Today I’m interviewing Gina Jacobson, a South African mum and blogger at A Bit Of This A Bit Of That now living in Israel. She shares her migration journey, challenges and adventures that her international move has brought her.
Where in South Africa are you from and where do you live now?
I was born and raised in Johannesburg. My family and I moved to Israel in December of 2014 and currently live in the city of Modi’in.
Last week I was asked to become a regular contributor to The South African, a publication for South Africans all over world, but mostly based in the UK. I was so excited to be asked and couldn’t wait to start writing, despite having quite a busy schedule between family, work, running a Facebook group (which takes way more time than you would think!) and writing this blog.
I was given several topics to write about and I suggested a few as well. One of the topics was briefed as a light-hearted piece entitled ‘10 Differences Between South Africans & Australians‘. I wrote it in less than a couple of hours and emailed it off to The South African, who said it was great and scheduled it to be posted and shared on social media.
Within minutes of the post being shared on Facebook, the comments, likes and shares started flowing. I saw the article being shared on some groups as well and that’s where my inspiration for this blog post came from. Instead of people having a laugh or commenting on points they agreed/disagreed with, out came the charming expats with chips on their shoulders. Really big chips.
Every time I see yet another article from another South African moaning about the negativity of expats, and clearly writing with their rose tinted glasses on, I get angry. Really angry. Hulk angry.
The overwhelming theme of South African bloggers and writers lately seems to be the attack of the expat. How dare we leave South Africa and still think we have a right talk about our homeland? It’s like once we step on that plane, we are suddenly obligated to forget our lives there ever existed, or at least we seem to be expected to forget all the bad bits, lest we offend anyone we leave behind.
South African expats around the world seem to be being bashed in every direction I look. Of course we all know the expat (and this also applies to some South Africans who are still living in South Africa) who is constantly moaning and putting the country down and telling everyone how wonderful his new home country is. But not every expat can be or should be tarred with this derogatory brush.