Happy 2018 everyone!!
I know I’m like thirty days late but I’ve been doing stuff like:
Truth be told, 2017 was a bit bittersweet and chaotic. There were the deaths of people I admired very much. There was feeling like a stranger in the country that I called home. There was gas lighting and manipulation and trauma.
But there was also: accomplishing a financial dream, Cuba, friends that offer to go pick up medical results with you, my boss worrying about my happiness, camping under the Namibian sky, memorable times with incredible people in Cape Town, friends that take your parents shopping, spending quality time with the nipotini…the list goes on.
But with that bittersweet chaos came very little time to think. Within a few weeks of one thing came the next until I finally found myself in Costa Rica with a pestilence cold unlike any I’ve had since the Great Strep Throat of Hurricane Sandy. That’s what happens when you go a mile a minute. When you crash, you crash hard. So, I decided to take some time to regroup, process everything that happened in 2017, and well figure out the direction of this project.
But before I get into that, I owe Cape Town another post. I remember looking up at Table Mountain during my first visit in 2015 and saying “I could totally live here.” Imagine my joy at being present when several other people said the same after spending a few days there. My soul has always felt something special for this place and will continue to do so until the day I die. So here goes…
The Continent - Without a doubt, Africa is energy. It is life. It is the birthplace of mankind. If that doesn’t hit you in the feels I don’t know what will. I haven’t visited every country but those I’ve had the good fortune to set foot on have changed me. In the words of South African comedian Kevin Fraser…
“Africa is not just a place, it is a feeling
It is the heart of the world and only a few of us have been touched by her
Africa defines our soul and people just feel it, they just know.”
The Country - As an American, South Africa is fascinating. Less than 25 years after the equivalent of Jim Crow I see a citizenry in many ways trying to move forward and be better. Many of the people there are just so incredibly aware of the past and it’s consequences that it makes for the most amazing conversations.
The Views - You’ve all seen the views in Cape Town but I can say with confidence that South Africa is eyeball crack. In Cape Town, if it’s not the beach to the left it’s a gorgeous mountain to the right.
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The Food - The food here is bananas. This is what happens when you get a bunch of different cultures together…you get mouthwatering, party in your mouth type food. I really miss the ostrich and kudu.
The People - I can’t speak for all of South Africa but Cape Town feels like home. Diversity aside, it feels like they took clones of my family and placed them there. Everyone is just so incredibly funny and down to earth. Adding to that, I think it also attracts a certain type of traveler so I instantly clicked with even more amazing people.
But for that reason:
- I need to travel deeper. There are some truly incredible people, stories and places on this earth and I’m doing them a disservice by sticking to the known tourist places. While harder this will definitely be more rewarding.
- I need to make it easier for others to do the same. Whether it’s actual travel or armchair travel I should share more of my resources.
- I need to be more candid. Sharing my thoughts and feelings has been the most liberating thing of 2017. Not only that, doing so created these intense bonds with people and I’m all the better for it. In that same vein, I have to show more of myself and my interests.
- Finally, there’s got to be a method behind the madness. This one’s a bit harder to explain but you’ll soon see what I mean.