The Black Pearl

21 complete strangers get in a bus on a windy morning in Cape Town- a bunch of Europeans, two Brazilians, two South Koreans, and an American (me). They are destined to spend the next 20 something days together camping and traveling. Our charismatic captain (Tenk) has possibly watched Pirates of The Caribbean one too many times, and quickly names our safari truck The Black Pearl. 

At the beginning I though 20 something days was a long time, possibly too long, especially with a large group of people I don’t know- that changed quickly. We were immediately entertained by Han, our beloved South Korean companion and his wife, Sunny, on their honeymoon. From hilarious backrubs, to becoming the equivalent of a karaoke pop star in Namibia, our friend with trendy frames and no actual lenses in his glasses (fashion glasses) kept us laughing all day.

People truly make a trip memorable. Beauty can be experienced anywhere, but the people you share memories, moments, and time with become a part of you- they make the experience what it is. This group of people has become like my family. Some of my most favored memories are with these people- telling stories around the campfire (Tenk making animal noises), sleeping outside, taking way too many group photos, almost getting attacked by a hippo, and listening to songs on repeat in an old, beat up truck (I mean, The Black Pearl).

It’s strange how people come into your life unexpectedly, abruptly and then are gone just as suddenly. It’s taken me nearly a week to write this post which I promised to our entertaining captain, not because I forgot or I’m too busy, but that it’s hard to find words to describe how much the experience and memory means to me. The more I travel, the more I realize it’s the people I meet, not just the places I go that make my travels/ experiences so special

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