From East to West, is SA best?

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iol travel sep 3 cw quanita Ruwanda

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SPIRITUAL INSIGHT: Quanita Adams outside a mosque in Kigali, Rwanda.

Cape Town - Cape Town actress Quanita Adams is known for her stage and screen roles. She has performed in the movies Forgiveness along with Arnold Vosloo, Cape of Good Hope, and Skeem. She is currently in Athol Fugard’s Boesman and Lena at the Baxter. Her acting has taken her to different stages and movie festivals around the world.

How widely have you travelled?

I have been privileged to travel all over. Being an actor means that I get to tour with productions, mainly theatre, though I did go to the Toronto Film Festival years ago with two movies. My first work trip was when I sang in a Motown tribute show in Mallorca when I had just graduated from varsity.

Since then, I’ve been to Rwanda, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mauritius. I’ve also been to the United States, and travelled throughout the UK, including Northern Ireland and Scotland. I’ve been to the Balkans, from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Croatia, you name it! Oh ja, and I went to Holland and I have been to Norway, twice. And Sweden.

Where was your favourite?

To be honest, some of my best holiday memories have been spent right here in SA. We live in a ridiculously beautiful country. Travelling all over the world made me appreciate what we have right here. The landscapes, the people, it’s all so insanely beautiful.

iol travel sep 3 cw quanita Mauritius

Mauritius came out tops in a recent survey of South Africans on favourite holiday destinations.

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I love New York. I also loved being in Mallorca. Even though it was difficult in the beginning and there were challenges – language was a big one.

I also loved Mauritius.

Your worst experience on a holiday?

Being misdiagnosed and given the wrong meds and nearly having kidney failure. Thanks to the London health-care system… And then of course, dealing with racism or prejudice. Always a classic.

Your funniest experience?

There are so many! Language and trying to make oneself understood is always a recipe for comedy.

Having freckles in Belfast, that was cool. People were always slightly puzzled by that. And my surname being Adams…

An encounter with a homeless man in New York, who was so creative in his dismissal of me. He had come up to the cab to beg for money. I was grumpy and in no mood to engage with this man, so I just dismissed him with a “No!”

He was so incredulous that he repeated, “No!”

So I barked back at him, “No!”

He took one look at me, and without a second pause, declared, in that quintessential New York way, “Well f***k you, you freckle faced b***h!”

It had me chuckling for days.

There was also the time I dropped my shopping in the fountain at Trafalgar Square. I tried to recover it by paddling with my hand to stop it from being sucked into the current that was being created by the lions spitting into the water. All the while I was being watched by hotdog vendors who thought it better to stand back and laugh than to help me.

What do you avoid during a holiday?

Places, especially restaurants, that are overrun with tourists.

Your favourite place for sundowners?

I think any place can be magical if you’re with the right people, and the occasion is right. Anywhere at the beach is beautiful. Somewhere with a breathtaking view. There are evenings in Joburg when the sun sets and shrouds the inner city with that soft highveld light somewhere between pink and orange.

What have you learnt from your travels?

How to piggy back off other people’s wi-fi network. Don’t knock it, it’s a skill. I have learnt that there is value in getting lost. Sometimes. I have learnt to swear in other languages. I have learnt that no matter where you go, people are the same. I have learnt that SA, though beset with challenges is a beautiful place.

Ideal travelling companion?

My Pentax k1000. It’s the reason there are so few pictures that have me in them.

Culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

I guess culture vulture. This is going to make me sound super nerdy, but nothing gets my adrenalin going like standing in front of beautiful art works that I have only ever seen in books. Seeing a Da Vinci cartoon up close, had me rushing! So maybe a bit of both.

But I don’t do speed and crazy adventure things that include jumping, running, swimming, heights or great speeds.

Except for the Zara sales, then I will gladly do any extreme sport to get my paws on the beautiful clothes.

Greatest travel luxury?

A great place to sleep, beautiful linen and a TV in the room. Film in my camera. Lots of money.

Holiday reading?

None. I go out. Explore. Oh no wait, does a menu count?

Favourite drive?

The M3 from town to Muizenberg! It still gets me. Every time. It’s so beautiful.

Driving across Mallorca was also great.

The Norwegian coastline was also beautiful but for different reasons. I suddenly understood the jazz that comes from Norway. Garbarek made sense like never before. So did Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream. It made me understand Norway in a different way. Ceaselessly white and grey with flashes of green and sometimes purple. Always twinkling.

Then crossing the river Danube. I challenge anybody to cross it and not hum the tune… You’re doing it now, aren’t you!

Dream trip?

Italy. India. Anywhere, nice. Watching cricket on a beach in the West Indies.

Where next?

I go to London for work in October, but in December I am visiting a friend in India. I can’t wait… - Weekend Argus

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