When I was 21 years old, I left home rather innocently, with no intentions of relocating permanently. The 2010 World Cup buzz and a promising summer internship lured me to Cape Town, a slice of paradise in a country pulsing with a compelling history and a contagious energy. I spent ten weeks in the art department of a small publishing company, designing layouts and desperately trying to keep up with the local banter. While my interning peers came home with stories about delivering babies and counseling AIDS survivors, my head was spinning to validate my passion of media, art, and design. Eight weeks into my stay, I met my reason for staying in South Africa, packed up, moved back to Eugene, Oregon to graduate from the University of Oregon school of Journalism and Communication, and a week after graduation was on a plane back to Cape Town.
To feel most of what you know slip out from under you for someone you love is an experience that is as beautiful as it is difficult. I feel that now I have two homes, am so closely connected with the people and places in two different parts of the world that no matter where I am, I will always miss the other. I’ve been fortunate enough to make steady advances in my career in graphic design as Cape Town is a bustling design capital. I’ve also met some of the most genuine and interesting people I’ve come across, some of which I’ve been able to travel across the country with. I’ve also been able to evolve and explore the greatest friendship I’ve known with my other half.
I refused to be comfortable, to be stagnant, to rest on what I wasn’t content with and because of that leap, I’m here. 10,231 miles away from family and friends but surrounded by support and love and new friendships. It’s taken time to get settled and every day presents itself with something new, something uncomfortable, or something I’m not familiar with but I can’t get enough of the adventure. I don’t know how long I’ll stay, or what the distant future holds for me, but coming here has been one of the best decisions I’ve made and I’m eager to see where it takes me.
The only advice I have for those thinking about taking a leap is to trust yourself, have faith in your own strength, and remember that it’s okay to feel uncertain or uncomfortable because of what you will undoubtedly learn along the way.
You can catch more of her travels here on her blog!