Sometimes you have to be in the right place at the right time for big ideas to come around.
In the summer of 2006 we were in South Africa for the second time. We’d already spent a week in Lesotho, climbed the Drakensberg, and were settled in for seven nights at a simple backpacker hostel on the Wild Coast.
On the third or fourth day there, after the bone-jarring ride over a nearly impassable road was behind us and the slow, easy rhythm of the place had washed over us like the ever-present sea, we took a walk to the end of a long stretch of sand I now call the Beach of a Thousand Dreams.
Because as we were walking along we started to talk about what we want to do over the next decade or so. Long-term stuff we so often put off addressing because the daily grind of making a living, staying ahead in the paper war, and meeting obligations gets in the way.
I don’t know how the conversation started, or who said it first, or whether it was the carefree manner of the young couple who walked past us, but we were both thinking the same thing at the same time: let’s make this a year-long thing. Let’s go travel the world while we’re both still fit and healthy. Who cares if we will have a few thousand euros less in the retirement pension account at the end of the day? All we have in this life is time. We’ll still be relatively young and full of energy for the road.
I remember jumping for joy at the mere thought of it. I almost did a cartwheel. YES! I felt free, so completely liberated! Just before we’d left for South Africa I’d already felt this feeling of liberation – like getting a monkey off your back – and this only added to it.
If the thousand dreams come to be, this is what we’ve decided: in five years, we’ll put our daughter in a school in an English-speaking country, then go travel the world for a year. India, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, southern Africa, Canada. We really haven’t worked out how long in each country, or if the list will be reduced or expanded, or which order we’ll do it in, but we’re going to do it.
PS: To read more of the trouble you can get up to down there, I’ve finally finished putting in the photos on the Month in South Africa and Lesotho page, which has been dangling up there at the top of this blog incomplete for ages now. Take your time, though. I printed it out and the text alone came to 11 pages single-spaced. I could have written a lot more, put in twice as many photos, and still not mentioned anything of our first trip back in 2003. Short piece of advice: go!
© 2007 lettershometoyou