I’ve been living in Johannesburg little over a year now and moving here was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Almost everyone I am friends with, my family and even strangers asked why? Why on earth would I move from beautiful Cape Town to dull old Gauteng. I didn’t even really know why at the time but I knew I needed change. The type of change that would push me into the right direction and take me out of my small, confined comfort zone.
Despite all the bad talk me and my fiance Mike decided to quit our jobs, pack up all we had from our tiny 24 square meter apartment in Claremont and lug it all here ourselves (We literally hired a trailer, put everything on it and had a very stress filled drive to Johannesburg.)
When I first moved away from everything I knew – it was hard, I won’t sugar coat it. The first month was crazy and getting used to the surroundings took a lot of learning.
I struggled to drive around at first as I have no sense of direction and everyone kept warning me about ‘how dangerous Jozi is’. After just giving it a chance it wasn’t like that all. Instead it was actually easier to move around because the highways are bigger and the cars here actually move at a speed to get somewhere on time!
I also live in a bigger more amazing home with two bedrooms, a flower filled garden (best part!) for the same price as the (cute and homey) shoe box we were staying in. Most importantly I absolutely love my family that lives in it with me consisting of an ADHD dachshund, crazy ginger cat and the best,most loving human I’ve ever known – my husband to be, Mike.
There’s also this misconception that it’s boring in Johannesburg. Here’s the thing – A place is only as boring as you decide it’s going to be. So I made an effort with Mike to every weekend go try new places out. We found incredible markets that were super vibey, restaurants with different experiences and to top it all off wherever you go everyone is very friendly and welcoming something you don’t always get in the mother city.
I believe that in moving here I had to ‘level-up’ as the saying goes. I’ve grown into a more confident, open minded person and to just trust myself in whatever I wish to do. With a little less fear and pushing yourself into the unknown you can actually experience a more exciting fulfilling life.
I’m not doubting that any of these things would not have happened if I had stayed in Cape Town but in moving here it really just changed my perspective on life.
Here are a few notable life lessons since moving here:
- Trust your gut and not what others tell you. If you want to do something and you really believe it will benefit your well being/life/soul then go for it! At the end of the day it’s your self doubt or regrets that really count.
- Happiness is self made. No one can truly make you happy inside except for yourself.
- Be responsible for what your surroundings are – If it’s negative then remove it or simply pack your sh* and go!
- Take a chance and it could either land up a lesson or an incredible adventure
- Don’t worry about what others think of your decisions. It’s your life and your decisions good or bad are paving your future. Ultimately it matters what you think of yourself!
- Life is fun when you get up and do something. Sitting around wondering what’s out there gets boring.
I am so happy and grateful for this life I am living. I can’t wait for what’s next, to just keep learning and diving into the unknown.
Also, here are some of my favorite places in Johannesburg/Gauteng where I like to spend my time:
- Fourway’s farmers market on a Friday or Saturday. Best time to go is in the morning so you can grab a spot to sit. There’s a stall that sells the crunchiest churro’s made fresh to order.
- The Neighborgoods market in Braamfontein. Best for views of the city or tasty snacks! There’s always a DJ playing music that goes well with a G&T, sunny weather and good company.
- Tonic in Linden. This place is a gem! They have every gin you could ever want both local and international which they call their ‘suit case’ gins. My favorite gin is called ‘The motherfluffer which costs R60 and comes with a toasted marshmallow and artesian candyfloss (fancy!) .They also have very good food – anything from flatbread to deep fried zucchini chips.
- Dullstroom (about a 3 hour drive from JHB). Great for a quick little getaway or for anniversary celebrations! It’s such a sweet little town which has tons to offer like whiskey tasting, a tasty cheese store, dedicated waffle cafe and an artesian chocolate factory that sells melted chocolate shots (deadly)