The night before I return home

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[This is not a travel planning/itinerary post. Just some ramblings off my mind on my last night in Africa]

17 days have flown by and this is my final night here in South Africa.

I can still remember the first few nights when I came and I was ‘counting down’ to the day I can return and right now, I’m somewhat dreading the return because.. I don’t feel that I have rested enough, despite sleeping the most I’ve ever had for a really long time.

For the first week here, I kind of ‘suffered’ from jetlag and felt tired after dinner at 8pm (2am SG time). I slept rather early every night, sometimes even before 9pm and I often find myself waking up at 1-2am (7-8am SG time). Thankfully, I am able to get back into sleep after I wake up but sad to say, I keep having disrupted sleep this year so despite being able to fall back asleep easily, I tend to wake up more often to check on the time. It was only until the mid-mark of my trip, did I stop waking up at 1-2am. Now that my body has kind of adjusted to the time here, it’s time to go home and.. I wonder if 24 hours is enough for me to get rid of the jetlag cycle.

Spending 18 days overseas wouldn’t seem like a ‘wow’ factor if I was still studying. In my first year, I went for 3 months USA work and travel and it was more than 90 days. For my second year, I went for summer exchange and it was 48 or 49 days in Korea and in my third year, I went for my grad trip which was 30 days.

Taking an 18-day vacation while you are holding a full-time job is.. madness. If I had a choice, I wouldn’t want to be gone for so long again. It was a tough decision made 6 months ago. Well, Africa.. is so far away and I thought that I might only visit it once (the most twice) in my entire lifetime so it would be a waste if the trip was too short. Furthermore, you spend 13-14 hours flying and I thought that I should make the most out of the time I have. The next best thing was that I had an understanding boss who approved my leave request (this is, in fact, the toughest nut to crack) which made this trip happen.

Well, it was a family trip after all and I’m flying halfway around the world to see my niece and spend time with her in her growing up years. The funny thing is, before we started going on holidays with her, I’ve not been on a family trip in quite a number of years. Ever since I could earn my own keep, I’ve been traveling with friends and sometimes alone. The pace and schedule of family trips is really different compared to my usual style of travel but.. after a few trips, I’m getting used to the laziness (which is good for relaxing). I had to find joy in.. taking IG stories of my niece visiting playgrounds all over the world. I had to see the usefulness in returning to accommodation to rest before going out again for dinner. I had to smile all over again for photographs that I didn’t like taking (I never like taking photos with my face in it). There are things that I’ve grown to dislike over the years but now, I have to start to learn to ‘like’ them over again. I guess, this is part of growing old(er).

To be honest, Africa was never on my bucket list (not yet, at my age) cause I’ve heard about how pricey things can be. Prior to my brother’s posting, I was desperately hoping for a European or USA destination as I would love to re-visit the places but.. Africa came to me as a complete surprise. Nevertheless, I’m still glad to have the opportunity to visit this continent at such a young age. While we were visiting the national parks, I felt seriously underage as everyone around us were kind of senior citizen or at least they looked above 60. Africa ain’t a place for budget travelers cause there isn’t such thing as budget. It was somewhat impossible to get sponsorship (not that I tried) but I hardly come across blogs that got sponsored for Africa. I guess, there’s a lot more demand than supply (which explains the high prices over here). Oh wells, I was never an animal person too. I mean, I do like to see them and appreciate them when they are around but I wouldn’t go an extra mile to hug and cuddle them. I don’t even prioritize visiting animal cafes when I’m overseas yet.. I had the chance to visit these amazing huge animals in their natural habitat (before it gets destroyed). I am thankful, for this somewhat unplanned vacation. Well, life is full of surprises and I guess this is one of my most random ‘surprise’ which I will have to ‘pay’ for the consequences in time to come ($$$). The financial damage seems to be looking at $6-8k and the emotional damage is that I could be restrained from going for another overseas trip for the next 9 months or so cause I shouldn’t be spending more money on travel plus.. I shouldn’t jeopardize my career further.

Another random rambling is that.. I am somewhat tired from the multiple trips I had during the past 3 months + the entire 2017. I admit that I traveled too much and.. I did get a little worn out. It’s funny because people usually travel to relax and enjoy but the work intensity I had made my traveling stressful and.. regretful. I don’t know how to explain but I am trying to make myself learn to compartmentalize my emotions, feelings and not let it affect the different parts of my life. I’m still learning to manage that aspect and I need to learn it quick or I’ll never fully enjoy any holiday. I couldn’t make plans for 2018 because I had the big Africa plan and now for 2019, I don’t dare to make any plans cause my bro should be relocated again and.. it might call for another family vacation. Alternatively, who knows, I might be the one getting relocated. *wishful thinking*

To be honest, setting up a brand new life in another country is.. a lot harder than it looks. Here in Cape Town, things are so slow and inefficient and unbelievable. While we were driving in town, there was an uncompleted expressway which.. could possibly remain uncompleted forever. There’s even a wiki page about it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreshore_Freeway_Bridge Over the weeks, I’ve noticed that they have very weird problems and that the government only places emphasis on some and the rest gets stuck in third world standards. Looking back on myself, I did think of applying jobs that will involve overseas posting and there was one my mum strongly discouraged me from applying as the posting would be to Africa. Now that I’m seeing things with an older perspective and on hindsight, I kind of understood the concerns she had. Then again, I always believe that I am able to adapt to the environment but.. we shall see.

Wish I could write more but my eyelids are getting heavy.

I actually wanted to post some live updates of Africa on my blog but the posts are still not totally done up yet so I guess it will take quite a while for me to be done.

Oh and, can you believe it, the only tangible (inedible/un-usable) souvenirs I bought for myself were 2 postcards from the gift shop at table mountain. I HAVE NO IDEA WHY BUT.. either nothing I saw was worth buying or I am really in no mood to shop or buy anything. I wanted to buy a wooden giraffe but the ones I saw were not nice so I ended up not buying anything. Oh wells, I guess I’ll just have to suffice with MIC products instead.

Adios~

Sorry for this random anyhow write post of mine. Just wanted to commemorate my super long vacation.

See you (myself) back in Singapore.

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  • Love your postings. I will probably never travel in my lifetime, so I enjoy doing it with you. I hope you recover from your jet-lag, and allow yourself some time to recover. Sometimes, as we age, we need to take extra care of our vitality, because we don’t have as much of it to go around!

    • Thanks for your kind comment. It’s really nice to have people that I don’t know commenting on my posts. Glad to know that there are people reading my boring entries =) Yep, I agree that age is catching up and I can no longer have enough energy to go on holidays with crazy itinerary. I tend to.. relax a little more and spend more when I travel. Haha. Don’t give up on your aim to travel. I’m sure you will be able to do it some day too!