This journey started with one last sleep at my home in Southern California. It now ends with one last sleep in what has become my second home. The Mother City has given me the opportunity to live an entirely new way of life in the most beautiful and breath-taking place. She has awakened my love of travel and spontaneity. She allowed me to become a better leader with an open mind, and presented me with challenges that I would not give up for the world. From the countless laughs and escapades with friends, I realized how important it was to make connections with people that are drastically different from myself. Like the boys from The Buried Life always say, “Everyone has an incredible story to tell”. It was these candid and genuine stories that gave me a true understanding of what it is to be South African.
This will be the first time in my life that I do not want to go to the airport. Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I LOVE airports. They’re exciting, and the feeling of change and adventure runs through them. However, this visit will be the toughest of them all. Of course I am stoked to see my family and friends, eat my favorite foods, and visit my favorite places. I feel myself being pulled back home. On the other hand, Cape Town has just as tight of a grip. Over the 4.5 months I’ve been here, I have become part of a family, gained brilliant friendships, and discovered favorite foods and places.
There is no doubt in my mind that I will be back as soon as it is financially and diplomatically possible. There is something about living in this country that is impossible to explain, but it brings an energy that we have only just tapped into. I wish I had more time, but I know that I have to get on that plane.
I want to thank everyone that has made this semester an experience that will truly affect the rest of my life. No matter how short our contact, it happened for a reason. I would not change anything.
If I could give one piece of advice for anyone planning to study abroad, I would tell them to choose Cape Town. South Africa is portrayed by the media as a dangerous and corrupted country, but I have never found more pride, joy, energy, love and beauty in any other place. It is the most life changing city on the planet, and you will be surprised at how attached you become to the rainbow nation. Just as I felt numerous conflicting emotions hours before my initial flight, all those feelings are rushing back. Having to say goodbyes this past week was heart-breaking. But it was never really a goodbye. It was always a see you later. As I left the Bloukrans Bungy Bridge for my second time, our main instructor Johan looked at me and said “Don’t be a stranger now.”
Here’s to you Cape Town, we will never be strangers again.
Thanks for reading!