5 things I love about Jo’burg

It’s been almost four months since we first moved to Johannesburg, and although the first month was really difficult, I’ve been amazed at how quickly we’ve all settled into this new rhythm and a new city. Even Beanie has adjusted really well; something that I’m really grateful for.

In many ways, it feels as though we never left and we seem to have picked up right where we left off almost seven years ago – only now we’re married, and we have a son. It’s been wonderful exploring old haunts and finding some new, family-friendly spots too. I’ll be honest: I wasn’t that excited about moving back to Jozi, but now that we’ve been back for a third of a year (that long already?!), I’ve found that there’s actually a whole lot I love about this city.

Highveld thunderstorms

The one thing I missed most about Jo’burg? Late afternoon thundershowers, and the smell in the air as fat rain drops hit the dusty earth. Absolute bliss! We had a massive storm in our neighbourhood last night, and it was heaven drifting off to the rumble of distant thunder while raindrops hit the roof.

Live music and my friends

My husband is a musician, and the majority of our friends in Jo’burg are also musos (or involved in the music industry in some way). This means that we’ve been spending a lot of time at live music venues, supporting our friends and some of our favourite Jo’burg-based bands. It’s reawakened a part of me that I thought I’d lost when I became a mom: the music-obsessed, fun-loving, wannabe rock chick that actually goes out from time to time! I recently headed to Amuse Cafe in Linden (literally four kilometres from our house – how awesome is that?) to see Absinthe play live, and we also spent a Sunday afternoon feasting on delicious food at Il Giardino at 44 Stanley while enjoying the indie gypsy vibes of The Runaway Train Cult.

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The bush

I didn’t realise just how much I missed the bush until we headed out to a game reserve a couple of months ago to enjoy a much-needed weekend away with family. There’s just something indescribably beautiful about the contrast between the yellow veld, the red earth, and the blue, blue sky. Oh, and puffy, white cumulus clouds! How I’ve missed cumulus clouds!

The malls

Jeepers, guys. Call me crazy, but I do love Jo’burg’s malls! I think my love for shopping centres (and my ability to spend hours – literally – walking around a mall without buying a thing) stems from my childhood, when we’d accompany my dad on site visits to check up on competing malls, or simply to check in on the mall he managed (my dad is in asset management and has managed shopping centres for as long as I can remember). Bean and I recently spent roughly five hours at The Mall of Africa, and when we couldn’t find Exclusive Books, we decided to head to Sandton City and spent another three hours there. All in one day! (And no complaints from Beanie – definitely mama’s boy!)

Our home

After two and a half months of trying to find the perfect home, we finally found The One. Our home ticks all the boxes, and then some. We wanted a two bedroom home with office space for the husband, and we managed to find a three bedroom home with a loft, which means Beanie and I have a shared office and play room, which is a huge bonus. After years of making do with a teeny, dated kitchen and hideous bathrooms, we finally have a sleek kitchen with ample space, along with modern bathrooms. And we have white walls! We’ve finally managed to unpack our boxes (bar a few boxes for my office), and our home is slowly starting to come together. I’m having fun decorating our home and making it our own, and I can’t wait to share some photos with you all soon.

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As I’ve discovered, there’s just so much to love about Jo’burg… I’ve had more work this past month than I have in the past year (ok, slight exagerration, but you know what I mean!), and I have no doubt that it’s down to the amazing networking opportunities that Jozi offers at every turn. Johannesburg is home to so many beautiful parks (think Delta Park and Emmarentia), so my fears of being confined to the house were totally unfounded. There truly is so much to see and do, and we’ve been so busy these past few weeks that most of them end with me needing another couple of days off just to recover from the weekend!

I feel happier than I’ve been in a long, long time, and after struggling with depression for the past two or three years, I definitely don’t take that forgranted. Despite my initial concerns, I have no doubt that moving back to Johannesburg was the best decision we could’ve made for our little family. I’m looking so forward to future adventures in our new city. Jozi, here’s to you!

  • Tori

    I loved this post Chereen as a soon-to-be Joburg gal. Thank you for sharing xxx

  • Belinda

    Yay! So lovely to hear this (and I do miss those thunderstorms;)

  • So happy to hear how happy you are! And YAY for white walls. I know you’ve wanted those for a while 😉

  • Yay! so glad you’re settling in well my friend! Miss you though x

  • Glad to hear that you are settled! Haha was that the night I found you at Exclusives in Sandton? You should try pay a visit to Lori Park Zoo in Midrand. It’s a lovely few hours out. And also the Bunny Park if it is still around.

  • Yolandi North

    Hooray! So glad you’re happy here. Jozi is really a friendly, vibey city. Cheers to many more happy, safe & blessed months & years for you three. xxx

  • Melissa Javan

    The thunder is the thing I don’t like about Joburg