Aug 22

SA homecomer: ‘We haven’t regretted a single day’

The Therons returned to South Africa in March, after living in China for a few months and then in South Korea for almost 14 years.

We lived in the tourist district of Noksapyeong in Seoul, in a ground-floor apartment with a private garden and BBQ facilities. (Which is extremely rare for Seoul.) Company house and company car. So we had a lot of reasons to stay.

My wife and I moved back to South Africa, after living abroad for 15 years. We visited last year with our 11-month baby to show family. As a result we decided to move back. (Main reasons: family, air pollution & lifestyle).

We moved back in March, we both got jobs immediately. And have not regretted a single day! We go for walks and play in the park EVERY evening with our daughter.

We go to the company gardens in Cape Town to feed the squirrels on weekends. Go to the beach to play in the sand. She LOVES the “coo koo’s” (birds) at world of birds. Is amazed by the penguins at Boulder’s beach. Is excited by Sunday afternoon walks in Green Point and the train park. Stayed on a farm and fed the moo’s and horsies. The wild cats and animals in Stellenbosch. The ducks in Plattekloof.

Grandmas, grandpas, uncles and aunts! It’s been amazing. We would never have been able to give her this childhood abroad. And we have never once felt unsafe or in any danger. In the mornings you see women running before sunrise, kids walking to school. Moms on their own pushing a stroller to the local supermarket.

Our daughter (21 months old now) runs arms open to the lady 3 houses down who walks her small dogs alone each evening. Our next door neighbours are the friendliest people we’ve ever met and the kind old lady around the corner has invited my wife and little girl to come play.

It’s not fair to paint the whole of South Africa with the same brush. People leave for different reasons. In my experience abroad, those who were most negative were usually fortunate and never actually experienced any danger first hand themselves. But needed something to validate their choice for leaving.

And we are only one of many families we know who have moved back to South Africa for similar reasons…

If my wife (Janine) had anything to say, she would say the only thing she misses is her clean baby. Lopsie (Mehlia) is always dirty from playing outside!

Source: SA People