I am a wannabe exotic from northern Europe, born in 1985 in a very wet and foggy place, which maybe doesn’t sound so exotic. But after all is quite an exotic city, as it’s a melting pot of all nationalities and cultures, namely London. Later I moved even further up north, where the winters get terribly cold and the summers get so light that the sun never sets, and where a fillet of the worlds best salmon doesn’t cost R149 like it does at Woolworths, yes I am talking about Norway. My mother is Norwegian and my father is English, so that makes me two halves.
Many ask me how I ended up in South Africa and Durban particularly, when I come from a first world country, or even more so, one of the best countries in the world to live in terms of living standards and social services. But even though we are very lucky in Norway, it is a small country and with my itchy feet I had to explore the world. I have always loved travelling and after I finished college, I took a gap year before starting university and worked to save up money. I then travelled here and there, but one of my best trips was with my friend backpacking in South Africa. When I later had the opportunity to take parts of my degree here, I didn’t hesitate, and ended up in Durban. What was supposed to be only six months ended in a year, and then I applied for my master degree, and look at me now, four years later and I am still here.
I am now in the very end of my MA degree, having a few more months left before I have to hand in my thesis, in which I am doing research corporate social responsibility (CSR) and that is actually how I got involved in the Rotary club. As soon as it is handed in I will have completed six years of studying and as Gerald so kindly pronounced during my induction, I am looking for a job within the area of social and economic development. I want to stay and use my expertise here as I feel I have a lot to contribute with within a country like South Africa where the needs are so tremendous. And yes, there is also another factor keeping me here and that’s my partner. Well that is the risks of travelling and exploring the world, the chance of falling in love, and that chance happened.