The idea of moving abroad

I have often asked myself the question: Why can’t I just go the normal way? But then I asked myself again: Is the normal way the right one? Everyone’s life is up to themselves, but one thing I can say for sure is that every chance you get in life is good and if it feels right, it’s even better. 

© by Simone Sommer

My apprenticeship was coming to an end, but I didn’t want to stay in the company. I wanted to go abroad to gain some work experience and also for personal development. I spent months looking for a job. Doing a hotel internship in Tenerife? Being a tour guide in Greece or Dubai? I was open to everything, but despite everything I could not make a decision.
In October, the tide finally turned – a contact, an email, a Skype interview and finally a job offer. In just one week, I decided to leave my life in Germany behind and move to South Africa. Crazy or? A job in Cape Town, the city that won my heart four years ago. I could hardly put my happiness into words. 

The future has many names: For the weak it is the unattainable, for the fearful the unknown, for the courageous the opportunity.

Victor Hugo
© by Simone Sommer

Life is full of choices...

Personally, I don’t find it easy to make decisions, especially those that turn life completely upside down. But do you know what helps me?
I picture the future. I create a vision of what my life could look like and I compare my current situation with my imaginary future. When I thought about what my life in Cape Town would look like, my heart bubbled with joy. 

In February, things finally got serious. I moved out of my small one-bedroom apartment in Munich, canceled my cell phone contract and three weeks before departure, I took the oral exam at the IHK (Chamber of Commerce and Industry) and a s a result, I was officially a Tourism Management Assistant. One week before departure, I celebrated my farewell with my closest friends. I think this was the point, I realized that I was really going to move 10 000 km away from my hometown.

"Isn't that a big step?"

Moving abroad at the age of 23? Leaving behind family, friends and familiar surroundings? Yes, it’s a huge step. But I didn’t doubt my decision for one second. Life is meant to find absolute fulfillment. If a place doesn’t fulfill you, leave it. If a relationship doesn’t fulfill you, leave it. It’s very simple. I never felt home in Munich, but I did in South Africa. The country is beautiful, offers countless opportunities and quality of life is paramount here. For me, it was clear since 2016, when I first visited South Africa, that this is the place where I would find my absolute fulfillment.

Be your own boss

My mother always accepted all my decisions. She was giving me all the freedom I needed for myself and I am more than grateful for that today. There are probably certain people in your life who want to stop you from doing things and influence you negatively. Friends, co-workers or even your own family. Have I missed something or does a rule book exist, in which life is prescribed? I think not! You have to make your own decisions and know for yourself what is best. If you have dreams, go after them and never let anyone or anything in life stop you from doing what you love to do. Play by your own rules!

The name Marina means „the one who lives by the ocean“. I love the ocean. I love it so much that I want to see it not only twice a year, but every single day. On 29.02.2020 my dream finally came true, I left Munich behind and started a new life in Cape Town. 

© by Simone Sommer

My time in Cape Town was wonderful and I immediately felt home again, but I think everyone can imagine what comes next. The year 2020 was extremely unexpected for most of us. My time in Cape Town came to an early end and I had to travel back to Germany due to COVID-19. My dream of moving abroad shattered, I was devastated and could hardly believe what just happened. This has probably been the hardest fallout I have experienced in my entire life.

Accept and optimize

Life is unpredictable and no one can influence it. It comes as it comes, but it is up to you how you deal with unpredictable situations. I’ll be honest, at the beginning of my return I fell into a deep hole. I was sad, depressed and unmotivated to continue. But we are talking about a world crisis and countless lives have been greatly affected by the pandemic. 

Now I am sitting here, looking forward and feel even more encouraged in my decision to go back to South Africa, which is the country of my dreams and I know that it will be waiting for me. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be yet, maybe I need to grow more to be able to live there for longer term. At this point again: Don’t look at failures negatively, see them as a chance to develop yourself and learn acceptance. Don’t give up on your dreams, but wait for a better time to realize them. 

It's not a goodbye, it's just a see you later