Back in 2012 after finishing High School I moved to False Bay. My Uncle encouraged me to take some sort of a gap year and help start up Shark Explorers with him , his business partner and a very tiny handful of people. The company grew and I grew with it , that gap year turned into 6 years and boy oh boy did Mona grow! (Standby Shark Explorers – I will still write up a big tribute to you!)
Marty also joined Shark Explorers back in 2012 and when he looked again he fell in love with the work , South Africa and me! We became really invested in starting up a life in Cape Town;after sharing homes with awesome people we got our own little home and that house was the best!
I have always loved art and I found an art gallery in Muizenberg where they ran art courses and they taught me so much. When we got our own home I finally got to have my own little art corner.
Our home was a haven for us and everyone else who came by for a braai or just a cup of coffee. Everybody was always more than welcome there!
I got to see my supportive family every day and I have no idea where I would be without them today. I am one of the lucky ones to say that my family is so encouraging and I can’t thank them enough for everything they have done and helped us with back in Cape Town
We decided to get married in South Africa! Marty is Dutch so most of his family and friends flew down from Holland and since we are lucky to have friends from all over the globe most of them flew down to come and celebrate with us,it was the best ten days ever!
We had all of our best friends and my side of our family within close range, we did what we loved and we traveled as much as we could.
We got to see the most amazing sunrise and sunsets, we could go chill with the penguins whenever we wanted to and we had a magical kelp forest to explore pretty much on our doorstep.
Life was comfortable and content, even with a few big challenges and obstacles on the side.
So, of course the question comes up: “Why would you just give all of that up?”
If you know me well, I can go and find you a rainbow in an oil slick on the worst day, but somehow I just became exhausted and started struggling to find my own rainbow in an oil slick even on the best day.
With Marty being Dutch we were facing visa runs around about every year. In the start it was okay, it was a challenge! But with every airport drop off I would leave that place with a little piece of me torn off. With Marty being gone I would just get filled with sadness and anxiety where the people closest to me didn’t really know how to help me anymore and Marty had his hands full on the other side of the world.
I tried to work on myself; I tried yoga (Which became way too expensive) , I tried the gym , I tried courses , art , books, the distraction list goes on and on. I would work so hard on myself that I would just find myself emotionally exhausted in the end .
Having Marty home made things so much better, but something still didn’t feel right inside. It got to a point where Marty told me that we have to do something about this, something needs to change and I would just mutter “But I can’t, I’m not ready”. This husband of mine really has the patience and strength of a saint.
I guess what happened was that I became too comfortable,nothing challenged me anymore and I became too lazy to find a challenge or something new. I tried to compromise the comfort for too long and it didn’t work anymore.
You see – there was signs being thrown my way and there were obstacles that I couldn’t change and didn’t want face anymore but I kept on turning a blind eye to it because I was comfortable and “I’m not ready” almost consumed who I am and “It’s just a tough time” became a regular excuse.
We always spoke about leaving Cape Town to go and work in Europe, but that was one of those “five year plans”. After facing some facts and tough decisions we just decided that the time has come sooner than expected and that five year plan turned into a five month plan.
Life happens and most of the time it is not easy; it kicks you in the butt when you become too comfortable and if you let it, it will trample you into the mud. I’m not saying that you who are reading this right now have to jump up, get online and book the quickest ticket out for your current life. It’s different for all of us; but you have to listen to yourself. You have to be real and honest with yourself and make a move before you get yourself into a slump or become your own worst enemy.
Having to say goodbye to your best friends, family, your favorite places and some habits is one of the hardest things to do and homesickness is a very real thing. I will always carry a piece of my Cape Town with me and I will always be sure to teach the world some Cape Town slang and some Cape Town ways.
This move had to be made, it was the best decision and even though not every day is paradise or what it seems to be on social media ; I am learning a lot about myself , dealing with tough times , still overcoming that irrelevant “I’m not ready” phrase and most importantly I have been learning to be more patient and kind with myself.
I’m doing things that I never thought I would be able to do and I have met so many beautiful people in the past five months, I can’t wait to share it on here with you all!