Having to share about my travel experiences feels like those days in school when we had to write an essay about our holiday. Growing up in the village of Ga-Masemola, with no access to many resources such as electricity, it meant that we did not have access to television. Therefore, the only access to information was through radio and reading. I could only produce an imaginary holiday. I am grateful that we were allowed to dream fearlessly.
Now that I have had a taste of travel and still have the hunger to travel some more, it is comforting to know that the village helped me to go to places I could only dream of in my childhood.
My travels started when I arrived in Pretoria in 1998. Having not been exposed much to the city life, I made it my mission to know the city in its entirety. I started to travel to its townships and the upmarket areas by taxi. And through that, myself and my girlfriends started organising domestic travel. Our first trip was going to Mpumalanga, we went to the Crystal springs, visited the Kruger National Park and God’s window. It was such a great experience. The downside of the trip was agreeing on what groceries to buy and activities of the day. As the accommodation was self-catering, but overall great.
Then it was different cities across the country and I am still doing that to this day.
Then came the time I went to the Kingdom of Lesotho. That was the first time my passport was tattooed and the excitement was out of this world. There is just something about Lesotho that I become speechless to explain it. I told my father that the environment will make you believe that God is alive. I went to Afriski, WOW, what an amazing experience. From Afriski I went to Katse Dam and had their trout… If you haven’t been there, just make sure you eat that in your next trip.
And I knew then that, that was not my last trip. I made friendship that I went back many more times. My last trip was going to Mohale Dam and surrounding areas as well as their annual music festival in Roma. What a beautiful experience. That would be the time I acquired the taste of beer, drinking Maluti 😊. I have more stories to tell… And by the way I am going to Maliba lodge for my birthday on the 23rd of July 💃🏿. Downside was, you need an offroad car when in Lesotho to access certain areas.
Then came a trip to Maputo, it was very spontaneous. I had just started a new job and it was my first month in the position that fell into my birthday weekend. I Asked my boss if I could take the Friday off. I lied that I had already planned a weekend away 🙈. In that week, myself, my younger sister and two friends decided we are going to Mozambique. The one friend is from Maputo and the other one from Lesotho. We did not even have accommodation bookings made. Call it adrenaline… It was the 22nd of July. We drove into Maputo and when we got there it was 12 mid-night, it was my birthday and went straight to a party at the airport. One thing I can tell you is, Mozambicans can party. We left the party straight to breakfast 😂😂. Yes I said it. And we started looking for accommodation after breakfast. We got a nice place in Matola which was accessible to all the amenities we needed. I loved the food and the people of Mozambique. The challenge is the language, they hardly speak English and the Tsonga they speak is totally different from the Giyani Tsonga. The other downside is the speed limits… That is a topic for another day. Little did I know that I will go again to Xai-Xai last year for my birthday… Beautiful island… And yes their beer 2M is great
And there was Swaziland… I had a blast. Connected to the country like I was one with it. You can’t go to Swaziland and not go to Ngwenya glass. Of course I am obsessed with beautiful glasses and I bought myself beer glasses.
I wanted to buy candles but my sinuses failed me. But beautiful craft. The pineapple 🍍 of that region are delicious, don’t say I did not tell. And their beer Sibebe was tasty, and myself and beautiful cousin we had our Ngud 😊. The people are warm-hearted. I am still due to go back for Bushfire experience as well as the biker’s rally. Will have more to tell.
When in Swaziland, I told my cousin and friends that I will be going to Europe the following year chasing summer. They thought I was joking. That January I made enquiries and found Expat travel. Communication started and got a quotation. I made my first deposit as they allow you to pay in parts if you don’t have the whole amount. It cost me R14,000 in 2014 and flights was R8,000 return. That was SAA to Heathrow. The tour packages included all breakfast and some days dinner on arrival to a new country. We had the following places to visit: Amsterdam, Germany, Italy (Pisa, Florence and Venice), Switzerland, Paris and London. I will write a separate post to share my experience of each country/city.
In all of the travelling experience, I have come to appreciate my country so much. And I now know that I am not the same person that I was before I travelled. Travelling is life changing if I could, I would do it every quarter of the year.
IG: @Pinky_Bapela/ Twitter: @pinkzaza