It’s been a while since I have written a blog post, largely because I have found that I have nothing to say. As an expat, I believed that adventures to far-flung places were of interest and I have come to realize they were only far-flung adventures because I was from afar. My impetus was to inspire Americans to travel to Southern Africa, to give them a glimpse into my life there, and to showcase a corner of the world that even to this day many believe to be dangerous and backwards. Through my writing and photos I had hoped that I could inspire people to explore this beautiful continent and to embrace the complexity, and rough edges that make this a place that writers, travelers and expats long to return. Now that I am back in my home country, weekends away do not inspire me to write or snap photographs of the local sites, largely because there is nothing that I can share that most of my readers (friends and family) have not experienced for themselves. I am an amateur photographer who has lost her inspiration to create images. I am a Blogger who has lost her point of view and with it everything that I thought could be remotely compelling about my writing.
Of course that does not explain why I haven’t posted about my last few trips in Southern Africa – adventures that would normally serve as content for several posts. Before I left Johannesburg, I went on a safari to remote and parks in Tanzania that are not as well-travelled. I lounged under the sun on in culturally rich Zanzibar and decompressed next to granite boulders in the Seychelles on what are surely the most beautiful beaches in the world. Yet, I have struggled to document my my last African holidays. It’s as if I need to hold on to them as a way of holding on to my South African life. As months pass by in the US, I tell myself it is time to sit down in front of my computer and share those experiences. Six months later, they only exist as imprints on my soul and those imprints are fraying at the edges as the memories erode. The irony is that I will only truly remember the details of these last holidays if I create a blog post full of photos that I can refer back to.
I have also started and stopped posts about readjusting to life in the US. I have tried to be inspired by Miami, the Florida Keys, and other weekend jaunts. Whilst repatriation has been easier than I anticipated, I miss my South African life every day. During my initial weeks here, as I drifted off to sleep my spectral self wandered through my home in Joburg noting the furniture layout and ensuring that every picture frame, vase, and knick-knack was just where I had left them. As I walked room by room taking a mental inventory of my old house, I could maintain the illusion that I could return and resume my life as if nothing had never left. This nightly haunting has ceased as I have felt more settled in Miami. Instead the ache of missing my South African life hits me like a puncture wound to the chest when I am least expecting it. More often that not this physical longing occurs in those small everyday moments, an email in my inbox about a new restaurant opening or at the grocery store, when I cannot find an item at the grocery store, but I know exactly what aisle to go to at the Woolies near my house in Johannesburg.
I birthed this blog as a way to share my table with my friends and family back home. I don’t want to let go and have it disappear, but as a blogger who has lost her point of view and inspiration, I do need to reimagine and reconnect with the blog as a way untethering the cord to South Africa.