21st Century
The Future
World Travel
Books & Film
Original Fiction
Opinion & Lifestyle
Politics & Living
Film Space
Movies in depth
Kid's Books
Reviews & stories

Tabytha Towe Diaries - That Vancouver girl on her way To Africa

Tabytha Towe's Diaries
On Leaving Vancouver for
Cape Town- South Africa

I just want to go EVERYWHERE now. I figured that travelling is what I want to do over the next few years, see the world, (or at least some of it.)
What makes a place home anyway? Is not home where the heart is? It’s not just a place where we live, it’s a place of what we know.

Our daily routines written upon our calendars dictate our day ahead of us, and after a long and safe day of school or work or going for lunch with a friend or whatever else it is we do according to schedule - we come home to our houses or apartments, we drop our keys and suitcases, throw on some slippers and watch TV on our coffee stained couches eating cereal at 10 pm to then collapse on our beds- Is this the norm? Define normal, please.

Well HOME to me is definitely somewhere that you feel comfortable, although sometimes we get a little too comfortable and eventually take certain things for granted. Home to me is somewhere to come and relax, leaving the outside world or all the shit that had happened during the day behind me, separating it from me and just putting my feet up or pick up a book or play with my dog. Home to me is also frustrating, very. Often I don’t even want to come home because maybe I’m not really leaving the world behind me but rather having to face it now that I am inside my safe haven, for you cannot lock everything out, no matter how hard you try to block it out. About a year ago I realised I was slowly starting to develop a rather unhealthy rut for myself.

I admit I wasn’t successful in school at the time, I was 19 going on 20 and I was still falling asleep in class. Come on! My family was pretty much falling apart, we spent more time avoiding each other if we could to avoid bickering with each other until we learned to co-exist amongst each other. I didn’t know what to do as a career, what my interests were, what my appropriate skills were, never mind the fact that I didn’t even have proper schooling for a career anyway (actually I still don’t,) so all I basically did during that time period of a year -or longer- was go to work at my comfortable restaurant, go out with various friends to various bars and basically lounge about.. Somewhere along the line there I got BORED with that and I realised that it wasn’t going to get me anywhere if that lifestyle were to keep up. I didn’t feel too good about that, to be honest, it kind of depressed me.

Now I wasn’t necessarily miserable, it’s not like I was depressed, in fact I was alright, but just alright. I just wasn’t doing anything I felt passionate enough about and that’s what I found so disturbing. I felt completely numb, and trust me I am a pretty wild and sensitive girl, so for me to feel soulless was completely wrong.
I had a decent job that at least paid for my social life. I had a wonderful boyfriend that I practically lived with and adored to pieces, my family was alive and well, (regardless of our constant bickering) and I’m young, I mean, what could I complain about if everything was alright? OK, My life was good enough, it could have been worse, but good enough wasn’t good enough for me any more and it could always be better.
I desperately longed for something, just something else maybe, but I was definitely lacking something big. I needed change, something different, something new, a challenge, perhaps a journey. I was adamant to get out of here, to get away from what I knew and what I was apparently so comfortable with.
I wanted to go on a holiday just for a short while to clear my head and simply just be away from it all. Not to escape but to take a step back and to take a look from the outside.

3 months later, although the pay at my line of work is quite limited, somehow I still managed to save up a couple of bucks and bought myself a plane ticket to South Africa where I’d visit the -soon to be discovered- beautiful Cape Town.

Great, at last! This was my plan, only a little holiday, but it was what I wanted and what I needed, and for only a month - or so I thought.

I continued to do my usual activities until the time came for me to go, and I tell you that month just zoomed by in a single breath. Everything I did I would justify it with an excited "I’m going away" tone. Nearly oblivious to everything else because I was so damned excited I was more than ready to pick up and go just like that.
This holiday was meant for time by myself to think about my life and what I wanted to do with it, also to meet new people and to have a good time with everything else in another country unlike what I have back home. Well... I can tell you now I did have a good time, an un-fucking-believably good time! I have since discovered the travel bug and found it contagious. I just want to go EVERYWHERE now. I figured that travelling is what I want to do over the next few years, see the world, (or at least some of it.) Still can’t say as to what I’ll do with the rest of my life career wise but that will come along I guess.

Since I was going alone and devoting my holiday to myself, you know me, me, me, I had to consider my relationship with my current boyfriend, (still the same guy mentioned in previous writing months ago.)
I felt as if it would have jeopardised the whole point of this trip and put a barrier between us if we were to remain boy/girl friend. We were both destined to go our separate ways sooner or later, so this was that opportunity. I had hoped he would understand that and at the time it seemed as if he did, for he was very supportive, although he was going through some shit of his own and breaking up was maybe too much for him to rationalise then.

Come the day to leave, in which funny enough snowed for the first time all winter when I was about to enter sunshine, my boyfriend and I literally parted at the airport right outside my departure. It was extremely heart clenching, but we knew this had to happen, or so I thought . We both knew that, not only because I was going away but because we both needed to be on our own again, to be single and worry about ourselves for a while and not each other so much. I actually initiated our break up a few weeks prior to leaving, for there were a few underlying things that weren’t working out in the end, although we always remained happy together and always managed ourselves through our problems no matter what and where we were always there for each other. We loved each other and still do, and I think that’s also why we needed to let each other go. I truly believed that splitting up would be a good thing for us both in the long run, and who knows a month really isn’t long so maybe we’d get back together after some time off from one another….

I’ll tell you later what has become of this now that I am back. Starting off with the beginning of March, I was pretty much a travel virgin still. I had gone to England, New York, Mexico, San Francisco, the Bahamas, Florida, Los Angeles and a couple other places before, but always with either my family or friends or someone else.

This was really the first time I’d ever fly by myself, first time I’d go to another country by myself and the first time I’d spend so much quality time with myself. Nonetheless it was also the first time I’d be away from home so long. Quite a scary concept if you think about it too much.

Now I despise airplanes, I can’t stand them in fact. I was dreading my long flight to London where I’d get off at the airport for a 5 hour stop over to then catch my next flight right away to South Africa… I knew I shouldn’t have booked via London I remember, why didn’t I just take a direct flight? Pure agony.
As soon as I sat down however, I felt sudden relief that at least I am sitting beside someone who appeared to be cool during the whole, grueling process of flying. This guy I sat with turned out to be "cool" after all, (pretty cute too.) Soon enough we began talking and became quite acquainted over many Stella Artois, shitty films on small screens that hurt your eyes and seats that twist your back. Then there’s me chatting his ear off all the while he was sleeping, or rather trying to with me blabbering away. I don’t even know what the hell I was talking about either, just that I cannot sleep on planes.

Fair enough to say that having met him alleviated some of my hatred for airlines. I was off on a good start so far. Till this very day we are still in contact and I met up with him again later on in my journeys.
Eventually, after god knows how many hours, (maybe even days it seems,) of flying and waiting around airports, I arrive in this foreign country for the first time ever. At this point I was overly exhausted, no sleep yet, but I was overly excited as well so I was strung-out hyper. A nasty combination.
Finally I had the South African stamp in my Canadian passport.

© Tabytha Towe June 21st 2003

Part One - Leaving Vancouver

Part Two - CAPE TOWN

Part Three- London

More Lifestyles

Previous moments from Tabytha Towe's diary:


© Hackwriters 2000-2003 all rights reserved