Sunday, January 16, 2011

long ago and far away

 Cape Point - the very Southernmost tip of Africa
Penguins at Boulders Beach

The hallway of my dorm on the University of Cape Town campus

Six years ago, today, I was in Cape Town, South Africa.  I was 20 and I was drunk.  I was drunk on scenery and change and alcohol.  I was confused and open-minded.  The education I got in that too-short month was so concentrated and so varied that it still makes my head spin.

There isn't a week that goes by without a passing thought about that time in my life.  A few of the pictures still hang on my walls and I still spend as many minutes as I can with my second half - Other Rachel (although, at this point we are averaging about fifteen minutes every two years).  I am so excited that a fellow alum of the program lives in the Chi so if I ever need it, I can always call her up and be like, "remember?" and she'll be like, "yeah," and I'll know it wasn't a dream.

There is this yearning inside of my insides to go back, just for a minute, or a day, or for a year - to do it all over again - like a grown up this time.  Every time I think about it there is a dull ache in my chest of wishing I could be irresponsible enough to Just Go. Maybe I was too young to appreciate all the beauty and history - but I was just the right age to enjoy being young and on an adventure.

If you have a kid (or if I have a kid) - let them travel abroad.  Its worth the money and the effort.  Its worth whatever you put into it for them to realize how big the world is.


Olga said...

I can't believe it's been 6 years.
I still don't think I've understood everything I learned while I was there.
And yeah, we were all so very very drunk.

- Olga

Rachel said...

I am sure I don't understand everything. But I do know it was the best. Please say Hello to D.C. for me, I hope you are enjoying it.

Olga said...

It was the best. I want to go back. Maybe when I have money again...

I am enjoying it, I am. It's a strange place, but I like it here.
I interestingly dated a girl who claimed she wrote part of a Mary Prankster song, which made me think of you.

She's pint-sized and amazing.