My Tattoo

Mikayla Tetreault University of Cape Town, South Africa


April 4, 2016

I am a firm believer that there are only two things that you carry with you forever: memories and tattoos.

They are the only things that you take to your grave. People change, circumstances change, even you yourself change. But memories and tattoos are permanent. Memories are these special little moments that you can preserve and tuck away into a little corner of your mind and take back out when you want to remember them. That is why I choose to make as many memories as I can and it is also why I choose to ink the things that mean the most to me onto my skin so that I can carry them with me, not only in my memory, but on my body, as well.

I can safely say that I am making enough memories here in Cape Town to last a lifetime. I am so blessed to be able to visit this beautiful country. I get to live in a breathtaking location, but I also get to meet extroardinary people, experience a completely different culture than my own, and learn about all of the above. I have had so many incredible experiences, from driving Chapman's peak to roaming Kirstenbosch Gardens to exploring Observatory (the neighborhood I live in) to making some amazing new friends. My time here has been eye-opening and life-changing and it's not even over yet. I can't wait for what more I have in store. I could write novels on some of the experiences I have had and believe me, there will be more blog posts coming about the big ones.

While living in a city as spectacular as this one, it is easy to forget that I'm not just a temporary expat, but a student, as well. The 26,000 student University of Cape Town is quite different from Arcadia and it is taking some time to get used to. There are very few similarities to the small, personalized university setting that I am used to. Mix that with the loads of course reading and essays that my classes require and I'm left feeling a bit overwhelmed.

However, it's at times like these, when I'm feeling overwhelmed, that I remember my most recent tattoo that I got for my 20th birthday in January. It says “Where are your feet?” which is something that my mom always says to me when I am feeling stressed out or worried. It reminds me to look at where I am right now and live in the moment. Right now, my feet are in Cape Town and there's nowhere else I would rather they were. I am looking forward to enjoying the rest of my time in the amazing country of South Africa while I continue to learn, explore, and make memories.


South Africa