I am departing Africa, in love, in awe, in confusion, in inspiration, in happiness, in sadness and with a great sense of something. I am not leaving Africa, surely, this would be impossible, for a part of me will remain here forever. I have left a part of myself along the journey through times and places and peoples, across an entire country that I still barely understand. A part of my heart lives in a thatch-roofed rondeval in the Transkei, along the Wild Coast of the RSA. A part of me floats effortlessly in the seas of the Indian ocean, in the quiet forests of Dwessa, across the immense expanses of Mkhambathi. I have left a part of my soul in rural schools in the Eastern Cape, in Cwebe and Hobeni, and with the many other people we have met along the way. There is a saying among the Xhosa people, ‘If you meet someone for the first time, they are a stranger. But if you seen them again, they are a friend’. So many new and beautiful people have become friends and and entirely new place has become a new home. A part of me has returned to mother Africa, the place from where we have all come. A part of me is now more complete.
My experiences here cannot be described adequately or conveyed properly. Hell, I, myself, cannot even begin fully comprehend everything that has happened in the past 2 and a half months. Processing is taking place and my mind has slowly begun to make sense of life in the South Africa. Leaving is bittersweet. Many more adventures still await me. I am now a college graduate. Life is changing. I am changing. The way I view and understand the world is changing. I grasp tightly to very little. I am floating through a beautiful world and I am at the mercy of its waves. There are forces far greater than me. I am stronger than I once thought. People are beautiful, so beautiful. The world is tremendous and unbelievably huge and wild and so worth saving. There are so many things worth fighting for. There are so many things worth living for.
In the beginning of the trip a friend asked my why my blog was titled ‘Tones of Home’. At the time, I didn’t really have an answer, but now I do. This is a travel blog, of course, to document my life and journeys over the next few years of my life. But it is also a blog about home, finding it elsewhere, in the strangest of places with the strangest of people at the strangest of times. For a number of reasons, I have felt my notion of “home” gradually changing since I began in college 4 years ago. I have reached a point in my life where “home” is no longer defined, it is nebulous and shifting and it assumes many forms. In this sense, my home is where I am, with whomever I am there with. With strangers and friends and by myself. As I wander, home wanders with me. As I seek home, my home seeks with me. It is a strange feeling, but one that I am eager to embrace.
At the end of this journey, I tip my hat and raise my glass to the beauty of South Africa and its people. I cannot wait for the next great adventure. Thank you for all that supported me in this endeavor and shared in it with me. And so now, I am leaving home for home and yet, I remain here forever. So it goes, life is good.