i’ve never been to a more exceptional place.
sure it could be that i’ve never been out of the country before. it could be that i haven’t traveled much of the US, seen national parks or any of the wonders of the world (unless a full fridge counts)… or it could be that South Africa is truly exceptional. impressively beautiful and torn. astoundingly pure and impossibly corrupt. maybe all of these attributes make it unique and similar all at once.
how could that be? you feel like you’re at home but you’re in a foreign place. does this happen to everyone? does this happen everywhere you travel? i guess that’s something i’ll have to answer for myself at some point.
but Cape Town. talk about beautiful. doing research and seeing the pictures didn’t do it justice; not in the least. even though i have a handful of friends who have visited or are from there who somewhat prepared me, it didn’t matter. the drive in alone was an experience i could have never anticipated.
i’ve struggled to write this post and i think it’s because i don’t know where to start. it was truly life-changing and i mean that in the most least-lame way. noticeably life changing. i have one person in particular to thank for this and it’s one of my closest friends, Aryn. she’s traveled to so many incredible places and for her to ask me on this epic trip with her, i am truly still ecstatic. so thank you Aryn for giving me a once in a lifetime experience of leaving the country for the first time. YOU AH AHMAZING. seriously so much love.
i’ve thought about how to break this post up- to do it by days, to talk about the culture, and atmosphere, and feeling. but it’s all too much. so i think the best way for now, at least until I'm able to fully decompress this experience, i’ll break it out by parts. this first part i’ll talk about the people.
people | part one of a million
maybe it was our mood but every single person we met in cape town was, or seemed like, the best person ever. from the employees at our hostels who (forcibly) became our closest friends, to the fellow americans who spotted us from miles away, to the native South Africans who kept Aryn’s wallet from being stolen our first night there….. just genuine people.
our first night we went for a relaxing appetizer and bottle of wine. this turned into stumbling into a hostel we would soon stay at (Once in Cape Town), meeting our new best friend Lou, eating pizza from with strangers, taking tequila shots with an orange, tabasco, and brown sugar, going to a speakeasy dance party, and almost losing Aryn’s wallet. definitely not what we planned. the people we met that night set the tone for our entire trip. not only did we see Lou the next day, but we met people that night who we’d recognize throughout Cape Town for days to come.. were we just that much fun or were these just nice people? i’ll go with both.
we met Dion, a 60 something year old who drove us an hour back into town when we couldn’t find a cab. he had been skydiving over 1,000 times and usually went above the legal height to do so. Aryn was thrilled at this. i tried not to vom in his van. this story all took place driving through the mountains overlooking where the indian and atlantic oceans meet…casual. he also ran a volunteer program where people from all over would come and stay at his house with his wife and teach children and do volunteer projects. he had so many incredible stories that made our trip with him go by far too quickly
we met Laurence, our tour guide to took us we to the penguin beach and cape point. Laurence took a van full of strangers who couldn’t be more opposite and made us a family for the day. the great thing about every tour guide we had was their ability to bring a random group of people together.
we met nichay who was undoubtedly the most important person we met on the trip. she booked every single excursion for us through our first hostel Mojo. from the day long wine tour to sand boarding, she made sure every single day was packed.
even the people we met along the way who’s names we didn’t get or couldn't remember, they made us laugh with them, at ourselves, made us appreciate going through a struggle of an almost two hour hike while hungover, and made us love the moment we were all a part of.
talk about heart wrenching.
so that’s all i have for now because if i don’t stop this will turn into a book of how i love every person we met and how Aryn and i are moving there and no one wants to be bored by my life plans.
part two will be more excursion focused, i just needed to get all the ~feels~ out.
message me, email, comment, text if you have questions or if you’re going to cape town at some point! i’ll have tons more info soon i promise.