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To go, or not to go…

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2004, my daughter and I in Paris, obviously…

The travel bug bit me at the age of thirteen.

I remember clearly, it was one day in an English class that I decided that after I finished university, I’ll become an air hostess so I can see the world. Those days there were strict parameters that you had to fit into to become one – no less than a certain height (I think it was around 5’4″), and no more than a certain weight. I held my breath throughout my teen years to see when I would stop growing, hoping, wishing I’ll be tall enough. And I was !!!! Yay!!

So, off to varsity went, to get a degree, so I can start traveling. While studying, the inevitable happened. I met my (now ex) husband. Long story short, when he asked me to marry him, I said on one condition – that we travel to Europe before we have kids. That never happened.

Fast forward many years – the kids are growing up and they don’t need me around all the time. I started sewing from home to make money and I saved like a demon, and the day came that I said to my husband that this coming year I’m going overseas, are you coming with? He said no, not believing that I’ll do it on my own. But I did. 2002, my first trip to Europe (or anywhere!), and it was amazing! I stayed in Vienna with friends for a week (I also visited Salzburg, Hallstatt and a few other places in Austria with them), and then I went to the Netherlands for a week, via Paris.

Two years later, an even better trip – I got to go with my daughter when she finished school, and it was a blast, to say the least. Sharing these experiences just take the level of enjoyment up so many notches!

It was not an easy decision to go that first time – I hated leaving my kids, but I knew they were at a stage where they’ll be okay without me for a few weeks. And it was ‘now or never’ – I felt that I’ve been patient long enough for my dream to come true…

Since then, I’ve been to Europe one more time (thanks to my SO*), to the UAE with my youngest son to visit a friend, and to Canada a few times to visit my daughter and her husband (and the last time, my first little grandchild), and although I enjoyed every single minute of every trip, I’m still frustrated. (Does that sound ungrateful? I’m not, I appreciate that I’ve had more opportunities than most.)

2008, with my youngest in the UAE.
With my SO, Munich, 2012
At the top of Sulphur Ridge, Canada, with my daughter. 2015

I only started traveling relatively late in my life, (I’m reaching retirement age now), and I haven’t seen nearly enough places yet. I’ve got a bucket list as long as my arm, but I have to start realizing that I’ll probably never get to see all of them… I mean, it is all good and well to say ‘just do it’, but reality is it costs a lot of money, especially traveling from South Africa, since our money is worth nothing in other countries. I’ve got a partner and responsibilities here, which makes taking off on a whim difficult as well.

So I am an avid arm chair traveler now. I cannot get enough of YouTube’s travel channels, I watch them all the time. And who knows, I might get to see a few more places on my wish list in real life, if my health permits!

( Thanks for giving me the idea for this post. It is an amazing thing if one can live out your dreams, but for some of us, the reality of life gets in the way. Enjoy your travels, we’ll live vicariously through you!)

Until next time, stay safe! 🙂

About zelmare

Hallo to you from the southern most part of the African continent - South Africa!! To put my life in a nutshell : I raised 3 absolutely fabulous kids (I'm sure you will hear a lot about them, since I am a very proud mama), I became a doting grandmother two years ago and recently bought a house in the Western Cape, and in doing so, realized a dream I've had for many, many years. I love traveling, which I don't do often enough. I love living a simple life - cooking, gardening, knitting and of course, blogging. There is still a lot I want to do and see in my lifetime, but time will tell how much of that I can actually accomplish. I am looking forward to meeting a lot of lovely new friends and interesting people here on WordPress! :)

11 responses »

  1. You have no idea how much I related to this post!! It was like I wrote it myself. There are sooooo many places I want to see and explore, but money always limits my travel. And now COVID of course. Who knows when I will next feel comfortable getting on a plane. However, I do feel grateful that I have been able to see all the places I have so far. By the way, please know that I am reading each of your posts, but fir some reason I am not able to “like” them. This has been happening a lot lately.

  2. Not ungrateful… the travel bug is real!!!! Time and money is always an issue, and it sucks!!!! Hopefully you get to travel again soon!! I’ll be rooting for it!! ❤

  3. Hey! Thanks for the shout-out to journey-junkies! We read your post with interest and totally understand that many people have situations which mean that they can’t take off on a whim. We are lucky in that we both love to travel as much as one another, but the truth is that we have given up a lot in order to be able to do so. We don’t have our own home and when we do travel, it is very much on a budget. We have made a lot of sacrifices, but it has still been worth it. I guess whatever we choose in life, most of us have to make compromises. The article that we wrote was aimed at those who potentially have the freedom to travel, but can’t quite make the break because of their fears. This clearly hasn’t been the case in your situation. The ideal situation for us is that one day we are in a position to become digital nomads and earn as we travel. At the moment, of course, we are unable to go far ourselves! Hopefully, you will be able to make many more of your travel dreams come true in the future!

    • I get where you came from with your article, totally! I have always wished that I could do the same!!! It just made me think about it again from my perspective, and I often think that I should have made other choices right from the word go, in order to live the life of a traveler, but that would mean giving up on a whole lot of other important (to me) things. I envy you your freedom ‘to roam’, but at the same time, I appreciate my ‘restrictions’ (my SO, my children) if that makes sense at all! 🙂

  4. I did much the same, meaning travelling late, though it isn’t something I’m passionate about. I think I’m too lazy to really travel.


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