Raise your hand if travelling has ever been one of your ultimate goals in life? I’m sure we’ve all caught ourselves at least once, chatting at a braai about our dream holiday destination and have even gone so far as to make plans with friends who you’ll hardly ever see again. Look, if we’re being honest, breaking away from the routine, meticulously planning a holiday is tough. Just when you thought the only obstacle in your way was pulling your life together, time management skills you’re hoping to learn from that book you bought but have not yet read, the paralysing fear of going to an unfamiliar country where you would be lost or worse … swoops in like a dream-killing-ninja and kicks you in the gut long you before you even get a chance to look at flights.
So how do other people do it? What’s the secret? Well, as the saying that goes, “The best way to get something done is to begin.” Yes, it’s true, the ruins of Rome are amazing and definitely a place worth visiting one day, but have you ever noticed that you might be living in one of the best countries in the world? Yes, you heard me. South Africa. One of the best countries in the world.
1. INTERNATIONAL TOURISTS LOVE OUR COUNTRY, WHY SHOULDN’T YOU?
According to the Department of Tourism South Africa, South African tourist arrivals increased by 2.4% in 2017 reaching a total number of just under 10.3 million visitors. People travel thousands of miles to see our country and many of them return year after year. It’s time South African’s took our eyes off the horizon to see what’s right in front of us, there’s so much to fall in love with!
2. SAY HELLO TO TRAVEL GAINS
Exploring new places and asking for directions when you’re a bit lost gets easier with practice. If going abroad to a foreign country is something that scares you, travelling to nearby locations is a great way to boost your confidence as it gets less intimidating every time.
3. THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES
“The graveyard is the richest place on earth because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled…” This is a phrase coined by Les Brown, pretty deep right? (Excuse the pun). Unlike international travel, travelling locally is more obtainable. Instead of waiting for the perfect time to travel, make the perfect time happen. It’s as easy as jumping in your car and driving off to the province next door.
4. GET EXPOSED TO DIFFERENT CULTURES
South Africa is rich with cultural diversity and most of our school curriculum handed this information to us in the form of textbooks, but did you know that there are cultural villages throughout South Africa where you can engage with the various cultures in this country in an experiential way? Visiting cultural villages means that you get to try out food, dance with the locals, and even learn their traditional methods of life.
5. SPECTACULAR WILDLIFE
South Africa has some really majestic wildlife, and in a time when animal conservation has become increasingly important, including this aspect in your itinerary is a no brainer. The Seasons Golf Leisure and Spa Resort, for example, is a state-of-the-art golf course, located just outside of Johannesburg, with wilderness zones as part of the course. These bucks know a thing or two about golfing technique, so be sure to bring your A-game when teeing off.
6. ON THE GRID
If you love the city life and prefer a vibey getaway, with day time café expeditions, and hitting the party scene at night, on the grid travelling is for you. You’d be surprised to know that when travelling locally, you actually get the cream of the crop. Global surveys have been conducted on which the best city in the world and Cape Town is ranked among the top. Not surprising considering Cape Town is filled with fantastic beaches, hiking trails, mind-blowing food, a fascinating cultural background and an overall scene that makes it hard to go back home. What’s excellent about city destinations as well, is that you’re spoiled for choice on accommodation options, like Inverness apartments, it’s location in Sea Point makes it perfect for exploring the city.
7. EXPLORE THE LOCAL ART SCENE
South Africa has so many insanely gifted artists, but what’s more insane is the ‘Jewel of the Eastern Free State’. Nestled in the mountains is a town called Clarens, with numerous art galleries throughout the beautiful town, it’s not surprising that it’s also known as the artist capital of South Africa. It also holds the honourable title of being the first town to receive the Proudly South African award.
8. NEW PLACE. NEW YOU.
If you’re in a bit of a rut and lacking some inspiration in life, travelling locally is amazing for self-discovery. New places pull you out of your comfort zone, and before you know it, you’re waking up in a different town with a new realisation of yourself that you previously unaware of. Sometimes living your best life, just looks a lot like discovering the best version of you.
9. OFF THE GRID
Ever feel like you just want to switch your phone off to take a break from the stresses of life? Good thing South Africa has so many remote destinations to choose from. Humala River Lodge for one sounds unreal, imagine waking up in comfort and style, to breath-taking views and being surrounded by all the glory the Earth has to offer. I don’t know about you, but my suitcase is already packed for this one.
10. VISIT HERITAGE SITES
If you’re looking for great fun for the whole family, a great way to travel while still incorporating an educational twist is to visit any of the 10 World Heritage sites of South Africa. These World Heritage sites range from natural wonders like the Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains, one of the world’s oldest geological structures, to the ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape, which contains evidence of human occupation from the Stone Age to this present day.
11. DESTROYING INSTA-ENVY
Ever scroll through your Instagram feed and think ‘Man, I wish my life looked like that.’? We’ve all done this at least once in our life. An Insta worthy life doesn’t have to be in Dubai, road tripping on South Africa’s most scenic routes will give you so many picture-worthy moments that you’ll run out of storage.