After skating with my longboard from Germany to Istanbul last summer, I was ready for an even bigger adventure: I wanted to skate from Saigon to Singapore. To push myself to the limits, to experience, to grow, to travel. Along the way, I weaved through the most intense traffic I’ve ever seen, discussed global politics with Cambodian monks, became a pop-up Thai celebrity, and sweat more than I ever thought humanly possible.
Freedom. Feel the wind in your hair. Simply set off. Go explore something new, leave everything behind and switch off. Forget everything for a day and feel entirely free.
That’s exactly what we wanted. And it was no sooner said than done: last Tuesday, we hired a car and drove inland from Tulum. With no destination, no plan and no satnav.
After three whole years of working on the reception at MEININGER, I decided it was time for something new. While I thoroughly enjoyed sharing Berlin with people from the most varied of nations and exchanging stories and experiences with them, I simply could not shake off the idea of setting off on my very own adventure.
After my second journey through South Africa almost four years later, I reiterate my previous statement once again. Spectacular and versatile scenery, never-ending beaches, extraordinary safari experiences, friendly and open people with excellent cuisine – all this can be found in the southernmost country of the African continent. After a good five weeks in the country, I have now compiled a list of my highlights and favourite addresses for you.
It all started with a sea of white and pink flowers in Free State. We were on our way to the first stop, the Golden Gate Highland National Park, just south of Johannesburg near the border to Lesotho. We had to pass through the gates of the park before 6pm, otherwise we wouldn’t make it to our camping site for the night. The warm wind blew through the car as we drove through the picturesque and rocky landscape into the evening sun with its intense orange glow. It was beginning again: that fluttering feeling in my stomach, just like the first time I visited South Africa. Back then, I fell head over heels in love with this beautiful country.
So here we stand, tired and carrying our heavy luggage. It is only minutes to midnight at the car rental counter at Spokane Airport, Washington State. We arrived on the last flight in, our last flight on the very long trip to get here: including a stopover in Chicago, it took us a total of three days. But now we are ready. We finally get the keys to our rental car, which feels much like receiving the keys to our future – at least for the next three weeks.