In the previous post of this series I spoke about the fact that Raquel and I have made a decision and taken a risk which will change our lives from this point onwards. However the decisions taken were taken after considering all our options and considering the impact that these decisions would have on our lives from here on out.
What is this decision? Well, considering that we cannot go on forever living in some sort of limbo controlled by my work situation, we decided to quit our respective jobs and move to a country where both of us can live normal lives together.
Where are we moving to? Well after carefully considering our options, South Africa seemed to be the place with least risk attached to it. We considered several places, but most of them came with inherent difficulties, some to job opportunities, others with visa restrictions.
Having only been in Guinea for two months it seems like this decision might be slightly premature and even though one of my preconditions to coming here was that eventually my company would find a role for Raquel so that she could live here with me, the continued uncertainty with regards to projects here made me consider my other options. This is one of the main reasons of taking this decision which is the downside to expat life: The unpredictability of expat life.
This is not to say I hate expat life. Far from it, I really do like it, but expat life has some major drawbacks depending on the area you work in. Jay, an expat blogger who is currently in Norway after just finishing a stint with her husband in Gabon, wrote a post about exactly this is issue of expat life. Here is just a summary of what she, but read the rest of her post and blog:
- You are the mercy of the company in certain industries;
- You don’t always get to chose where to live;
- Companies often throw massive decisions your way without really considering the impact it might have on the life of an employee;
“You try to learn to roll with the punches and my goodness, we’ve rolled with them more than I’d like to remember but that certainly doesn’t make it any easier.” Jay
But it was this line above that made me immediately think of Raquel and I due to our own experiences with my own company. For those of you who are not aware of the story, I was suppose to moving to Mozambique for the long term where Raquel would join me.
Raquel started applying for jobs in Mozambique and even got a very good job offer for her. We were looking forward to our life in Mozambique together… and then things fell through and the project I was assigned to would not be starting up and the company was going to assign me to another project, but I would not be able to take Raquel with me.
Our lives together was once again at the mercy of the company and we decided to take a risk and accept the offer from Guinea and hope that something came up for Raquel by the time we got married. Unfortunately, nothing has come up and last month we discussed the issue thoroughly and decided we were not going to allow my company to dictate our future. We need stability, but stability on our own terms.
This meant that after four years with this company, I decided to resign and search and look for work somewhere where Raquel and I can live together. So after ten years away from South Africa, I will return, but I return as a different person from the one that left all that time ago. I’ll return as a married man. I’ll return with a completely different vision of the country I left. I’ll return with an appetite to see the country and experience it.
My hope is that South Africa welcome Raquel and I with open arms and provides us with the life we have longed for since getting together.