I’ve been mulling this post over in my head for quite some time now. I don’t know how or where to start, so I’m just going to start writing and pour my thoughts into this post as they come to me.
When we moved to Namibia, so much changed. Not only did we move almost 2000km away from family and friends, but it was a completely new scene and lifestyle. Now, don’t get me wrong – I was raised in a small town so I (sorta) knew what to expect, but even if you think you’re prepared for such a big move – it doesn’t make it less difficult (and slightly traumatising, to be honest).
The biggest thing (for me) is the fact that we’re missing out on so much back in Cape Town. So many of our friends have had babies in the last year or so – some of these little ones we haven’t even met yet – and when we do get to see them later this year, they’ll be 4 or 6 months old – and some of them even crawling. When I have my emo days, I cry about what we’re missing out on back in Cape Town and the fact that I miss my family and friends.
Related to this is the fact that both my husband and I run our own businesses. So, to meet new people in a new town, is challenging. I think it’s easier when you work in an office environment and you can get to know your colleagues, and meet other people through them. I have to say – I really, really enjoyed living in Otjiwarongo. It took about 4 to 6 months to really settle in, but we met so many people that we clicked with. Luckily, Otjiwarongo is just 180km from Tsumeb (where we live now) so I still get to see my Otji friends fairly often.
To get back to the point of why I’m writing this post. I’m sure you’ve noticed over the last year or so I haven’t blogged that much or even really shared that much on StyleDiary’s social media. Once we settled in to our house in Otjiwarongo, I really didn’t know what to post about. Back in Cape Town it was easy – we were very sociable, dined out quite often and we did fun stuff (for example, it was easy to pop to Canal Walk and shop).
In Otjiwarongo (and now in Tsumeb), there just aren’t that many places to 1) eat out or 2) shop. Now, if you look at the majority of what influencers or big bloggers post about, it’s all about the ‘glam lifestyle.’ Living in beautiful settings, shopping up a storm, attending events, doing this, doing that, etc. For me, that isn’t my reality any more.
For a while, this made me feel bad and it made me feel like I was missing out on life. But you know what, I came to a realisation. I am really, really happy in Namibia. Yes, my life changed drastically and we’ve just moved (again) to a new town a few months ago so we’re definitely still settling in, but we’re building a good life for ourselves here. My husband gets to run his own business (and kick ass!), we live in a beautiful house, we have loads of space and a massive yard and in general our lifestyle is more relaxed. We’ve found ways to make life enjoyable for ourselves – from cooking at home to spoiling ourselves to a nice, big sushi meal when we do get the chance to go to Windhoek.
I’ve also come to realise that there are more people like me out there. Perhaps you moved overseas to take a gap year, or you moved to a different city (even if it’s in the same country) for a work opportunity – or perhaps you grew up in a small town and you still live there. I know this may sound odd, but it took me a while to get to this point. I’ve decided that I’m going to change my blog’s direction to talk to everyone and anyone that don’t always have access to nicer shops like Zara, Mac, Mango or even something like Mr Price Home for when you want to pretty up your living space. I’m going to get real about the challenges, obstacles and also the highs and wins of living in a small town.
You can expect to see a lot more posts about our home (I’ve been DYI’ing quite a bit lately), things that I struggle with (like where to buy decent foundation when the closest Mac is over 400km away or just finding a decent hair stylist) and much more.
If there is anything that you’d like to ask me or see me post about, leave a comment below and let me know.
Here’s to a new direction and taking the bull by the horns – and blogging more! On that note, you can expect my first home decor post up tomorrow. I’ll post the link on Facebook and Twitter – so be sure to follow me there – and also add me on Snapchat (carlavanstaden) – I’m probably the most active on (or addicted to?) Snapchat.
Chat again soon!