Incubators, foundries, and family: moving to Oxford

I moved from South Africa to Sweden in 2014, thinking it would be a for a short jaunt and a swift return to my sunny homeland. This idea was squashed by wanderlust and a Yes Man attitude (which I’m working on squashing), and in the last five years I moved from Sweden to the United States and now to Spain (which at least is sunny). We had just started figuring how to get back to Cape Town for a few years when two brothers and a sister-in-law rather abruptly moved to Oxford and London, simultaneously removing 3/5 of the reason to go home, and bringing family within a few hours’ flight!

This was already leading pretty inevitably to a final move to the UK, when I joined an Oxford startup (incognito, for now) earlier this year. Now it’s a done deal, and we’re all but committed to spending the next n years of our lives in drizzly England! And despite the Spanish food, the weather, the mountains… I’m extremely excited to live somewhere with English as a first language, where I can more easily (and appealingly) involve myself in communities and clubs and events and all the other stuff that comes with living in the same place for more than a few years.

Meanwhile, I’ve enjoyed moving my professional focus back northward. In September, I joined my startup team at an event at Oxford Foundry, on climate and AI, which was an interesting first dip into the Oxford startup community. We also joined a small round-table at Saïd Business School with TechNation, revealing some pretty impressive numbers on the UK tech-scene and an interesting discussion of the issues and opportunities at hand. All said, it’s an exciting start, and I’m excited about where things will lead to from here!

That's me with the huge arrow, and The Right Honourable The Baroness Nicky Morgan of Cotes, MP front and centre in blue.
That's me with the huge arrow, and The Right Honourable The Baroness Nicky Morgan of Cotes, MP front and centre in blue.

On the personal side, we’ve already explored plenty of what Oxford and London have to offer: lively Cowley, sombre Oxford (constant reminders from my father of his grandfather’s time at Merton College, not to mention all the other illustrious Briton’s crowding our Ancestry.come tree), the beautiful Kew Gardens and the Thames, Brixton and its markets and parks, the impressive Ashmolean and the never-ending Pitt Rivers Museum, along with a small sampling of the region’s climbing gyms. Lots still to figure out, and I can’t imagine anyone ever left Barcelona easily, but we’re eager for what’s to come.