Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
We sat down with the emigration experts at Grant Kaplan and Associates to discover what South Africans don’t need to give up when they emigrate.
Many South Africans find the idea of living in the US a desirable one. There is a lot about the States that is appealing to South Africans. From the accessibility of just about anything to the pleasure of experiencing four different seasons.
But emigrating can be difficult when you consider all that you need to give up. The most obvious, and saddest of things is family and friends. Then, leaving your home and the children’s school and the shops and parks you find so familiar. And then there’s the food.
The first few weeks of living in a new place bring with it the excitement of trying new things and discovering foods you may not be familiar with. But after a while, home comforts like your favourite chocolate and the ease with which you could find items in your grocery store are missed.
The US is well-known as being the land of plenty, where just about anything is available. We recently broke down the cost of buying essential grocery items in SA versus the US, so you can prepare yourself for what you’ll need to spend, but we didn’t include things you’ll be longing for once you’ve left SA’s sunny shores.
But fear not. There are now numerous South African shops scattered across the US. This means that you no longer need to wait for your next group of South African visitors to sneak fish paste, Peppermint Crisp and biltong over the border for you.
Sure, dipping an Ouma rusk into your morning coffee will bring some sense of nostalgia, but what about when you need to feel a sense of belonging?
Several Facebook groups have been started to help South Africans ease into their new life abroad. These groups are designed to help with practical guidance, like finding a dentist, as well as to offer emotional support when you’re feeling a bit displaced and lonely.
Finding people who are in the same boat as you, or who have come out of their own emigration feeling empowered and happy, will help you realise that you have made the right decision.
Fortunately, we live in an era of immediate communication. Apps like WhatsApp and FaceTime help bridge the gap between your old life and your new. It allows your family and friends to see your new life, without being on the same continent. Staying in touch is a vital way to ensure you stay grounded and it allows your family to remain connected and involved. Showing your new life to your family is also a good way to entice visitors which will give you moments to look forward to when you’re feeling homesick.
The professionals at Grant Kaplan can help make the move to the US easier and less time consuming and stressful. They have years of experience dealing with people wanting to relocate to the States and will be able to help you each step of the way. Tel +1 561 347 8440 or email email@example.com