The significant bit is I got to the southern most part of the African continent today! I feel like such an explorer. The Cape of Good Hope is right at the tip of the continent and is spectacular to behold. It is characterised by furry, green hills on one side with ostriches and Elands. On the other side, it is bedazzled by the sea with crashing waves to boot. Jutting into the waters are layered rock formations.
In terms of firsts, I saw Ostriches. They are as intimidating as they seem on screens. Tall, nonchalant and feathered to a T!
Though not a first, it is worth commenting on. I witnessed a Baboon, with a baby Baboon on its back, wrestle some sort of cardboard object from a woman’s hands. It had attempted, and failed, to steal the woman’s handbag but succeeded in snatching the cardboard object instead. The theatrics of it all, amidst the dramatic beauty of the Cape of Good Hope, added a magical tone to the unfortunate incident.
Sometimes life throws curveballs which mean travelling is not possible. So how can you feel the excitement of planning for a new trip, meeting new people, experiencing new cultures and learning new words in a foreign language without actually going anywhere? Well, here are few ways I travel when I actually can’t:
1. Pinterest: I don’t know about you but Pinterest is my ultimate go-to for dreaming about what could be if…let’s say when, everything falls into place. Pinterest is essentially an online vision board. I gather pictures of my hopes and dreams on there. I have a board on Pinterest which is plastered with hundreds of pictures of travel places and I can spend quite a bit of time just going through them and telling myself that one day I won’t be looking at a picture of a beautiful place but be at THE place itself, experiencing it. And indeed I have been to many places that were just a picture on my Pinterest board.
2. Travel shows and books: Similar to Pinterest, travel shows on Netflix or travel books inspire me and give me ideas of places to go and things to do when I get there. One of my current favourite travel shows is on BBC and it is called “Race across the World”. A number of pairs of people are given the same amount of money it would cost them to get to a far flung destination by flight but can only go by land or sea. It is EPIC. This is the second season where they basically go across the Americas with less than $2000. Travelling by land or sea obviously takes longer and means you experience many things you miss when you fly over countries. I also enjoy reading travel publications, not so much the guides though. For instance, a current read is Lonely Planet’s “Best in Travel 2020”.
3. Authentic Restaurants: Going out to eat or ordering food, once in a while, from restaurants that serve dishes from around the would also shrinks space between countries. You get to enjoy delicious dishes from across the world without having to travel across the world. Now the task here is trying to find real authentic representations as opposed to watered down variants.
4. Connecting with People: Most people have a variety of friends from different parts of the world or different parts of a country. Speaking to them and hearing their stories is a great way to see the world. Essentially, when you connect with someone from somewhere different, you are seeing through their eyes. If you’re lucky and the person is a particularly good storyteller, you can even taste the foods they talk about and smell the scents that accompany it and hear the sounds. The traveller at heart loves stories. Travel is full of many opportunities for stories and people tell stories. So connect with people and they give you wings to see the world. And these days, speaking to a friend in a different country may mean they actually show you around through a video call!
5. Reminisce: If you are on this blog, chances are you’ve been travelling before. Why not go through old photos of recent trips or trips that are actually beginning to fade from your memory. Remembering past travels sparks memories of the experiences you had and is a great way to relive a journey.
Regardless of the fact that my stay in Bogota was quite short, I knew there were 2 things I had to do no matter what. The first was to go on the food tour by La Mesa, which I talk about in my previous post. The other was to go on the Bogota Graffiti Tour.
This was probably the highlight of my time in Bogota, which is shocking as I love my food! But I love street art and the stories they tell and how they define and redefine space. Bogota is full of beautiful street art from some of the world’s biggest street artists and I only saw a tip of the iceberg during my 3 hour tour. I must say that the Bogota Graffiti Tour are an amazing organisation and our tour guide was fantastic and very knowledgeable. The tour is free but tips are expected and encouraged! I bet you, after your tour you will be emptying your pockets and begging your tour guide to take all your money. It’s that great!
Little words are needed for this post as the pictures speak for themselves! It is so beautiful how the murals have molded themselves within their context, they look like they were always there and grew into the streets organically.