The last time I left South Africa, I had planned to return 19 days later. Then Covid-19 happened. 19 days turned into 233 days. I feel silly because that is only about 7.5 months & I know that people have been away from home for longer, but it was the longest I was away for. On top of that, a health crisis happened in my country. (Yes, I’m very well aware that it is a global crisis) However, after 233 days, I finally returned to South Africa. The Government eased restrictions on the 1st of October & finally allowed international travel.
Maybe the pandemic forced me to grow up or maybe I was simply too naïve before, but I learnt that nothing in this life is more important than the people in your life. I moved to the Gulf for a job – financial stability. Seems pretty shallow in the grand scheme of things. Nothing in this world can take the place of hugging your mother, getting advice from your dad, joking with your siblings or spending time with your girlfriend. Nothing.
I could write so much about how much I have missed & how much South Africa has changed & it could be such a negative post. I’m not going to do that though. I will say how amazing South African weather is. Arriving in Johannesburg during the jacaranda tree blooming season was a phenomenal cherry on the top. The horrible winter sky that I hate so much was gone. The afternoon “Highveld” storms were happening. South Africa is truly blessed with good weather.
Another amazing aspect that is often overlooked is the South African hospitality & how, generally speaking, people are friendly. There is just something about hearing the numerous greetings in the multiple languages. It is special.
I think when the easing of restrictions kept getting postponed & things just seemed to be getting worse, it was easy to become despondent & believe it would be ages before I would get to see my loved ones again. I don’t know what the future holds & I have no clue what new twists the pandemic may bring, but for now, I am content that I finally got to experience home.
Keep traveling, keep safe.