Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

I feel like 2016 was a pretty shitty year for the world in general. But to be honest when I look back at 2016 – it was actually an amazing year for me. Yes there were struggles, but overall I really did have an awesome year. Sometimes when you think life is really hard, you need some perspective (getting to go home and visit) to make you appreciate life the way it should be appreciated.

Was it an easy year? Definitely not. But when I look back the nights I slept on mattresses on the floor/ a couch, I appreciate the hell out of my bedroom. When I look back at the hours stuck at work on the weekends, I remember how worth it it all was when I got to travel across Europe with my bestie and meet my family in Amsterdam. When I think about the nights I cried myself to sleep, I think about how far I have come and how much I have to be proud of. When I think about how I came back to Atlanta after my Eurotrip not really having a clue where I was going to be living or what I’d be doing for work, I smile and think about my awesome job and apartment I have now.

Even though I only had two weeks to spend with my family and friends back home in South Africa, I’m grateful I atleast had the opportunity to be with them. Even though the visit was short it was better than still being stuck and not having much to come back to. Also, I’m grateful I atleast have an incredible family across the world that I love unconditionally. So even if I feel alone, I’m never completely on my own.

I’m so beyond grateful that 2016 allowed me to travel the world, spend time with my amazing family, see how grown up my siblings are, learn how to be more independant, work my ass off, achieve my goals, make new friends, appreciate true friendships, learn from my mistakes, focus on my own happiness, be kind and understand that karma is real, and appreciate the little things in life.

Trust that everything happens for a reason. Even the hardest times end up being a lesson at some point and help us be more humble, grateful human beings.

Bring on the 2017 adventures ❤

 

Hello South Africa

Hello South Africa

Just over two weeks ago I made my way to JFK for my flight back to SA. 15 hours, 3 movies, some series, a couple chapters of Tina Fey’s “Bossy Pants” and a glass of wine later, I landed in Johannesburg. As I got off the plane I couldn’t help but smile when I thought about how I’d get to see my little siblings soon after around 9 months of being in the states. Seeing them again was unbelievable and even though I’d seen photos of them throughout the year, I couldn’t believe how big they had gotten.

The next day I had my flight home to Durban as I would be back in JHB the following week for my gran’s wedding. I had planned to surprise my sister Rachel for her 18th birthday and her Matric Dance, so I had to be very careful to not mess up the surprise by talking to her when I should have been sleeping (America is 6 hours behind), or snapchat my little siblings by mistake and ruin months of keeping the secret. My mom fetched me from the airport and it was so good being back in Durbs again.

I was back in the land of robots, Rands, left side passenger seats and beggars on the side of the road, which took some getting used to I won’t lie. Looking outside the window on the drive home from the airport made me happy knowing I was home. I appreciated the sugar-cane fields and the beautiful sea views more than I ever have. Driving through Umhlanga, La Lucia and Durban North made me think how crazy it is that you can spend so much time in places and then be away for almost a year, go back and feel like you never left.

I arrived home freaking out I was so excited to surprise my sister. She knew I’d be coming home soon for the wedding, but I told her I wouldn’t be able to come back before her birthday. The surprise was great, she cried so of course I cried too. Being home again was amazing. Seeing my family, my soul-dog and just being able to chill out at home again was just perfect.

In America I was the one with the accent, ‘cool’ nonetheless, but I couldn’t get a sentence out without getting asked where I was from. Now since I’ve been back in SA, every now and then when I talk people say “OMG you sound so American!” I can never win. Dealt with constantly being asked if I was Australian or British, to say things, speak Zulu, the list goes on, and now when I’m back home I apparently sound American. What can you do.

What has taken some getting used to is how I am back to rands and not dollars. Getting an iced coffee for R32 seemed like a lot of money to me until I realized that was around $2. We went to spar and got some groceries and I realized as I got to the till that I couldn’t for the life of me remember my pin for my card here, so I used my Chase card from the states. The groceries came to around R60 and it took something like $3.50 off my card which is bloody crazy. That’s like a grande coffee at Starbucks. That exchange rate though.

Rachel looked so beautiful at her dance and I’m so glad I got to be there for it, as well as her birthday. She grew up too fast, it makes me feel extremely old knowing she is 18 already. But it is very awesome and exciting.

What took getting used to was how we drive on the left side of the road with the driver on the right of the car, the walls around houses and electric fences, the humidity, and the fact that I could chill out and do whatever I wanted to and not have to be at work for 11 hours a day. What did I miss the most? My family of course, then the South African accents, then the Indian food and samp and beans. I miss my friends like crazy but luckily I’ll see them next week when I visit Rhodes again!

Last Thursday we drove up to JHB. We had my gran’s wedding on Sunday which was absolutely beautiful and so so special. All the grand-kids were bridesmaids, flower girls/ boys; so we all got to be a part of the wedding which was amazing. Not many grandchildren get to be at their granny’s wedding, never mind all twelve of us! It was a beautiful wedding, and I’m so happy for my gorgeous gran and Ron.

I’ve been in JHB for a week now and will be here till I leave for Grahamstown which is next Friday. I’ve loved getting to spend time with my Joburg family whom I adore. It’s kinda scary but very exciting to think about being back in good old Gtizzle with everyone again. I’m so happy to get to be with the kids again, and happy I’ll get to see my friends soon too. Speaking of friends, I didn’t realize how I’d come back from the states having really great friends that I miss already. So even though I do miss them and it sucks, I’m glad I have people to miss back in NJ.

Well that was quite a long blog post but I’ve needed to sit down and actually type this out for awhile now, so here it is! I’ll post one with some photos since I’ve been back soon.

❤ X