I feel very fortunate to have travelled as much as I have in the twelve years since I first travelled out of South Africa. While it might not seem like a lot to some, having a house, mortgage, kids and all the trappings that come with that i.e. school fees, home maintenance etc., I feel like I did rather well. While I was younger and raising my children, the thought of an overseas trip was incomprehensible. It wasn’t even on my radar as something I particularly wanted to do. Now, it’s first and foremost in my mind as to what trip and which country I want to see and do next. My next few posts are going to be about travel I have already done and then the finale will be my bucket list of where I still want to go.
My first trip out of South Africa was when I was already 32 years old in 2005. My youngest child was only 2 years old but ex-husband No. 2’s oldest friend was getting married on Bazaruto Island and it was important that we attend as he was one of the best men – Andrew couldn’t choose so he had three best men! Because the couple were dive instructors and diving was their passion, going to the wedding also meant getting PADI certified so we could go diving every day. Sounds like a holiday straight from heaven right? WRONG! First of all, the wedding was in May so we had to do the dive preparation in Cape Town in April. This entailed getting into freezing cold water Atlantic seaboard water in order to get the certification – there was no way around it. Hours and hours of this plus an exam had to be passed. This all with a very challenging 2 year old who never slept. Looking back if I had to do it all again I would have put my foot down and demanded that snorkeling was good enough for me. I did not take well to diving. The whole process just seemed like too much effort for something you could see anyway, with a snorkel.
Anyway, the week we spent there, bar the diving, was magical. And to be fair, on the one day we dived we got up close and personal with a whale shark which was just surreal and probably one of the most tranquil, otherworldly experiences of my life. It’s very rare to see one whilst diving so even I, with all my bitching and moaning about the diving, was suitably awe-inspired with that experience.
The resort we stayed at was right on the beach and every day we were there was luxurious, chilled and fun.
The wedding itself was also the most magical, amazing wedding I have ever attended. The best part was that everyone was barefoot! We partied hard into the night and I am sad to say that a whole day on the island was wasted the next day due to the most severest of hangovers. 😦
The wedding party was there for two weeks but we couldn’t afford to stay for that long because of money and also because we had 3 kids at home so we had to leave before everyone else, which was horrible. We did however, manage to spend a night on the mainland, in a little Mozambican village called Vilanculous. We stayed in a tiny rondavel (hut) for the night, covered in a mosquito net with a bucket to pee in because well, to get to the nearest toilet was a challenge at best. I’m not sure if it was the greatest idea to end our resort holiday like that but it was definitely the beginning of my travel bug and my realisation that to go to a resort for a holiday and not experience anything else of the culture of the country you are visiting, was not a good idea and a bit of a waste of money. Vilanculous showed us the real Mocambique with a taste of the real people. Very poor, very friendly and the cashew nuts could be bought for a steal!