SOUTH AFRICA: JUST THE BEGINNING

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I'm finally here. The place where I have wanted to be since December. The place where I have the opportunity to experience new cultures, people, and things. How surreal this whole situation feels. I'm on the other side of the world, in a different time zone, away from my family, and yet it all feels right. I'm finally in the beautiful South Africa!

Although I would love to say that the voyage over to South Africa was just as easy as adjusting to the time difference, I'd be lying. It was extremely stressful. Starting the trip off with confusion regarding my luggage and when I needed to retrieve it, should've been the first sign of trouble but with my excitement taking over, I pushed it in the back off my mind and continued on my way. Everything seemed to become real once I took my seat on the overwhelming double decker airplane that was about to take me out of the United States. On my 15 hour flight to my next stop, Dubai, I got absolutely no sleep due to a crying child (which, let me tell you, was not ideal).

On top of no sleep, stress about my luggage, and an incredibly long layover in Dubai, sickness filled my body due to exhaustion. Before my flight to Durban, I began feeling ill. All while I was sitting in my aisle seat, everything became hazy. The room started spinning as I swear the plane had taken off. After getting sick, I look out the window and to my surprise we haven't even taken off yet. Just imagine how I felt after that. The only thing getting me through another 8 hour flight was the thought of sleep once I arrived.

As you can tell, the trip to South Africa didn't exactly go as planned. Although I expected to breeze through it with no problems at all, it was definitely good to experience the negative aspects of flying as it would've happened sooner or later. I'm just thankful that I arrived safely with no (major) complications.

After the flight and an extremely long sleep, the adventure finally started to feel like a reality! Within my first six days, I have already experienced monkeys and hornbills in the garden, my first braai (barbecue as us Americans say it), many different foods and drinks, new friends, nature at my finger tips, and so much more. The amount I have been able to do in such a short amount of time leaves me breathless. I really do think South Africa will be filled with memories I will cherish for a lifetime and it's just the beginning! Stay tuned for more adventures to come!
All pictures taken by me at the Kloof Gorge. If you would like to see daily posts and pictures, feel free to follow me on Instagram and Twitter.

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