Starting over after starting over

It's official, I've been back in South Africa for a little over a 1 year now!  I came back after a three-year expat life in ...

How to start over

It's official, I've been back in South Africa for a little over a 1 year now!  I came back after a three-year expat life in South Korea and starting over wasn't as easy as I had thought. I expected to go back home and just get right back into the full swing of things, but it didn't work that way. 

I came back with a reverse culture shock without even knowing it. I did everything that KATKA LAPELOSOVÁ wrote in her post on Matador, granted to a lesser degree, but I did it. I told stories to the point of annoying myself,  I was angry and depressed at times at the way that we live and do things back home and most of all I made plans to go back or go to another place. 
Imagine that you've just gotten back from a hiatus or an extended trip and now you're back. Or you have moved to a new town, city or country and now you have to start all over again. It's a scary thing. You have to find a place to "fit in" again, make new friends, get a new job and navigate your way around town.

I've had to do this 3 times already and here are some tips that helped me to start over back home.

1. Your new spot

Find an area where you would love to live. A place that inspires you and would be an escape for your soul. When you go for a jog or drive down the streets, you have to feel that this is where you belong. THIS is HOME and where you can see yourself thrive. 

This is my new neighbourhood, it inspires me and makes me smile every day.

Start over in Johannesburg

2. Your job or hobby

Make sure that whatever you're doing, whether it's your new job, business or hobby, aligns with who you are and the values that you have. There is nothing worse than finding out that what you do is a complete and utter drain of your lifeforce. You'll only ask yourself - WHY? WHY? WHY? - all the time. The cliche - "when you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life" is very true. Your passion for it will only grow and you'll start to thrive where you are. 

Don't survive - thrive!

Do what you love

3.  Put Social Media to good use

Make new friends in your area.... "But how?" I hear the question asked.

Firstly, ask yourself what your interests are, make a list. 

What do you like to do, for fun? Or find something that you think you might be interested in, like photography or exploring your city. Then make good use of the social media platforms out there.

You can use Instagram to find local groups of people who meet up every now and then, to take pictures while they explore the city or other places around. It's called Instameets and it's an awesome way to meet people who know the city. The best thing is you don't need to be a photographer or even a great Instagrammer. You just need to have a common interest in whatever the group is doing, for example, foodie meetups, fashion, photography and more.  

If you can't find any Instameets, better yet, create your own invite and tell random people about it. You'll never know who you'll meet. It might be your new best friend.
Use other social apps like Meetup. What makes Meetup so brilliant, is that people create events for all sorts of hobbies, passions or interests. For example k-pop dance lessons, language exchange, knitting classes, food and wine tastings, urban exploration, art and so many other things.
You most certainly will meet someone who shares your interests.

And if that didn't work, look for events on Facebook. Find events like in your area, like markets, traveling groups or other social events. Join them and find out what they are all about. The good news is, that there are a lot out there. You just need to find the right one.

Like "they" say... "You'll attract the right people when you do the things you love", or something like that.

Remember, a stranger is only a stranger if you let them.

Making new friends

4. Get involved

No not in a relationship, rather in your community. Learn things about them. Like why they do things the way they do them. You might get angry at the government or someone, but you'll get angry at things that are related to your new life, which means that you care more and think less of the past and how things were before. 

Rebecca Crook a.k.a @stickylittleleaves on Instagram is one of those amazing people that inspires you to get involved in the community around you. Go have a look at her Instagram for more.

Get involved with your community

5. Start a blog

Write about your life in that new place. Write as you discover new places to eat out and hang out with the newly made friends. Write for the people back home or just as a way to keep track of your progress. This is a great way to reflect on how much your life has changed. This was my first entry... "MY GAUTRAIN EXPERIENCE!", about my very first train ride in Johannesburg, South Africa and how we got lost. It wasn't very well written, but I wouldn't change it for the world. It's a moment for me that I never want to forget. It's a benchmark of where I started to think about writing and this is where I'm at now. 

Write a blog

These are some helpful tips for someone who needs to start over somewhere in the world. If you have some helpful tips, please leave them in the comments and I'll be sure to pass them along.  And of course, if you're someone who would like to talk to me and need some advice. Please contact me. I will do my best to help where I can!

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Instagram photos