Hello Cape Town! First, A Day Spent At

I once had a phone call with one of my best friends talking about life and in between, I mentioned Cape Town as a place I’d like to visit. There was no reason why but funny one I’ve been living in Lagos for almost  7 years but never travel to other countries in Africa. If you ask me the reason why I decided to fly to Cape Town this year, I just

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“Want to travel to somewhere that is nice, in the same time it’s civilized”

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I admit I wasn’t really keen to fly to South Africa. First reason, I was quite lazy preparing documents for visa. Second, oh gosh if you are a reader of this blog you must be nauseated how many times I’ve mentioned about building my dream kitchen but nothing happens yet. Okay, if there is somebody says to you that spending money to travel makes you richer than buying things, THINK twice. My personal opinion about it is yes, traveling makes you richer as a human being. It’s an absolute TRUTH. I believe everyone in this life is endowed with wanderlust. The level of wanderlust and the opportunity may vary. But if you have something more urgent and important to use your money for, share some and KEEP TRAVEL. Maybe, to somewhere inexpensive? At least, once in a year.

Reason one was done even, oh I have funny stories applying the visa from here. First, since I was extremely busy then I had to ask my driver to copy documents needed. Lesson learnt, everything about important documents handle it by you. Because of some mistakes I ended paying more than it should be. That wasn’t the key, time wasted was my concern till I had to sort everything out at one hotel near my office till late evening cause I only had time to apply the next day (I had to pay extra to print in the business corner cause hell ya, we had a problem with the printer in the office which made every paper faded printed! see?). Not even that, cross checking documents after 11pm was exhausting. It took more days for the visa process from what stated on the website till I finally got a message to collect my passport. Arrived at VFS and went straight to collect mine, opened the envelope and I didn’t see my visa (damn!, I was shaking a bit). I said to myself, “Well, Azis you said you are not that keen to travel to SA, huh? then, this is fine”. I was shaking a bit not because I wasn’t happy if I didn’t get the visa, but the money I spent to apply was something lol, the visa fee wasn’t that expensive but the service fee was too much :(“. I checked twice on my passport and ended saw one visa at one of the latest pages (haha, holy shit I could come back to work with a smile on my face, next time I’ll share some stories about this topic :)).

Reason two was more like an excuse again. Even though I wasn’t that keen to visit SA, but my travel bugs were flying higher when I finally got my visa and it was a nice feeling. I sorted all my tickets and knew this time around my travel wasn’t that cheap, because from Cape Town I would fly to Asia before flew back to Africa. But hell ya in between of fickle hearts, I said “let’s do this then. Nothing more exciting than getting lost at somewhere new with camera in hand”. I do believe that an opportunity to travel is something like carpe diem. Opportunity means we have fund to pay our bills but for me, apart of money there are important things involved: health and time. Back to what I said up there, KEEP TRAVEL even to somewhere that isn’t that far and expensive once in a year. It is really good to make us richer as a human in a way to embrace differences and beauties the world has to offer.

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“I flew after 20 hours layover in Istanbul and landed in Cape Town in the morning”

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It was a pleasant flight since I picked the flight route with a good timing and of course, window seat. Flying after midnight from Turkey gave me three good things: I could see how peaceful up there at dawn, subtle sunrise, and the landscape of Cape Town from above which looks very tidy. I could feel that I was already on top of somewhere that is not Africa at all but in Africa.

When I landed at Cape Town International Aiport I met with a driver from the hostel I stayed and went straight to Western Cape. If you are planning to travel to Cape Town, and love to stay at the hotel, oops sorry I left the S, I mean hostels like me, I recommend 91 Loop. I asked for pick-up service from the airport to the hostels to ease my movement and cost almost the same with Uber. Since there is neither metro nor subway in Cape Town, I mostly used Uber to move around (of course, using legs is the cheapest option if you have a tight budget, wise option to visit nearby destination!). Before I landed I already knew that Cape Town has a serious water shortage problem and it’s been three years. I was a bit worry when I heard about this and all the signages at the airport, malls, hotels, and public spaces are clear enough to ask you to use water wisely. But that wasn’t a problem at all since I could enjoy my days there.

Another thing I will tell you, when I landed on Sunday where a lot of stores nearby the hostel were closed and the road was a bit empty, I felt a bit unsafe to linger around (tho I did on my first day looking for food and ended with a pricey burger but man! it tasted so so good, one of the best burger I ever tasted). I know that we need to always be positive wherever we are but being careful is a must. At some areas by the street you would see raggy black people standing or begging (I don’t mean to sound racist by saying black people, so correct me if there is any better word to explain). That was the only thing I felt a bit hampered cause it limits me to take photos freely on the street. If you are going at least with two people together then you don’t need to be scared. Also, in the evening by 8pm I would always back to the hostel. It’s better to keep yourself safe than being careless and something happens like what I experienced in Istanbul last year. At the tourist area or somewhere popular, everything is fine. Apart of that, Cape Town is a beautiful destination. You won’t feel like you are in Africa, I repeated this. It’s more like in Europe of even New York kind of. I mean how clean and neat the city centre is, all those buildings, cafes by the streets, delicious food is easy to find, beautiful beaches, art galleries, many things you could explore. And 30 minutes drive from city centre to the airport sounds good, right?

On my second day, after I rested a bit and rented mobile wifi, I took my time walking to V&A Waterfront. Before I realized that it was quite bit far from the hostels, I enjoyed every step on a sunny Monday morning with earphones listening to my favorites songs (this is my morning ritual every time I travel abroad, my simply happiness). I checked how much I would spend for Uber but ended by exploring some streets cum learning to read Gmaps more often. When I finally arrived at V&A, I felt so happy. I took a very slow morning by grabbing breakfast round two from Woolworths. I mean, what breakfast to expect from budget hostel, huh? :P

Anything better than sitting on the bench, enjoying good breakfast with this view below, on Monday morning while most people is working? As I wish I could do that every Monday in my life.

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I spent a whole day at V&A with few things I would always do when I travel alone: sitting on the bench watching different people with ice cream, following my heart where to have lunch either fancy restaurant or supermarket food (I ended with second option, shrimp pasta with avocado and it was so good), at V&A I was crossing my legs on the stone bench by the harbor and how I love spring, smiling to stranger after helping them with some photos (I know, this is classic challenge for solo traveler like me when what I got back after helped them was slanted photo of myself in front of one landmark :|), staring at the blue clear sky thanking Him for another opportunity to travel, also waiting for a sunset.

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