Thursday, February 5, 2015

I'm Scared

Let's start off by saying that the number one emotion I have about moving to South Africa is excitement. I am confident and positive that this is a good move for us and that it will be a life changing adventure. Following closely is impatience. The opportunity of the relocation first surfaced in July of last year. Even months later when we knew that we were definitely going, things moved slowly. I just want to get there already!

Of course it's also scary. It's scary to leave the only country you've ever lived in and move nearly 8000 miles away right?

When someone tells you they are scared you're supposed to ask, "what are you scared of?" So here it is. A list of my top concerns in no particular order.

1) Crime and violence. Of course who isn't scared of crime and violence? Some people, when they find out you are moving to South Africa immediately launch into a scary story of South African crime and violence. Why people feel the need to do this is interesting and something I could write about more in the future. Anyway, I met a woman in Miami who was South African who told me straight up that she would not want to live there again. Then, she told me about her friends that got kidnapped and tied their own home. Another person told me that his friend drives around with a shotgun for safety reasons. Another person, who had lived there, said that if you are driving at night and you come upon a red light you should run it so you're not a sitting duck. I have heard lots of stories about this and the statistics do show there is a lot of crime. When we visited though people were actually out and about. They were not inside hiding. They were working and driving and shopping and laughing and eating lunch outside. And they seemed calm. I've also had a lot of people tell me how wonderful it is to live there and how if you use common sense you'll be fine. So I guess you just have to be careful. Don't wave around a lot cash. Don't drive a fancy car. Maybe don't rush to get the latest upgraded cell phone and always watch your back.
Tactic to address fear: Be careful!

2) Snakes. I'm terrified of snakes right here in the U.S.  I don't care how big a snake is, if it's poisonous or not, or what it eats. This fear is not based on anything logical. I don't like to see snakes on TV or in movies. At a zoo, I skip the reptile exhibit. I don't go in pet stores because there might be snakes there. I don't know what type of snakes they have in South Africa or worse what snakes live on the African continent. I am not going to look into this. When we move there and have a house it would be great to have a garden but this fear of snakes may not allow it. Please don't email me any details about your African snake research. I really don't want to know.
Tactic to address fear: Avoid thinking about the problem.

3) Driving on the other side of the road. Ugh! This is a major concern. First of all, I don't think I am the best driver here in the states as evidenced by the big dent in the front of my car from driving over a boulder that was in the median for decoration in the parking lot of my gym. Now I will need to learn to drive in a car sitting where we all know the passenger should be sitting and barreling down the "wrong" side of the street (all while watching out for carjackers.)  My biggest fear is making turns which I don't think can be avoided. Can I think fast enough to get in the correct lane after make a turn? Will I look the correct way for oncoming traffic when stopped before proceeding? Once, when I was in Europe on a trip an American got hit by a bus because he instinctively looked the wrong way before crossing the street. How can I unlearn these automatic habits picked up in over 30 years in the U.S.? 
Tactic to address fear: While I would like to say hire a driver I don't think Mr. Deep will go for it. I might take a driving lesson though.


  1. You are going to do fantastic! I love to travel and always say that it isn't about the destination but the memories you make along the way. I think If you were going anywhere in the world you would have similar fears. Also, you run marathons so you can out run most snakes and criminals. Xo

  2. Thank you! I need to work on my running speed!

  3. Oh and I'm over 40 years old. The habits picked up over thirty years refers to the amount of time I've been driving.


About Me

My photo
Hello and thank you for taking an interest in my blog. This blog tells the story of some big life changes. First, my husband and I have just moved to Geneva, Switzerland for a few months following a few years of living in Johannesburg, South Africa. The two places could not be more different. I'm excited to share our adventures, challenges and insights with you! My thoughts and opinions are my own.