“What do you think of me going to South Africa?”
I immediately sent that WhatsApp message to my family’s chat group when I received a forwarded email from my course administrator sharing an internship opportunity in South Africa. Only having travelled to the European continent for the first time last year, it certainly felt timely to clock in a travel to Africa. As they say, “travel and enjoy as much you can while still in university before you venture into the dreadful working world!” In that short moment of excitement, I was totally unfazed by the finances that I would have to set aside in order to make this trip a reality.
Nevertheless, after deep thoughtful consideration, and consultation with my parents, here I am today in Mossel Bay, South Africa. It would be such a cliché to say that it is surreal actually being here, so I am going to say… “it’s bloody cold in here!!!”. Really though, the temperature is no joke for a tropical islander like me. Despite anticipating winter, I had stubbornly packed mainly dri-fit tops because I thought those would be easier to manage (which is true!). I convinced myself that if there was to be a time for me to face nature’s cold wrath, this would be it.
If you are still reading this post, please kindly accept my deepest appreciation! You must be really curious to know more about this South African internship I have embarked on. I am currently interning under Africa Media’s Environmental Journalism and Travel Writing Programme. I will be spending the next 30 days here with a group of passionate individuals who care deeply about nature and environmental conservation, under the guidance of experienced and knowledgeable mentors. For those who know me personally, I enjoy appreciating the great outdoors. Being in touch with nature is a spiritually enlightening experience for me.
As a traveller, I embark to my destination to pursue knowledge and critically learn more about other cultures – their foods, languages, people, music, and more. Travelling to me is not about seeking consumerist, hedonistic pleasures. Instead, meaningful travelling is about rediscovering oneself, challenging one’s preconceived notions, and understanding our humanity better.
This month of July will be a special opening to my adventures in travel writing. I hope that in the long run, I will seek inspiration and give inspiration to become more socially and environmentally conscious people.