South America wasn’t just something we thought up one night. In fact, it has been more than 3 years since Darren and I first discussed our dream of travelling South America. A year later, we revisted the idea and discovered the beauty of Chile. Although it always seemed like a pipeline dream, there was a nagging feeling that neither of us could shake, and after a lot of deliberation, we figured, screw it! Let’s do it.
It’s quite funny, because I realize now that no one gets just how serious we were about leaving – some of our own family members even think that this was all my idea, and that Darren was just going along with it. HAHAHAHAHAHA – that’s quite far from the truth! But I get it, we never really spoke about it outside these four walls, and when we did – people weren’t listening because just like us, they thought it was just some big dream. But this time was different – we had researched our visas, we had applied for passports, had a date, had a goal, started selling some of our greatest prides and joys (read my ColourPop palettes), bought the luggage and hiking boots… we were really in it.
Only, life had another plan, and disaster took our family by storm. Between losing D’s uncle to a tragic murder, and discovering his dad had stage 3 colon cancer, it became obvious that maybe, right now, isn’t the best time to explore an unfamiliar country.
There’s a lot holding us back – timing, money, Sheever… and I guess, the unknown.
Whilst going through the motions, we had a lot of family visit, each with their own opinions on our plans. It was scary having to justify our plans to everyone. “Oh, you don’t like the heat – why move to South America? What about the boys’ futures? How will you manage in a country that speaks Spanish? What about the quality of life?” It became tiring trying to defend a dream and when the topic of England came up – it just seemed easier, maybe more acceptable.
Suddenly, people who couldn’t imagine us living a life of adventure were all for our big track to England. Flip, they’d pack our bags for us, if we let them. The more people heard about England, the more we’d hear… “oh, you’re much better going there.”
It shattered my heart because I felt like I was failing to tell a new story. If anything, this experience has shown me that South Africans are truly ignorant and narrow-minded, and unless it’s England, Canada or Australia that you’re emigrating to – you might as well be walking off the end of the earth.
But England made sense – who says no to free education and healthcare? Who says no to their safety and security? I look at my best friend and the life that she has created for her and her son in England, and I envy it – I envy that she can take him for walks in the lush park. I envy that full-time blogging IS possible over there. I envy that they can do all their shopping online and have it delivered on the SAME DAY! Life seems so much “easier” over there. And everyone had so many opinions and dreams for our British life – Seriously, I can’t explain just how much support and love we had – so by not going, I feel like I am failing everyone.
But both D and I could sense it – the lack of excitement. Don’t get me wrong, England is fucken fantastic – I have a weird sense of pride when people highlight how British I am. England IS perfect – but it isn’t perfect for right now.
So, what is?
We spent a lot of time thinking about this question, and maybe we’re being stupid, but for now… it’s the comfort of knowing what to expect, but also making some necessary changes to help curb the unhappiness we’ve been feeling.
We started by buying a new car.
We needed a new car. Darren used to fetch me from my matric exams in our old one – and here we were, driving our two babies around in it, 6 years later. The car was small; it couldn’t fit our groceries, let alone a pram, nappy bag and the basin sink that I apparently need whenever I leave home. It was also really old, and sort of felt like it was going to fall apart whenever we drove on a bumpy road, so if we were going to stay, we would need a new car.
We settled on the Hundai ix35 – it is a fucken dream. No, seriously, I never ever thought I could own a car like this – pinch me now!? It’s just such a majestic beast – it is comfortable, it has space, and it travels well… there’s literally no flaw. I love it so much.
The next thing on our list was that we needed to find a new home.
In the last 6 months, the crime in our area has gotten out of control. We can hear people walking in our garden at night, and scratching through our stuff. They have broken into our car twice and stolen just about anything. I mean, there were even people in the road above ours, who were held up at gun point and cleaned out! Understandably, we just don’t feel like this is our home anymore, and we are struggling to sleep at night. So when the combination of stress and lack of sleep landed D in the ER, I knew we had to change something.
Besides the crime, we’ve outgrown this house. We chose this house because it was small, affordable and close to family. This house has served its purpose – it gave us an opportunity to catch up on our debt and build up from the bottom; we really have done a lot of growing up, in this house. But being out of town comes with a bunch of compromises like not having decent internet, which we need for our jobs, or a proper sanitation system. In the last year, our septic tank has overflown like 6 times, each time costing more than R1,000 – that’s a “shit” load of money that can be spent elsewhere.
Luckily, our lease is up from the 1st of September, but due to our restlessness, we started searching for a house a little early. Perhaps too early because now, we’re breaking our lease and moving into our dream home… IN TWO WEEKS! Surprisingly, we found a home that was still in the process of being built and looked just like the one that I wanted to buy, but couldn’t, because I needed a 60% deposit as I am employed by a company in another country – lol, yah! Who’d have known that South Africa doesn’t want foreign money, hey?
#MyWeeklyWin We did it, kid! In a little over 20 days from now, D and I celebrate our 5th Wedding Anniversary, shortly after he turns the big 30. It has never been easy.. There have been lots of tears, sleepless nights, 2-minute noodles for dinner, and lots of scraping through just to make it. But together, we did it! We’ve both worked incredibly hard over the last few years, taking kicks to the stomach and just to get back up and do it again! Finally, it’s all starting to pay off! Today, we were accepted for our DREAM HOME 🏡 It has sun ☀️, a deck and splash pool, lots of space, it’s 2 minutes from the boys’ school and 5 minutes from the shops. In my head, the epitome of adulthood is having continental pillows and an en-suite bathroom… And I’ll have both PLUS a walk-in closet 😍 We’ll have better internet, and we can finally order pizza delivery 🍕… Guys, I’m ecstatic and so darn proud of us. Look at us babe, we’re actually doing it!
Our new home is perfection – there are no compromises! It has everything we could need like a second bathroom (finally!) and home office, to everything we want like a deck, splash pool and walk-in cupboard! It has been super cool being able to see the progress each week, and whenever I walk through the house… I literally let out a scream out of disbelief that THIS is going to be our home in just 2 weeks’ time. It is located in town, 5 minutes from the shops, and 3 minutes from the school that I want to send the boys to – it could not be any more fitting for us.
I won’t lie, it’s been hard letting go of our South America dream. Darren still can’t bring it up, without me wanting to cry and I have forced myself to unsubscribe and unfollow all my favourite Chile-based accounts and YouTubers. It is a sore topic guys, and one I am not quite ready to let go of. But I do know that we’re making the right decision because if we weren’t, things wouldn’t be lining up as perfectly as they are.
One day, we WILL go to Chile, even if it’s for a holiday – or maybe retirement. I have no doubt about it. I just need to make peace with the fact that I am only 24 years old and if I look back on what we have managed to do in the last 5 years, can you imagine what we will do in the next 5? I have a feeling though, that we will end up emigrating to England, which is why I am continuing with the process to get our paperwork sorted, so that when it happens… there’s nothing standing in our way from going.
But for now, my heart is telling me, “be still, sweetheart.”
#MyWeeklyWin is going to be a long one, because my heart is full and it’s been a good week. 1. My baby turned one! 2. WE BOUGHT A CAR! 3. We went away for the weekend and it’s everything my heart needed. I’ll be sharing some blog posts about the places we visited, but truly, this was one of the best weekends away! A lot of you messaged to ask what does buying a car mean for our emigration plans and honestly… It means nothing. For the last 2 or 3 months I’ve been making my way through the intense amount of paperwork it’s going to take for us to get there, living in a sort of limbo that left me feeling frustrated, sad and undecided. I’m realizing that I’m a pull off the bandaid type of girl and waiting to live life meant that I had too much time to worry and stress about when we do eventually go… Whenever that might be. Steve Jobs once said, “I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” I haven’t been happy for awhile so I’ve made the conscious decision to change that. For now, we’ll explore home, chase African sunsets, have our breath stolen by the view, we’ll make new friends, and maybe go discover the place I was born or maybe just some of the secrets of my own hometown. And when the paperwork is done, we’ll make a decision where to next…
I am Megan Kelly, the creator behind By Megan Kelly, mom of two boys, named Axl and Eli, and local business owner providing digital marketing solutions. I live on copious amounts of coffee, can be bribed with chocolate and will never admit to having too much makeup – although, I probably do.