Exploring the world's diversity

By Shingai Darangwa Time of article published Mar 10, 2018

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Holiday memory?

My folks always took us to the Drakensberg as kids. I loved going there every June school holiday. It was my favourite childhood memory and my first experience staying at a hotel. It’s a beautiful drive too. It was my first time canoeing and the best memories I have with my family.

Favourite place in South Africa?

The KZN Midlands! I have many good memories from a very special time of my life there. There are also so many shopping gems and wine farms, and the cold misty countryside weather. I would love to get married there one day.

Best holiday?

I loved travelling to Europe recently. I travelled alone and it felt like a soul journey. I discovered so much about myself and I made so many friends from around the world. Seeing the Eiffel Tower in Paris was such a moment for me because I had always wanted to see it. Also being on a gondola in Venice was one of those bucket list moments too.

I loved exploring London alone and I discovered so much about myself. It was also a challenge figuring out the public transport system - I couldn’t read a map before Europe. I was so impressed at how efficient it was using the underground.

What have you learnt from your travels?

The world is such a big place yet also a small place. I bumped into people from home while abroad. I would never meet them in South Africa, but that’s the beauty of travel and its ability to bring people together. I also realised that it’s a treat to travel alone. Also, you can never run out of places to see and experience. The world is filled with people on a never-ending journey of self-discovery and sometimes the people you get on the best with live 1000 kilometres across the ocean.

Ideal travelling companion?

I would love to travel with my mom. We have plans to visit India. But I think my ideal travel partner would be myself because I can do whatever I want and work on my own timeline and itinerary. I’ve travelled with people before but it always ends up with you having to share the holiday and do things you may not want to do but, when you travel alone, your time is your time.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

Definitely beach bum. I could sit on a beach the whole day sipping on cocktails and listening to music by myself.

Greatest travel luxury?

I don’t mind where I stay but I think travelling business class would be my best luxury. I have travelled economy, while being sick and tired after an epic holiday, too many times to put myself through that again. The most tiring and uncomfortable part of a holiday is the actual journey and time spent in the airports.

Holiday reading?

I prefer watching in-flight entertainment or listening to music.

Where has seduced you?

Amsterdam! The food, the beauty of the city, the parks, the lifestyle. It’s all such a treat to the senses.

Worst travel experience?

Cape Town during December. It’s so busy and expensive - I may as well get a stamp on my passport instead. I went to Cape Town with someone who is now an ex-friend. He had no money and expected me to foot the bill. He also didn’t want to do anything. You get to know someone properly when you travel with them. It either makes or breaks a friendship.

Best hotel?

Drakensberg Sun - takes me back to my childhood holidays at the Berg.

Favourite walk, swim, ride or drive?

A drive through the Garden Route, with great music in the car and an even better travel companion.

Best meal abroad?

I had some of my best meals in Austria. There was this soup that I can’t even remember the name of but I will never forget the taste. Italy! They really do have the best pizzas and pastas ever! I ate pasta on every street corner in Rome.

Favourite city?

Amsterdam. It’s such a diverse and open-minded place. I loved exploring the city, riding a bicycle. The people are so warm and friendly.

Where to next?

I made a very good friend on my recent travels to Europe. She lives in Canada and we have plans to meet in Canada, and take a road trip from Canada to Los Angeles in the US.

The Saturday Star

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