On my way to work this morning, something awful dawned on me. Something that made me feel more isolated and further away from my family than ever before …

A couple of months ago, the British Government introduced visas for South African visitors. I am still not sure whether that is just because we beat them at rugby and cricket, or whether it is for some other more important reason. I would hope it were the latter. According to my dad, who I was speaking to last night, these visas take approximately 2 weeks to be granted. This takes so long because you need to be personally interviewed. Subconsciously I must have been thinking about that, because this morning on my long commute into work, I realised that I am not longer ‘just a plane ride’ away!

Thank goodness I don’t need to apply for a visa when going to South Africa, therefore in an emergency I literally can just get the first plane back home. However, if the tables were turned and we had some emergency here for which my family would need to fly to the UK, they can’t just take the fist plane out. In fact, they would have to wait 2 weeks to be granted a visa.

Now we all hope we’ll never be in that situation, but unfortunately it is likely that it will happen in some shape or form in the coming years – especially as we get older. I am really struggling to digest this bit of information.