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Our Big News 2021

Usually I have a cup of tea as I write, but for this post I am drinking red wine, from a whiskey glass.

I’ve procrastinated typing this because my emotions are all over the place and it’s hard to sit down and even know where to begin… I guess with the news…

We are moving to Greece! 

Eeeek. Seeing that sentence in black and white is thrilling. It’s exhilarating and nerve wrecking all at the same time. OMG.

I’ve been sooooo nervous to break this news.
Sox and I have been talking about this for a few years now, and it’s been a conversation that’s cropped up time and time again, but as life goes, it gets busy and we continue with our day to day lives, putting the conversation on ice. We had discussed that we wanted to go on an adventure, experience life abroad, and seek out opportunities overseas. We also know we are extremely lucky and grateful to have the passports we have. We chatted for years about where we would hypothetically go if we ever made it a reality – Los Angeles? London? Greece? We decided early on that it would be Greece.

I remember when I was still pregnant with Alexi, we chatted again about what we thought our timeline should be and I just remember nudging my husband playfully, saying: “Can I just give birth first?”

When Alexi was 3 months old, Sox and I had the chat again and I will never forget this. We took a drive to Gordon’s Bay for some lunch. Little did we know it would be the last excursion we’d do before the hard lockdown happened in March. Sox and I were walking along the beach front, George was running up ahead and I was pushing Alexi in his pram. We had the chat again for the thousandth time, but this time Sox said to me: “You know, the push to move will have to come from you. If we are moving to Greece, it’s going to be easier for me, than you – it’s where I was born and it’s my first language. I need you to be the one that spurs this, because I never want you to resent me, or when we move and if things are hard or we have an argument, I never want you to turn around and say “you made me come to Greece.” I need you to be more onboard with this than me.”

It really hit home and I knew that when I was ready I’d let him know.

Well, Covid-19 hit, South Africa (and the world) went into lockdown and it made all of us take a good look at our lives. I think every single one of us did this.

We had some chats with friends who were also talking about possibly moving and something inside me just clicked and I felt ready. One evening, we’d put the boys to bed and we sat at the dining room table and chatted. Sox and I made a Pros and Cons list of Staying and Leaving. I actually want to frame that piece of paper.

What was really fascinating, and what stood out to us, is that the Pro’s to stay in South Africa, which were obviously significant for us to consider staying… were things that were in our control and things that we could create anywhere, with some effort. It was the Cons that were out of our control and that’s what we want to change for our lives. Taking the emotion out of it and seeing it practically in black and white made it easier to make a hard decision final.

I remember saying to Sox, this isn’t another one of those chats. This is it. If we are going to go for an adventure and try something new, then this is the ideal time. It’s kind of now or never.

Firstly, we would never leave Dimitra behind and it would be unfair to expect her to move in a few years time, at her age. The boys are both so little and at an age where we don’t have to stress about schools and them possibly falling behind. They’ll adapt so easily and pick up the language that they already hear at home. Sox has been wanting to transition out of the night life/ DJing industry and he thought that if he was going to create something new, there would, realistically, be more opportunity overseas.

On our Pro list of staying is SA, one of the aspects was our incredible network and amazing friends. However, Covid proved that we were able to stay connected, creatively. I had wine with the girls on Zoom, baked our annual Tsoureki with my girlfriends using the House Party App, and honestly, we will stay friends no matter where we are in the world. Plus, there’s social media, and as much flack as it gets, this is the beauty of being able to stay in touch and keep up to date with each other.

Then it came to me and my career in this country. This is my 20th year in radio.

Twenty Years.

I started when I was 18 years old on Campus Radio and haven’t missed a year since, as I’ve worked my way through the various types of radio. I absolutely ADORE Smile 90.4 FM, my colleagues and my weekday 9am – 12pm radio show that I produce and present. I cried when I resigned. I gave the company 8 months notice as I didn’t want to blindside them. I have a wonderful relationship with my bosses and their support humbled me. It honestly made it even harder to resign.

However, resigning doesn’t mean I’m giving up on my career. I’m taking 20 years of experience with me to Europe and seeing what opportunities await there. How bloody exciting.

I’m so so proud of my career here – I’ve broadcast for 20 years, worked on almost every radio platform (Campus Radio, Festival Radio, Retail Radio, Digital Radio and Commercial Radio.) I’ve co-hosted 2 major Afternoon Drive shows on 947 and Smile 90.4 FM- with some of the top presenters like Alex Jay, Mark Pilgrim and Maurice Carpede. I’ve hosted my own radio show: my current 9am-12pm show. I’ve MC’d some of the biggest events for the biggest companies, recorded over +1000 voice overs and I’ve TV presented on Top Billing and The Expresso Morning Show. This isn’t meant to be a brag list… this is an “I’m so bloody proud of everything I’ve worked hard at” list. Funny enough, I don’t feel like I’ve even scratched the surface, and I’m fired up for Europe.

I’m actually relieved that this news is now out. I’ve been leading a double life for a while now. I’ve been living in limbo for +8 months now and it’s been really unsettling. I’ve been nervous to share this, because I know it’s a touchy topic. There’s this idea that if you leave South Africa, you’re not patriotic, you’re abandoning your country… but that’s not true. South Africa will always be my home and I will always be Proudly South African. Thing is, there’s a whole world out there too and I want to experience a bit more of it. I never took a gap year to travel. I knew I wanted to get into broadcasting and how I wanted to build my career and that’s what I did. So now, I’m seeing this as an opportunity to take a sabbatical – really settle into the new country, learn the language, travel a little (Covid willing) and I think we realistically need to give ourselves a good 2 years to settle and set things up. If we really aren’t loving it, we can always come back. 

I’m really excited to be able to document our journey too… I’m taking you along for the ride. There’s already so much that I want to share with you, that I’ve not been able to until now, which is why the blog went so quiet – I just didn’t know how to share things, with this massive secret and all our planning.

Our plan is to move at the end of March 2021. I’m working until the end of February – gosh I’m going to be a wreck on my last show on the 26th Feb. Deep breath. I don’t know how I’ll get through it.

We will then use the 3 weeks of March to finalise things and then hopefully (I say hopefully – we haven’t book flights yet with all the uncertainty) we’ll be off on our Greek adventure.

My best friend moved to Poland over a year ago and she sent this to me… and I really needed it.

It’s a rollercoaster of emotions and I go through major excitement and major anxiety, but I truly believe that if this wasn’t for us, it wouldn’t be a possibility.

 

 

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30 Comments

  • Reply Tanya

    This is such an exciting chapter in your lives! I wish you and your family all the best Bailey and I can’t wait to read about all your exciting adventures. I’ve been following you for a long time and can’t wait for you to take us along with you to Greece and your new life there

    January 29, 2021 at 12:49 pm
  • Reply Hayley Joy Weinberg

    Aaaaah Bailey, how absolutely wonderful amd the best part is now we’ll just see the beautiful you and your family in a fabulous new space via the wonders of IG.
    Wishing you, Sox and your beautiful boys all the very best. You are a delight to the world and my favourite IG person to follow ❤️

    January 29, 2021 at 12:59 pm
  • Reply Tarryn Van Onselen

    I am currently in the process of emigrating (My hubby has been working in the UK for the past 7 months as he has a British passport). Long story short, he has to prove that he has been working for 6 months in order for my daughter and I to get Spousal visas. I’m hoping to get to the UK by the end of May 2021. It’s the hardest thing to come to terms with having to leave your family and friends behind but at the end of the day when there are little children involved, we have to just keep reminding ourselves that we are simply doing this for them. For them to have a better future and better opportunities. I am going through every emotion that you are going through at the moment. It is and will be the best decision that we will ever make. So you are not alone! All the best for your new adventure and may you be blessed abundantly! Xxx

    January 29, 2021 at 1:10 pm
  • Reply Michelle

    So sad yet so happy to read your blog. You and your husband will achieve anything you set your mind to. You are both wonderful caring people. I absolutely love following your family and will continue to follow no matter what part of the world you in. BUT I am def going to miss you on the radio. Good luck and God bless your family.

    January 29, 2021 at 1:10 pm
  • Reply Paulina

    So exciting! We moved abroad 3 years ago and have not regretted a single day … what’s the worst that can happen, you can always move back, good luck on your next adventure sounds amazing xxx

    January 29, 2021 at 1:20 pm
  • Reply Leslie Calderwood

    I’ve worked in over twenty countries through forty two years .Do it ! Grab your opportunity and the World is your oyster ! Best of Health and Wealth ,you can’t have one without the other !

    January 29, 2021 at 1:30 pm
  • Reply Natalie Johnson

    Going to miss you so much. So enjoy your show on Smile but admire you for taking the plunge to spread your wings. Always regretted not doing that when I was younger.

    Look forward to staying in touch via your blog and hearing all about your adventures.

    Go well.

    Hugs and blessings to you and your family.

    January 29, 2021 at 2:27 pm
  • Reply Robyn

    Wishing you all the success and happiness in Greece Bailey. I used to listen to your show when I still lived in Cape Town. I moved with my now two adult sons, three suitcase and our dog to Scotland 2019. Tomorrow we celebrate 2 years of living in the UK. It’s a leap of faith, you only live once so grab this opportunity with both hands..
    Once you settled and Covid days have settled do come visit bonny Scotland, ot will be an hours flight away and you will find so many SAFAs here.
    Enjoy your move, you won’t regret it. Much love and blessings to you and your beautiful family.

    January 29, 2021 at 2:31 pm
  • Reply Esti

    This is really exciting news!!
    I’m sure you’ll love being closer to Tandi and Karolina too!!
    Are you taking Dimitra with you? I struggle with planning immigration without knowing what will happen with my parents.

    January 29, 2021 at 2:55 pm
    • Reply BaileySchneider

      Hi Esti,
      Thank you. Yes, we are taking Dimitra with us – I wrote about it in the post 🙂

      January 29, 2021 at 4:14 pm
  • Reply Phumi

    Hey B,I’m sure you are excited and nervous but with your personality you will make it. Plus you are blessed with a very supportive hubby Wishing you luck and God bless you and your family.

    January 29, 2021 at 2:55 pm
  • Reply Charlene Breedt

    Good Luck on this wonderful new chapter of your life, you have so much to be proud of and so much more to look forward too. How exciting!!!! xxx

    January 29, 2021 at 2:57 pm
  • Reply Linda Brown

    We were supposed to be out the door at the end of March… last year. Then COVID hit and we have been in limbo ever since. ALL our belongings are in the USA. We literally had a suitcase of clothes each. And in 3 days we would have been stuck, not living our lives, just waiting, for 366 days… I wish you all the best and all the luck in the world. You may need it 😉

    January 29, 2021 at 3:35 pm
  • Reply Caley

    BAILS!!!! What amazing news – so so so exciting for you guys!
    I know this must be extremely bittersweet but you will make a wonderful life and live it to the fullest anywhere you are with your precious boys. I am so excited to follow along your journey and praying the next few weeks go smoothly… Thinking of you my friend x

    January 29, 2021 at 3:56 pm
  • Reply Rushdah

    This is absolutely amazing news. Wishing you and your family well overseas. I can’t wait see all the lovely Instagram posts and stories in future.

    January 29, 2021 at 4:43 pm
  • Reply Tracy

    So exciting! Wishing you all the best. I am so happy that you will blog and still keep us updated. Looking forward to reading about your new adventure xx

    January 29, 2021 at 5:45 pm
  • Reply Pauleen Nelson

    “I truly believe if this wasn’t for us then it wouldn’t be a possiblity” yes yes yes so true! Bailey you and Sox have the courage and vision that you need to succeed! Fly high, this is such exciting news for you Sox and your boys! Sending much love,confidence and fabulous new adventures and doors of opportunity opening up for you.

    January 29, 2021 at 6:29 pm
  • Reply Tracey

    Wishing you all the best on your adventure.We will certainly miss you in CT.

    January 29, 2021 at 7:06 pm
  • Reply Keenan Williams

    This is incredible news Bailey! Super excited for you. It will be an adjustment, but as you said, you are now in it. I’ve only heard good things about Greece and with two young kids to keep you busy, it’s also for their own benefit at the end of the day too – safety, security, opportunities…. And obviously for yourself and Sox too. I’ll eagerly follow you to find out where we can hear you (via stream of course) in the near future (unless it’s in Greek…. That’s Hebrew to me 😉 )

    January 29, 2021 at 9:20 pm
  • Reply Andre the Big Positive Guy

    I am so excited for you and the family. While I am a passionate South African, your desire for an adventure resonates and we only get one chance in life so I’m glad you are grabbing it with both hands.

    I think we measure life by the impact we have on others. You, were always so kind and nice to me as part of the Smile family when I was an absolute newbie that I will always remember you with love and affection. God bless and I hope our paths cross again even if it us only on social media!

    January 30, 2021 at 3:20 am
  • Reply Veet

    Wow indeed exciting news. I have been a follower since your 947 days. All the very best in your next adventure. Looking forward to follow along your journey. xxx

    January 30, 2021 at 10:47 am
  • Reply Shan

    Wow and well done for making a decision. I wish you and your family a peaceful, transformational experience as you say goodbye to one life filled with gratitude and beautiful memories here in SA and Hello! to a new life with limitless opportunities and possibilities that awaits you in Greece! We are powerful creators of our reality. “As perceived, so appear.” May you lavish and dance in holding only the highest thought and emotions that you want to experience with your family creating your new life. Acknowledge the anxiety, but embrace the excitement. Safe journey. ❤️

    January 30, 2021 at 12:03 pm
  • Reply Natalie Openshaw

    Hi Bailey,
    Congratulations! This is wonderful news & words cannot express how happy I am for you, Sox and the kiddies..

    I took a huge leap in 2019 – my fiancè & I have been together 13yrs now & he’s always spoken about moving to the UK for as long as we’ve been together but I had never travelled outside of SA (not even for a holiday) so moving to a Country I knew nothing about was extremely daunting for me but it also created excitement for the unknown and the more I weighed up the Pro’s and Con’s the more I knew that the move would be a greater benefit to us. Also, we unfortunately can’t have children, but I know that if we could and if we did have,
    the decision would’ve been 100% easier for me personally bcoz I’d want our children to have the freedom I grew up with as a child, and moving to the UK would give it them for sure. And, the thought of leaving all my family back in SA (Jhb) broke my heart, but I had to remind myself that when we moved from Jhb to CT (away from my family) we spent 6 years (1,400 km’s) away from them but we still got to plan trips to Jhb to visit them all, and moving to the UK wouldn’t make me see them any less.
    So, in Sept 2019, Dylan left CT to set up his work & find us a home in the UK while I packed up our lives in CT, in Oct 2019, our 4 furbabies flew from CT to Jhb and Jhb to London Heathrow to join Dylan in our new home. I flew from CT to Jhb a week after our furies and spent a week with my family, brother, sister, parents, Gran, nieces & nephews before I flew from Jhb to the UK on the 11th Oct 2019.
    And now, just over a year later, I cannot tell you how happy I am that we made the move – its been amazing!!! And to be honest, I was worried for nothing. YES, we miss our family and friends back home enormously, but we’ve all managed to still stay in touch and we have no doubt that once the lockdown is over and our lives go back to some form of normality, that we’ll all reconnect face-to-face for a holiday of some sort..

    Bailey, I’ve followed you for years & you’ve been an inspiration to me for so so long and I have no doubt that all your other followers feel the same way – so if I could wish for anything for you, it would be for you to take this leap with open arms and welcome everything good that will come from it, you’ve done so much for us all and you deserve this awesome adventure!

    Spread your wings and fly high, the sky is the limit and you’re nowhere near what it still had to offer!..

    Thank you for sharing your news and I can’t wait to see, hear and follow your new journey.

    January 31, 2021 at 1:14 pm
  • Reply Yiota

    Aaah Bailey, I am so excited for your new adventure. I really wish you all the success in your new venture and I really, really hope you keep blogging- I’ve been there from the beginning and cannot wait to read about all your adventures in Greece 🙂

    February 5, 2021 at 10:51 am
  • Reply Lisa

    Wishing you luck and love on your amazing new adventure Bailey. This is such exciting news.

    February 22, 2021 at 1:21 pm
  • Reply Marizka

    Ai liefste Bailey. Wens jou alles van die beste toe. Go girl power. Go have fun. Jy is amazing en like you said, we can always move back. Go girl. Wishing you loads of blessings on your new venture.

    February 23, 2021 at 11:20 am
  • Reply Ramona

    Wow this is truly amazing news.

    I have been following you on Instagram for a few years now and feel like I got to know you through your posts. I think what really touched me about the genuine person you are is that you had replied to my comments on your posts a few times.

    I’m sad to see you leaving but really happy for you on your new adventure. I will be tuning into your podcasts for sure and hope to see your journey on Instagram.

    Have a blessed trip.

    February 23, 2021 at 11:40 am
  • Reply Christine Wilson

    Will miss your voice on smile radio

    February 26, 2021 at 7:23 pm
  • Reply Karen

    Hi Bailey
    May we know where in Greece you’re moving to? My family and I have a deep love affair with Greece (even though we’re Afrikaans not Greek!) and we’re been all over Greece. We keep going back. We have family in Samos & my husband & I have one foot in Cyprus (for work). We were going to start living in Cyprus for a few months of the year with our small kids from 2019 (and did that in 2019, but couldn’t go last year due to lockdown). I’d love to see how you too experience life in a Greek country. What I found interesting was the pros and cons of SA vs there – the many things that work great there that we yearn for here (safety, state services, everyone being easily middle class, no abject poverty or crazy inequality, amaaaazing ice cream, etc) and the things that make SA/ S Africans stand out you don’t see much of there (things like heightened creativity and entrepreneurial thinking, incredible art and design, living out your talents to the full… things that flow from that ability to hustle that all us S Africans know so well). To give you just one tiny example, we saw Cypriot-SAfrican businesses just standing out that side – in Nicosia for instance coffee is a religion and almost every coffee shop looks the same but the one that broke the mold and was really awesome was owned by a Cypriot woman who grew up in Pretoria… She said her SA upbringing was a game-changer for her… or if you look at tech startups (my husband’s industry) ours is more exciting, more based on solutions-thinking… People in SA are often very driven and upwardly mobile, while for most Greeks life is pretty easy and people just go about their lives in a familiar pattern, very happy with the nice universal quality of life. I think people like you would really be able to stand out and bring fresh energy and star quality – you can really shoot the lights out quickly I think. Also, there are quite a few English language radio stations that side – in Cyprus there are a couple. Dream big & you’ll make it big there!
    Good luck!

    February 27, 2021 at 6:47 am
  • Reply Monique

    O wow, what an awesome adventure! Best of luck Bailey.

    April 26, 2021 at 11:34 pm
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