There is something about the sound of Africa that brings a chill to your bones. It sends a feeling into the depths of your heart that begins to spark a reverb throughout your body. You cannot help but tap, not only your foot, but tap into the a part of you that remembers a place far from here. Far from the city lights, the constant sound of traffic, the never ending hours of someone, somewhere working. Africa never leaves you. No matter how far you go, no matter how many other Visas or stamps you have in your passport, Africa is always calling your name.
I love Asia, do not get me wrong. However I do think that Mumford and Sons hit home with their collaboration with Baaba Maal and their song “There will be time“. This song makes me so nostelgic, for this distant and eclectic land that I call home. It makes me long for the Pans of Namibia, the serengetti of Kenya, the wild coast of the Transkei, the winelands of the Western Cape, the Canyons of the Blyde River and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.
But there is a time… a time for everything. A time to leave and a time to stay.
Over December, I got to have my time to go back to this incredible land that I am proud of and yet at the same time, heartbroken over. I was a bit ridiculous actually. I mean, I generally feel as though I am in a musical, and have a soundtrack to my life. Therefore the fact that I was playing the opening to the Lion King as our plane touched down, or that I was listening to Africa by Toto, as I walked off my plane into the African sun, was not at all by coincidence. My senses were alive to all that Namibia had to offer me, as the dust grabbed a hold of the back of my throat so that I could smell and taste it at the same time, as the fire of the African sun beat down on my winter white skin, I was home.
But was I? I was with all my incredible people, my lifelong friends, my family, but yet I felt so like there was a massive part of me missing. The part of me that had changed so drastically. I wanted to tell them everything, but would they understand this new life? My eyes had been opened up to a new light. Everything felt foreign, even the taste of a Cream Soda and biltong. Then I began to long for my new home, Asia. I wanted my Xio Long Bow (soup filled dumplings), I wanted the fast pace of jumping into a cab and heading out at 2am because things were still open, or walking around the park at 10 at night, even just simply sitting around with mates, planning our next holiday.
There was no deciding where I wanted to really be, because as I flew back off to continue my grand Asian adventure, I suddenly became homesick for Africa again. My poor Air hostess just kept feeding me in hopes of stopping me from crying. I came back to Asia, and all I have longed for since landing, was Africa. Honestly, what was wrong with me? I had become a cliche travel quote.
But this question of “home” seems to be on my mind all the time. Almost two years into being in Hong Kong, I still wonder where it is. Sometimes it is Asia, and sometimes it is a small town in the Karoo, or a sea side city. I am realising mostly though, it is in the timing of where we are and who we are with – again, “insert Pinterest quote here”.
“To feel hurt and joy, a feeling that comes from you, but our love for each other stays strong, it is constant and remains strong. ” – Baaba Maal, There will be time.
There is a feeling of hurt and joy in living abroad, of loving more than one place as “home” but they both stay strong and constant. Because,
There is a time to love,
a time to sing,
a time to shine,
a time to leave,
a time to stay,
There is a time, a time to cry,
a time to love.
So I hope where ever you are, what ever place you are currently calling “home”, that you will find the freedom and the time, to embrace it as home, for the time that it is just that, home – for now.