I cannot tell you how Often I get asked why I live in Johannesburg, if I am from Cape Town. Every-time I explain that I work for a wine estate (am opening a tasting room/brand) but am based in Joburg, people’s immediate response is “Why on earth did you choose Joburg over Cape Town?”. Recently my answers have been short. ” It doesn’t matter where I live”. Because it really doesn’t.
It got me thinking as to why I really choose Joburg (and will for the foreseeable future)
Lets break it down shall we.
Family: my Mum and Sister and her family live in Cape Town. In the same town I grew up in. I miss them every single day but am able to support them in a way they need from Joburg. They do not need me there under their feet. What they need from me I can better do while working my ass off in Joburg.
I have no blood family here. But if life has taught me anything its that blood does not make someone more important or more family than others. I am lucky enough to call my Cousins (in law) our best friends and they live less than 5min away from us. My support to them (and they to me/us) is more basic. Simply being there. I feel this is where I am more needed. (For now at least)
Residential: We own the most beautiful little face brick doll house. Yes, we live in the sticks but I am 100% confident that we will not be able to afford the house we have should it be in Cape Town. I choose space over tiny boxes any day.
Scenery: If you think JHB is ugly, see it from the top of the Carlton building. Ride a bicycle through Maboneng. Take a hike in the cradle of human kind or just watch a thunderstorm from your front porch and tell me again you think its ugly.
Places to eat: lets meet for coffee, curry or cronuts at 27 boxes. Or how bout lunch at Bidon Bistro or perhaps dinner at kloofzight or maybe a sky bar in the city. Still hungry?
Things to do: Joburg is vibrant and alive. Beer tastings and hidden pubs. City walking tours or great art exhibitions. How bout a bicycle ride through Soweto. Since we are there lets jump off the Orlando towers. Not your scene? How about a 4×4 route through magalies? Or lets go camping? Just like any bustling place the possibilities are endless. If you that think Joburg is boring, you are Googling the wrong things to do.
Easy travel: Gauteng is tiny and within a few hours you can be on the planes of the Freestate. The green hills of KZN or the forests of Mpumalanga. International travel is a breeze with OR Tambo International airport and local travel has never been easier with Lanseria airport on our doorstep.
But the most important reason I choose to live in Joburg is that my people are here. Home is not a view. Its not 4 walls and its not a province. Its your people. Home is where the kettle is on and some one is making me a cup of coffee. Home is throwing a blanket over the mate who fell asleep on our couch. Home is Sunday night movies. Home is board games and wine and laughter.
At the end of the day, both are beautiful. But, home is where my people are.