Last winter I went to one of the most beautiful places on earth, Johannesburg, South Africa. It was the 2nd time I had been to a black nation but the 1st time I’d been to one where a black man was printed on the money that was used in present currency. I can’t explain what it felt like to swap American dollars with dead white men on it for money with an African man on it who is recognized all over the world. I’ll just say the feeling runs deep. In South Africa, people breathe Mandela’s air and talk about Mandela as if he’s still alive. I suppose in many ways, he is. As they say the body dies but the spirit lives on.
Before I left for my vacation and after I returned people were asking me the most ridiculous questions about why I go to Africa. Sadly, that’s not new to me. I’ve known for a very long time that people tend to believe what they read about the motherland. But I travel to Africa every two years, and I travel there alone. I make it a priority to vacation in Africa as it’s one of the most remarkable places in the world.
Following my arrival in Johannesburg, I was introduced to a few of the locals who informed me of their many beautiful landscapes and the more than 9 languages, on average, that each one of them spoke. I was taken to my hotel by a private driver who drove me to a 5-star luxury hotel in a black E-class Mercedes Benz, the car I had envisioned I would be chauffeured in (we’ll talk about visualization soon). I was greeted with a warm welcome to my home for the next 5 days where over the course of my stay I ate some of the freshest fruit, the most delicious individually prepared meals and traveled to various places such as Soweto to visit Winnie and Nelson Mandela’s home, and Gauteng Province to Mandela’s guarded mansion and later, to the Apartheid Museum to learn about the birthplace of humankind. I discovered that some of what we are facing in America is very much the same as what the South Africans are facing in their country. Issues that include people on strike for earning low wages in the local school districts to the colorism among Coloreds, which are mixed raced (white and black) South Africans, and black South Africans. Things I knew from previous reading but now saw up close.
As I sat by the roadside with my local tour guide and imagined where I would live in the future, he told me that there were young professionals who rented houses for 1 month that cost 1/4th of what we pay in a month for rent in New York. Nevertheless, Africa is a healing place for me. I feel more enriched each time I go. It’s almost depressing to come back home after being around practically all black people every day, yet I return to home base every time. Go to Africa! See it for yourself. Your extended family is eagerly awaiting your return. I’ve already tasked myself with a 30-day goal of completing a beautiful experience back to Morocco (2 years ago I went to Casablanca). Next stop, Marrakesh!
If you could go to Africa this year what would you want to see? Feel? Hear? Learn?
Today’s affirmation—I am responsible for healing the vision I once lost.
*This blog is about becoming free. It’s a reflection of introspective thoughts and experiences that have crossed miles of self-discovery. I created this blog to inspire others to live life with less self-criticism, judgment and openness to new experiences. May you find that you learn how to live a life by design and on your own terms!*