I took a sabbatical for the month of November and as is always the case the time seems to have has flown by in an instant. I was thinking of going away somewhere for at least part of the month, if not all of it, but in the end I decided to stay home and explore my new home town with a fresh set of eyes. In effect I decided to play tourist in and around the beautiful city of Cape Town which coincidentally was nominated as the greatest city on Earth after a poll of 90,000 readers of The Telegraph (not a bad deal that I didn’t have to travel overseas in order to experience a world class city).In the weeks leading up to my month off I scribbled all of the things that I wanted to do during my sabbatical on rather long overambitious list. I had every intention of visiting all of the top foodie hangouts to sample their offerings. I wanted to spend time running, hiking, SUP’ing, kayaking, horse riding and possibly even kitesurfing. I had planned a plethora of creative pursuits including visiting the theatre, writing, reading, drawing and photography. As the month progressed I discovered a month really isn’t enough time to fit everything in and still find time to relax and so my to do list evolved into something quite out of character for me, where spending time doing absolutely nothing was near the top.
Don’t get me wrong there were plenty of things that I managed to fill my time with, which I’m certain will be the topic of future posts, but in the end snuggling with the dogs in bed for morning coffee or lying on the beach starting at the ocean for the whole afternoon seemed far more important than trying to fit in loads of stuff in everyday.
I realized I needed to take time to unplug, so I did!
Lying on the beach, working on my tan, gave me the time to reflect on all the change in my life over the past seven months since relocating to Cape Town. I didn’t realize at the time but all the change wasn’t as plain sailing as I had expected it would be:
- Moving cities and having to adjust to living in is house where both my husband and I commute for work between Johannesburg and Cape Town has had its challenges.
- Working from home rather than working in a large Johannesburg office has had its ups and downs, mostly in trying to adjust to working with a team when I’m not there in person to assist when they need my help.
- I’ve had to get my head around the way people live, think, behave and interact with one another in a new city and plug into a new social network.
Despite feeling a little overwhelmed with all the change I was surprised by my answer when a friend asked if I’m happy living in Cape Town or if I want to move back to the familiarity of Johannesburg. My response came without hesitation – I’m happy where I am and it feels like home. I still love Jozi and a piece of my heart will always be there but for now my heart is happy living on the southern tip of Africa.
I’m grateful for the time off to reflect on my personal life and in doing so confirm we made the right choice to move. Sometimes you need to give yourself permission to sit and stare into space and let your mind contemplate where you are in life, you may just discover that you find peace in sorting through your thoughts.