Most of my travel stories begins and ends in South Africa. Having grown up here, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to get to know and love a spectacular country. A culture rich country with people from various backgrounds – and like most countries, I suppose, we have the good and the bad stories to tell. However, one fact cannot be argued with: South Africa is a one of a kind country with colourful and breathtaking places everywhere you turn.
I off course have my own favourites, but over time I will share my thoughts on the places I have been and the experiences (both good and bad) I had. Growing up our family spent most school holidays away from home. Most times we would visit the coast, but shorter vacations took us to places all around the country.
It has been a childhood dream of mine to see the world. December 2015 was my first opportunity to broaden my horisons by touring through Northern Italy. It was an amazing trip from which I’ve learnt a great deal. In some ways it has opened my eyes to the vastness of the globe, and it makes you realise how small your world is if you only know one country. On the other hand, it also made me realise that the more we think we are different, the more we are alike. We’d love to believe that we are completely unique and that Europe and South Africa are worlds apart, but the truth is that the picture isn’t all that different.
In a way, travelling to Italy made my world smaller. It made me realise that we (people in general) tend to draw to our own. People are not always open to accepting people from different cultures, backgrounds, religions or ethnic groups. Regardless if they were from Venice or Rome, we were still outsiders – and the same goes for tourists in South Africa. Still, I think experiencing different cultures and seeing new places is one of life’s treasures. It adds colour to a life in your native country.
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” – Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky