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. Continue reading “The Black Pearl”
It’s been a long, hot day as finally arrive in Spitzkoppe. We are staying in a very remote place tonight- no bathrooms, showers, or water- but we do have Bushman caves, bright stars, and some really amazing rocks- with art painted on them thousands of years ago- not just any rocks. Despite the circumstances, this is one of my favorite nights of the trip.
We discover trees with leaves so fragrant they are used as perfume, another with bark so dry and flakey it’s used as paper. Nature possess so many functions if you look in the right places, if you are aware. Everything has a purpose. We explore the red/ orange paintings of the Bushmen long ago- people, animals, art. I slowly trace my fingers over a rhino somebody painted- art as a form of communication from thousands of years ago.
I climb up a rock wall, over massive rock boulders and discover a natural pool made from rain water within the rocks- a pool in the sky. We take a dip in the cool, swallow rock pool and wade amongst the hundreds of tadpoles swimming in the clear water- an occasional shriek emerging as I feel they might be poking at my feet. My hand sweeps the bottom of the pool, emerging with green rocks that resemble emeralds.
I sit in the rock l pool with girls that have become like my sisters, completely at peace. A moment of serenity as I watch the sun set over the hills in the distance- a memory I can reach for on a day when my mind is so busy that I forget to enjoy the moment. We lay on the heated rocks, warmed by the setting sun and allow them to warm us, the breeze acts as our towel.
My mind is quiet as I lay in my sleeping bag under the stars, listening to stories of animals around a campfire. I fall into a restless sleep, waking up as the wind blows my hair in the night, smiling at the shining milky way above me, sleepy pleas for bugs not to crawl on my face as I drift back asleep. Is there anything more natural than waking up to the sun rising? Than sleeping underneath the stars?
I usually don’t love the word tribe (used to describe a group of people-non Western) as I feel like it’s a product of colonialism, but for lack of a better word it’s the title of this blog sooo, yeah. I’ve had the pleasure of learning about and spending time with different tribes in Namibia on this journey, such as the Bushmen, Sans, and Himbas tribes. Continue reading “Tribes”
Namibia is hot- dry hot. Most of the country is uninhabited. The landscape is stunning and always surprises me as I drive up through the Namib desert into the skeleton coast. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the population of 2 million in the entire country, compared to the 8 something million in New York City alone. The two places couldn’t be more different- in New York it’s impossible not to run into someone, in Namibia you must go out of your way to do so. Continue reading “From NYC to Namibia”
Swakopmund has a sense of emptiness, of desertion to it, despite the stores, coffee shops and markets. Oddly, I feel like I’ve been here before, like I’m walking through a sleepy dream, recognizing the familiar palm trees, rocky beaches with foamy waves breaking and spraying the massive rocks. Until yesterday, I didn’t even know this town existed, I didn’t know I’d be here, but surely I’ve seen this coast before- I keep waking up, remembering I’m in Namibia. Continue reading “Swakopmund”
Sand dunes and the ocean have the same effect on me- I have this inner bubble of excitement and overwhelming desire to run straight to them, like a child witnessing something extraordinary for the first time. I had not expected the striking beauty of Namibia, the sprawling land a thousand shades of brown, and the sky a light clear blue, the sand dunes that appear from the cracked dusty ground, suddenly replacing the mountains as we drive towards the coast. Continue reading “Dunes”
My paddle dips into the smooth glassy surface of the Orange River as the sun rises over the grey metallic mountains of Namibia. I kayak through the swift current, in between two countries- South Africa on one side, Namibia on the other. The sun emerges into the sky, promising to warm the cool morning, before I meet Namibia. Continue reading “Hello Namibia”
Finally, my whole self – mind, body & spirit are one the road. My mind mostly, and a little of my spirit, wasn’t fully in it the first day (my body obviously showed up 100℅). Still adjusting to the abrupt change of pace, from navigating my days by foot to navigation by truck. From sleeping in a bed to constructing and sleeping in a tent each night. From having my own time to sharing all my time with a group of then strangers, now friends. Continue reading “Into The Wild”
Great question. Also, one of the most frequently asked questions along with how old I am (followed by why are you not married) and how I feel about Trump. Most frequently my answer is I don’t know- depending on who I am talking to and when. I still don’t have answers for most of these questions, but I do know what I am doing, for the next few months at least. Continue reading “What Am I Doing?”