Its Time for Africa


I am sitting on the plane and a young girl strikes a conversation with me.  She asks: “What brings you to South Africa? ” I say: “Holiday! ” 🙂  and I flash a beaming smile (one of my specialties).  To my surprise she cringes and says: “Really?”  and proceeds to tell me she is surprised because people don’t tend to find South Africa a tourist destination.  She is partially right. Not many Americans come. I met a ton of Germans,  Canadians, Australians, British, and many other Europeans.  However, few Americans were to be seen but I also understand it is a far trek to come to South Africa from the States.

So, what brings me here? Tell you the truth, it’s all coincidence. I was traveling, someone told me they loved visiting South Africa, someone else I knew lived there and would host me, and someone else said they would come with me. BAM! The trip materialized and here I am. I didn’t plan much and basically showed up.

Let me tell you, I am so glad I came…Despite being intimidated about ebola and all of the stereotypes I had of African countries. What do you envision? Poverty? Sickness?? At this point, my New England friends are closer to Ebola cases than I am here in South Africa. I have always wanted to visit Africa but didn’t really know which country I would start with.  I was curious so I started with the easiest: South Africa. Everyone speaks english, I stuck to the major cities (Joburg and Cape Town), and had a friend living there who could guide me. Let me put it in perspective: Johannesburg is the financial capital of Africa (the continent), Cape Town is a highly visited town by tourists and hosted the world cup in 2010. If you stick to the rules, it was not any  more dangerous than NYC. Doing the touristy things, I got to see the best of the best; a luxury most South Africans do not get.

It was nice to have the privilege of seeing the best of South Africa but I am curious as to how the majority of the population lives.  I know they endured hard times and, as I learn of the culture and history, I realize they are a resilient people.  Visiting the Apartheid Museum and Soweto (South Western Township) was a humbling experience.  Mandela was a true hero to these people and his message of freedom resonated greatly with them.

For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.

Freedom is relative. We can be a slave to our jobs and our vices.  Sometimes, we believe we are free but we are not living freely.  I realized this trip and this blog is helping me live in a way that respects and enhances freedom. As I travel, I wish to learn and humble myself as I see the world and meet people so that I can appreciate what I have and value what is truly enriching.

Wine Farm Tour
Wine Farm Tour
Wine Farm Tour
Wine Farm Tour
Bo-Kaap, Colorful Houses
Bo-Kaap, Colorful Houses

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Bo-Kaap, Colorful Houses
Bo-Kaap, Colorful Houses
Ex Political Prisoner- Meal menu of prisoners
Ex Political Prisoner- Meal menu of prisoners
Ex Political Prisoner. 5 yrs in Robben Island for peaceful Protest in Soweto 1976.
Ex Political Prisoner. 5 yrs in Robben Island for peaceful Protest in Soweto 1976.
Mandela's Cell in Robben Island
Mandela’s Cell in Robben Island
Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
Cape Point
Cape Point
Cape Point
Cape Point
African Penguin Colony
African Penguin Colony

Cape Point graffiti wall

Cape Point
Cape Point
Table Mountain at Sunset
Table Mountain at Sunset
Table Mountain
Table Mountain
Alisa on top of the world- Table Mountain
Alisa on top of the world- Table Mountain

 

Soweto Tour (Joburg)

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Soweto Guide
Soweto Guide
Soweto
Soweto
Soweto
Soweto

Lodging: Atlantic Point Backpackers

Tours: African Story Wine Tour, Baz Bus – Peninsula Tour, Robben Island

Must: Table Mountain Hike and Cable Ride

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