One thing this sexy soul loves to do is travel. It’s a great, big world out there… I want to see it! I want to taste it, feel it, embrace it and snap photos of it. Pretty simple. If I can get there, I will gladly plunge into any adventure offered up to me.
I recently embarked on a little (big) journey to AFRICA. Yah… like AFRICA. The country of Camaroon is where I made home for just over a week.
After almost 20 hours in flight, about 5 hours of stopovers at airports around the world, the city of Yaonde welcomed me with thick humidity, constants toots of car horns and a currency and language that would take some getting use to.
I wasn’t alone in this big foreign city. Nope, some adventures are meant to be shared with other experience-seeking folks. For this big journey, I was joined by about 12 other Canadians, all of us traveling across the world for the same reason: our mutual loved one was getting married to a young lady there.
Implanting yourself right in the middle of any new place often means getting to know the people who permanently call that place home. We were blessed with getting to know some locals. One was Flaura, the beautiful young bride to be. She would be marrying my uncle, the person we all had traveled across the world from Canada to be with. As well, we got to know our private drivers… who doubled as body guards…
One driver, Albert, bonded with us in car rides as he scooted us around the city. We shared laughs as he effortlessly weaved in and out of their crazy, unpredictable traffic. Well, we actually squealed with nervousness as he weaved in and out, he just laughed at our reactions to his driving. At any point that a western song would come on the few CDs that he played, we would car dance, getting right into the music. Albert enjoyed this and always turned the volume up. Who would have thought, a song by Jennifer Lopez and Pittbull could bring people together, from around the world?
Our group commonly became labeled le blancs… the whites. Sometimes the stares were of bewilderment from children, and sometimes out of a place of fear and protection from adults. We weren’t always greeted with love, but as the outsider, I can understand that. “Who are these people? And what do they want here?” That was a probable thought playing out in their curious minds as they studied us.
There are a lot of things that have the potential to break your heart, while traveling. Poverty is a heavy example. As you see it, you feel it. It’s natural to want to help and give to everyone you feel is suffering… but knowing that if you do that, you become a target and at huge risk of danger.
But as heartache appears, so do heart-warming experiences…
…The sight of young children and teens, playing football (soccer) on a dirt lot enjoying themselves simply because they love the sport purely… the sight of people of all ages walking the streets with the most interesting piles of objects balanced perfectly on their head… everything from trays of food to shoes to piles of clothes…. The sight of traditional dresses and clothing worn by the locals offering you a small glimpse at beautiful traditions that are embraced by all who live there.
On this trip, I ate snake. Viper to be exact. And you know what? It tasted like chicken. I had a handful of dirt (or maybe pooh?) thrown at me by a gorilla, and I took it right in the face. Good times. I browsed the markets, munched on fresh fruit, and tried to speak French whenever I had the chance…
Life is full of interesting adventures; traveling the world is one of them. It is almost always an eye opener and a great opportunity to have moments of ‘one-on-one’ time with the real you. It is in these pure moments of experience, whether it is viewing heartbreaking poverty or stepping out of your bubble to taste a foreign dish that gives you the willies, that we grow, expand and become a different person.
Isn’t that what life is all about? Grow. Experience. Embrace. And if you get the chance, travel.
Love, hugs, and butt slaps.