Random musings · Uncategorized · WP Challenges

Leaving behind a life…

A good few of my personal experience posts have to do with my life abroad and my family on the other side of the ocean.  I’ve been back a few years now but the memories will always be with me.  Triggered by a photo, something I read online or a song.  When you leave your home of 20 years, fly for the very first time and fall in love with two very special little people that you form an unbreakable bond with, I think it’s only human to still feel connected to a place that was once home and the wonderful people that I shared that experience with.  This earlier post was about the actual leaving but today’s narrative reveals events that came before…


In November 2006, I boarded a plane to New York for a year.  At that time, Little H was  a few months short of turning 3 and her brother would celebrate his 6th birthday the following year.  CB and I connected fairly quickly, playing games indoors (it was Winter, after all…) and just having some fun.  Little H took a little longer but once she latched on, there was no letting go.  She was at the age were her words were still forming correctly and Uresha was pronounced as U-way-sha and if she wanted to be carried it would be “Uppie?”

I stayed for a year and chose to return so that I could work on getting my career on track.  After two years of being back in SA and not really getting anywhere, I needed a change.  So when the family asked if I would return for two years (Maximum stay on a J1 visa), I took it as an opportunity for change.  I had such a fantastic first year and two more years living in New York, with a family I knew and loved sounded pretty damn good!

But like all things in life, things never do go as you plan for them to.

Mr C & I became friends before that first trip, but in the year that I was going to leave a second time, we became even closer.  Best friends, in fact.  We could spend an entire day talking about various things and still have more to say the next day and the next…This relationship developed over phone calls, text messages, MXit and Gmail chat.  Since attending college together in 2005, we had never actually seen each other over a period of close to 4 years.  After college, we went on with our lives – I left to New York and months before I could return, Mr C left for London on a 2 year visa.  Despite being on different continents – or maybe because of it – the friendship flourished.  We joked that if we were both not married by the time we were 30, we would marry each other. {Clearly it wasn’t that much of a joke, considering we ended up tying the knot at 27!}

November 2009, is when I was scheduled to leave for New York the second time around.  Mr C returned from London that August. We continued our late night chats and met a few times.  He drove me to the airport. I arrived safely (with the exception of an excruciating earache) and was happy to be reunited with my NY family.  When I did get to check my mail, I found numerous messages from Mr C  and separation anxiety took root.  A few months down the line, the M word came up.

After much thought, I decided to go back at the end of the year, much to the disappointment of  my NY family.  My parents, especially my dad were thrilled.  I had once told him that I would not get married, as I didn’t need a man to take care of me because I could do it myself.  The fact that I was talking marriage was a welcome surprise.  I still do not need a man to take care of me, but it’s nice having someone who does want to take care of you, support you and laugh with you 🙂

I do sometimes think back and wonder what if I had stayed the extra year.  How different my life would be.  Who knows if I would have ever returned to SA.  I would have most likely tried my hand at a few other live abroad programs and been a nomad for a few more years.  I don’t regret my decision, but that doesn’t stop me from missing my life there.

Written in response to this Daily Prompt.


4 thoughts on “Leaving behind a life…

  1. I love reading these posts- it takes me back in time. You know that we feel the same love for you and always will. You will always be a part of the kids lives

    1. I enjoy writing them because I get to relive those memories once again 🙂 I always fear that the kids will forget me 😦 – silly, I know but I can’t help it. Love and miss you all!! xx

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