I remember taking my first trip abroad and I was incredibly nervous. I was quite young — still in high school when I left. I knew I didn’t want to stay home as I was bored and uninterested with what was going on around me. That’s not mentioning that I was getting into a lot of trouble which didn’t make my parents happy.
My parents decided to send me away on an exchange programme. They thought it would be a good idea given the troubles we were having at home and that I wasn’t happy. I was told that I could pick the country of choice and I chose France.
I remember leaving at the end of August 2015 not knowing what was coming. I didn’t speak the language fluently and I was going to stay with French speaking people who didn’t speak any English. It was a little weird knowing that the next morning I am not going to see my family for a long time.
Needless to say, I left and landed in Paris the next morning — perky and eager that I was going to see the Eiffel Tower or at least drive by it. Well, I was fortunate enough to see it even though I was half asleep in the car. I fell asleep and off we arrived at my temporary residence in Dijon.
I started going to school a week later and eventually left that family to stay with a few others. I wanted to stay in France, because I loved it so much. Sadly, I had to go back to my “home”, but it wasn’t really my home.
After that, I stayed by my parents for two years. During that time, I had to select a university. I chose to go abroad. I didn’t want to stay home. Boy, it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I lived in Cape Town, one of the most beautiful cities I’ve visited, for 8 magical years.
I felt amazing at the bottom of Africa and managed to travel to Europe a few times, and to South America. Both of these destinations I hadn’t imagined visiting again. It was that sense of freedom when I stepped on a plane. I remember flying to Brazil and being in total awe that I was on the plane again and travelling. It did help that I worked for an airline at that time so I got really cheap tickets.
Every single time I travel, there is a sense of calmness that comes to me. It’s a time that I can reflect what’s happening. At the same time, I can get off the plane and see something completely…