South Africa is pure magic. I’m not kidding. I experienced a spiritual transformation during my exploration of the majestic country. It was during my trip to South Africa, when I confirmed my belief that everything in life is spiritual. I am forever changed and more thankful because of my adventures in the Motherland.
In late September 2017, I explored South Africa for two weeks. I was in Cape Town aka Magic Town during the first week with thirteen strangers on a Travel Noire TN Experience. This was the first time I booked an international trip with a travel company. Travel Noire is a Black owned travel curator company, which offers tools and resources for the unconventional traveler. I enjoyed many moments designed by the TN Experience team. However, I was disappointed that our scheduled helicopter ride on day six of the seven day adventure, was canceled the moment we arrived in country. My disappointment increased because of the manor in which we were notified of the cancellation and that this best seller experience would not be replaced with another experience.
Thankfully, there were a few other women warriors on this trip, and together we – mainly the attorney who was with us – were able to convince the company that they needed to do something. Travel Noire offered a full-day of wine tasting instead of a half-day, which I very much enjoyed! I know, you’re probably thinking that wine tasting isn’t the same unique experience of a helicopter ride nor the same price, but I honestly learned to just accept whatever comes to me that is good. Let’s be real, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a full-day of drinking wine in one of the world’s most coveted wine countries! Here’s a video to show you a glimpse of just how much I enjoyed it, by letting go of disappointment.
OK, so what did I do for seven days in Cape Town? Let me break it down, day-by-day for ya! Over the next seven days, I’ll share my epic adventures in Magic Town.
Day One: Welcome to South Africa!
I flew from Atlanta, Georgia, to Washington, DC to meet with my travel partner. To my surprise my travel partner missed her flight, so I flew to London, United Kingdom alone. I was astounded by how much I enjoyed exploring the Royal city alone. You can read all about my 12-hour layover here.
As I boarded the plane in London to go to Johannesburg, South Africa, I was energized with excitement to meet the other TN Experience travelers in Cape Town. However, my excitement could not surpass my jetlag, because once I boarded the plane in Johannesburg in route to Cape Town, I misplaced my cellphone. You can imagine the panic. I was sleep deprived as I put my luggage in the overhead compartment across from my seat, and just like that, I dropped my cell phone. Everyone was boarding quickly, thus the flight attendants would not allow me to quickly search for my lifeline. I laughed because in that moment, I felt like the Universe was testing my ability to remain calm under pressure. So, I prayed this simple prayer, “Jesus, please help me find my phone on this plane,” and I took a nap.
Thankfully, the other passengers sitting next to me were very helpful and asked others if they saw a cell phone. They also reassured me that no one would take a cell phone in Johannesburg, especially an iPhone because they are too expensive. They were right, South Africans are respectful of others and their belongings, contrary to some of the information we hear and read about in the United States. Once the plane landed, my cell phone was located exactly where I thought it was, in between the seats beneath the overhead compartment where I stored my luggage. I was breathing a little easier as I touched the ground in Cape Town. I located my luggage with ease and found my TN Experience local guide.
The drive from the airport was raised my spirits. The landscape of Cape Town is breathtaking. Everywhere you look there is something to marvel. The people are beautiful and diverse.
When we arrived at our luxurious boutique, I was thinking, “God you really want me to have a good time!” We stayed at the Vineyard Hotel, which had an amazing view of Table Mountain in the backyard. The gardens at the Vineyard Hotel were beautiful and tranquil, and the spa was pure bliss.
I met my roommate, unpacked my luggage and took a shower. I learned a lot about myself while sharing a room with a stranger for seven days. On the first day, I realized that my packing style of ironing clothes prior to organizing them in luggage, is more unique than I thought. My perspective regarding packaging, is to minimize the amount of time doing chores while vacationing. I want to explore as much as possible! I also learned that I enjoy wearing a dress a little more than most. I always pack a dress for every night I will be in a new city, because I like to look my best and be comfortable. Why not dress like a boss, if that’s how you feel?
I put on my glam yellow dress, took my twists out in my hair and went to a welcome dinner with the TN group at Marco’s African Place, an authentic South Africa restaurant.
We dined, listened to music, and a few brave souls danced with two South African artists during their performance. I ate the cape seafood soup, and the linefish of the day. The food was fresh and rich in taste. My taste buds were in heaven. The first day was truly a warm welcome to South Africa!
Stay tuned to day two, which involves the history of Cape Town.
Live well and travel often friends!