Sometime last year I read an article about the long term effects of global warming on some of the most beautiful places in the world. It mentioned that a few countries (mostly in the tropics) may be submerged as a result of rising water levels within 5 years. On that list there was one tropical island I had always dreamed of exploring – the beautiful Maldives. I came home and told Derek all about this and how we were running out of time and needed to visit the Maldives as soon as possible. We agreed to travel there this September and I started saving up for this big trip.
That discussion started a chain-reaction though, and we realized how unhappy we were doing what we were doing. Derek had always spoken of us one day having a little bungalow on the beach of a beautiful island, running tours with me possibly opening the best juice bar on that island. To be honest I do not remember the exact details of how we ended up deciding that we would sell everything and start travelling, but I do know that it stems from us not being happy with what we were doing at the time and needing a change.
For someone who has never been outside of Africa this is quite a big deal for me. At first when I told my mom she was confused by this concept because we do not know of anyone from where I live who has done what I will be doing so she needed to understand what it was all about and as soon as she did she was very open and interested about it. My grandmother on the other hand was just baffled by all these plans to travel as she felt that after people graduate they then get a good job, buy stuff (a house, a car and other materialistic things) and if they are lucky they get married, have children and that’s their life. So she still doesn’t understand it but she has accepted that it is what I want to do and it’s happening.
For someone who comes from Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, things like this do not happen quite often and when I was young I had dreams of conquering the corporate world and make lots of money which led me to come to Cape Town where I studied at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and obtained my diploma in Entrepreneurship & Business Management. But, little did I know that in South Africa that is not really a sought-after qualification. As much as I had so much knowledge and understanding of the business world companies had no idea where to place me. So I struggled to find my dream job and while searching I got a job at a retail store. One horrible year later I left it for a call centre job which proved to be also a disaster and there I was hopping from job to job…lost. Then while I was at my last call centre job we made a decision to live a nomadic lifestyle, travel, volunteer, teach kids to speak English and even learn to grow our own food.
The idea of leaving everything behind is very scary, sad and also very liberating in a way because where I come from you are kind of told how you should be and how to behave so to have the ability to choose who I want to be, live my life the way that I want to and just become a better version of myself is so empowering. After we decided to leave I actually went on Youtube where I got a lot of inspiration from like-minded people and I started following the journey of a woman called Ellen Fisher She left her career and family in California to go live in Maui with her husband and they later had two beautiful island babies, growing their own food and just sharing with the world their vegan lifestyle. She just kept on inspiring me to live a more holistic, simple and healthy lifestyle filled with love, kindness and happiness.
With just 39 days left till we leave our beloved country, I am feeling very ready for anything that will come my way. I am very inexperienced when it comes to travelling as I have only been to one place outside South Africa and that was Mauritius but Derek has been to nearly 40 countries so it will be very interesting.
Travelling is such a wonderful privilege and with this blog we also want to show people who thought the idea of travelling is too far-fetched for them that it is possible. You can travel and not spend a lot of money. There are different kinds of travellers and we hope to be the travellers who inspire people to go forth and do what they’ve always wanted to do. It doesn’t have to be travelling – it could be starting your own business or organic farm…anything.
Leaving everything behind does not just apply to friends, family, people and jobs but also attitudes, stereotyping, negativity and just allowing myself to be more open minded, creative, welcoming and accepting of things that I may think are different from what I’m used to as I become a world citizen.