My dream is South Africa.
When I was working on my undergraduate degree, I took a post-colonial literature course taught by a South African woman from Johannesburg. She used literature and lectures to enlighten a classroom of Canadian students about the socio-political situation in her country, which seemed a world away to all of us.
There’s something about getting to know a country through its literature that makes me want to travel there. Reading a local’s insights and imaginings really gets me under the skin of a place and makes me more intrigued about life in that country. In the case of South Africa, the stories of injustice, violence, forgiveness, rebirth and renewal are so potent and complex that I want to go and uncover more stories in person.
It doesn’t hurt that South Africa is also widely known as one of the most beautiful and diverse nations on earth. It’s a “rainbow nation” in more ways than one! There’s the dramatic coastal setting of Cape town, which I’ve heard rivals Vancouver in the “world’s most beautiful cities” category. There are the lush vineyards of the Stellenbosch region, the magnificent peaks and valleys of the Drakensberg escarpment, and the tribal culture of Zululand. I’d like to see the scars and rejuvenation happening in Soweto, Jo-burg’s history-laden township. Of course South Africa’s most famous tourist attraction is Kruger National Park, where visitors can spot the “big five” in a wildlife reserve the size of Israel.
Have I convinced you that you want to go too? If so, and if you’ve got the means to turn this dream into a reality (something I’m still working on!), our local South African Guides, would love to show you around. Just make sure to tell me all about it when you get back.