Being a tourist in my own country

I really wanted to travel abroad for my birthday this year.  A close friend kindly invited me to join her and her friends on a vacation in Paris during my birthday week.  I must admit, the thought of ringing in my birthday with the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop sounded like a dream celebration.   Although the “City of Love” is on my list of  “places to visit before I die”, I unfortunately had to decline the offer.   Perhaps one day I will explore this romantic city with my significant other, as I always imagined, hence the Universe delayed my trip this time around. 

My preferred holiday options were either Bali and Singapore, Dubai and Malaysia, Turkey or Zanzibar.   When I  finally settled on a destination and travel dates, it was already less than 2 months before my birthday and flight prices had sky-rocketed (no pun intended).  Disillusioned, I resigned myself to the fact that there won’t be another stamp in my passport just yet.

Loren, my work colleague and good friend, and I were chatting  one evening and I mentioned my failed plans for my birthday vacation.  I told her how I was really looking forward to a break and won’t mind even a local getaway for now.  And that’s what sparked the idea of a mini vacation to Cape Town.  I have only been to the Mother City once before and that was 10 years ago.  Going there again actually wasn’t a bad idea.

We chatted till about 1am, excitedly planning our prospective holiday, the things we would do there and our friends in Cape Town who we could meet.   A few days later, our flights and accommodation were booked and we began counting down to our “girls getaway”, which was about a month away.

Loren was in her element as she meticulously planned our itinerary.  We had a jam-packed schedule with a mixed bag of activities.  From a relaxed afternoon of pampering to action-packed adventures, from tantalizing our taste-buds, trying out Cape Town’s famous fish and chips, to satisfying our craving for sushi and tasting some exquisite and fine wine.  Horse-riding, late nights, early mornings, stunning scenery, new friends, a little bit of partying and loads of pictures made for one of the most exciting and memorable vacations I’ve ever had.

Sometimes, what we plan for months in advance does not materialize, yet something spontaneous turns out far better than we could have ever planned.   I envisioned my ideal vacation to be in another country.  Little did I know, my perfect birthday getaway was a mere 2 hours flight away.



NB: I termed my birthday month #AdventurousAugust.   In my posts to follow, I will share details of some of my most memorable birthday moments.