A heartwarming homecoming story – Nicolette Coetzee tells us why there’s no place like South Africa!
Where in the world did you emigrate to?
We lived in Dublin, Ireland for 4 years.
Why did you go? Huh huh huh? Why?
We wanted to make money!! We were both well qualified with degrees and could get good jobs. We were also young and looking for a bit of adventure.
More importantly what made you see the light and come back to South Africa?
After 3 years over there, we thought that’s it, we’re staying. We loved the Irish, the travelling…and making money! But then my son was born and my father-in-law got ill…and things just changed. Suddenly we realised how much we miss our family and friends. It was really tough thinking my kids would speak English with their Oumas and Oupa and the rest of the family. We missed out on big family events like weddings, christenings, birthdays…even funerals! Most of all, our children will miss out on being close to nature.
What do you love about South Africa?
Family, friends that know words like “lekker” and “eish”!, nature, the weather, a proper kuier en braai – not in a pub, at home! Being able to afford home help, spacious homes and big gardens, the food, speaking Afrikaans, animals, our sense of humour, I could go on and on!!!
What would you tell other South Africans who are thinking of emigrating.
Think twice!!! Try it out for a year or two first if you can. You WILL miss your family and friends. Technology helps a lot, but pictures are not the same as being there in person, giving a sickly relative a hug or feeling the soft skin of a newborn family member.
You might not think you’ll miss South Africa, but after a while you’ll feel yourself welling up when you hear the anthem sung at a rugby match, or start crying when you suddenly come across a “Spur” restaurant in a shopping centre like I did!
Things are VERY different over there. The food, culture, banks, language, transport – you’ll be a “foreigner” for a long time.
Only the very well off can afford home help and childcare is ridiculously expensive.
You might think you’ll be earning tens of thousands of rands each month – just remember a cup of coffee or to have your hair cut cost about half that!! (Not really, but things are expensive!)
That said, I loved my time over there. If you have an opportunity to go for a few years go on, by all means. You’ll have amazing experiences, you’ll learn that you’re much stronger than you thought, you’ll meet wonderful people, you’ll see beautiful sites and will have great stories to tell. But when you’re done, COME HOME, we need you…
Nicole runs a lovely website called Touchit-Design, that sells products designed and made by South Africans
Okay so we know it’s well past Christmas time but Nicolette sent this pic of her “African” Christmas Tree and we couldn’t resist showing you!