How Joburg has welcomed me: Living in Johannesburg

As mentioned in one of my earlier posts, titled “If you work you get rewarded, grab the opportunity” you might have realized that I traveled and moved around quite often. I always had these adventures of going to new places and explore and experience life there. Before I moved to Johannesburg I have been living in Cape Town, practically a resident as many of my friends later couldn’t tell the difference and firmly believed I’m from Cape Town.

Going to Johannesburg had me anxious at first, as it would be the largest city I ever explored. I didn’t know what to expect, but mostly I heard people saying it’s a big city and there is no beach there. I’m originally from Port Elizabeth a very small and cozy city with a grand beach, why would I exchange that atmosphere for Jozi. I guess for me it has always been about exploring new places and experiencing new things in life. Very contradictory to my personality as being an introvert doesn’t usually go with “hey, let’s go somewhere” but I think it’s these moments that allow me to get out of my skin and not be trapped behind my personality. 

The big move 

Against all odds, I did what I always do, followed my heart and moved to Johannesburg on the 3rd of September 2018. I didn’t get to experience a lot within the first week, I still had to get used to how big the city is (wow everywhere you go is a ride away). The climate is different and my nose was suffering the most, nosebleeds and having to adapt to the dry air. Still today I’m not used to the air but I’ve learned to keep hydrated is important. It took a good two weeks for me to familiarise myself with some landmarks (just enough, to not get lost on my way home). The first things I missed about Cape Town was the blue clouds and the big mountains. I tried looking for them in Jozi but all I could see around me was misty clouds and big buildings, they don’t call it the concrete jungle for nothing.

How did I adapt to everything?

I remember somewhere along the first few weeks I messaged some of my friends who stayed in Jozi and told them that I am now in the city, I asked them what advice they have for me. Most told me to stay safe as it does get dangerous, others told me to make friends and be involved. How do you stay connected and yet safe at the same time? My first attempts were going out and visiting different places so that I can get a hang of how the citizens are in general. 

The very first place I went to was Wits University. My friend introduced me to a few friends, later I went to the University of Johannesburg, this was one of the very first experiences and interactions I had with the people in the city. The people are very driven and I have learned that people have different characters. You get your reserved people than you get the artistic people, different fashion styles, and people having their own unique identities. Nevertheless, people are open to conversation especially if it is something that can enrich their minds or if you can teach them something they didn’t know. Others are just skeptical about who they engage with as they are aware that there are many sketchy characters (I will elaborate on this later). Some were very friendly even to the point where they offered to buy lunch.

Knowing people helped me find my feet and their experiences of the city have helped me to blend in and become familiar with the city 

The hustle 

I have been involved in many projects before and coordinated business set-ups before and what I found was that people enjoyed this aspect about me (yikes I shouldn’t have shared this about me). There are many business-minded people and everyone is on some business idea they pushing since I have my fair share of experience, most wanted to partner up with me and wanted to work with me. This, of course, was not my main point of moving to Joburg. Yes, this is how I realized that people in Jozi have some form of hustle they pushing. This also adds to why they driven and why it is called the busy city as many are involved in things if they not working, it’s educating themselves. If it’s not that they have some form of entrepreneurship.

Something interesting I realized 

I realized that the quality of living here is more advance and that people have an image they uphold (just my opinion). I have never seen so many fancy cars on the road as I did elsewhere (Porches…). You are more likely to find a job here than in other cities, so if you looking into settling into Joburg at least jobwise you should manage and find something. Despite the nature I missed, there is a lot of trees here, it is known as the city with most manmade trees in it. There is also a big mixture of culture here, so many languages and so many things in Joburg that just makes Joburg, to be Joburg (haha I said Joburg to many times)

The famous kota and the taxi signs to make your way around the city (you need to know them otherwise you will get lost). I also learned that everywhere you drive you need to make sure your GPS is set up and that it tells your clear directions otherwise you will get lost. If you miss your turn off on the freeway you will have a long way to drive before you will find the next turn off for a detour. Fairly safe to travel only if you constantly aware of your surroundings, there are many con-artists. Who appears good but have hidden agendas, try to not speak to strangers, if you do, keep it minimum and walk away.

I have certainly loved moving here it’s a city of gold, just like gold has open many opportunities to the market. Here in this city, you will be faced with many opportunities, all you have to do is endure the process and adapting to the environment of changes.