Two December holidays ago saw my younger brother and I hit the road for what I thought would be just another roadtrip. We decided that we would explore the Southern Cape, the Klein Karoo, Bits of the Eastern Cape, Lesotho. Then Pretoria for Christmas with the Family, before going back to the Western Cape via Kimberley. This break was more than I could have asked for. This would be the most memorable trip I have ever had the pleasure of taking. There were two notable elements that defined the trip and I will summarise them in two words: Growing Pains.
Firstly, this roadtrip was one of growth. I travel a lot. And I have had the opportunity to travel with my brother across the world. We had gotten used to each others habits and know what works best for the both of us, and what makes for the best experience on the road. This time it was different, and thus the learning began. Growing up means growing apart, growing individually, but it also means re-introducing yourselves. My brother has done a lot of growing, and I learnt that he had come to his own. He had a gone through a long journey of discovery, and had come out a different person. In a sense of unfamiliarity, that was hard at first to get to know. I found myself re-learning what it means to be an individual, and what it means to be a sibling.
Secondly, the trip was also full of travel logistical nightmares. Some highlights were losing air-conditioning on the very first day, in the heat of Summer. Loadshedding! You’d think it wouldn’t be much of a problem until you reach a town that also loses communication when it loses electricity, shout out to Bugersdorp ;), in the Eastern Cape. The car also briefly got stuck in the mud in Mafeteng, completely my fault, luckily we had help from the local kids hat were playing in the street. The engine overheating on our way to Mohale Dam, with the nearest garage being over 120 km behind us. And did I mention the heat.
Through all of this, we got to explore amazing places and see the beauty of what the Cape and Lesotho have to offer. Jumping from one small town to the next, we were aiming for adventure and to meet new people.
All of these elements really brought out all of me. I had a completely new perspective that was both familiar and unfamiliar. Truly embraced the moments. And made this trip unforgettable. This road trip gave meaning to sense of place, as it involved me mentally, emotionally and physically. I have gone with this outlook for every journey since…
In this next series of posts, I hope to show the reader some grand places to spend in the summer, but at the same time also give you a little bit of a personal journey. Please enjoy my next series Through My Lens.
Through My Lens series is a new project that looks at some of my favourite adventures through a series of simple images. The purpose of the project came about when I found that it was difficult to embody long, adventurous trips in one post. So rather than writing lengthy insights of those places, it would be far better for the reader to experience them as I did, visually.
Sense of place…. “The feel of the sun on your face or the rain on your back, the rough and smooth textures of the land, the color of the sky at morning and sunset, the fragrance of the plants blooming in season, the songs and antics of birds and the cautious ramblings of mammals are environmental influences that help to define a place. Memories of personal and cultural experiences over time make a place special, favorite objects that shape to your hand or body with use, songs or dances that emerge from the people of a place, special skills you develop to enjoy your area–these too help to define a place and anchor you in it. Through time, shared experiences and stories help to connect place and people and to transmit feelings of place from generation to generation.” – Dr Thomas. A Woods.