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I Do Africa - What I miss about South Africa

For the past view days Guillaume and I have been chatting about this topic often. We have now reached the point where our journey is not just fun and games all the time. We have had bad luck mixed in with all the excitement of new experiences and have been uncomfortable for long enough to not always enjoy what we are doing. So we have been talking about things we miss about being home and I thought I’d share it.

What do I miss about South Africa?

Honestly at the moment not really much actually! We have seen and enjoyed so many, and different, things that not a lot of time has been spent dwelling on what we left behind.
I always wonder when that moment will strike; most travellers know it very well, the moment you realise it is time to go home – for a while at least. I remember when I lived in Barcelona for a year the longing hit after about 5 months and after 10 months I knew it was time to go home. Two months later that is what I did.

But the truth is that right now we aren’t in a hurry to get back, actually we are also searching for a possible new home as we go along and because we left nothing but a handful of possessions behind we have no home to go back to anyway. I guess this helps to fight off the longing for the familiar.

We do miss our family and friends of course, but as much as we love them, we don’t really think about it that often. We have ‘wish you were here’-moments but we never have that heavy yearning to get back. That said, I must add that it has only been three months since our departure and our journey is still in its early days. Also, we have each other so we are never really that lonely.

The road that led to Dar

About a year ago, on one of our many road trips around South Africa, we passed through Bloemfontein. Here we stopped to eat at Spur when we noticed a sign stating that there is another Spur branch in Dar es Salaam, about 3870km away. We promised each other that if we make Dar, after a long and tiresome journey, well will treat ourselves to Spur because surely by then we will miss home terrible!

Although roughing it has taken it out of us a bit and we do get really sick and tired of being uncomfortable 24/7 we do love not knowing what the day or date is. We are tired of being hassled for money all the time but we love not getting up early to go to sit in the office but getting up early to drive through another different landscape. 

Give us those Sunday movie nights...

In Dar es Salaam we ate our pork ribs and reflected on that day in Bloemfontein when this city seemed so very far away.  We searched the corners of our minds (with Spur-sauce all around the corners of our mouths) and finally came up with five things we miss; despite all the remarkable things we have seen and how blessed we are to be able to travel so extensively

Things we are starting to miss:

• Mattresses. Ours aren’t inflating anymore and no matter how often we do it we just never get used to sleeping on the floor.
• 702’s golden oldies weekends – good music, a must!
• Regular exercise
• Sunday evening movies – sometimes you just want to watch a good film!
• An oven, Guillaume hasn’t mastered the sand oven yet which means that if we can’t boil or fry it, we can’t cook it.

I wonder when that moment will hit us, when home will be too far and our time on the road will have been too long. Egypt? Rome? Casablanca? When we run out of money? (Probably the latter will come first). There truly is only one way to find out… just keep driving, whether it is on a bike, on a 4x4 or on an overlanding truck!

Dorette Marais

Dorette Marais Title: Blog Contributor
Affiliation: Drive South Africa Blog Dorette Marais has a degree in journalism and a postgraduate degree in media. As a child she lived in the Kruger National Park, ran away to Spain for a gap year and dabbled with the idea academics before she braved the world of online media. After a couple of years working for publications like Pasella, Nuus24 and Beeld she decided to leave everything behind to fulfil a lifelong dream of travelling Africa for an extended period of time. This journey will also be her honeymoon, a recipe for interesting stories and events.
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