“What do you want to do when you get back home?” The Most Feared Question…

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Have you ever left your comfort zone only to find that you’re even more comfortable outside it than you could have ever thought? Yup, me too, and it’s a real problem if you have a return ticket home in the next few weeks and people keep asking you what you want to do when you get home…

I left a Marketing job back in England and have been in Kenya for almost three months now on a career break. Since then I’ve learnt enough conversational Swahili to get by (which makes most people laugh extremely hard for some reason…) I am bartering over EVERYTHING, I know how to get from one destination to another using public transport… the only thing I haven’t done adequately is acclimatize to the heat here in Mombasa. I’m shiny in EVERY photo.

In short – I love it here. I don’t want to leave.

I have to think very hard when someone asks me if I’m missing anything from England… “Errr no, nothing. Wait! Maybe a bacon sandwich, but I can have those for the rest of my life when I’m home”. I’m a firm believer in living for the moment, and to me, mourning over things you miss back home is a waste of time. Obviously I miss my husband who has now left Kenya, but I’ll see him soon enough for the rest of my life!

Every day here is different but loosely based around something of a brand new routine for me which I love. I love the simple things like heading out of my apartment to the stall around the corner, buying fresh fruit for breakfast then heading to the local kiosk to get a newspaper, juice and chatting with the owner in broken Swahili. I love spending time with the children at the children’s home who are so caring and fun.

I can’t imagine not waking up to sunshine, or to the sound of the roosters and the call to prayer, or the noisy traffic all vying for attention outside my window. But it’s getting to the point now where I have to fly home in the next few weeks, and more people are starting to ask ‘what do you want to do when you get home?’ This question strikes fear into my heart because I don’t know, why do I have to decide now? All I know is that I want to keep doing THIS; living, feeling alive and feeling challenged. Life back home is so EASY.

The idea of sitting in an office behind a desk tapping away at a computer leaves me in a cold sweat. The notion of pushing a trolley around a supermarket full of screaming children and resigned, weary faces is enough to make me dry heave. Just the idea of putting something other than flip flops on my feet is bad enough. And don’t even get me started on sleeves.

So what do I do?

[question]Right now I’m making money as a freelance copywriter because I love writing, but if I commit to keeping that up when I get home, it’s a huge risk with no guarantees of paid work. What advice do you have, dear readers, for me? Has anyone been in this situation before? Do I really have to get a full time job and give this up? Why does life have to be all about money?[/question]

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Much love from sunny Mombasa!

Katie Baxter

Katie Baxter is Africa mad, and it's all because of the Lion King movie. At any opportunity she will regale you with 'another Africa story' and tell you about the time she contracted typhoid in Uganda and lived to tell the tale. Her mission in life is to fill up as many passports as possible! Follow her on Katie Twenty Something.

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