|Cape Town on a beautiful summer day|
It was easy to pick my first entry: Cape Town. The city captured me on the day I arrived. It was love at first sight. I was lucky to have lived there for almost a year.
Cape Town, as locals say, will not escape its name. It is a city yet maintains that town-like characteristic of a laid-back atmosphere. Its temperate climate, long stretch of white sand beaches, and scenic landscape make it a perfect holiday destination. Familiarity is easily achieved. In a month’s time, you would have known at least half of Cape Town. This city, found at the southern tip of Africa, is a melting pot of the young and the old from all over the world. It is a city full of dreamers, adventurers, and lovers. Its cultural diversity and free-spirited environment makes every person’s experience of Cape Town a unique one.
As a nature lover, my love affair with Cape Town happened in an instant. The first thing that captured me was Table Mountain, the city landmark, a flat-topped mountain that stretches about 3 kilometers from side to side, flanked by Devil’s Peak to the east and Lion’s Head to the west. There are days when white, cottony clouds spill over the Table Top. It serves as a dramatic backdrop of the entire city. It is a sight to behold!
On my first trip to Kaapstad (Cape Town in Afrikaans), I lived in Camps Bay, a long stretch of white sand beaches popular among locals and tourists especially during the summer. It is filled with commercial establishments such as restaurants and bars fronting the beach. Beautifully designed houses and beach apartments line up the hills one after another. My house was a three-minute walk to the beach. I woke up everyday to paradise!
How the hell did I end up in paradise? Well, I was chatting with a friend, Tiek Oki (Ms. Nigeria Universe 2006) on MSN when I found out that she was modeling in Johannesburg. The long and short of it, her agency invited me to model in Cape Town and I ended up rooming with her in Camps Bay! I had no idea she moved to Cape Town days before I arrived. Sometimes the universe has a way of bringing people together in a seamless manner. We reconnected and she became one of my closest friends during my stay (Tien is now back in Nigeria and became the editor of Mademoiselle magazine!).
|My dear friend and roommate Tien Oki|
There are a million things to write about South Africa. This is only the beginning of my entries of Cape Town and other destinations I have visited over the years.
I am glad I finally sat down to write about the thing I love the most—travel. It is the entire experience of it that makes it special, the anticipation of planning your trip, the excitement you have once the plane touches down on foreign soil, the places you discover whether it be a grand structure or a whole-in-a-wall bar, the people you unexpectedly meet and deeply connect with how long or short the meeting may have been, the culture you learn to love and understand or at least tolerate, and the feeling of being full after the whole trip. You take a piece of the place and its people and you leave something of yours as well. There is no better teacher than traveling. I ceaselessly learn more about myself and the world around me the moment I pack my bags and leave home.