My first long trip to East Africa, a full year at the age of 26, changed my whole life. Tribal African life inspired me so much that my life was never the same! Read my story.
In recent years, my wanderlust has awoken once more, and I decided to return to my motherland – Africa.
The Covid crisis motivated me to make a decision, and at the end of August 2020 I was on a plane to Zanzibar with a general plan to travel in Africa for a period of up to a year.
It was not an age-related decision.
It was a decision that came from the depths of my heart and womb and a call that I gathered all my courage to heed.
And it was an age-related decision.
After over twenty years of fulfilling my dreams and my calling with meaningful work as a freelancer, I decided to stop, so I can gather inspiration for my next step in life.
So how is it?
Everything is different!
🎋 Instead of dorms in hostels – I only sleep in a private room with a private shower.
🎋 Instead of a minimal bag with tattered backpacker’s clothes – I carry with me everything that makes me feel beautiful and comfortable. Carrying may not be the word. Everywhere I go – the hotel staff / taxi driver carry the backpack for me and I of course thank them with a tip.
🎋 Instead of cheap (and delicious) local food – I occasionally indulge in Western restaurants and look for machine coffee at every opportunity.
🎋 I go anywhere I want without calculating every cent like I used to.
What else has changed?
Even back then I always listened to my intuition, and always went to places I felt drawn to rather than the “must go” spots.
I’m less scared than I used to be, of places I’ve not been before, of bad people. I’m more confident and more experienced and I love it!
And everything I thought I already knew about Africa falls apart as I go… Instead, everything is deeper, more complex, wider.
Traveling in these covid times suits my age. It’s quiet and calm…
The Big Change
So maybe this is the moment to talk about age.
That is, the age at which the “change” begins. The change that many women ignore even though it starts at the age of forty for a lot of us. Okay, so the menstrual cycle may still appear month after month, but everything around it changes. Sometimes I feel like I’m PMS-ing all month long!
I’m more sensitive to – everything! All month long!!!
It has always been noisy in Africa. Only now it feels noisier.
It has always been slow in Africa. And now it feels slower … very slow …
I used to like it. Waiting for the bus to fill up? Wonderful! A great opportunity to talk to people. I used to love how Africans never get upset even if two hours have passed!!!
Now slow is driving me crazy!!! Now I’m that Muzungu (=white person) who’s going around looking for the guys in charge trying to get things going!
So I try not to stay in the towns and cities for more than a few days. I spend more time in villages and close to nature. It helps …
I’m really grateful I could take a break for myself at this time when I feel the inner changes with such intensity.
And on my journey I’m finding who I am today, in this new exciting time of my life.
Not every moment is great. There are disappointments, times of boredom and loneliness.
But there are very many moments of happiness. Deep satisfaction and true and sincere fulfillment. A great many heartwarming moments of human connection, with the gentle and kind-hearted people that I meet here in wonderful Africa.
And the road goes on…
May we always follow our hearts and wombs.
May we live our lives exactly as we dream them to be, letting go of thoughts of what people will say, what is right, what is possible, and choose adventure and discovery, at least sometimes…
Anybody relate? Talk to me ladies…
I think travelling now in my 50s is as you described and I feel if I visited a place I did in my 20s it would be like I’d never been there before. We see with different eyes, feel with different hearts and our focus isso different. You described it well and have me some insight, thank you
Exactly! You’re very welcomed.