In 3 days I will be calling Cape Town, South Africa my new home for the next semester! For anyone who is reading this and knows me- It is safe to say I am happiest when I am traveling. The word love doesn’t even begin to describe my infatuation and passion with learning about different cultures, ways of life, and traveling. My brother made the remark to me that I should considering picking a new hobby besides traveling, since traveling was expensive. He suggested fishing.
Anyways- I recently received my living arrangements and will be staying in a house with about 27 other CIEE students near the University of Cape Town where I will be studying. I am currently a Junior at Seattle University, majoring in International Studies. I have spent the last quarter completing an independent study on South Africa, with a specific emphasis on the apartheid to help me have a foundation of knowledge to build on while abroad.
I continuously get asked “Why South Africa?” Usually this question is followed by a description of a poverty-stricken village, with no infrastructures. This type of description always makes me giggle a bit. It is for this type of common misconception of Africa’s continent I have chosen to call Cape Town my home. In addition to this misconception, I wanted to get away from the common “American Dream,” and find my dream. Many of us (including myself) grow up in a life consumed by the idea of “keeping up with the Joneses.” We often find ourselves measuring our success by the amount of money we make a year, the number of cars we own, and our ten day vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico every couple years. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think these are “bad” things or is a “bad” way of living life. However, this type of life isn’t the way I want to measure my success.
In saying this, me spending the next 4 1/2 moths abroad in Cape Town can only enable me to find my dream, learn about a completely new culture and reflect on my own life. I have spent the past couple minutes looking in the thesaurus for a different word than “excited” to explain my feelings for this journey. The word “excited” doesn’t even being to explain my feelings for embarking on this life changing experience. This is the perfect way for me to close one chapter in my life and open a new chapter.