Immigration - those coming back home - it's your turn.

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Re: Immigration - those coming back home - it's your turn.

Unread post by vanjast » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:24 pm

If you emigrate on emotional values.. you won't make it.
It has to be a cold calculated move... ie: Spreadsheets.. etc. based on pros and cons that you see and weigh up.

It's actually very easy to do... spreadsheet, go for interviews and look see, pack up... gone.... :)
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Re: Immigration - those coming back home - it's your turn.

Unread post by paulw » Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:43 am

cage wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:02 am
Returning to SA is a known quantity, you know the people, culture, lifestyle, what to expect etc.
Going the other way is more difficult because without experiencing it firsthand you can never know what it is actually like to live somewhere.
A holiday isn't the same thing, and while others may explain what to expect, how you experience it may be different and that can't be adequately evaluated in any spreadsheet.
I agree (for a change :twisted: ) but to add...
cage wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:02 am
Returning to SA is a known quantity, you know the people, culture, lifestyle, what to expect etc.
It is somewhat true but depends on how long you have been gone and how often you visited SA on holidays and also how long in weeks.
I know for myself returning 9 years later a lot changed in SA. People who live here don't see the changes as it is gradual, but come back after a while it is actually a shock. Where we visited family every weekend before emigrating, but nada when we came back except for the first few weeks.

Someone emigrated to Ireland, went back to SA to be with the family after a number of years. Her experience was that her family now were all either emigrated, doing their own thing or there is some sort of disagreement and they don't visit each other. She said she may just as well be in another country and is looking at going back to Ireland or maybe already there by now.

So the morale of the story is that if you return, don't expect it to be the same.
Even the Netherlands where I lived for 9 years is not the same after 11 years. Each country change over time....
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Re: Immigration - those coming back home - it's your turn.

Unread post by Jack Welles » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:16 am

paulw wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:43 am
So the morale of the story is that if you return, don't expect it to be the same.
Even the Netherlands where I lived for 9 years is not the same after 11 years. Each country change over time....
I've always had the theory that travel changes people.

Remember leaving the town where I grew up and returning a few years later (having stayed in the same country) and thinking how parochial the folk seemed. Then I realised they hadn't changed significantly, it was me and my ideas that had changed.

With international travel later this theory was reinforced as the way people (who had stayed at home) seemed/behaved/thought was noticeably different to the way I had, over time, come to behave/think myself.
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Re: Immigration - those coming back home - it's your turn.

Unread post by cage » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:22 am

Jack Welles wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:16 am
I've always had the theory that travel changes people.
It does.
Many South africans are very insular and don't have the opportunity to travel or work internationally.
The fastest way to change your own perceptions and views is to be exposed to different cultures and points of view.
You "grow" faster by experiencing the world, it helps to put things into a different perspective/context.

You see the same with large parts of the US, they can only view the world in a narrow context.
Everything in life is about learning through experience, both work and personally.
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Re: Immigration - those coming back home - it's your turn.

Unread post by vanjast » Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:18 pm

True, that's why when you move it's not about the people - it's about the way you want to live, your opportunities and long term goals.
From there you gradually fit in.
;)
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Re: Immigration - those coming back home - it's your turn.

Unread post by kudu177 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:59 am

Horace Blok wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:14 am
In order for some "balance" - We've had (still having) the Emigration thread. Those who have returned back home (past and present) - why did you come back to SA??
I left in October 1994 for the UK, left my stuff in a friend's flat and went backpacking for three months). Basically, I was following a girl who, for the record, had a much clearer vision for her future and how to achieve it than I did mine.

In February 1995, we returned to the UK, rented a flat and found jobs.

1995 was one of the best years of my life: an exciting city, a great job on a tiny newspaper (which I got by answering a classified ad in The Guardian) and a new adventure.

To me, London became the centre of the universe. We lived well by spending a most of our salaries renting a decent flat.

I returned to SA only twice for brief holidays, both times to use the return portion of air tickets.

By 1997, the job was less fun as we had been bought by a bigger company staffed by dozens of managers like David Brent (of "The Office" fame).

I returned to SA in November 1997, ostensibly for a brief sabbatical to write a travel guide for a UK publisher. Also my girlfriend had begun making various assumptions about "our" future without discussing them with me.

While researching the book, I met somebody else. I later married her and she emigrated to SA. Plans to return to the UK kept being put off. We later divorced.

Now, 21 years after returning from the UK, I miss it still. I would go back to London in a second (and have the necessary documents) but cannot afford to replicate the lifestyle we had back then, nor the one we enjoy here.

It would also be impossible for me and my g/f to replicate in the UK the excellent jobs we have here -- we are too old and not plugged into the system.

My job involves a lot of travel, for which I am grateful. But we would not turn down a new overseas adventure -- as long as the cat could come along (sorry, Marius, animal-bevok liberals, eish :lol: )

For what it's worth, I have tried new horizons in SA. Semigrated to Cape Town twice for new jobs (1993-94, 2002-03) and loathed it - it was much easier making genuine friends in London ...

The wisest thing someone ever said to me about looking for a new start somewhere else was, "Remember, man, wherever you go, there you are."

As someone said on this thread, it's not where you go that matters but who you are.
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Re: Immigration - those coming back home - it's your turn.

Unread post by pwnel » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:38 pm

kudu177 wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:59 am

As someone said on this thread, it's not where you go that matters but who you are.
That's the crux of it. Living in Manhattan for the past 5 years. Good lifestyle, and the flying is fantastic. Bought a plane again last year and finished my FAA commercial on the side (finally done with CAA!).

Flew back last week after spending two weeks with the family meters from the ocean at a spot near Knysna. Was mightly depressed back on day 1 here. The lifestyle in SA is incredible.

But it's the small stuff that I simply cannot deal with. I worked my ass off to get where I am. Meritocracy is my religion. BEE and all the nonsense around it will remain a complete deal-breaker for me in SA. I sold everything I had to pay for an MBA from a top school in the US. When you then see complete moegoes fake their matric certs to get paid millions for ruining our institutions you know it's not a place for anyone of any competence.

Additionally the fact that any sense of pride for white South Africans are just wiped off the map is not something I'm willing to support with tax money. (Rename Jan Smuts, ignore SAAF 100th anniversary, shut down Afrikaans at Stellenbosch Univ - the list doesn't stop).

Nee wat dankie, ek sal hopelik 'n vakansiehuisie by die see koop een of ander tyd, maar dis dit.
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Re: Immigration - those coming back home - it's your turn.

Unread post by cage » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:56 pm

pwnel wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:38 pm
kudu177 wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:59 am

As someone said on this thread, it's not where you go that matters but who you are.
That's the crux of it. Living in Manhattan for the past 5 years. Good lifestyle, and the flying is fantastic. Bought a plane again last year and finished my FAA commercial on the side (finally done with CAA!).

Flew back last week after spending two weeks with the family meters from the ocean at a spot near Knysna. Was mightly depressed back on day 1 here. The lifestyle in SA is incredible.

But it's the small stuff that I simply cannot deal with. I worked my ass off to get where I am. Meritocracy is my religion. BEE and all the nonsense around it will remain a complete deal-breaker for me in SA. I sold everything I had to pay for an MBA from a top school in the US. When you then see complete moegoes fake their matric certs to get paid millions for ruining our institutions you know it's not a place for anyone of any competence.

Additionally the fact that any sense of pride for white South Africans are just wiped off the map is not something I'm willing to support with tax money. (Rename Jan Smuts, ignore SAAF 100th anniversary, shut down Afrikaans at Stellenbosch Univ - the list doesn't stop).

Nee wat dankie, ek sal hopelik 'n vakansiehuisie by die see koop een of ander tyd, maar dis dit.
Probably the wrong thread for you then since this is for those that have come back and what their reasons were.
You okes just can't leave it alone without pissink all over it.
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Re: Immigration - those coming back home - it's your turn.

Unread post by pwnel » Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:11 pm

cage wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:56 pm
Probably the wrong thread for you then since this is for those that have come back and what their reasons were.
You okes just can't leave it alone without pissink all over it.
Fair point Cage, so let me add the bit that I deleted since Kudu was also upfront about this.

Frankly what will bring me back is women :) And that may be sufficient to balance out all the negatives. For some of us shacking up with a foreigner just doesn't work (been there, done that). There's a culture gap so large that it becomes very hard to make up for it. As they say, home is where the heart is. Also, freedom of movement becomes much easier also when you have a second passport secured. (two years to go for me).

Most of my friends that have moved back have:
a) secured the second passport and
b) are still largely economically connected to foreign sources of income and therefore not subject to the BEE nonsense and having to suck up to the various Hlaudi's in the SA economy.

Tick those two boxes and find a nice N-reg plane to fly and it's a no-brainer to go back to spending the bulk of one's time in SA.
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Re: Immigration - those coming back home - it's your turn.

Unread post by cage » Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:13 pm

Thanks, good insight :D
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Re: Immigration - those coming back home - it's your turn.

Unread post by kudu177 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:37 am

pwnel wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:11 pm
Frankly what will bring me back is women :)
Following someone I loved was the main shove behind three of the biggest moves of my life — once leaving a great job in Joburg for a k@k job in Cape Town, once to London (as told above) and one which was, in fact, a not-move to the UK in the case of my now ex-wife (an English lass from the counties and lots of cultural misunderstandings ...)

The Cape Town girl is the only one who doesn’t hate my guts. Then again, she broke up with me while I was still en route in the Karoo with my old Beetle jammed full of my stuff. Only I didn’t know that until I arrived in Cape Town :lol:

Having the 2nd passport is a bonus for sure, although Brexit may make it the most useless passport in the world. :twisted:

The point is, I came back to SA because it is my home. Took me a long time to admit that. With all its beauty and sadness and mishmash of people, with all its troubles and occasional joys, it is the place I have spent most of my life and I understand it better than I understand any other country. And I’ve travelled to a few (50 the last time I counted).

That said, my industry (newspapers) is hanging on by its knawed, bloody, chewed-up fingertips. Might be time to find a new career rather than a new country :lol: .
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Re: Immigration - those coming back home - it's your turn.

Unread post by Mouser » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:50 am

Interesting thanks Kudu and I do not think the attraction for SA ever fades in emigrants. A business partner that was well set up in Oz came back because as he noted "it's like a family, even if they are abusive, it's family".

I have mixed emotions, dead set on emigrating in 1995 and 2001 but my wife just couldn't do it so I invested everything here - with EWC threatening that isn't looking too clevva. My wife had a very strong close family and two brothers worked overseas and came back to SA at different times, set on seeing if they could make it work here. Neither could and they are in Oz. Three reasons: in SA you need money (security, medical aid, schooling, pension, reliable transport etc) there is no real safety net. Then security, particularly for children, they were just too apprehensive noting that my kids have suffered three or four incidents of very violent crime and I've had at least four people I was at school with murdered. This is pretty much unheard of in Oz and my concerns about mountain biking alone etc shocked them (they hardly believed the subsequent incident where a mountain biker killed two attackers with a pocket knife; let alone about being robbed at gunpoint on a golf course). You have to accept these restrictions on your lifestyle (hiking, MTB, fishing etc) unless you like crowds. Finally the economy, both had financial qualifications and just could not see how SA could avoid financial meltdown (debt, govt spending, unemployment, poor planning etc etc). Both still visit, their kids visit, they love the holiday; great people (mostly), cheap beer and game parks but no ways would they consider moving back here.

I went to Oz and spoke to a good number of immigrants there from SA; many were finding it tough to some degree (particularly the first few years), all spoke of SA with fondness, none came back. Now a good number of professional, highly qualified, 20+ years of experience people I work with are emigrating, most after quite a careful evaluation.

As a final note I quote Zimbabweans / Rhodesians I knew (back in the day) who said they would die for their country. Quite a few did; good people, and it changed the outcome not one jot, except for their families.
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Re: Immigration - those coming back home - it's your turn.

Unread post by andrem » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:20 pm

I wasn't going to post, but for good balance I decided to share just two aspects of our experience getting back to SA from Namibia.

In Swakopmund we had gotten used to living without burglar alarms and armed response, sleeping with the windows open and not even considering that someone would want to break into our home while we are asleep at night. We lived in a Penthouse there, which also accounts for some of that carefree lifestyle.

After two weeks back in Jeffreys Bay I woke up with two balaclava-wearing thugs in our bedroom. This happened on the second story of a house in a safe suburb in a small town. Needless to say that, even though we made it through the ordeal unscathed, it is the sort of thing that affects your view of life deeply. Now we lock the doors and latch the windows, alarm is on every night, armed response activated, vigilant when I leave the house, etc.

Another noticeable aspect of life back in SA is that many of my academic and professional peers have left the country. This is sad because I miss them and I think that SA needs them now more than ever - we need experienced and bright people who can navigate a clear path and narate a dialogue that negates the hate speech of black and white racists who currently dominate the topics of local conversation.

Final notes:
1. my generation grew up relatively tough, we're used to bad public service, know how to keep calm and make good decisions in difficult circumstances (e.g. 1994) and we're used to being shunned by the majority in the country, so fitting in anywhere outside SA is fairly easy.
2. we came back to SA for family reasons and that argument is still so compelling that we didn't flee after the incident, but chose to adjust our lifestyles to fight the more violent and criminal nature of life here. Once our remaining parent passes on and as more of my children emigrate I will definitely reconsider moving - not based on a spreadsheet though, but based on raw emotion.
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Re: Immigration - those coming back home - it's your turn.

Unread post by cage » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:24 pm

andrem wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:20 pm
After two weeks back in Jeffreys Bay I woke up with two balaclava-wearing thugs in our bedroom. This happened on the second story of a house in a safe suburb in a small town. Needless to say that, even though we made it through the ordeal unscathed, it is the sort of thing that affects your view of life deeply. Now we lock the doors and latch the windows, alarm is on every night, armed response activated, vigilant when I leave the house, etc.
I hear you. Security is a big worry for many.
In many cases the country and community have tried to deal with personal security via taking ownership of it themselves whether it be gated communities, security complexes etc.
If you are able to afford it then you can get back to a reasonable level of comfort.
I recently left a security estate where there were no burglar guards, no alarms and we could leave doors and windows open for the mutts when we went out etc.
Never thought about security being an issue for 13 years.
Recently I moved to a standalone property albeit in a gated community, there is a bit of a different mindset now since you have to look after your own perimeter but we still fortunately have private 24/7 security in a good suburb so it isn't something that you lose sleep over but you need to be dilligent.
Not everyone is in that situation and there is little worse than worry about your safety and that of your family, especially if you travel.
Like medical aid, you just have to accept you will spend a disproportionate amount of money keeping the bad guys away.
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Re: Immigration - those coming back home - it's your turn.

Unread post by Jack Welles » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:37 am

Interesting article on the effects of being a long-term ex-pat ...

http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/201610 ... term-expat
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