We tried the South African nomad life for 9 weeks and managed to learn a lot about ourselves, how much we take for granted in day to day life and how important family is.
Applying for a new drivers license
I managed to lose my drivers license card on Knoetzie Beach in Knysna and I got to experience how small town police and traffic departments work. All things considered, I was quite impressed. Maybe it’s because I can be very persuasive when I need something but I managed to complete an affidavit at the police station, get new photos taken and filed the paperwork at the traffic department, just before 4pm on the day I lost it.
Of course, it still hasn’t arrived in Cape Town so I will have to follow up in Knysna when we head to Durban next week. Fortunately my temporary drivers license is valid for 6 months so it’s not urgent.
Obviously not having access to a washing machine will be an issue while you are road tripping through South Africa. You know that you will have to embrace the hand washing way of life but, when you move on every 3 days, things inevitably add up and you spend the first day in your new location, freezing your elbows off as you get through a mountain of washing.
In theory, if you wash what you wear every night, you won’t have the backlog but after getting lost in Kruger National Park, the last thing you want to still tackle is washing. You won’t be able to hang it out until the next morning anyway so, you end up with a huge pile of washing.
Our secret weapon was our Spindel. This little gem was incredibly useful. No matter how much you wring your washing out by hand, it is still soaking wet. But when you can give your clean laundry a few minutes in the Spindel, your delicates can dry overnight, hung over a towel rail in the bathroom. Bigger items dry within a few hours in the sunshine the next morning.
If I had known how much the road trip would have taught our kids, I wouldn’t have bothered to lug all their books around the country with us. We visited lots of museums, monuments and animal sanctuaries while on the road so, not only wasn’t there a lot of time to “teach” but the unsettled nature of nomad life, meant that I was dealing with more emotional issues with my home sick kids.
You don’t realize how important pets and family are to kids until you hit the road. We thought we could live off the excitement but the kids didn’t manage well. Most days they tried to hide it but by the end of the 9 weeks, I had children crying to go “home home” because they missed their aunt and their grandparents.
As a result, I don’t think doing long trips will work for our family anymore. We will happily explore for a few weeks at a time but we will set a date when we plan to go home for a bit. It will be better for the kids emotional well being.
That’s all from me for now. If you would like to know more about our South African roadtrip, have a look at our family, travel blog TazzDiscovers. I update it a lot more often than this one and I’m thinking about merging the two in the near future.