Leaving Home (again)

I'm taking you back to July 2012. I'm still living in my hometown of Durban, which is the third largest city after Johannesburg and Cape Town. Around 3 and a half million people live there, and are referred to as Durbanites. We are notoriously good at ignoring the humidity, the sand in our bums, the beggars at the traffic lights, and the blaring taxi music from dawn to dusk. The city of Durban is also known to be much slower and calmer than The Place of Gold, and a lot less happening than The Mother City. I think that's exactly why people choose Durban over the others.

As a child, I have memories of so many beaches that they have all become one long coastline in my mind. I can't remember the first time I stepped foot on a mountain in the Drakensburg, and wondered about the hunter-gatherers who had stepped in the same tracks thousands and thousands of years before. I can't recall my exact thoughts when I first squashed my face up against the car window to get a glimpse of a giraffe, or if I felt fear or excitement when I climbed out my tent one morning to see a herd of zebras in our campsite. Growing up, my perception of Durban and its surrounding beauty is almost polar opposite to my current view of the city (we'll get to that later). My childhood was lived in a world of picturesque sunsets and postcard natural wonders. It was lived in the animal kingdom, in the wild, in freedom.

Sounds perfect, doesn't it? But by the time I had reached my second decade, I was itching to get out and fall in love with someone else's world. Our world. And that's why I began travelling. It was a seed planted by my own mind when I got lost in the book-worlds of One Hundred Years Of Solitude, On The Road, or Lonesome Traveller. It was a concept that I kept picking out in all sorts of films - from Natural Born Killers to Lost in Translation, from Y Tu Mama Tambien to Thelma and Louise. I found a case for modern nomadism everywhere I looked, but it would only be when I was eighteen that I'd have my first taste of another country: Australia. I stayed in the Gold Coast and explored the city of Brisbane, while fantasizing about roadtrips through the outback to the other side of the continent (I haven't done that yet). When I landed back home I was more restless than ever, and that sent me off on an adventure to England, which ended up lasting an entire year. I lived and worked in the small town of Witney, 12 miles from Oxford. Again, when I came back home at 22, I couldn't sit still in my own country, and embarked on my longest adventure abroad yet: Thailand.

To get back to the purpose of this post, I'll drag you away from my ramblings, and back to July 2012. It was my last holiday in South Africa, my last vacation before I began my permanent vacation abroad, and it took place down the South Coast. I spent my 22nd birthday there filled with a nostalgia that was already seeping in before I had left, and made sure to capture what I could.

Here are my photos from my last holiday in South Africa:

My friend and I stayed in this beautiful loft room.
A famous pancake place called Mac Banana - they serve up everything you could imagine in a pancake. They also have a store full of homemade jams, chutneys, fresh cheeses, and nuts. Yum!
Donkeys in someone's yard.
Marina Beach, Southbroom.
A baby whale washed up on the rocks. The locals came and hacked the meat off before it started to rot.
A "dassie" - the Afrikaans words for "hyrax" - a slightly temperamental African rodent.
Another beach along the South Coast.
Some horses who decided to greet us while we drove past.
Soft horse nose and sunshine - lovely.
A lost gaggle of geese.
Beautiful African statues. The standing ladies are about 100cm tall!