(First steps, Cape Town – 06/12/2017)
The beginning of my trip was not easy. To the anxiety that leaving everything behind for a kind of trip I would have never imagined, there was the fact that the day before my flight to Cape Town I still didn’t know where to stay.
My plan was to stay in South Africa for two months and do some volunteering work, hoping to get accommodation in exchange for my work. But despite my research and emails to numerous organizations, nothing materialized.
As I approached every South African first line contact I had (work colleagues, my ex partner and his family, friends) with no successful result, the day before my departure I decided to reach further and approach other people I didn’t know that well but with ties with South Africa. ‘Someone might know someone’, – I thought.
Willem, who is from South Africa but lives in Switzerland, was one of these people I asked at that point. We briefly met in London when we were introduced by third people. So although I had the assurance he was a fine man, we were just social acquaintances.
Strike of luck, Willem answered me 40min I was going to board into my plane. ‘I’m in Cape Town myself over the next days, so you can stay at mine for few days till you find your way‘ -he replied. What a relief to have a safe place to start my journey!
Upon arrival, I took an Uber straight to Willem’s place. A beautiful flat in the seafront with my own bedroom and bathroom! What a start of my journey.
What a nice gesture to host someone that you briefly know. I have done that in the past, so staying with Willem was something I was comfortable with. Willem was due to return to Europe in few days. But during my days with him there were some things he had to do while there, specially maintaining the property. So I went along with it and helped where possible.
This was the first of a series of beautiful connections that would come along my trip. Outside the fuzz of hectic London and Europe, we had the time (9000km away) to chat and share our life experiences. Both recovering from difficult years (his motorbike accident, my massive burn out at work with its subsequent life crumble), we had lots to share and managed to see the real person inside each other.
Knowing about his life, his past, the challenges he went through allowed me to reassure what a beautiful person Willem was. So I was grateful I spent few days at his place, have an easy start of my time in Cape Town and share time together.
So my search for accommodation was not easy. And the kind of places I had to stay until, were not particularly nice.
But my luck and Willem’s generosity went further, and few days after he offered me to stay at his place once his family would leave the flat after the festive season. So I would need to find accommodation for 1 month until I could move to his place.
What a fortunate start of my trip, to find such a generous soul and great place to stay. They say Universe is wisdom and returns what you give. And although I did a similar thing for someone in the past, this reassured me that this trip would not be only about exploring and ‘leisuring‘ but also about giving and connecting. Kindness would be a recurring theme during this trip.
The Universe is wisdom and places the right people at the right time to enable our trip. Thank you Willem for your generosity and for teach me the first lesson in this journey.