Sunset from Lion’s Head…..
I have had thoughts of visiting a country in Africa since the early 90’s. For various reasons it just never seemed like a real possibility…..until we started planning this year long journey. Would I really make it to Africa?
Have you ever had a dream to do something, see something, go somewhere, experience something, meet someone? And did that dream ever come to fruition? What did you feel in that moment? Were you happy, sad, were you disappointed, was it more then you ever expected?
Well….my dream to visit a country in Africa came true! We visited only one country, South Africa, but were able to spend a month there. I could tell you all kinds of things about South Africa, and I will, but first I just need to pause, exhale, and smile. With tears in my eyes and joy in my heart I sit here to pause and reflect. So much of this year has been a beyond words, I have been writing and sharing my perspective on what I see, think, feel, and am experience. But this little piece is somehow deeper for me. I can’t quite put to words how or why yet. A small dream, or longing, or desire to be on the african continent – even I didn’t realize how powerful it was. But it happened, my feet were solidly there and I feel it in me more than words can describe. This is why the tears flow and I can’t help but smile.
Now, more about South Africa. It has a history that’s hard to take in. A very sad story of intense oppression through apartheid, but also a very inspirational story of the people’s fight against it and how the human need for independence and equality continues to be felt. People like Nelson Mandela rouse feels of immense humility, gratefulness, wonder, and inspiration. If you have not yet read his autobiography, A Long Road to Freedom, get it as soon as you can and take it in. Wow. Nelson Mandela was in prison for 27 years as political prisoner because he was trying to get rid of apartheid. In 1994, he became the first president of a democratic South Africa. Gandhi spent 21 years in South Africa. And of course this is also where Archbishop Desmond Tutu is from. Next on my reading list! We visited the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg. It is probably one of the best museums I have ever been to.
A big part of what I love about travel is how much I learn and hopefully I can thread it all into my changing perspectives, views, thoughts. I am learning by reading, seeing, watching, asking, hearing, feeling, and experiencing. The more I learn through these various avenues, the more I learn how tunneled my view can be and how little I really know.
We had Uber drivers with names like; Wright, Gift, and Trust. Some of these drivers and well as others we met over the course of our time in South Africa shared little snippets of wisdom. Encouraging us to think about how we can, as an individual, contribute to the greater society. Trust isn’t always easy but we need it. There are gifts in every moment, just depends on how you choose to see and experience things. Lead with your heart as much as possible and do the “wright” thing.
I think I will pause here for now because I need a bit of transition time to write another post and share more of our adventures and explorations in Cape Town. For now I just need to sit with this feeling.