What is the word for missing someone, for knowing there is something missing from you because they are not there, when you have never had them to begin with? Does that word exist?
– Charlotte Green
I was only just five but turning six, don’t get me wrong. I was about to have my first year in a big school with all of the other big girls. My mom got my uniform – which consisted of a white golf shirt with my school’s name written in red very small over my heart and a pair of red shorts – and it was (like all of my future classmates uniforms) very big. In fact those red shorts lasted until I was thirteen.
On my first day, I was sorted into Mrs Askew’s class. We were assigned little lockers in which we could keep our pretty pictures and colourful crayons. Each locker had a cartoon with our name. My cartoon was a pair of sneakers. I met lots of little girls and we played games all day. I don’t really remember which girls I played with on that first day but I do remember my second day very well. We had been given the task of colouring in a flower picture. I was so engrossed in my marvelous artistic talents that I didn’t notice that the crayon I was using was not my own. It belonged to the girl next to me, a girl that I had never really spoken to. I gave her back her crayon and we started to compare pictures. She showed me her locker and she was so proud to have a toothpaste cartoon. Before we knew it we were flying through conversations and took turns recounting fairy tales of all shapes and sizes. We just couldn’t get enough of each other’s company.
We played games where we were fairies and princesses and twins and spies and ninjas and mommies. She would come to my house and I would go to hers. I got to know her dogs and her mom treated me like her own daughter. We started growing up together. I was there for her when her parents got divorced; she was there for me when we had to amputate my dog’s leg. We were always there. We went from sharing fairy stories to sharing scary stories. We began sharing music, movies, food and memories. When she got her first crush, we would talk about him non-stop. We went on holidays together and made new friends together. We were inseperable.
Until we were twelve. Then for the first time in seven years we were in different classes. But you know what? We made it work. We would meet up between classes and swap funny stories of the past lesson. But yet again the next year, we were in separate classes. This year was harder than the year before because not only were we in high school but we also had to face the fact that at the end of the year she would be moving across the world to live in Australia. Her step-dad got a new job in Melbourne. I tried to be mad at him and force them to stay but it’s like trying to be mad at your own dad and when you’re not yet an experienced teenage girl it can be rather hard.
The boxes got packed and the plane tickets were bought and before I could bare it, we were waiting at the airport terminal. It was a hard. Through sobs and hugs I gave her a scrap book I made of pictures from the nine years worth of memories and she gave me the book I leant her – The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. But I noticed that her book mark was at the end. I insisted that she keep it until she is finished. Today I found out that the movie for that book would be coming out next year.
We Skype regularly and text whenever we have exciting news that would normally be after school gossip. She came back to South Africa to visit this March. It had been one year and three months since we had been able to chat without a screen but it felt like she never left. She was still the little girl I met in Mrs Askew’s class.
Stomp stomp. Sigh. *reaches for water bottle in backpack*. “Oh my word. Look at that view!”.
In my first post I mentioned that I would like travel around the world to backpack and hike some of the world’s natural hiking trails. Initially, I wanted to expand on my first line but then I realised that you can take any scenic conditions and put me in it and I think I would be happy; the scalding sun beating down on dry grass and rockeries; looming trees and a forest floor covered in damp tree bark and fallen autumn leaves; and fresh green trees surrounded by white rock and sand with the persistent song of the ocean waves.
However, I am not determined on only traveling to camp beneath the stars. I would like to experience any change of that from my home. Whether it is a difference of cuisine, attitude of locals or even the street layouts. I’d like to partake in foreign festivals and learn the routine of a typical day. No matter where in the world you go, there is never the same vibe. Even from one city to the next in the same country. I have witnessed this first hand; in Johannesburg there is always bustling city life but in Port Alfred you could wait for two hours at a restaurant for a pizza; Durban barely experiences winter and I doubt half of the locals feel the need to own a jersey but in Cape Town their winters are very severe with great thunder showers. I like to think that Cape Town is the music (and maybe even style) capital of South Africa. Which also shows how so many different things can be learnt from traveling. Rich history. New skills. Common knowledge.
So I have been creating my very own travel catalogue with new and exciting places I have stumbled upon. I’d say I’m addicting to traveling – or maybe the thought of traveling, as I haven’t had the most experience. I did go to India last year and I think that is what really triggered my passion. I travelled around much of India and it was a phenomenal experience that I wish I could go on again. There is actually so much to say on the India subject for me that I am already planning a new blog post all about it. But my point is that I am constantly discovering new, little known places where I want to travel to.
I’d like to share some of the places I’ve been thinking of going. First of all I feel that I would enjoy New Zealand. There is a hiking trail called something like the Mavora Walk which goes far across New Zealand and even past some of the beautiful scenes where the Hobbit was filmed. Honestly this walk sounds amazing. There are cabins scattered along the hiking trail for you to stay in over night and I don’t think I would notice the hard and long trek if I got to see some of the beautiful natural features such as the Remarkables or Earnslaw Burn.
Another place would be a little bit more pampered. I’d really love to go to Harads, Sweden to the Tree Hotel. Yea, that’s right. A tree hotel. It is literally a hotel in the trees. There is a forest by the Lule river and in this curious forest are some curious boxes made of mirrors. Inside those mirror boxes? Hotel rooms. Yea. Maybe I could finish off this stay with a trip to Åre, a ski resort along a frozen lake.
Returning to my dream of camping and hiking… I would love to camp by Lake Alberta in Canada. I don’t know to much about this place but if google images has shown me anything it’s that there is plenty of surrounding forest for me to explore. Maybe I could bundu bash a bit. You don’t know what bundu bash means? It’s when you just walk (or drive) on no particular path. You make your own way.
And finally after that I feel I could go for a bit more pampering. Maybe in Iceland this time. Especially after exploring a bit around their waterfalls that are surrounded by a similar rock formation as that of the Giant’s Causeway. I would be more than happy to go to Blue Lagoon. A natural spa. This spa has a pool of water outside that is bright blue, naturally warm, and constantly renews itself. Booya. And just one kilometer away is a hotel that is known for it’s view of the Northern Lights. A dream come true.
So despite the fact that I don’t have all this money to travel to these wonderful places and then some, I am determined that it will happen. I can dream, can’t I? I can try.