It’s been a few months in the making, but I am finally pleased to announce some pretty big news on the blog today. In just over a week, I’ll be moving to Tanzania!
This probably doesn’t come as a big surprise to most of my regular followers, who will know that Tanzania is a place that completely stole my heart. Vast vivid landscapes, amazing wildlife, pristine beaches, fascinating cultures and some of the warmest people I’ve ever met – Tanzania has it all wrapped up in one welcoming package and it’s a place that truly got under my skin.
More than two years on since my first visit, this is a feeling that never really went away over time. And this yearning to go back there only grew stronger after my two-week visit in October last year.
Despite my best efforts to find my roots again in England, I never felt 100% settled. I was always dreaming of how or if it was possible to live a life back in Tanzania.
So when a great job opportunity came up, I knew this was something I couldn’t pass up.
Africa was still calling. And this time I had finally answered.
Words cannot describe how happy I am to be returning to my “home away from home” very soon.
But of course, this decision hasn’t come without trepidation. Even though I’ve been to Tanzania three times now and have a good idea of what to expect, I guess it’s only natural to feel a little apprehensive when making such a life-changing decision (by the way, “a little apprehensive” is an understatement!)
How will I cope with the day-to-day challenges that life in East Africa sometimes brings? Will my new job live up to be everything I want it to be? How will I deal with being so far away from my family and friends? How the fudging hell am I going to pack up my life in a suitcase…AGAIN!
These are just some of the thoughts that run through my mind on practically a daily basis. Not to mention the weeks and weeks of preparation that goes into moving your life abroad. Where do I even begin? My to-do list just seems to be getting longer and longer as the days quickly pass…not shorter!
But the worst part of it all is definitely the goodbyes. Since announcing my departure, I’ve been completely overwhelmed by the support and love from all those who are close to me. You don’t know how much your words of encouragement mean and I can’t even begin to explain how much I will miss you all. Especially my family, who I know have their own concerns and for who this hasn’t been easy news to digest.
So yes, there have been times when my head has literally felt like it wants to implode because of everything I am trying to process. There have been tears and mood swings like you wouldn’t believe (why hello there teenage years again!) And as hard as it is to admit (even for a travel veteran like myself) there have been moments where I’ve felt like giving up or questioned my decision.
But despite all my worries and fears of what lies ahead, I know in my heart of hearts that Tanzania is where I want to be right now. It’s a country that can reward you in so many ways, so it’s a leap of faith that I am willing to take.
And deep down I know that I would rather go and fail, than stay and never know.
What have I got to lose really? Maybe a little bit of pride if things don’t work out. A few “I told you so’s” from all the negative nancies. But at least I could say I tried and won’t spend the rest of my life wondering “what if?”.
If there is anything that long-term travel has taught me, it’s that sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone can be the best thing you ever do.
That any fears you have are only temporary and sometimes taking the unknown road ahead could even lead you to new and exciting places that you never even dreamed of before.
In 2014, I embarked on an around-the-world adventure which began and ended in Tanzania. Not to sound like I am blowing my own trumpet here, but who would have thought that 18 months since my return, I would be pursuing a dream to live there? I certainly wouldn’t have believed you if that’s what you had predicted a few years back. And to be quite honest, I still think I am in a state of denial (where is Nikki, and what the hell have you done with her?!?)
So what’s next for Where Is Nikki?
You may have remembered a little while back that I announced my decision to rename my blog (from Where Is Noodles?) and I also eluded to the fact that it would have a slightly different focus. Well….that focus is now largely going to be about my life in Tanzania and with any luck some more adventures around Africa too!
So watch this space! I hope you’ll continue to follow along with the adventures and not get too bored of me continuing to drone on and on about how truly incredible this country is 😉
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