Heading back to the Mother City...
Setting the Scene
For all of 2015, I was happily living in Cape Town, South Africa on a one-year work visa. The year was full of ups and downs (eish not really that many to be honest) and it was always my dream to go back to Cape Town after spending a semester there during my third year at DePauw University. I came home on December 7th and December 8th I was sitting in the South Africa Consulate General's office in Chicago, applying for a five-year critical skill work visa. That process was supposed to take four weeks of processing and please see my previous update for a more detailed and humorous recap of this process. Spoiler alert: I didn't get the work visa...
It gives me great pleasure to share with everyone that regardless of the fact that I denied a visa, albeit wrongfully, in my opinion, it is not stopping me from heading back to South Africa (on a 90-day visitor visa for the time being)!
Photo album from my trip to New York in April
Did I lose a lot of work opportunities not being there for 4 months in the middle of "film season"?
- Yes. I was confirmed on work from January through April.
Did I make productive use of my time while I was in visa limbo?
Chris Leamy, an awesome musician I met on the streets of New York as he was playing music to try and raise money for homeless people
- Yes. Doing what you say?
- I read a ton, see my books page for recaps.
- My business partner Rusty Ruthven and I were able to make incredible progress with our online store www.filmgear.co.za and that wouldn't have been possible if I was in South Africa working every day.
- I spent a ton of time with my family who I had not seen for an entire year. Priceless.
- Friends and travel became very accessible, all of a sudden with little plans besides just waiting and I was able to spend time with people that I really cared about but again had not seen for over a year. Highlights:
- New York
- Southern California
Tools I'm currently loving
- Grammarly excellent free version but a killer paid version that does an incredible job helping with my grammar and spelling
- Shopify I built filmgear.co.za completely on this platform and it is so scalable and robust, I couldn't recommend it enough
- Assistant.io which is an awesome tool for scheduling meetings with Gmail (I host my robweidner.com email with Google Apps for Work and haven't looked back. Definitely suggest it for any freelancers out there and here are two coupon codes 7Y439LYR9VQFHV and AQTUEWMHW67J6P for 20% off your first year with Google Apps) or Outlook