People's lust for stamping their passport across the world has robbed them of experiencing the beauty in their backyard. Picture: Etienne Creux
People's lust for stamping their passport across the world has robbed them of experiencing the beauty in their backyard. Picture: Etienne Creux

How not having a passport can be turned into a good thing

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published Jan 23, 2020

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Ask anyone why they have not yet travelled, and majority of them would blame it on not having a passport. They would go onto say that they had no patience to wait in the long queues at the South African Department of Home Affairs.

While it may be a valid excuse, not having your passport is no excuse to abstain from travelling. Many South Africans, including myself during my early 20s, grew up to believe that travel meant jetting off to exotic destinations, sipping cocktails on the beach and snapping selfies at the world's iconic attractions like the Eiffel Tower or Statue of Liberty. Travellers would rather stay at home saving for their international trip than explore their own country. People's hunger to stamp their passport around the world has robbed them of experiencing the beauty in their backyard. 

Case in point, I counted my first international trip to Asia in 2016 as my first real travel experience. Despite seeing some of the country's most picturesque places, a local holiday did not have the same impact than an international holiday did. This leads me to my question about why not having a passport may be a good thing. Sure it restricts your travel to places outside South Africa, but it also inspires you to discover your own hidden gems. 

If tourists asked me a few years ago about attractions like Table Mountain, the Drakensberg, Blyde River or Robben Island, I would have nothing to say. I did not know anything about them. Like me, many people face the same predicament. 

They don’t know their country and its attractions. Here are some reasons why not having your passport may be a good thing. 

Firstly, not having a passport allows you to take time to appreciate the gems that South Africa and especially your province offers. Road trips are recommended. It is affordable. You need not have to save a fortune as there are many free or budget-friendly attractions to visit. 
It does not require long hours of travel. 

South Africa also boasts great cuisine, entertainment and attractions. 
 

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