My heart (and my mind) needed this trip! We were so blessed and we are so thankful for the opportunity to travel ‘home’ to South Africa for a few weeks. Something that I know many of our friends, who have immigrated, would love to do after moving so far from their former home. And we got to do our first trip back after a short six months of leaving our place of birth and moving our lives across the seas. Spoilt brats I tell you 😉 We are very privileged and won’t take our situation for granted.
Seeing family and friends, and spending time in our old neighbourhoods and at our fave coffee shops and beaches and malls and zoos and play grounds and game reserves, really really made my soul sing. I ate tons of biltong, droewors, boerewors, legit Chinese food the way I like it, Oceanbasket prawns and the list goes on! We braaied more than I can remember and we brought back so many milo chocolate slabs and packets of zoo biscuits it’s actually a joke. BUT… it’s AMAZING to be H O M E in Canada. Yes, I said HOME…
I stared at the Jozi skyline as much as I could, took a mental picture (as well as many actual pictures) of the Durban beach front and promenade, soaked in some African bush time with my family, tried to feel and experience that African energy and buzz that’s only found in Africa, and had a darn good time! But I was ready to go back home, back to our beautiful life here.
This holiday has brought such clarity to me particularly. I was pretty convinced that Adrian was going to have to drag me back on the plane because I wouldn’t want to leave when our holiday was over, but it’s been the complete opposite. For the last few days before we journeyed back, I’ve been craving home (in Canada) and our life here. Like South Africa is our birth home and that will always be the case, but I have such peace that we are where we are meant to be (for now). Who knows, this season may be short, but right now… we are home.
We got to see so many special people while in Durban and Johannesburg – we really are fortunate to have such an amazing tribe back in SA rooting for us, wanting us to succeed and be happy. Many of my conversations with friends were about how I’ve struggled in the last few months since having Hudson – firstly by birthing a small human in a foreign land, and then adjusting to two kiddos with Summer not in preschool yet, all the while missing family and friends and the support they bring. It’s been hella hard and it will continue to be a bit tough for the next while no doubt. These challenges are worth it and our family is strong and our God is great and knows what He’s doing. He’s working something out and we are along for the ride… and the best is yet to come.
I had a few revelations while in SA that led me to a place of peace about our decision to leave and make a life somewhere else. I am never going to be that ‘expat’ that speaks negatively about our beautiful country – that country which has the most flavour and diversity I’ve ever seen, with such radiant and authentic people, and the best food and lifestyle and landscapes and and and (obviously in my opinion)! Then there’s my happy place – the bush. We spent a few nights in the Pilanesberg at Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge and oh my it was epic! There are so many positives about our Africa, too many to mention in this post (watch this space for a new post in the making: A love letter to my Africa), but there are some negatives and reasons why I’m feeling so thankful for our new life and the freedom we’ve come to know over here in Saskatoon. For the first time I can say with utter conviction that I don’t want to go back to our old life… I want this new life! And it took going back to South Africa to realize this and see how amazing we have it here 🙂 We have freedom and our kids get to grow up in a place where crime isn’t a major issue, and we can raise them without worrying constantly and stressing about their safety and futures (more than normal anyways).
(If you want more actual details on what I felt when in SA and how I came to this realization, feel free to contact me directly and I’ll share more about my experiences on our trip).
So, after three weeks of holidaying, we got on a plane and flew H O M E… and I’m at peace and so thankful. I can’t wait to enjoy the last bit of summer time and the warmer weather before the cold sets in again. I will take in every late sunset and mosquito bite (and the smell of bug spray) I can before the season change and soak up our life here. Watch this space as things are always exciting when you follow the Bergs 😉
(I don’t share our day to day happenings on Facebook, so follow along on insta – @followtheBergs)