Born in South Africa, Reeva Cutting lived in the UK and her birth country before moving to Perth, Western Australia with her family in 2013.
You could say she knows a fair bit about packing up and settling in new countries. Not just a new home, but also starting a new career as a digital marketer in Perth which evolved into a successful travel and migration blog.
“We chose to move to Australia as we wanted a better future for our child and weren’t very happy in the UK. It was so cold and wet and miserable most of the year, and I really missed the sun! Perth offered all the things we wanted and we got state sponsorship because of my husband’s occupation so it was a no-brainer.”
Prior to moving to Australia, I was a business analyst, and I started a new career path in Perth as a digital marketer. I’ve now been freelancing as a digital marketing specialist for over two years and absolutely love it! I also work for Rand Rescue helping South Africans get their money and retirement policies out of SA and into Australia, plus the blog. So between 3 jobs and my family, it’s always pretty full on in our house!” said Reeva.
I spoke to Reeva about her travel blog and experiences living in Australia.
Q.How did you get the idea to start a travel blog?
I was part of some Facebook groups and witnessed some extremely nasty and often intimidating behaviour from a crowd of people that meant the group wasn’t as supportive as it could have been.
I started a group called Proudly South African in Perth and WA to differentiate my group from the others and within two hours I had 400 people join!
Over the years it grew naturally and I was creating long posts for the group on things to do and places to go in Perth. I attended a ProBlogger event for work and was completely inspired to start a blog, and the choice of topic was obvious. I bought the domain and started working on my blog in March 2015.
Q.Did you have much experience writing and running a blog before you started? What were your biggest learnings?
I was working in digital marketing so that gave me a good technical grounding of what to do practically. I have always loved writing so it was great to have a passion project that used my writing skills.
Biggest learning is don’t think you can do it all! Need help creating content? Look for guest bloggers. Need help building your website? Find a great web developer (it’s totally not worth the nightmare if you aren’t technical!).
Q. Can you share your first impressions of Perth?
I remember thinking how clean the streets were – you rarely see litter here. I also loved seeing some familiar brands in shops like OMO washing powder! After a few months, I noticed how bad the drivers are in general, but it’s still nothing compared to South African taxis!
Q. What do you miss most about home?
Obviously family and friends – that’s always the toughest thing as a migrant.
I also miss the natural beauty of South Africa, the rolling hills (you don’t often get hills in Perth!) and Table Mountain, the wildlife and Ocean Basket (a seafood restaurant chain – their calamari is amazing!).
Q. Are you involved in any other activities apart from writing?
I’ve recently become part of the Global South Africans program by Brand South Africa. I’m very excited to see what that will bring!
Q. What has been the response like to your blog? And a highlight?
Over the years I’ve built a very engaged readership. I often get emails from people saying how much they enjoy my blogs and how useful they have been and that’s awesome, as that’s the reason why I started in the first place.
I wanted to create a blog that laid out all the information I was struggling to find when we were in the process of moving to Australia.
A highlight for me was getting noticed by a big name like Brand South Africa. I never in my wildest dreams imagined I would be even a blip on their radar!
Q. What are your 3 tips for other migrants?
- Never turn down an invitation – you never know who you might meet.
2. Always be humble – listen before you speak. Don’t come in all guns blazing showing people how you used to handle things in your home country. The Aussies do not appreciate it (and I don’t blame them at all!).
3. Be prepared to work hard. Everyone talks about a better work/life balance here – it just doesn’t exist. Most people I know work long hours and they work pretty hard.
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