Some time towards the end of 2012 I decided it would be a good idea to move to Cape Town. I wanted to buy a house and live in an interesting place, surrounded by dynamic people doing motivating things. I wanted to make roots somewhere, to have a place to come home to after travelling. Over the next couple months this feeling became stronger, and by December I started looking for a house to buy.
My friend Liezl, who I lived and worked with in Papua New Guinea, lives in Hout Bay, a beautiful fishing village just outside of Cape Town. She found a house for sale online that happened to be just around the corner from her and from the minute I saw its picture, I knew it was the house for me. Later I went down to Cape Town, entertained a few other places, and within two weeks had made an offer to purchase, it was accepted, and it was game on.
No-one really tells you what it’s like to buy a house. Suddenly there are a lot of documents that people need and you have to find them and scan them and send them and sign them. And they want bank details, followed by a rapid succession of large amounts of money being transferred out of your account, for what you’re not entirely sure. And then you wait and one day you receive an email saying congratulations you’re a homeowner. It’s pretty surreal.
The oddness was exacerbated by my constant travel at the time. All the information for the house was transferred from small camp beds in the middle of Papua New Guinea, a dodgey hotel room in downtown Nairobi, or airport lounges across the world. To say that I owned a house was hilarity in that existence, where beds were changed as often as socks and my most consistent meals were those served on a tray.
And then I came home and it was suddenly a reality. I had to pack up my house in Pietermaritzburg, say goodbye to all things familiar, get in my car and drive 1,600km across the country to this new place. Of course, it wasn’t as simple as that. After I drove to Cape Town, I immediately went travelling again, so I only actually moved into my house a month later when I came back. My tenant, Rush, moved in before I did. Owning a house was absurd.
And now here I am. I sit in my cosy little workspace, surrounded by my books and my carpets and my crystals, and the harsh Capetonian wind is blowing at my leaking windows. My purple kettle is boiled and the light in my bedroom has already gone out. The view of lights across the bay is simply exquisite, and there is a warmth and a love within these walls that has yet to be realised. It is as if it has always been, and yet is different beyond all compare. I own a house. A little space of my own to grow and cultivate into all that I want it to be.