A travelers pursuit

June 11th, 2020

We travel to see what’s portrayed on postcards from a different angle, to taste fruit that grow in foreign soil and to breathe pollution from a different source. We travel to hear laughter, love and loathing in a language we don’t understand, to feel liberated, rewarded and enriched in ways we can’t explain. We travel in the hopes of encountering the unknown – a brave quest in search of the sacred apple, driven by our wild desire to Know… what?

I spent a quarter of a century within the borders of my beloved home country, South Africa. When I left for the first time I knew there was a fair chance I would never want to go back. And I didn’t. Not yet.

I spent a year in the USA where I really grew into myself. I became the me that I wanted to be, where absolutely everything was new. Everything but myself. It was like recognizing my reflection in the mirror, but in a different room – the person staring back seemed enhanced. Fuller.

A drop of fulfillment makes you realize just how empty you were to begin with.

I lived and worked in Seattle, so I saw quite a bit of the PNW where I discovered my love for hiking and outdoor adventure. I got to put a tick next to my very first dream destination, New York, where I called my mom to seek pity for the penniless (that’s me, I was penniless!). I spent some time along the Southern coast of California, witnessed a donut fight on a street corner in Portland and went to a jazz concert in New Orleans. That year was a trip to say the least.

Before leaving the States I already knew that my journey abroad wasn’t over. I was already dreaming about my next step, which turned out to be more of a leap as it lead me to a position where I get to travel all over the world!

In the past year I traveled to over 20 countries. However brief some visits may be, it always adds to my perspective. The highlights would be places I spent more time at, like Ireland and Peru, where my love for the outdoors continued to grow.

Along the route of self-discovery I learned that I have a deeply rooted passion for exploring different ways of life. In future travels I hope to commit my time to remote communities, become close-knitted with their culture and be an asset to their developmental structures.

Looking back on my younger self, I remember I could never truthfully answer the ‘five year plan’ question. Travel became my driving force, the only experience I’m able to take direction from. Only since I started traveling was I able to say “I know what I want to do next“.

I admire people who knew at the age of five that they wanted to become a doctor, a teacher or a parent. For a long time I thought, because I didn’t “Know”, that I was lost. Travel gave me the opportunity not only to set my dreams into motion, but also to get to Know myself.

I may not know exactly where I’m going, but I know that I’m far from lost.

What does travel mean to you?

40 thoughts on “A travelers pursuit

    1. Thanks! That was at the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland earlier this year – it was a spontaneous trip and turned out to be just in time before Corona hit. I fell in love with the Irish countryside, hope to go there again someday πŸ˜€

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  1. Wow, I’ve travelled a lot near my continent (Southeast Asia), but would love to someday go to the places you’ve been. Travel has helped me see the world through another lens, and to borrow the cliche, it’s helped me see what we have in common through our differences. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yeah it’s always interesting to see how we are all similar in so many ways, and a good way to learn from each other. I hope you get to travel further away from home in the future – even though traveling close to home is just as fulfilling. I would love to spend more time exploring parts of South Africa that I’ve not yet seen, and some of our neighbor countries such as Namibia… Thanks so much for reading, I appreciate it!

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  2. I really enjoy reading about your adventures! Your journey enchanting to follow! Keep up the writing and I will continue to look forward to each entry. ❀️ Jackie

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    1. Hi Jackie, thank you so much. I look forward to sharing more as soon as life goes back to normal, but for now I enjoy having the time to look back on experiences of the past. Interesting to see how it all came together without me ever really having a “plan”. I hope you’re well ❀ I really appreciate your interest in my blog!

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  3. Wonderfully written! Like you, I had some doubts of what I wanted to do after university. It wasn’t until I was 22 and moved abroad to France, in which I stayed for four years and discovered my passion for travel. I was like you, and I visited 15 countries in the first year I was there, and from then on it was non-stop! While I still don’t know exactly what I want to do in life, I know that travel will always be there with me along the way. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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    1. We have a lot in common. If we ever meet for a coffee I bet we’ll sit and talk for hours! πŸ™‚ I’m inspired by all your travels and I love reading the insights you share about places you’ve visited. I can see your journey has given you great perspective and I admire that – being open to what you encounter along the way and allowing it to change your outlook/thoughts. Love it!

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  4. Freedom is what travel means to me. It has helped me to enjoy life in the times when I didn’t know what path I wanted to take. And taking an unknown path is not the same as being lost! Another great write up Nads.

    Also I am getting anxiety seeing you so close to that cliff edge xD I keep picturing it being a windy day being in Ireland! Haha.

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    1. It’s nice to know that, wherever we are in life, travel is always an available option…and will always be rewarding!
      Hah it was pretty windy but I can’t just go to a 200m high cliff and NOT stand close to the edge. My dad’s first comment was not “wow that’s so pretty” but instead “WHY ARE YOU SO CLOSE TO THE EDGE!?” I got a thrill out of it so it was worth it πŸ˜€ Lucky for you, since you’re a photographer, you can hide behind your camera and take pictures of crazy people like me from a safe distance πŸ˜‰

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      1. I’m getting sweaty palms just looking at the photo! I am certainly in my comfort zone behind the camera taking shots of other people up to such antics, haha. But a great shot nevertheless πŸ™‚

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  5. What does travel mean for me? At the moment, the only travel I wish for is the one which will allow me and my husband to meet :), and that’s not on the horizon … But in times of peace, traveling makes you more aware of how countries and places differ one from another, how different people may think differently, and love different things. Traveling enriches my experience and understanding of the world around me.

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    1. Thanks for sharing Hettie! I’m sorry you and your husband got separated by all that’s going on 😦 I’m also starting to miss home and my family more than I miss jet setting to new places, and now I know what a great priviledge it is to be able to go visit them so easily when life is normal. Where is your husband at the moment?

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      1. He is in Finland, so he is as safe as possible these days. We are just wondering, how much longer…

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    1. Thanks Jenny, the photo is a great solo travel memory I’m fond of – especially since it was my last trip before Corona cancelled 2020! 8 years is a long time, but life’s pretty enough in the UK (at least that’s my opinion!) and being a full time blogger must be an adventure in itself! Virtual travel is a thing now, anyway πŸ˜‰

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  6. This is so inspiring, your post is making me want to travel right now!! Beautiful photo too btw! I’m a bit similar. For a long time I also didn’t know what I want to do, and travelling to Peru has helped me learn more about myself. I actually never loved travelling until I started travelling alone…and now travel has become a way to connect with myself deeper and the world.

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    1. Hey Kae, thank you! Just had a look at your blog and gave you a follow – we can definitely relate to one another when it comes to our journeys abroad and our drive to take self-discovery to the next level πŸ˜€ let’s hope life goes back to normal soon so we can share more experiences!

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  7. I wish I could also travel like you! So far, I’ve only been to 2 countries in Southeast Asia. I’m from the Philippines and my country has more than 7 thousand islands, so even if it’s not out of the country, I’m so down for it! πŸ™ŒπŸΌ

    Travelling makes me get to know myself too and it surprises me that I can do so much more than what I know. It really gives me new perspectives about life and humanity. 😊

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    1. Hi Jirah, thanks so much for taking interest in my blog. I think local travels are just as life-enriching as traveling abroad. I also aspire to travel more in my home country one day. As much as traveling abroad broadens our perspective, I think it’s very important to explore what’s close to home as it all plays such a big role in who we are and where we come from. And like you say, it’s full of surprises πŸ˜‰

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