South Africa is huge! It is far bigger than I ever imagined. Before we embarked on our road trip around our beautiful country, I couldn’t tell you about the wide open spaces between Graaff Reinet and Cradock, the old train in the middle of Middelburg and the vibe of the Durban beach front. I was one of those people who were under the impression that the only thing Kimberley had going for it was The Big Hole. But that was before I explored the area that formed around the old army base that was there while compulsory military service was still well, compulsory, during the Apartheid era up to the late 80s, early 90s.
This was the reason we wanted to explore by road. Sure, it’s easier to hop on a plane, rent a car and go where you have always gone but so much of South Africa is left unseen that way. You may have travelled, but have you really explored areas you have never seen before?
Quit your job, sell your home and travel. Yeah, it’s not that easy. This time last year, we had just sold our house and were packing up in preparation to no longer have a base to call home. We never expected it to be easy and we didn’t know what the road trip would teach us but hey, at least we know more now than we ever did before.
It has made us more passionate about our country, because we are now actually qualified to hold an intelligent conversation about places other than just the Cape Town we’ve lived in, all our lives.
Where to from here? Well, it was inevitable that we would have to get back to reality at some point. When you are raising a family, there is a need for a certain amount of stability and routine. Life is expensive and people need to eat.
I don’t know what 2017 is going to look like in terms of travel, but I would like to see if I have a book in me. Documenting our 11 week, 7 (out of 9) South African regions road trip into something that is worth publishing, isn’t easy. I don’t have the luxury of holing myself up somewhere and letting the words just flow onto paper. I work, home school and feed kids. That is my day to day priority.
You know what though? It’s too early in the year to add more pressure than what is necessary. Let’s see what happens for now. Life is too short to plan excessively, only to fall short of your goals (which leads to recriminations and disappointment).
What is meant to be, will be. For now, I’m just going to embrace life, make memories and breathe. How about you?