Life, Love, and Passports

Posts tagged “immigration

What is this life…

if full of care we have no time to stand and stare. This is still one of my favourite poems even after all these years.

The last seven days have been a really good time to reflect and be thankful for all my many blessings. There are many things I long for but for now this is where I find myself miles from the place of my birth. It’s the hardest thing to explain to people who’ve never left their country just how difficult it is to adjust in a new country. Yes, you’re right we do choose to up sticks and leave though I do take every opportunity to remind my dear husband that if it wasn’t for the love I have for him I wouldn’t have made this choice on my own! Packing up your life and leaving for distant shores always seems so romantic and adventurous to the ones waving you off.

It’s hard to believe we’ve been in the UK for just over five years now. I can’t believe I’ve lasted this long! It’s been an absolute roller-coaster of emotions. After each bout of homesickness I give myself a massive pat on the back when I realise I haven’t returned. At this moment in time I feel marginally qualified to give the misguided newbies a few tools to help them through the rough patches after what seemed like a good idea at the time.

I spent a couple of days with my aunt this past week and realised that you just can’t put a physical value on the importance of family. Spending time with family reminds you that you belong and that is enough to give you strength to carry on when you’re in doubt about so many things.

So, I’ve taken the time to stand and stare and I feel somewhat revived and ready to go on and face more challenges because there’s no shortage of opportunities to learn and grow and of course it’s a sure sign that I’m alive and well!
Go on…take the time to stand and stare.


Family matters

For the most part I just get on with my life here in England where I’m blessed to have found some wonderful friends. Though it’s at times like this long Easter weekend that I miss my South African family the most. I miss hanging around at my parents home doing absolutely nothing in particular.

Family are an amazing gift and I’m thankful for the one I have. Having people to turn to in times of triumph and trouble is an amazing reassurance. Keeping up to date with everything that goes on in my absence makes me grateful for modern technology because relying on a telegram would make living abroad unbearable.

Sometimes in life there are some difficult choices to make and we’ve made one that has us miles away from our loved ones. Our decision has much to do with our future and that of our daughters. I don’t plan to be here forever and I realise now that the longer I stay the harder it will be to leave. Who would’ve thought that the circle of life would be so difficult?

The love of a family is a blessing. I’m blessed to belong to a family who cares about our well-being.

Mummy can you hold me?

These were the sweet little whispers that I was woken to this morning. There is so much to be learnt from children. Sadly as they grow up they are taught to read between the lines and from my experience there is often much more between those lines than you can ever imagine. We teach them about suggestion with the hope that they’ll actually get what they want. So today I had a three-year old who wanted her mummy to hold her, she asked for it, got it and we were both happy.

My husband and I were married just two months when my birthday arrived. Wanting to please me and get it right he asked me what I wanted. To this day I can’t believe I said I wanted nothing. My special day arrived and yes you guessed it he got me sweet nothing! I was livid and he was calm because it was simple to him I got what I asked for! Needless to say these days I give an extensive list and the surprise is the one he eventually chooses. It’s a win – win situation.

Some days I wonder if life is as complicated as we make it out to be. Perhaps it is we who create unnecessary drama and resulting unhappiness. Though we have many choices and the chance to make our feelings, fears and requests known the other side of those choices is somebody who needs to be taken into consideration. This is my dilemma with life the truth is you can’t just do and say what you want because it’s a terrible thing to be found on the other side of somebody’s truth and opinion.

Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial. The art is to find the balance and this requires wisdom which is not very common in society today – you just have to trawl social networks to see the evidence.
What is it that you need today? Will you be brave enough to ask for it?

Anything to declare?

If you’ve heard that question before you’ve been through customs and immigration.
When presenting my passport and visa to an immigration officer for some strange reason I get really nervous and though I know for a fact that I have nothing to hide I feel genuinely afraid.

I enjoy watching border control programmes and I guess this adds to my chronic fear. Having passed through the united kingdom border agency too many times stepping up to the desk to make your intentions known can quickly have you tongue-tied after a barrage of questions by a highly efficient official. I sometimes think the staff are trained by the CIA to spot liars, cheats and all manners of deception. My worst fear is always being sent back to my country of origin because I just failed to make any sense. Fortunately this has never been the case.

Just thinking back to the many times I’ve been “interrogated” and the questions you face although they seem simple after being repeated in different ways can leave you flustered. Travelling with three minors adds further complications. So being good to your kids on the flight is very important because the last thing you need is a brat saying “I hate you, you’re not my mother” when questioned by the officials.

So passport stamped and bags picked up from the carousel at this point you’d think you’re home free. Oh no, now comes the ultimate choice. Nothing to declare or quite simply something to declare. Every traveller knows at this point there is no room for error.

Fortunately I have nothing to declare every time. With a spring in my step I float out of the airport!