There are places I keep returning to, despite having a long list of travel destinations I want to explore. In South Africa, with three visits in nearly seven months, the place I keep returning to is Phinda, a private game reserve in KwaZulu Natal. This trip like all the others was truly amazing. I don’t know when I will be back, but I know I will return.
Every visitor who comes to South Africa and is going on safari asks me what to pack . . . and then they obsess, visit an outdoor store ten times, and obsess some more. I have seen guests climbing onto safari vehicles in skinny jeans clutching designer handbags as well as guests in vests covered in pockets, floppy hats, and those hideous pants that zip-off into shorts.
I have had my fair share of horrible travel experiences. Two concussions in a week and visit to a French hospital. Check. Robbed of all of my possessions on the first night of a six week trip in Chile. Yes. Forced to spend the night in a Moroccan home until we bought carpets. Yup. And, according to a recent New York Times article “Great Vacation? Don’t Brag to Your Friends,” my social networks would rather hear about these travel mishaps than my recent trip to Cape Town.
From Camps Bay head along the M6 coastal route to Cape Peninsula National Park via the Chapman’s Peak toll road. The Chapman’s Peak toll road is literally carved into the face of the mountain and offers spectacular vistas of Houts Bay, Chapman’s Peak, and Noordhoek. This has to be one of the most dramatic coastal routes in the world.
New York City is often anthropomorphized in fiction and film probably because what makes it one of the world’s greatest cities is precisely its flawed characteristics, its contrasts of grime and glamour, its pulsating 24-hour energy, its vices, and its cultural and financial significance. I never tire of visiting New York City and decided to spend two days there after a brief and emotionally tumultuous visit to Washington, DC. Two days with my family in New York was the perfect antidote to my disappointing DC visit.
I was acutely reminded of Thomas Wolfe’s novel “You Can’t Go Home Again” during my two day whirlwind trip to Washington, DC. In the days before I moved from DC to Johannesburg, I walked up and down 14th Street in my neighborhood marveling at the number of eateries and high-end condos that had sprouted up over the course of the last few months. I fretted that when I returned, my city would be unrecognizable.