All posts filed under: Wander

on getting lost in the world

Meet the Parents; or My Unexpected Language Immersion Trip

This is my third time visiting South Africa and this time I wanted to see the other side of the country; see Johannesburg. We could’ve flown, but I like road trips, so we packed up the car and made the 15 hour drive. Unfortunately, I couldn’t help Efrem drive because I can’t drive a manual car and while I’ve asked him to teach me dozens of times, that request hasn’t been fulfilled. So he was on his own for that long drive. We planned 10 days between Joburg and Pretoria, where I could see where he spent much of his first years in SA, meet his friends, and meet his mom and sister. I was excited and nervous to meet people, but I think there were definitely some miscommunications, and for me, some unanticipated consequences of this meet and greet. As soon as we arrived we went to one of his friend’s houses for dinner. This began my nonstop consumption of injera and my first taste of what was to be a long Amharic filled …

Why I Love/Hate Travelling

I decided around graduation that I would do the irresponsible thing that twenty-somethings do, and travel instead of looking for a job. To be fair, I’m only gone for about a month, I’m visiting my boyfriend, and I’m in a country I’ve been to two other times now, as opposed to backpacking through Europe and staying in hostels. The latter I would probably do if I had more money saved up, but since I worked for free all semester at an internship instead of making chump change every two weeks doing surveys, this is where I am. I bought my plane ticket the night before graduation and left ten days later; first spur of the moment trip I’ve ever taken. I love travelling, I love going to new places, I love eating new foods and seeing beautiful sights. My dream is to find a job where I can be paid to do that–but I think you actually have to be a chef or willing to eat damn near anything and shout to have a food …

Cruises, Culture, and Responsibility

So I realize I haven’t posted in a good minute. My practicum, the last requirement for my degree, really took over my life; I’m not being hyperbolic. I wasn’t cooking very creatively, I wasn’t cooking much at all, and I just couldn’t breathe a second long enough to think to take photos of anything or post about anything. But now that’s all over and I actually got to take a vacation. That’s what this post is about–my cruise to Cozumel on Carnival. Naturally, my parents were a bit nervous about my going on this cruise given Carnival’s recent bouts of ship issues, but luckily the one I was on had no mechanical problems. There were some other problems… [Warning: this is a long post.] The morning the ship sailed I took my last final of grad school. I ran out of there in under an hour after furiously scribbling down answers. Since I live pretty close to the port we took a cab there and luckily got on board pretty quickly. It didn’t register at …

Vacation: Sipping Wine, Walking the Beach…and Riding ELEPHANTS!

After we left Oudtshoorn we drove down the N12 towards George. After a couple of missed turns and backtracking we got on the right road to do a little wine tasting. We were looking for Herold Wines, a small vineyard off the beaten track…WAY off the beaten track, as in there was no physical address, just GPS coordinates. But it had pretty good reviews online, and they had pinot noir, which isn’t grown much in South Africa. Once we finally found the place, we ended up being the only people there. Alas, because they were such a small vineyard, they were out of pinot noir–sold out in their high season. So we did a quick tasting of the rest of their wines, bought a couple of bottles, took some photos around the area, and got back on the road to Sedgefield.     The drive down to George over the Outeniqua Pass was beautiful, winding through the lush mountains, and from there we had another 45 minutes to our hostel. We found this particular hostel …

Caves & Waterfalls

We finally got to the vacation part of my trip in SA. I mean this whole time has been my vacation, but Efrem finally has his 10 days of time off. So now we’re in the middle of a road trip through the garden route. We took this trip before in the winter to Plettenberg Bay so that I could go bungee jump at Tsitsikamma, so now we’re seeing some other parts. Side note: the car ride was definitely more beautiful in the winter when everything was green and the flowers were in bloom–now all those rolling hills are a summer brown. Our first stop was in Oudtshoorn, which is famous for the Cango Caves and their bounty of ostriches. The caves were incredible. It was hot, humid and slippery inside but it was well worth it. We did the adventure tour which takes you through all sorts of uncomfortable and narrow tunnels. They actually warn you if you’re kind of on the “curvy” side that you really can’t do the adventure tour, because you’ll …