The week or so of time that you get between the first and second half of the spring semester is commonly known as spring break. But here in South Africa it was winter when we finally got our break.
Break gave me a lot of time to explore, sleep and of course complete school work (because do students ever truly get a break?). In the next few paragraphs I will be discussing a few highlights of my week.
Honestly one of the coolest experiences: I traveled to Hout Bay on a perfect 78 degree and sunny day with my friends Delaney and Robyn. Not going to lie, we were super pumped to get up close and personal with the seals. When we first got there we got our wetsuits on and met some of the staff. The boat ride out to the spot where we would be snorkeling was a little chilly and a lot bumpy! Just the first sight of the seals had me super excited. The water of course was FREEZING, but the wetsuit helped a lot. We spent close to an hour swimming around and trying to capture photos with underwater disposable cameras. I low-key was determined to just touch one, but whenever I was right there, they would just spaz and swim away. There were so many seals around, but the pups were by far the cutest. Once snorkeling concluded, we climbed back into the boat (not as graceful as it sounds) and were greeted with hot chocolate and cookies. I couldn’t stop smiling on the way back even though I knew my hair was sticking up and I had goggle rings on my face.You know those experiences where you look ridiculous but it doesn’t even phase you because you are having the best of times, yeah… this was definitely it!
A few of my friends had it on their Cape Town bucket list to see the big five: the African Elephant, the Cape Buffalo, Leopard, Lion and Rhinoceros. This led to our trip to the Aquila Safari for some weekend adventures. Everything was great from beginning to end. When we arrived, we were greeted with warm smiles and a glass of wine (don’t mind if I do!). Before checking into our rooms we enjoyed an amazing lunch, it was ridiculously delicious. For the weekend, Delaney and I shared one room on one side of the resort and Robyn and Riley on the other. Honestly, it was nice to stay somewhere other than are dorm rooms. During our stay, we had two game drives: one was that day from 4PM to 6PM and our second was the next day at 6:30...AM!! During our game drives we saw the following: elephants, hippopotamuses, lions, zebras, giraffes (my favorite), cape buffalo, rhinoceros, ostriches (not my favorite, but close!), and some others but I’m spacing. During the night we got to star gaze and look at a few planets through a telescope. My favorite part was definitely the morning game drive (at 6:30 am) because there’s nothing better than a hot cup of coffee, the sunrise, wildlife and being snuggled up in a blanket with your friends. 11/10 would recommend!
Ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day? It was rhetorical, of course you do! We all have those days where we just go-go-go and don’t have anytime to spend with ourselves. Having the free time over break to run, sleep and hike was refreshing. Self care is really important to living a healthy life and to feeling well. As do many students, I tend to not prioritize this aspect of my life due to the stress of deadlines for assignments and so many other pressing issues. We can’t control everything in our lives and that can cause a lot of stress, but one thing we can do is make time for the things that we love- for the things that make us happy. Since break, I have made it more of a priority and I can see a huge difference.
Find whatever works for you and stick with it!