This is our second winning entry for our Amateur Blogger Contest. Heather describes in rich detail why she loves to travel and why South Africa in particular, holds such a special place in her heart. Join in a discussion with her here:
North & South America, China, Egypt, Australasia, and just about every corner of Europe all evoke memories intrinsic to my collection of alluring reflections. A miscellany of ventures brought to mind bring back my first trip through South Africa and deep into the bushveld. An arid African landscape met up with a hazy golden horizon, gradually coalesce into a jewel toned sky, dotted with the occasional cumulus cloud. Sporadically placed Umbrella Thorn Trees and randomly positioned boulders break up the otherwise sweeping terrain.
The native people of South Africa possess a genuine quality. A quality that brings me a sense of welcome, no matter the circumstance. A visit with children living in villages on the outskirts of Nelspruit accentuate the sincerity and warmth these individuals embody, despite our evident differences in living conditions.
As we move on to our safari camp withinSabi Sands Private Game Reserve, our hostess amiably escorts us to our cottage beside the dry river bed. As the evening progresses, the roar of a lion resonates through thin walls as we lie awake in anticipation of the A.M. game drive.
There is never a shortage of wildlife sightings within Sabi Sands. Our open air Land Rover brings us within arms reach of a lioness and her cub, tree dwelling leopards, prowling hyenas, and the list goes on. Later, a sunset cocktail stop amidst lurking fauna truly is an experience like none other.
Initially, South Africa was never a destination I had any desire to visit. If it weren’t for my husband’s constant raving about this spectacular place, I would have never given myself the opportunity to endure the most awe-inspiring, captivating experience of my life. The energy this land emanates is otherworldly, and further words would only detract from it’s indescribable essence. I can’t help but reminisce on these unrivaled memories. It somehow feels like I’m coming home each time I return to my beloved South Africa.
To pinpoint the very reason travel has become such a dominant part of my existence, I merely took a moment to look back through life. Our family’s first move from San Francisco to the redwood mountains above Santa Cruz (at the age of nine months) was my introduction to a lifetime of travel… never again spending more than a year in any one locale. Although most of my childhood was based in various Hawaiian zip codes, three months a year would be spent traveling abroad as mom taught massage therapy, yoga and vegan nutrition at retreat centers internationally.
Needless to say, the constant moving was difficult, however, I eventually learned not only to appreciate it, but have come to expect these all too familiar disruptions to my daily routine. Essentially, my life has been built around constant travel, and I invariably live each day in anticipation of what captivating destination might be lurking right around the corner