Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Gypsy

For as long as I can remember, I've always been the type that wished I was somewhere else. There was that time when I was 14 or 15 years old, when Lyn and I formed an elaborate plan to post ourselves to Boston, Massachusetts, through air mail. We were both avid New Kids on the Block fans even though the group had disbanded years before. But after hearing that a woman had posted herself to Sylvester Stallone’s house, we decided to do the same. I even had Joey and Jonathan's physical addresses (my natural stalker tendencies and abilities evident from those days, and a freaking brilliant stalker I was too). We even worked out how we would do it but the lack of cash at the time derailed our plans. Ironically, at the time a flight would have been cheaper than the postage fees, but we really wanted to try out postage services because there'd be no visa required..."Fragile, This side up, Handle with care" LOL.

Then when I was around 16 ot 17, I toyed with the idea of living, working and studying in New York, USA. So much so, that this became my goal and I was adamant that I wanted to move to New York for 4 years after that. I did my research, and I even knew where I wanted to stay etc. I was really clued up about it...until 9/11 happened. Then all my hopes and dreams came crashing down with those twin towers. And I was like "never mind...not after this".
I think what really deterred me was Lyn's phonecall from Chicago a couple of weeks after the attacks. She said that paranoia wrapped the country like a blanket and that as brown people, they were experiencing alot of Racism, Islamaphobia and Xenophobia...and they weren't even Muslim! So I didn't want any complications and I didn't want to have to experience problems because of who I am and I subsequently canned the idea.

London happened out of the blue. Honestly, I had NO intention of going to the UK. It never appealed to me. I didn't even think about it until a good friend suggested it. By this time, I had just graduated and had had a hectic job in the Private Investigating field for 2 and a half years. I wanted to leave the job to move further up in my career, but didn't quite know if I could get an equally stimulating job in SA at the age of 22...so I thought that if I can't get the excitment and challenge I need in a different job, then I'm going to get it from a different country. And thats when London happened.

After London, I was seriously seriously thinking about Dubai. Dubai appealed to me for the obvious reasons...its a predominantly Muslim country and also contemporary, cosmopolitan and diverse. That ended when there was that terrorist attack there too (don't ask me which one, because there were so many...I wish the terrorists could leave all my destinations alone).

Wellington, New Zealand seemed appealing when I was watching "Location, Location, Location" one day in my flat in Maida Vale on BBC1 or 2...(can't quite remember). It still lingers in my mind every so now and then...

Vancouver and Toronto, Canada made their appearance when I was around 24 and decided to go back to University to do a business-related degree. I did my research and even passed the immigration eligibility test. But I've always been two minded about it for some reason. It also lingers in my mind, so it's not completely out of the question.

Perth, Australia made it's debut when I watched Salaam/Namaste for the first time. But I've never taken Australia seriously. I'd like to go there some day for a visit, but to live there? Lets just say it's not in my top 10.

And so through the years, many countries featured (& still do) in my little play. Ireland, Paris-France, Seattle-USA, Cairo-Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Malaysia, Seychelles, Grand Cayman Island, maybe back to London...

Don't get me wrong. I do love South Africa. But I'm a true Musafir. A Traveller. A Gypsy of sorts. And my home is not in one specific place. It's where ever I choose to make it. And while SA is still numero uno because of genetic ties, I still believe that I was meant to roam and wander to the far reaches of the planet, to learn, seek knowledge and explore. After all, I am the Oyster and the world is my pearl.

19 comments:

  1. Wow! You always amaze me with all the great places you have visited...Insha-allah one day I too will have an interesting story to tell after visiting some far, exotic location :-)

    If I had alot of money at my disposal, I will spend it on nothing else besides travelling to all the places I dream of visiting :-) Bali, Bora-Bora, Far East, Brazil, Middle East, India...

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  2. Reading this post made me smile.

    I guess it's because I'm on my way to Boston, MA in August for a year.

    Scared and excited...yep, that's me.

    Lol, we both thought that we wouldn't leave SA for longer than a month, but now we're going for a year, maybe even longer, to a country we never ever imagined we would end up. We thought maybe London or Dubai or Riyadh....but never Boston!

    Funny how takdeer is....

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  3. This is so cool...I actually have time to comment...mmm...;)

    I want to go to like the weirdest countries you can think of. I defiantly want to go to the south pole. I can travel anywhere, but live??I dont know, I wouldn’t rule it out. But I love SA.

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  4. I always wanted to visit Brazil.I love travelling in general- been to Zimbabwe, Malawi, Vic Falls, Tunisia, Turkey, Goa. Now i live in SA and ive been to Cape Town from here :-D Ive loved all my travels abroad and inshaAllah cant wait to do more of it. Weird though that my heart only truly yearns for one place... Madinah :-) my husband and i always make duaa that Allah Ta'ala allows us to make hijrah to Madinah.Ameen.

    Azra baby- see you in England :-D inshaAllah!!
    Fatima- wow, sounds like a wonderful advanture! enjoy it inshaAllah.

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  5. Where I'm going:
    I'll be (InshAllah) going to Sweden for 4 months on student exchange late this year!! Saying I'm super excited would be an understatement. Plan to hopefully go backpacking ALL over Europe!

    Where I've been:
    I've lived in Saudi Arabia for 7 years and in several cities in India.

    Where I wanna go:
    Australia is pretty high up on my list, and unfortunately, the African continent isn't. I'm guessing America will happen sometime or the other in my career.

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  6. Lovely post....I would love to travel and "Walk the Earth", like an Explorer in ancient times. Think ive contracted a travel bug reading your post.

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  7. TCQ - I feel restless. Theres so much to see, not enough time :)
    You will get your chance one day too InshaAllah Ameen.

    Fatima - Quite exciting hey! Taqdeer is amazing. It's always what you least expected. But enjoy it and make the most of it! I want to go to NYC next year InshaAllah Ameen.

    T - You know I would move in a heartbeat :P

    Zahera - Hope our trip coincides. Let me know if you're going to be in London. I will be travelling around abit to Ireland, Scotland and Wales too, so will have to plan accordingly :P

    Sofi - 40 more days :D

    Arslan - Sweden? Enjoy it :D I'd like to visit Scandanavia too. I'd like to go everywhere...twice. LOL.

    MK - I think my soul is a traveller. I would forgo every kind of material possession if I was allowed to travel at my leisure. I always experience a kind of peace on the journey. And being at "home" makes me restless. SO much so, that I never ever want to come home from a trip :)
    Maybe if I had a husband and kids, that would change...but for now, my heart is on the wind.

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  8. Come and visit me in Oz. It has a way of sucking you in. Good weather, nice people, diversity and truly nature at it's best. It's a wonderful lifestyle.

    May you reach all the destinations your heart desires :)

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  9. aah i love reading ur travel writings! i was reading this and thinking, i hope u read ur dua for travelling before u go to bed at night :P

    bon voyage mon cheri!

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  10. Emmy - I'd like to visit, and will one day InshaAllah, so you can count on me bugging you :D

    KS - I don't actually...I'm all about the safety duas before bed :P
    I should start, thanks for the reminder and putting it out there :D

    It would be lovely if we could all wander, meeting up at various intersections, learning and exploring the world together :D

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  11. wellington is beautiful :)

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  12. With some knowledge of special ops, im certain that Dubai has never had a terror attack, there have been foiled attempts at some but it appears that the terrorists felt like the financial crisis was a bad enough blow. Keep wandering :)

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  13. MJ - It is innit :D

    DD - I think it was one of those foiled attempts coupled with the stringent visa laws. Special ops heh? I should take you around with me :D

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  14. If i remember correctly, a few years ago, dubai had an issue with its main airport building collapsing. or somethng along those lines.

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  15. Dubai is great for a couple of days but then you start realising how fake and unnatural everything is.... I dont know that got to me a bit.

    But I would maybe still consider going to live there

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  16. i want to live in a different country every year until my kids are ready to start school. Then I'll move every 6 years until they finish school.

    Now to meet a guy who wants to/ can do the same:-)

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  17. Sofi - I was almost arrested in Dubai...I'm sure my name is one some terrorist list lol. They even stopped the plane from taking off to question me.

    Edge - I dont think I'd live in Dubai, maybe I'll go for a weekend, like you said, its a place you only ever go to for a few days...somehow I dont feel any real connection there.

    BB-Aisha - Thats EXACTLY what I want to do :D I'd love to live for a year in every country too, and then 3 to 5 years when the kids are schooling. But like you said, now to find someone who shares my sentiment :) If only you were a dude :D LOL!

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  18. you are my sister from the other mom and dad. I too had the same feeling about both USA and Canada. USA is too much of a bother for settling in and Canada has something missing. I mean, I have been there a couple of times but there is something missing

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