Why we need to start thinking about emigrating

I love South Africa. It is my home and Dean and I have been very happy here. We have built a wonderful, comfy life with our little home, our cats, our daughter. We lead a pretty cushy lifestyle, too, with plenty of sushi, nights out, special gifts and whatever else our hearts desire. Both of us have fantastic jobs that we love, and we are just so happy. So why, why are we talking about emigrating?

Just a few months ago, I told all of you that we weren’t thinking about moving. Every country has its issues and there was no compelling reason to even look at leaving South Africa – why move when we have it so good here? Well, I still think that every country has its problems, and we  need to feel our way through this decision, but the more I think about Harley’s future, the more I think that we should probably move somewhere else.

It’s not that South Africa is bad. I think Harley would have a great time growing up here – there are tons of places to go and things to see, tons of exciting forms of adventure and ways for her to be stimulated, enriched and loved. There are some great schools, and we have an amazing network of friends and family that will be amazing for Harley here. But there’s a big “but”, too.

When we were just thinking about ourselves, South Africa was great for me and Dean. But now that we have to think about Harley, it’s not enough for her to have an awesome childhood here. She needs to know that she can grow up and do or be anything she wants. Want to go to university and study medicine or astronomy or theater or art history? No problem! Want to grow up to be a gymnast, or actress, or rocket scientist or president? Go for it! Unfortunately, I’m just not sure how great South Africa will be for that. It’s not to say that there won’t be obstacles if we move to the States or anywhere else in the world, but I just think her opportunities will be greater if we live overseas. I won’t be worried about riots at the universities, or her being turned down because of weird quota systems. Sure, she might still get turned down for university, but the reasons will at least seem a little more “fair”.

Who knows when we’d actually manage to move – Harley still doesn’t have a birth certificate thanks to the useless people at Home Affairs, so we can’t take her anywhere anyway. There are so many logistics to consider, and we really do need to weigh the options carefully, but it’s a conversation that we need to start having, while Harley can still benefit from bigger and better opportunities.


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