So you know those blog posts that tell you to quit your job to travel? Those one’s that say how super easy it is? Or those one’s that tell you that you absolutely have to travel solo? Yeah, this isn’t going to be one of them. Maybe in a year I’ll come back and write one of those, but right now? I’m excited, scared, delighted, worried, all at the same time.
I am moving to Tanzania!
Since 2014, I have visited Tanzania 4 times. During these trips, I like to pretend I live there. I also like to pretend I know a lot about Tanzanian culture and way of life. My limited Swahili tells a different story.
As a teacher, most people assume I travel to do development work. In reality, I’ve spent most of my time on a beach in Zanzibar, tracking lions on safari or watching the sun set on the Indian Ocean. While these trips have been fascinating, fun and undoubtedly exhilarating, they have done little to prepare me for my impending reality.
What’s coming next?
In roughly 3 weeks, I am moving to Dar es Salaam, a city of nearly 5 million people. A city known as much for its traffic as its beaches overlooking the Indian Ocean. The city is bustling and diverse. My experience is limited to a day or two before almost missing my flight due to traffic. But what I saw, I liked. There’s the built up city centre, the busy Kariakoo market and the laid back, upmarket peninsula. There are bars and restaurants with food from all over the world. There are people from all over the world and the brilliant fusion of culture that that brings. Dar es Salaam seems like an interesting, exciting place to move to.
And my feelings at the moment? I’m terrified.
Yes, that’s right. I’m moving to Tanzania and I’m being a big baby.
To anyone who knows me, this is probably laughable. I have been the go-to person among friends and family for all things Tanzanian. I have encouraged others to visit the country that captured my heart.
After my first trip, I returned only a year later with 2 friends in tow, and a year after that with 3 more. I have answered countless emails, Facebook messages and comments, advising you all on the best safari itinerary, the best beaches in Zanzibar and why you shouldn’t be afraid to go on an African safari. Yet here I am googling everything from “crime in Dar es Salaam” to “how to make friends.”
Yes, you read that correctly. I have literally read a step by step guide on how to make friends.
I have also joined a group on Facebook called Dar Crime Alerts where people post everytime they get robbed or mugged or ripped off.
I’m adding this to my list of things not to do before you move abroad.
The more I learn, the less I know…
I have come to realise that no amount of holidays, time visiting friends or online searches can prepare me for moving abroad for the first time. What I do know is that this is exactly why I want to move abroad. I want to experience life in a different country.
From studying International Development online with people from all over the world to travelling in East and Southern Africa, I have spent the last 3 years realising how little I know about the world.
So, where does this leave my little bit of internet space?
I started this blog a little over 9 months ago. One of the reasons I started it was to showcase positive images from the African continent along with some tips on how to make your next big trip a reality. Without realising it, I was actually taking steps, little by little, to do this myself.
The time has come for me to put my money where my mouth is and take my biggest trip to date. Expect some posts about moving to Tanzania, planning and general day to day life (along with the usual beautiful beach photos of course!)
They do say, if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough. I’m bloody terrified so mine must be huge!
Have you moved abroad? Any tips for preparing for moving to Tanzania? Leave me a comment and let me know. I need all the help I can get lol…seriously send help!