Side Street Style

A family lifestyle, interiors & travel blog

30/06/2015

Why I moved to the UK

boyfriend jacket
A younger child free me

My mother is Welsh and my father South African, I spent 19 amazing years in Cape Town, South Africa, the place that will be forever home yet I doubt I will ever live there again. I flew over to the UK at the tender age of 16 as I had been invited to train full-time at a well respected Judo Dojo in Edinburgh, I had some success on what was at the time my future plan but needed to return to South Africa when I was 19 when my father passed away suddenly. This gave me a lot of time to reflect, I had had the chance to live in two different countries and I realised that as much as I loved South Africa in terms of work and school the UK offered better opportunities at the time as well as my mother and brother living in the UK it seemed like the best choice.

As I said the UK does have some great opportunities if you are willing to work and work hard at that. I was lucky enough to achieve my degree in the UK, something that would of been a lot harder in South Africa (and a lot more expensive), the rand is also very weak and the UK's hourly rate is the same as South Africa's daily rate which is why a lot of hard working South Africa's come on working holidays for two years, save up and return home with enough to put a deposit on a house or start their own business.


working holiday
Dancing in Nice while there on a working holiday a few years back


When I returned to the UK I went back up to Edinburgh for a year before deciding to do some more travelling. I really recommend trying out a working holiday, especially if you don't have any kids yet as it's the perfect way to see the world and make friends at the same time and I really enjoyed working in Amsterdam, Nice and the West Coast of Scotland. I had some amazing memories, made friends for life and also fitted in a lot of travelling before heading back to the UK and down to Cornwall. Some how I ended back in Wales, just outside of Cardiff and with two children (how did that happen?). I am so glad that I have had the opportunity to move around, visit some incredible places and do some less than ordinary things like taking a cargo ship from Cape Town to the UK.


Mr A and I in a Cafe in Bristol



After all of this I am very content with were my life is right now but I am also glad that I explored the world before having children and now I enjoy taking them along for the ride as well and seeing things through the eyes of a 4yr old has been very exciting.

If you would like know more about a working holiday check out this page

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13 comments:

  1. What a great life you've led. Its fab you have seen and experienced so much and now desire to show your child the beauties around us! Sounds like a lot of fun. I love to give my kids experiences and appreciation for other cultures x

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  2. Judo? Wow! I didn't know that about you! x

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  3. Wow I think its amazing that you've been able to experience so much in both countries. xxx

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  4. I did a lot of travellng before I had my kids. Glad you are enjoying life. Life is worth living well.

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  6. Lovely post and great to hear about your story- being a Welsh women, I'm glad you ended up in Wales!

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  7. I think a working holiday is a great idea if you want to explore the World on a limited budget. Your early life in South Africa sounds interesting. Did you have any safety issues
    In those days?

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  8. Wow, impressed that you were a judo dojo - high five! I think it's great you've experienced both countries and lots of other travel with and without the kids. PS I do love you with short hair too! xx

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  9. Sounds like you made the right decision for you and your family. I moved from UK to USA and had two children here but they make fun of my accent!

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  10. You sound like you have had a fab life, and now have the memories and experiences to share with your family. I hate travelling and avoid it at all costs, maybe cos I grew up in the RAF and never had roots or good friends as a child.

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  11. Lovely to read this, my husband is South African, we met as students and I've spent a lot of time in SA x

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  12. I love reading posts like this, theres something so fascinating reading about peoples past experiences and figuring out how its patched them into the person they are in terms of interests etc!

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Lovely comments

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