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Emigrating to South Africa: the good, the bad & the bizarre!

To read more about emigrating to South Africa written by our very own director, Rene Stegmann, please click here

the good, the bag and the bizarre!

The expat ‘six month slump’

When the euphoria wears thin; the 6 month slump

When you type ‘6-month slump’ into Google, the first thing you find is lots of information about nursing mums. No doubt a very important and emotive issue – but not the one we’re here to discuss.

Dig a little deeper through the hundreds of search results and you’ll start to get closer to our concern; you’ll find that 6 months is the make or break time for new relationships, the point at which more than 50% of people fail their New Year’s resolution, the end of the metaphorical ‘honeymoon period’ for a new job, a new house… and of course a new Country.

So, what’s so special about six months and what goes wrong?

Human nature

We use optimism to generate excitement, enthusiasm and energy.

As an intelligent and rational species, we distract ourselves from things that might cause us concern by keeping busy. Avoidance comes naturally; rather than analyse our feelings and consider what might go wrong right from the beginning of a project, most of us will choose to throw ourselves into it head first and determine that optimism will win the day. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t have achieved half as much as we have as a species, so this is actually a good thing!

We use optimism to generate excitement, enthusiasm and energy… all great attributes that help us to sail through the planning and execution of new endeavours. The trouble starts when the ‘honeymoon period’ ends and the excitement and initial enthusiasm give way to routine. New relationships give way to noticing flaws in the object of our affection; new jobs become just jobs; new years’ resolutions become somewhat boring and we lose sight of our objectives and new homes just aren’t new and exciting anymore.

Expat euphoria

After the initial dizzy heights of infatuation, it tapers off to a more comfortable, satisfying emotion.

Is exactly what it says on the tin… the euphoria (elation, joy) that is felt by expats immediately after their adrenaline-soaked relocation. All the planning and worrying paid off and YOU. MADE. IT! You have a fabulous new home, a new environment to explore and so much unpacking and organising to do that it can keep you busy and fulfilled for months… about 6 of them to be almost precise.

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