Four Years an Immigrant

I was pretty shocked to realise our four-year immigration anniversary came and went on the 25th of August. I was feverish with writing the final chapter or two of A Trial of Sparks & Kindling, so I didn’t even realise the anniversary had passed until a few days later. Four years an immigrant. In the […]

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Survival Tips for New Immigrants

Maybe it’s because I know so many people who have recently moved countries or are about to take that particular leap, but I’ve been thinking about life as a new immigrant a lot lately. Friends and acquaintances have been sharing so many firsts photos in their feeds, it’s difficult not to get all nostalgic about […]

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Things I Don’t Understand – Canada Edition

You know, we’ve been living in Canada for just over a year, and there are still things we really don’t understand. So many things are done differently in South Africa–which makes sense when compared to Germany, but one would think that Canada and South Africa would share more similarities, considering that both have a strong […]

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Moving On

I guess now that the affected parties have been notified, it’s time to announce it here too. Due to circumstances beyond our control, the high cost of living in Toronto, and some personal reasons, our little family is moving on again. This time, we’re staying in the same country, thank goodness, but are moving to […]

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9 Months

To be exact, we hit the nine-month mark last Thursday. It’s the strangest feeling, looking at the calendar and realising how long we’ve lived in Canada. I can still recall the exact mix of excitement and grief when we had to say goodbye to our loved ones at Düsseldorf airport, then board the plane to […]

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A Comparison – Shopping

Let’s keep chatting about the differences between the cities where we’ve lived today. If you want to go back to the post that started it all, click here. Okay. Shopping in Johannesburg is simple. The shoppers are mostly laid back and the cashiers are friendly. There’s no rush either. People wait in line patiently and […]

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A Comparison – The Weather

The greatest of all the FAQ’s we are asked remains ‘what’s different?’, especially now that we’ve lived on three continents. The short answer is a lot, but that doesn’t seem to cut it with the asker. 🙂 So, I’ll do a series of posts that look at these differences in depth. Please do keep in […]

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Ice Ice Baby

It’s official, we’ve experienced another first on our journey. Last night, we had no electricity due to the insane storm that has been raging here in the north since Thursday. Ice rain, friends, is a bitch. If those of you back in sunny South Africa thought the worst thing that can possibly happen in Canada […]

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Better

I’ve tried to chronicle everything throughout this double immigration journey, more so this time around than the first. Being vulnerable on the internet is difficult, but in the name of helping other immigrants through their journey, I felt I had to make myself just that – vulnerable. As a result, you might have noticed many of […]

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The Five-Month Update

This Wednesday edition of Maple Mondays is brought to you by a broken router. Being without internet in this day and age is a form of torture, I’m certain. First world problems and all that, but seriously, the internet has become such an important part of my work and daily life. Being cut off from it […]

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Braving the Weather

This never gets old. If you, like my little family, have immigrated, or are planning to, brace yourself. Winter is coming, as are the questions about it. Moving to a country with a radically different climate from your home country is always interesting. I say interesting, because there’s something magical but challenging about the whole […]

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Social Sabbatical

Lately, I’ve been absent and apparently folks have been noticing. Except for sharing my posts from the safety of my blog, and maybe the occasional mini-scroll on Facebook once a day (if I actually make the effort to go there) I’ve been avoiding social media like the *cliche incoming* plague. Instagram is the exception to the […]

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Say What?

Can you believe that we’re days away from our four-month anniversary of moving? I certainly can’t. In some ways, it seems we’ve been here forever. In others, it’s like we arrived yesterday. This strange limbo also hit while we lived in Germany, so I’m expecting it to last a while. Today, I want to talk about […]

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Looking for Sympathy.

One of those things people forget to tell you about immigration is how often you’re going to be sick in the first while. We’re thoroughly submerged in the murky waters that involves getting all the known bugs through our systems. Along with some unknown bugs. I’d forgotten all about this phase, to be honest. We […]

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The Stages of Home – Maple Mondays

The time directly after immigration comes in five stages. Okay, fine, I made that up. This is based on personal experiences and conversations with many other immigrants from all over the world. Turns out, we tend to have the same emotional responses to this immigration-thing. Each person will experience the span of these differently, even […]

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Things I Miss About Germany

Nobody saw this post coming, right? 😛 Truth is, Europe was our home for two years. I don’t believe you can spend extended periods of time in any place and leave it exactly the same as you were when you entered it. People and places change you, whether you want it to or not. For […]

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Let’s Do This

No, this isn’t another of those please-bear-with-me-posts, I really am here to blog to my little heart’s content. Starting today, the schedule is back in action. #FTW A general update on the Canada side of things – we’re getting there. Most of our stuff has been sorted. Heck, Kayla even started school today. You remember how […]

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I’ve been MIA again…

And I’m sorry. It’s been just a tad on the chaotic side of the spectrum here in our new home. You’d think I knew this by now, considering our recent history, but I’ve just realised that people have a distorted view of immigration. Many of the people we’ve spoken to recently picture the whole thing […]

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First Week in Canada

It’s difficult to believe, but there it is. We’ve been in our new home for a week already. One of the first observations or questions we get asked now has to do with the weather. Who’d have thought, right? 😛 But no, it’s really not freezing here in the north. In fact, at this stage, […]

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It’s ALIVE!!!!!!!

Honestly, this is only half a post. Just wanted to drop in and let you know we’re still breathing here in our new corner of the world. Immigration isn’t a simple thing, but I have to say moving to Canada is superior. If you want people who will welcome you with open arms and pretty […]

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Oh, it’s Monday…

And I’m supposed to blog. Folks, I’m going to ask for some patience here. My week is looking a little cluttered. Considering I’m leaving the country in the very near future, that’s probably not such a shocking admission. My computer will be packed away soon, so that’s going to make it difficult to maintain an […]

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Boxes and Suitcases

Boxes and suitcases everywhere. This is my current reality. Those boxes we’re not shipping to Canada are full of stuff for charity. It’s a minefield. The clutter makes me anxious. It’s a combination of excitement and being totally overwhelmed, so every now and then I find myself disengaging to regain some semblance of focus. I […]

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Explanations

Fair warning – this is a long post. After Friday’s big news, we’ve had a lot of good wishes, emails and questions. I thought I’d address some of those today. Most people were surprised that we’re so unhappy in Germany, especially considering how happy all of our photo diary posts look. I talked about this briefly […]

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The Big News

As a teenager, I dreamed of moving to Hollywood. At first, I wanted to act. Who doesn’t? But then, one fateful day, I saw the work of my first idol, Steven Spielberg. More than anything, I wanted to follow in his footsteps and make films. I wrote many brilliant screenplays (they were Oscar winners one […]

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Kindergarten Fun (TGC)

Yes, this is a German Chronicles post on a Friday. My week has been kind of topsy-turvy. For the first time in a long time, I have a FAQ that I want to answer. Why isn’t Kayla in a preschool/nursery school/kindergarten? The short answer is because Germany. I’m guessing that’s not what you want, though.

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Germany – Things I Don’t Understand

As you can imagine, culture shock is a massive thing when you move to another country. Germany is no exception. In fact, some of the stuff that we see here is completely unique to Germany, like the German toilet. Yes, you read that right. Today I want to talk about some of these weird-ass things, […]

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TGC – A Year

It’s difficult to believe, while it feels much longer at the same time. We’ve finally passed the year mark. I’ve been turning this post around in my head for weeks now, but I still don’t really know what to say. I’m late in posting as it is. 🙂 Tomorrow we’re already at a year and […]

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Tips to Help You Adapt After Immigration – Part Two

Yesterday, we chatted about things you could do to make the immigration process easier before you actually get on the plane. Today, we’re going to chat about things you can do to adapt more seamlessly once you get there. This is obviously going to be different for every person, but these are the things that […]

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Tips to Help You Adapt After Immigration – Part One

Can you fathom this: Jan’s officially been in Germany for 6 months, and Kayla and I will have made the 6-month mark on the 25th of Feb. Mind. Blown. I bet I’ll say this with every milestone, but I can’t comprehend that it’s been ONLY six months. It feels like we’ve been here forever. Obviously, the people in […]

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Five Months – The German Chronicles

Yesterday, I hit the five-month mark in Germany. It feels as if I’ve lived here years already. I spoke to some friends and family about it yesterday, and they all feel the same way. It doesn’t make sense, you know. It hasn’t even been half a year, but it doesn’t FEEL that way. We’ve seen […]

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Three Months – The German Chronicles

It’s probably about time I give you an update on how things have been here in Germany. It’s been almost three months now (we’ll reach the official 3 mark month on the 25th of November) and a lot has happened in that time. First of all, we’re going to stay in the furnished short-term rental […]

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TGC – Why we Decided to Immigrate

This wasn’t some overnight, half-baked scheme. Oh no. Years went into this endeavour of ours. Years. You see, my brother in law left South Africa in the year Jan and I got married (2008). He quit his job and set out to London a month later, just following his gut. I’ve always admired him for […]

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What’s Different? (TGC)

The question I get asked most at the moment is “How different is living in Germany from living in South Africa?” The answer is, it’s different. But seeing as so many people don’t like the vagueness of that statement, I thought I’d quickly highlight the basics. Or at least the things that stand out to […]

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My First Week in Germany! (TGC)

Wow. Here we are, aren’t we? Last week this time, I was getting ready to get on a plane. I was a bundle of nerves mixed with insane excitement. Since then, a lot of people have asked how we are and if we’re adapting. The answer is good and yes. But I’ll get there. The flight […]

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Here we go… (TGC)

It’s weird, this feeling. I’m leaving home. Sights and smells will always be imprinted in my mind; the way I feel today. It’s a big day, after all. I’m leaving home. I barely slept last night, because a haze of excitement, bitter-sweet goodbyes and anxiety whirled in my head. And here it is. D-Day, so […]

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Update Version 2.0 (The German Chronicles)

This was the post I typed for you yesterday : “I’m still in South Africa. That’s all I have to say about that. I’ve been quiet, I know. Currently, I’m in limbo. Being a creative kind of person means that life events have a profound impact on my mood. I know that life events impact […]

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The German Chronicles – an Update

I’ve been without a computer for a while now and I’ve barely switched on my laptop. It’s been so hectic here that I’ve only visited social media sites maybe three times in the last week and a half. I would say I’m sorry, but I haven’t had time to be sorry since we moved into […]

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The German Chronicles – What’s it Like?

People want to know how I feel and what I think at the moment. As in “Is it difficult to pack up and leave?” or “What’s going through your mind?” or “Aren’t you sentimental about the stuff you’re leaving behind?” One I get a lot is “I’m too attached to my family to leave them […]

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I’ve Been Keeping Secrets…

I’ve been hinting at the fact that my life is about to change drastically. No, scratch that. Not hinting, telling you right out. 🙂 Today I can finally let you know what’s happening, and it’s not what you think. No, I’m not pregnant. My husband was offered a position in Germany and he accepted it. […]

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