The Christmas season always gets me feeling sentimental. It’s so nice to see people so excited to see their families and friends that they may not have seen in a while. I love seeing my family and even though there aren’t many of us at Christmas, it’s still the best day of the year.
I was born in South Africa and my sister, my mum, my dad and I moved to Wales when I was about 1 ½ years old and we’ve lived here ever since. I have a set of cousins who also live in Cardiff (recently moved here) and a set that live in Ireland, as well as family in Manchester and all over the world. However, the majority of my family still live in South Africa. If we’re lucky, we get to see them once every 2-3 years but it’s often longer than that. It’s so expensive to travel there that it can’t be done frequently. I know many people are in the same situation as me. My best friend Emily, for example, has family members here in the UK but also has a fair few out in Barbados and she understands how hard it is to travel there when it’s so expensive. I had the privilege of going out to Barbados with her and her family and meeting everyone (by the way it’s basically my family too, I have a room in their house).
Living so far away from such a large proportion of your family is difficult, but it varies from person to person. For example, it’s much harder for my parents to live away from their family because it’s their brothers, sisters, and cousins that are all out there. Not to mention, they grew up there and started a family of their own out in South Africa. For me, it’s hard too, but not to the extent that it is for my parents because I grew up in Wales. All of my friends are here and I would consider this my home. It’s hard, however when you make such strong bonds with your family whilst you’re out there and you have to leave in a week’s time. It’s kind of like the feeling of the unknown. A lot of the time you have no idea what’s going on there, and even if you did, there’s nothing you can do about it. So overall what’s it like living away from my family? Definitely difficult, but some times are harder than others and I’m happy to have the great friends and family that I have here in the UK. I will forever be grateful to even have a family and to have such a good bond with them, no matter where they live.
Enough of the soppy stuff. I was lucky enough to go back to South Africa this past March with my boyfriend. I got to see most of my family (I have A LOT of family members out there and was only there for a week, so I didn’t manage to see everyone) and it was so good to see how everyone was doing. If you ever get the chance to go to South Africa, do it. My family is from Cape Town and it’s such a beautiful city. Like all places, it has its ups and downs but it’s definitely a place to go to. If you want great views, cheap drinks and good food then give it a try.
So here are a few photos of my most recent trip.
P.s No matter how far away you live from them, they will never stop being your family.