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? Its not just a place where we live, its a place of what we know.
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,
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 dont
even want to come home because maybe Im 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 wasnt 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 didnt know what to do as a career, what
my interests were, what my appropriate skills were, never mind the fact
that I didnt even have proper schooling for a career anyway (actually
I still dont,) 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 wasnt going to get me anywhere if that lifestyle were
to keep up. I didnt feel too good about that, to be honest, it
kind of depressed me.
Now I wasnt necessarily miserable, its not like I was depressed,
in fact I was alright, but just alright. I just wasnt doing anything
I felt passionate enough about and thats 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 Im
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
wasnt 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 Id 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 "Im 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 cant say as to what Ill 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 werent 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 thats 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
isnt long so maybe wed get back together after some time
off from one another
Ill 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 Id ever fly by myself, first time
Id go to another country by myself and the first time Id
spend so much quality time with myself. Nonetheless it was also the
first time Id be away from home so long. Quite a scary concept
if you think about it too much.
Now I despise airplanes, I cant stand them in fact. I was dreading
my long flight to London where Id 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 shouldnt have booked via London I remember, why didnt
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 theres
me chatting his ear off all the while he was sleeping, or rather trying
to with me blabbering away. I dont 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
Finally I had the South African stamp in my Canadian passport.
© Tabytha Towe June 21st 2003
- Leaving Vancouver
- CAPE TOWN
moments from Tabytha Towe's diary:
SEVEN and a half-EIGHT-
Africa Diaries) EIGHTEEN
- NINETEEN- TWENTY
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