I am the master. The master of classical conditioning. I can trick my mind into believing things that I wish for are for real. Even if only to a point. Born to travel but made to work I grab every opportunity to visit an airport with both hands. My passport is always up to date and I have some foreign currency handy for an incidental journey. For over a year I have not set foot in a foreign country. Huge reason for concern and depression. Here are my tricks to overcome the looming issue and make sure the depression is contained.
- Travel locally. I try to visit new places. Eat different food. Seek out colourful energy that makes for good photos. Some local places could feel foreign because I have not been there or because it is so different from my usual (Hermanus) hangout.
- Short stays. A day away could be all I have and I try to make the most of it. Planning is key and I make sure my cellphone is charged to take many photos and navigate the shortest routes. No point in wanting to do things and finding out the places are closed.
- Theatre visits. Fortunately the Celtic Dance Studio and Russian Ballet Company enjoy Cape Town and visit regularly. Seeing an international production provides an international flavour to still the call of foreign shores. I subscribe to theatre newsletters to make sure I don’t miss out.
- Visit a Turkish restaurant. Anatoli in Cape Town could have you fooled that you have indeed traveled. From the moment you set your eyes on the interior you could very well imagine that you have arrived in magical Istanbul. No hassle of luggage or clearing customs. Sit back, relax and enjoy the differentness.
- Try a new experience. Why leave the excitement for when abroad? Zip slide in Elgin, white water raft in Kleinmond and quad bike through vineyards in Hemel-en-Aarde. Very exciting and you don’t break the bank when you pay in Rands.
- Shop for international wines at Checkers and muster up a Chilean dish to set the scene. Transformed to South America for only two hours but still. A break away.
So many substitutes for travel. Even if these can’t compare to the real thing it is a way of keeping the hope up and believing that soon, very soon, my passport will be stamped and I will feel my stomach churn as the airbus takes off to some far, far away place.
Delaire Graff, Stellenbosch – you could be anywhere