Pictured above: Lorraine on Twin Peaks, overlooking San Fransisco
Depending on the type of person you are, the idea of travelling to a foreign place is either terrifying or exciting. I happen to fall in the latter category. From as young as 10 I had a strong desire to be where I’m not. I guess I suffered from what is now popularly known as FOMO (fear of missing out).
And so at the age of 12 I got my first scratch of my itchy feet when I relocated to Swaziland for boarding school. Fresh out of Alexandra Township, I had a very limited command of the English language, but I was still very excited at the opportunity to go to an international school. I soon learnt that once you’ve been bitten by the travel bug, it’s got you!
My next adventure saw me going to the USA and later to France to further my studies. Between boarding a plane for the first time and not being able to speak a foreign language, foreign travel can seem overwhelming. Nonetheless, I believe there’s a gypsy in all of us. All it takes is that first step onto a plane… and maybe a few deep breaths during take-off…
Here are a few tips to help satisfy your wanderlust:
- Start local
Metropolitan Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town are good places to get your feet wet. They represent a very diverse population, which will help you to get out your comfort zone without being too far from home.
- Travelling abroad?
Buy a bilingual foreign dictionary or take basic conversational classes before your trip. Once there, don’t be scared to practise – talk to locals in their native tongue and see what happens. A good translation app for your smart phone will also come in very handy. Make sure you get one that works offline, like Google Translate, and download the languages you need before you leave.
- Young and can’t afford travel?
Scholarships are a great way to experience a world that would otherwise seem unattainable. I believe it’s necessary to experience a culture outside of your own, whether for leisure or on an academic basis.
On this note, young black child, you can also take your itchy feet from the dusty streets of the township to anywhere on earth, because opportunities exist. Once you are comfortable with international travel, the world is your oyster/pap and vleis; as you wish.
Working at CN&CO has been amazing for me so far as it’s given me exposure to other people who love to travel, as well as travel brands such as Club Med that make me want to scratch my feet once again!
“I haven’t seen everywhere, but it’s on my list.” – Susan Sontag