When I was an undergraduate, I wanted nothing more than to go on safari after I finished school. I talked about it with my freshman year roommate and we agreed that upon our graduation from engineering school we would go to Africa for a safari. Four years later, we were no longer roommates and I had instead decided on a trip to South America to visit Peru and Bolivia and a friend in the Peace Corps. That trip was an amazing adventure complete with a visit to Machu Picchu; however, I saw many llamas but no lions. Now, numerous years later, I have still yet to go on safari. However, a unique opportunity has arisen in my post-PhD life that takes me to the land of wild animals and of my much dreamed about safari.
Life has a funny way of continually surprising me. I desire to do interesting and cool things with my life and somehow it keeps working out in even more crazy ways than I could anticipate. For my post-PhD life, I had hoped to move to exciting San Francisco or even Europe; however, the the reality is a very different plan.
Yes, this is really happening.
I think my favorite response to this crazy announcement was laughter, just pure chuckles bursting forth from my friend. You would think that would be offensive, but it was meant with sincere happiness and joy for me. It just speaks volumes to my ridiculous life decisions. My friend followed his laughter with “of course, you are moving to South Africa”. That was the perfect response.
Yes, I won’t be making tons of money.
Yes, it will be hard.
And, yes, I am nervous.
However, I get to live in South Africa, the rainbow nation! I won’t just be a tourist, but I will get to settle in and experience as much of the country as I can. This is exciting and terrifying.
Also, I am totally sure a lion is just gonna walk past my work window one day. That is life in South Africa, right?!
I shall continue to post to this blog as I become an expat in South Africa!