One More Sleep!
It's the night before my first big adventure and I can hardly contain myself; I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve. Only 1 more sleep to go before I say ‘Adios' to this chapter and open a brand new one.
I have been waiting months to say goodbye to my old life and in 8 hours time, I will be on my way to a well deserved holiday – 4 days living it up in Cape Town then 5 weeks of travelling around Africa in an overland truck, camping with the animals.
(Please don't let me get eaten by a lion! or worse still; find a spider in my tent!)
People may say i'm just running away, but what a great country to run to!
I've spent months trying to pick up the pieces of my once married life and deal with no longer being part of a couple; leaving my marital home, sofa surfing and family issues, until Eureka…. I realise the secret to being a happy new divorcee is to do what I want to do.
So, I'm doing it and this brand new me starts tomorrow, as soon as the plane takes off. Is there life after divorce? I'm sure going to find out 🙂
I've finally arrived in Cape Town after 30 hours of travelling and waiting in airports! Lao Tzu, a philosopher once said:
“A good traveller is never intent on arriving.”
How wrong he was – I couldn't wait to get to the hotel and chill.
And what a fab hotel.
The Lagoon Beach Hotel is only a few kilometres from the city and as far as hotels in Cape Town go, can you really get a better position than right on the beach? It also runs shuttles into and out of the city. I already feel so relaxed and can't wait to check out the outdoor pool deck in the sun. The best thing about it is – it's all on my Avios points too so it hasn't even cost me a penny.
My hotel room has more square feet than my old house and is so lush that I could seriously live in it. There's a plasma screen bigger than any I've ever seen before, a king size bed, more than one sofa and a gorgeous view of the sea and kite surfers; what more could a girl ask for?
Well, maybe some sun as the weather is leaving a lot to be desired – cloudy, windy and rain: remind you of anywhere?
Alone in Cape Town
It was on the boat to Robben Island when it hit me.
I had been happily straining my ears, watching the Dvd of Nelson Mandela being released from the iconic prison island when a wave of nausea crashed over me as the ferry rolled from side to side. Then it struck again, but this wave filled me with an overwhelming sense of sadness and loneliness.
‘I want my husband,' I wanted to yell – my mind periodically going insane.
I held on tight to the seat, staring at the horizon frantically bobbing up and down as I tried to eliminate all thoughts of my soon-to-be ex-husband from my mind. I wanted to cry; really, really cry but I knew once I started, it wouldn't stop.
So I just held on, waiting for both feelings to pass…
I never thought that travelling South Africa alone would affect me. When I left for Cape Town just a few days earlier wondering if there is life after separation, I never expected there to be such a stigma to being alone. People look at you as though you've just stepped off a spaceship when they ask,
“How many people madam?” As if they're expecting your entourage to come around the corner.
“Umm, just one please,” I reply, looking through the menu deals for one.
So you can imagine my relief when I met some friends (well, technically they were my friend's friends but who's to know). I was finally part of a group and accepted into the Capetownian way of life. We ate, we drank, we drank some more and then as quickly as it had began, my social circle evaporated and I was back to just me.
Just me… wandering around this amazing city, going through the motions of being a tourist but with a dark cloud looming over me. I did all the touristy things; the hop on bus tour, a cable car to Table Mountain, the SA Museum, a cocktail in Camps Bay but all I could think was “I'm alone.”
I'm halfway through my twelve-week trip and as I leave Beijing for the final time, I feel at ease. It is only this time around that I realise I have less baggage, not of the physical kind (that is still growing by the day), but baggage of the emotional kind.
Only recently divorced, I had underestimated the impact that being a fresh ‘divorcee' would have on me, especially travelling by myself to weird and wonderful countries. My moods had been like waves rising with anger at the smallest of things to a peak of happiness when things were going my way to crashing with an almighty thud as I hit another obstacle. I had cried, angered, fallen in love then cried again and I had no idea what was going on.
But this time as I left Chinese soil, I had levelled out.
Gone was the volatile ocean and waves of doom, replaced by a calm lake, with gentle ripples lifting me only upwards. Was the past finally behind me? I felt ready to tackle the world and everything in it's path. I was finally ready to move on.
Watch out world…
A Year On
This month marks a year on from my divorce and I couldn’t feel so different.
This time last year I was travelling around Eastern Asia facing challenges and pitfalls trying to find out who I was after being consumed in a long-term relationship and marriage. This time around I am travelling with a purpose; I now know what makes me tick and for the first time in my life I feel really content.
I have come through the emotional roller-coaster of separation and divorce and come out the other side feeling confident, carefree and ready to face whatever life throws at me. I now trust my instinct, take a risk and go wherever my heart takes me.
And my heart has led me to Honduras…
Only time will tell if this is only meant to be short-lived but for now I am making the most of every wonderful moment before I have to get back to my life on the road…