Well, miracle of all miracles: I didn’t get attacked by a single African predator. There was a little adventure, though. Our safari truck broke down 20 feet from a leopard after dark. Then a lion growled at us when we got too close. Still, the majority of our trip was smooth sailing through one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
We stayed in an incredible safari resort, Sanctuary Makanyane, where they took care of our every need before we even knew we had one. And we spent 8 hours a day driving around the stunning African bush viewing some of the most majestic creatures imaginable. (Before you read further, you should just go ahead and book your flights and stay at Makanyane now. You. Will. Never. Regret. It.)
Then after we had had all the luxury safari we could handle (read: we were fat as town dogs from eating 4 rich, fantastic meals a day and walking only far enough to hop into a fireside bed every night), we jetted off to Cape Town and Stellenbosch (a stunning city on the sea and a picturesque village tucked into the middle of Africa’s winelands, respectively). Seriously, Stellenbosch looks like Italy and France had twins and named them Adorable Markets and Delicious Wine.
So all of this is true. We had a magical holiday that most people could only dream of—heck, we felt like it was surely someone else’s life ourselves. It was every bit as adventurous, mysterious, dramatic and opulent as you might guess. We were freakin’ lucky ducks in Instagram heaven. And I plan to share more takeaways from the trip in future posts.
But before I do, I want to share the whole story—not just the social media filtered version. Not to be a womp, womp downer, but to let you know that no matter who you are or where you are, real life is always real life. So with the extreme highs also came lows—and that’s totally normal and ok. No one really lives “the dream,” they live here and now.
So in addition to our outstanding experience, I present a dose of reality (as promised in a previous post):
After 30 hours of travel, including a 9-hour and a 12-hour flight, my back was wrecked. So jumping in an off-roading safari vehicle driven by an African Steve Erwin was exciting but often a pain—literally.
Notice I didn’t post photos of how I looked (read: smelled) after said 30 hours of travel.
I fought a pretty good battle against my good friend anxiety throughout our stay.
Didn’t shave my legs for the last half of the trip because I was just too darn tired.
There were MAJOR changes happening at work the whole time I was gone, and I was processing and considering some pretty big possible changes to my future while being way too far away to help make any decisions.
This probably goes without saying, but two-weeks of intense travel with husband and friends ended up with a few “tense moments.” :)
I’m not sharing this to pout or gain sympathy. I had an AMAZING time. But just don’t forget your life isn’t the only real life.
Now please go book your trip to South Africa, so you can share smug, over-the-top photos of your romp through paradise, too. :)
*I was in no way compelled or compensated by Sanctuary Makanyane to write about them. They're just super awesome.