Mayan renewal?

Er… where did the time go?

I did a duck and booked myself on a last minute overland tour to Namibia – I know, what South African would do that? You can just drive there. Well, it was awesome and I had a blast and it was affordable too. I am thinking about doing similar things to Botswana and behond in the future, if I can afford it.

I highly recommend Acacia Africa for any overland tour you want to do in Africa. Our guides were beyond awesome. It does involve daily camping and chores, so be warned. For me, travelling with people from all over the world who were excited to be in Africa and keen and eager to see everything, and above all, happy to rough it, was the best part. I don’t think I will forget the crazy New Yorker who kept me howling with laughter and made us play flip cup with champagne, of which he bought 5 bottles, or the quiet Brit, who after a few beers ended up wheeling 3 Namibian girls to his hostel room in a trolley…  It was my first time at a game reserve ever, and my first time seeing lions and elephants and giraffes and RHINOS in the wild. So a pretty big deal. There was a dead body incident in the Orange River. It gives me shivers to think about that, what a way to end a year for the poor guy.

I was suffering, and still am, from that unemployment depression that gets me every time. I think it has been worse this time than ever before, probably because of my age and despair over my lack of employability. So when you are feeling blue about not working, I think the sensible decision is to blow your savings on travelling, right? Right.

So yeah, New Year’s eve. What a crazy year. I could scroll through each year I have written on this blog, and each entry would be about how little happened, about life just sort of happening and flowing on. Last year on New Year’s eve I was at work, and went to bed at 10.30pm!

I cannot claim that this year. It was a different one, and hard one, the hardest in a while. Never underestimate the stress and turmoil that emigrating entails.

This year I travelled to seven new countries:

  • Berlin and Frankfurt, Germany
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Drove Italy from North to South
  • Mexico, Belize and Guatemala
  • my last minute trip to Namibia

We also went to Dubai but that is like our second home as it is where the BFG’s parents live.

The reason I travelled so much was because I realise that travelling from South Africa is more difficult and more expensive than from the UK, so I planned to get it all out of my system and then be able to focus on travelling around Southern Africa.

Well, I failed. As of right now I am checking out flights to Asia, to South America. I really thought I was ready to grow up and settle down, but something about this last spate of depression, I am finding it harder than ever to do anything but be on the road. One problem: money?

We moved country, after 9 years in the UK. IT was hard, the leaving. I don’t think I have had the time to cultivate connections with people like that for a while, so breaking the bonds was tough. It sucked so much and it still does.  Not working sucks too, and the realisation that my nearly 6 years of professional experience are seen in SA as prolonged studying, after all working in a University means you can do what you want and work when you want, right? Hmmm. Or not.

I think I need some time to recover from the rollercoaster that was this year. I should add that a day before I left for Namibia I got a last minute acceptance to a Masters course, so I will be a student for the next two years – me, at age 32. Not someone who even thinks of themselves as a scientist. Well, we will see how it goes. My travelling fund will be severely restricted, that is for sure.

Peace out, world, til 2013.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Helen
    Jan 04, 2013 @ 11:17:57

    Happy new year!

    And I love Namibia. Where did you go? And so many South Africans are so stuck in the Joburg-Cape-Town-Durban-Kruger Park rut that they forget there is a whole amazing continent right here! Even within South Africa there are amazing places, you just have to look. And ask. And find out the hard way :p

    good luck with the Masters, let me know if you need any proofreading or general sounding-board for the university-inspired rants!


  2. poseamonkey
    Jan 04, 2013 @ 15:40:06

    Happy New Year to you too, Helen! Namibia was so cool but there are many places we did not go so I hope to revisit with the BFG. Soon! We went to Fish River Canyon and Sesriem and stayed in some amazing remote campsites in the desert and Swakopmund and Spitzkoppe and Etosha. That is it. I know there is more to see. Also we stopped on the Orange river, which was stunning.

    There are so many places I have not been just in South Africa that I experience mild panic attacks just thinking about it. How do we see all these places if we have to work?? But at the moment because I am in SA with the idea that it is hard to travel from here and I will be a student with no money and maybe I will never get to go to Bolivia etc I immediately want to jump on a plane and go NOW. Am still tempted to go somewhere else this month.

    I am very conflicted about being a student, I really want to work, to feel like an adult, it is making me feel a bit screwed up, not sure if it is what I want, not sure what I want at all. I also don’t know what my project will be yet, although I know the general field. I applied for this bursary and they said the successful applicant would be notified in October – they notified me that I was successful two weeks ago- so obviously I am not their first choice. All I have heard from them is that in Feb I must sign something to receive some funding money, no idea what my project will be or when I will start. It is pretty weird and I just want to have some idea of what is going on!

    Sorry for the long rambling reply, I appreciate your offer of help and of rant support :)


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