No matter where you are, there you are.
I’m starting off this blog post fully cognizant that I haven’t posted an article in well over 3 months. When I started this website, we were knee deep into a whole panoramic, and I thought writing lifestyle & opinion articles would be a good way to cope and entertain myself and you guys during a pandemonium. Almost 8 months since my first blog post, I’ve learnt a lot about consistency that I hadn’t thought of before I committed to being a ‘blogger’. What I’ve realized, however, is that sometimes we may be quick to put out content just to keep up with algorithms, but really, it’s important to honour our creativity and inspiration, and just put out content as and when we can. I’m glad I took a little break from writing articles here, but I’m back baby! I have so much to share about what the past 4 months have been like for me. I’ve been low and I’ve been high, but I’m here.
At the start of 2021, I interrupted normal programming of my life and moved halfway across the country from Nairobi to Diani, Kwale County. If you follow me on Instagram, then this isn’t news to you. On my second week in Diani, I posted on my stories that I was going to be here for the next 6-10 months, & to no-one’s surprise, I received a multitude of questions asking me why I moved, what inspired my move, and how I was planning to financially sustain my move. I couldn’t answer all those questions on my Instagram, but hopefully all the answers will be found here!
Right before I made this decision to move, I had visited a friend of mine who had just recently moved to Diani (hey Kelly). When I visited her, she convinced me to take a trip with her walking from Diani down to the Kenya/Tanzania border (read that blog post here). We walked for 4 days camping along the way, until we finally made it to the border town of LungaLunga. When we got back to Diani, I decided that the next time I came here, I wouldn’t leave any time soon, and so, I began planning my move!
I know a lot of you who might be thinking about moving out of Nairobi would be curious about cost of living, so here’s a bit of my experience. Cost of living in Diani is generally cheaper than in Nairobi (I’m convinced any East African city has a lower cost of living than Nairobi), so I worked out how much money I would need monthly to stay in Diani, and then worked backwards. The first thing I did was to look for jobs in Diani – writing jobs, office jobs, literally anything to keep me afloat for the first few months, and I was lucky enough to find something! Being an artist is great, but my reality was that my craft was not a stable enough source of income for me at the time to keep me afloat halfway across the country, especially in a place where I didn’t understand how the gig industry works. I decided that I’d first get something stable, then when I find my footing as an artist in Diani, I would focus full time on my craft. I really need you guys to understand that I was RISKING it all, lol. It was as if someone had thrown me into the deep end of a pool and told me not to drown ( I was the one throwing myself into a deep end). Fortunately, my friend Kelly let me stay with her for my first few weeks in Diani until I was able to get my own place.
Diani is a relatively small town, and so house hunting is made easier as long as you identify the area you want to live in. i.e do you want to be on the beach? Do you want to be closer to town (Ukunda)? Somewhere in the middle? For a week I dedicated my lunch break from my office job to just walking around the area I knew I wanted to live in, and just kept an aye out for ‘To Let’ signs. I did this religiously until I finally found a place I liked. So, yay! I had my own place, and a stable office job that I worked for the first few months until I was able to leave recently. I’m still trying to figure out the gig industry here, but I host a poetry show every Friday evening at Diani Backpackers (so you should like, totally come through if you’re planning on being in Diani any time soon).
Now, you’d probably be wondering, ‘but Mumbi, why? Why put yourself through all this? Why put yourself in such an uncertain situation?’. Believe me, I asked myself those very questions multiple times. At this juncture I’d just like to mention that I am a Nairobi city girl to the core, I mean, I was born and raised there my whole life. For a few years now, I have known that I want to move out of Nairobi at some point, and experience living somewhere new even for just half a year. This was just something I needed to do for myself. I was scared. On so many days since being in Diani I wondered if I had made the right choice, and if I should just pack up and go home. It wasn’t easy, but I am absolutely proud of myself for making it thus far here, 4 months baby! This is just to say, that although it may look like a perfect picture living in Diani with the coveted sunshine and being minutes away from the beach, it takes a lot of strength to be away from home and basically start afresh in a new town. That said, I would highly recommend getting out of Nairobi and seeing what life is like beyond the capital. If anything at all, it definitely builds character.
I hope you enjoyed this post! Please feel free to have a look at my previous articles on this site, and look ouut for more posts in the near future!
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