In the midst of a global pandemic, our program has come to a sudden end. Relieved to be home in a time of crisis, yet sad to be away from the most beautiful city in the world; I am full of many conflicting emotions. Since school was closed in our last week, we set out to create the most fulfilling and adventurous final days abroad. We pet cheetahs, tried ostrich at Mayo in Kirstenbosch, went seal diving AGAIN (cause it was the coolest thing ever!), hiked downward to isolated beaches at Cape Point (I’m afraid I’ll never find anything better than Dias Beach), watched baby baboons jump car to car, confronted an Eland that stood between us and our rental car, chilled with penguins at Sea Fourth, sat on the edge of a cliff at Chapman’s peak to watch the sunset, and finally spent the last evening exchanging curry and samoosas at Sundoo in town. And just like that, I was standing in a mostly packed up room at 4:30 am wishing to do it all again tomorrow. Unfortunately, it was time to go home.
My best piece of advice is to research your country and ask questions, but know you will never truly understand your new home until you get there. You’ll find your own go-to restaurant (Timbuktu Cafe), your favorite study spot on campus (Jeans Kitchen), and your niche (always saying yes to food and a good hike). The best parts of the journey are ahead. For now, do your best to prepare so you feel comfortable and are safe when you are finally there.
There is much I want to say and much more to learn. There are safaris to go on, wineries to hit, more mountains to climb, and much to do again. There is no doubt in my mind, I will come back to Cape Town. In the meantime, I hope to help those who are planning to go abroad in the future. Whether you’re traveling to Europe or Asia, South America or Africa, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I stayed with two host families in Japan, studied abroad in England for two weeks, and played soccer in the Netherlands and Argentina. Now with almost two months of traveling and studying in South Africa under my belt, I hope I can answer questions from first-time travelers and provide helpful information to anyone curious about those places specifically!