As the jacarandas trees exploded with purple blossoms across Johannesburg, I couldn’t help but think that this was the last time I would see them usher in spring. In what is surely a perverse way of viewing the world, I find myself longing for my South African life even though I am still living my South African life. The absurdity of indulging in nostalgia for the life I am leading instead of appreciating my life in the moment, is not lost on me.
As the swells rocked the boat, I attempted to balance while holding my camera steady enough to focus on the southern right whales in the far distance. It turns out I am a terrible photographer at sea and after experimenting with what I could get I followed the advice I often give others, I put my camera down and enjoyed the moment. I opted for whale watching in the Western Cape on a marine big 5 boat safari in the hopes of seeing whales, as well as penguins, seals, sharks, and dolphins.
In the four years since I arrived in Johannesburg, I have exuberantly explored South Africa taking every opportunity to discover new places and jet off to far-flung locales. I think for expats who know that our time in a place is limited, we feel the need to cram in as much as possible before it all ends, but end it does
As the sun set and we were still driving through a string of communities after exiting Polokwane, Limpopo I began to wonder whether our chosen respite for a girls weekend away was as serene as advertised. We had chosen an off the grid location in the mountains that seemed a million miles away from any human settlements. Where were the mountains and forest and the solitude? Finally, the asphalt gave way to gravel and the elevation gradually changed. For stressed out Joburgers, nothing is better than an off the grid nature retreat like Kurisa Moya.
For readers of my blog or Instagram followers, it may appear as if I were on a perpetual holiday, but like most people finding time to escape for a multi-day holiday is increasingly difficult. But lately, the stress of life was starting to effect my mental and physical wellbeing. I knew what I needed, a respite from my quotidian routine, in other words I needed a microvacation but not just any microvaction. I needed a solo microvacation.
I once told my Mom that traveling with her was like traveling with myself. She pursed her lips and cocked her head and shot me a look that said, “really?” I meant to say that we had so many similar likes and dislikes that if I suggested an outing, restaurant, or museum (or vice versa) nine times out of ten it was something that we both wanted to do. She willingly agreed to my suggestions with nary a complaint, although getting her to approve of a harebrained adventure in the first place was the more challenging part of the proposition.