How often do we dream of faraway places and adventures in cultures that are unfamiliar to us? Travelling to distant lands on a tight schedule often only allow us to skim the surface of what is unique to a place. Living in another country, on the other hand, and being open to the magic that lies beyond the obvious is a special opportunity, not just for excitement and adventure, but also for introspection. It is when one allows a country to permeate one’s consciousness that a deeper understanding and appreciation of everything that makes us different, yet the same, can surface.
Not only was I born with itchy South African feet, but also a curiosity and interest in the world at large that reading on its own, will never be able to quench. As a result I have done au pair work in Germany, taught English in Taiwan and Korea, had a stint in Kenya and Zambia, and walked across northern Spain following the Camino Francaise from St Jean Pied du Port to Finisterre. Shorter trips took me to Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Hong Kong, Singapore, France, Austria, Holland, Portugal, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Oman, Nepal, Turkey, Jordan, Brazil, Myanmar, Indonesia, and Malaysia. My life is rich with experiences and stories from my travels.
Since my arrival in the UAE on 20 October 2011, my senses have been flooded with images, sounds, tastes, smells and textures. It is this gentle stirring of the senses that is compelling me to exploration, discovery, self-expression and sharing.
This is my journey. . .
* * *
When people ask me what they should do to become a writer, I seldom mention books – I assume the person has a love for the written word, and solitude, and disdain for wealth – so I say, ‘You want to be a writer? First, leave home.’
– Paul Theroux –