When I completed matric, I vowed to travel to one African country each year until I cover the entire continent. There’s something to be said about raw and honest travel, immersing yourself in another culture and making new friends. I find that it fosters a sense of pride in black people and our way of life. No matter what country I travelled to, there was a soul and energy similar to home — how we gather and eat together, dance like no one’s watching and willingly give of our time to help anyone in need.
I remember travelling to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and landing at an airport in the middle of nowhere, waiting for my friend — who was running three hours late — to pick me up. Why didn’t you call, you ask? Firstly, roaming was an expensive exercise that I couldn’t afford yet, and I didn’t have Tanzanian shillings for the phone booth. A gentleman who had shared the same flight, noticed my utter panic and lent me his cell phone. My love for coffee also began there with the “coffee man”, a guy literally walking around with a kettle on coals and a bench for you to sit on.
Another memorable foray into the unknown was a bus detour to Mozambique on my way to the Lake of Stars Festival in Malawi. I was meant to meet a friend there who was in desperate need of a cash injection on her way back to South Africa. I, instead, chose to stop in Bilene, Mozambique, at the last minute. Travelling along the coast in a local “taxi mota”, couch surfing (I wouldn’t recommend sleeping on strangers’ couches these days) and gorging on seafood and 2M beer.
I’m definitely nowhere near ticking off the entire continent, but I do make it a yearly point to gift myself with a trip away. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy — you could even start a Flight Centre Travel Stokvel with your girls for as little as R500. The beauty is the journey, and the scores of memories you’ll make along the way.
All of my travel adventures have contributed to the person I am today. I recommend going away the next time you feel a bit stuck. This issue is full of women who’ve braved the world alone, street food inspired by the globe, and the ultimate packing guide straight from the pros. Do enjoy our travel issue and if you’d like to chat, email me on edi[email protected]elove.co.za.