Marissa’s travel map of South Africa

My best friend Romy has always been in love with Africa, so I was not surprised when two years ago she got the opportunity to do her internship abroad and traveled down to South Africa. This was the first time I visited her and the country. Fast forward to 2019, she just finished her studies and decided to go back to South Africa for a few months. Naturally, I wanted to visit her once again. We planned out a little road trip, visiting a few of the places we’d visited two years ago but also contained new scenic routes and new places. This trip was so wonderful: meeting new people, exploring all the beautiful places the Western Cape has to offer, learning more about ourselves and even after thirteen years of friendship bonding even more.

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What is (or are) your most memorable experience(s)?

We experienced so much this trip that it’s hard to choose! On one of the first nights, we went to this karaoke bar called Brass bell. It’s an odd, dodgy place with different kinds of people, variating from locals to backpackers and everything in between. When we were kids, Romy and I always used to play ‘Singstar’, a karaoke game on the PlayStation. There is this one song called ‘Losing my religion’ by R.E.M. which has really turned into ‘our’ song over the years because we’ve sung it so many times. Naturally, we HAD to perform this song at the karaoke bar. The crowd went wild and we had so much fun!

Another memorable experience was watching the sun go down on Signal Hill. I’ve always had a thing with sunsets and watching it on this hill, looking out on Lion’s Head and the ocean was magical.
One of my big accomplishments was when I climbed the Lion’s Head, which I, unfortunately, couldn’t climb completely because of my fear of heights, but standing on that first top watching the city and nature below us was very special.

The last memorable experience I’d like to mention was when Romy and I went surfing together in Muizenberg. It felt so good to finally being able to share this common interest with each other.

What is the most beautiful place you visited during your travels?

Revisiting the Knysna Heads made me emotional because it made me realize how much had changed in that period of time. Being able to be standing on the exact same spot, now as a confident woman, made me feel proud and so grateful.

Noetzie beach is a beach we discovered two years ago through a very old travel guide. For some reason it’s not touristic at all, people don’t seem to know about it, which makes this gigantic beach very peaceful and quiet. In Plettenbergbay we did the Robberg hike: the most beautiful hike with breathtaking sceneries.

What did you learn during your travels?

Traveling always makes me realize that I’m such a small being in such a big world. It shows me that everything is relative and it makes me feel so grateful for everything that I am and have. For example being so privileged as a European girl with a European passport, being able to just go traveling wherever I want to go. Traveling shows you different cultures, making you question everything you’ve been taught by society, making you discover what you like and what you prefer, eventually resulting in growing as a person.

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