1. Seeing Table Mountain on a daily basis
    2. having an (unplanned) coffee with my neighbor and landlady every now and then
    3. taking long drives along the peninsula and enjoying a picnic somewhere along Chapmanspeak- drive.
    4. dropping in at the local bookstore for a long natter with Liza who provides us with our fab book reviews
    5. walking to the library
    6. being in walking distance of 2 friends where i can enjoy a heart-to-heart and a glass of wine or 2
    7. being able to work on my many different hobbies and passions of which all my tools must stay behind
    8. living no more than an hour away from my parents and in-laws, far away to keep the peace, close enough to visit fairly regularly
    9. knowing my beloved Cape Town well enough to know where to shop, where to go for a good coffee, a cheap movie, budget outings with the kids, etc
    10. having access to English and Afrikaans books, which is gonna come at a cost in Mauritius and hard to obtain – kindles are an option albeit an expensive one with 4 very active readers in our family
    11. affordable wine!!!! (and other liquor)
    12. My weekly visit with my bestie and my favorite baba!!! (can’t believe he’s turning 1 on the 19th of November wow!!)
  1. ……painted by the girl-child

I can go on with this list to the end of time and I still won’t have remembered all the 100’s of little things that I’m bound to miss once I set foot in Mauritius. All I know is that there are pros and cons to every situation in life.

My biggest pro is that the kids and I are joining hubby and that we will be seeing him on a more regular basis after 2 years of having spent very little time together. Not many people know that last year we only had him home for 8 out of 52 weeks. this year has been even worse, we’re counting 7 weeks and we’re closing in on the end of November. This is a pro that outweighs EVERYTHING ELSE.

This is the one thing that I am focusing on as I am embarking on this journey that is breaking my heart in pieces for the other people and things that we are leaving behind. People often comment on ‘how lucky’ we are to be relocating to the ‘idyllic’ island of Mauritius as we are leaving on a permanent resort holiday. NOT! We are going there to LIVE, to work hard and earn an income, same as here. We’re still going to pay school fees, rental, a car payment and at a much higher cost than in SA.

Obviously, the weather is better, yes we’ll have awesome beaches to enjoy. But… we will be doing that without our family and our friends that we are leaving behind.  Yes, we’re going to live on an exotic island with a bevy of different cultures and foods, but… we don’t speak their language and neither do they speak ours. I enjoy curry once a year but definitely not for breakfast. I am a Christian so some of their holy days and beliefs go against my grain. Yet as I am going to live in their county I’ll be under their laws and their rules.

I have not chosen to leave SA voluntarily. It has been forced upon us due to working conditions in SA. Due to hubby struggling to find a job in his profession where he can grow and earn money to support his family. I choose to leave because I cannot face another day, another week, another month without him.

The fact is he has always worked off-shore and did not often come home but being stationed in Mauritius has taken a toll on our family life worse than ever before. It’s now or never.

So yes! I am going to live on that exotic island, and YES I’ll be making the most of it! I’ll be extremely stupid not to. And stupid I am not! :p

I am just being my true self, a realist. I know from years of moving house, 18 times in 16 years,  that moving is hard even if you just move down the road. I have moved down the road, I have moved towns, I have moved across provinces, I have moved across borders. https://www.karolien-thereslifeafterkids.com/moving-houses-moving-lives-by-kay/, So no one can tell me anything about the traumatizing effect of moving on a person’s psyche.

Relocating abroad is even worse as you have to leave so much behind.  You leave your life behind, your family, your furniture, your culture, your country, your friends, your pets, your birthplace.

quote by @marcandangel

In the meantime, I have another 6 weeks to enjoy my familiar rituals and the many little things that bring me joy. I will focus on making the best of the remainder of my time with friends and family and the fact that soon I will be joining hubby which is the only thing that will ever make this sacrifice even close to worth it.

Until next time….

Karolien xxx

find me on FB and Instagram at Karolien – There’s life after kids