For 22 years, I drifted my way through life. I rarely felt passion, I acted carelessly and I gave myself away too freely. What did it matter, though? I didn’t need to do anything substantial because I was constantly being taken care of by people in my life. My parents paid for everything, my friends took care of me when I was too drunk to get home and I didn’t have my first job until I finished university. Life was a mere spectacle. People loved my stories of how I ended up in dangerous situations and I loved telling them. I have always lived for adventure – the destructive kind.
I spent five years studying a degree I didn’t care about – little did I know, that it was this degree that would land in me in places I had only dreamed of. I ended up spending four years in Korea, teaching English, meeting locals and other foreigners, experiencing things that I thought were fascinating yet strange at the same time. I knew I had to take advantage of this situation, I knew that I was destined for more than a scandalous story.
I booked tickets to countries that excited me as often as I could. One such time, I ended up on Boracay Island in the Philippines on a solo trip. My hotel room overlooked the sky-blue ocean, great palm trees and the sun beamed into the full-length windows like rays of happiness. My bed was decorated with my favourite flower – the frangipani. Regardless of the abundance of geckos and lizards (my worst fear), I breathed in life. I talked with the locals who taught me about humility. I learned about the island in all its beauty that was jaded by social issues. The people were poor, but they were happy.
I visited a piercing and tattoo parlour on the beach and decided I would get my first tattoo – an outline of Africa on my back. It’s not big and it’s not magnificent but it is meaningful. After all those years I spent trudging through a boring and predictable life, here I was in the middle of nowhere, by myself, with a permanent symbol on my back that reminds me of who I was, who I am and where I come from. Africa will always be home.
No matter where I go (and I plan to go everywhere), Africa will always have my heart because now, I am in a place where I can truly love and admire the beauty of my home country, the inspiring people that encouraged me to live my best life and the astounding diversity that makes this world spectacular. I no longer crave destructive adventure – just, adventure.