culture travel

Distracted By the Past? Daunted By the Future? Find Your Present In South Africa

When I finally landed in South Africa (after two days and three flights), I now had physical exhaustion to add to an already-wearied mind. Prior to the trip, an unexpected setback left me teetering. The optimistic joviality that had sustained me all summer was waning. And I found myself anxiously awaiting a second wind.

Thankfully, there was no time for wallowing. We had a robust vacation itinerary and I hit the ground running. First up, a ten-course dinner at Cube Tasting Kitchen. It was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. The cuisine was deliciously inventive; and the festive atmosphere served us well on our first night in an exciting new city. A large group of friends shared laughs and drinks, and at another table an American couple celebrated a recent engagement.

Somewhere between this dinner, an hour spent with a cheetah, a glass of rosé in Franschhoek, and a cable car ride to the top of a town called Brits, I forgot about everything. And I mean, everything. This was partially due to the ambitious schedule that we had created, but mostly, it was the transformative aura of South Africa itself.

The place possesses a different air (certainly different from the congested concrete jungle that is my home, New York City); but also different from any that I’ve experienced. With each inhale there was the reminder that the present — with its panoramic views, food, culture, history, and people — was more than enough. With each exhale, once pressing concerns were fleeting and forgotten. This was one of my greatest adventures. And for me, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

If you’re planning a trip to South Africa in the near future, here are a few of my trip highlights:

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