“I can’t wait for you to meet her”, Trav’s voice rang excitedly as if he knew something I didn’t.“She’s coming down from Transkei, Coffee Bay, and is only here for this weekend. But I suspect you’ll have very interesting interactions.” Caitlyn, the crazy American, had arrived. And yes, Travis’s voice lingers and echoes through my memories to this day as if he was playing ‘spirit guide’. Long story short, the conversation went a little something like this.
What? An opportunity.
Where? Transkei, Mdumbi.
Doing? I was to be working at a backpackers, Freedom O' Clock, in the more rural and less commercial space of the Kei, helping in the veggie garden, and working as an au pair with their 8 year old daughter, Coral Bella, this naturally gorgeous blonde girl who has grown up in the Xhosa community (with her mum and dad of course) and is fluent in the Xhosa language.
Why? Apart from loving travel and adventure, and wanting to interact with the intriguing and organic Coral Bella, it would provide me an opportunity to get fresh and diverse film footage to use for my future documentary (My vision remember). I had grown far too familiar with my Durban surroundings (23 years worth!) and needed a little more variety and spice in my life.
Caitlyn was only down for the weekend, so I literally had 24 hours to make a decision, and to get on the bus with her or not.
Tick tock, ‘time’ was circling quickly...
I spent every minute, every second, and even every split second, in deep contemplation about this opportunity. I would be risking all I had earned and worked hard for and abscond a very high paying job, which I quite enjoyed, for a new adventure, with minimal pay, but a new place to create, grow, and play.
I couldn’t ask anyone for advice, because they were all biased in wanting me to stay and play it safe.
During all these flashes of thoughts, the pros and cons, dos and don’ts, sacrifices and gains, fears and successes, ego and spirit, there was one ultimate pull to go on this journey. A pull so overpowering that I was willing to risk all I had gained. This pull was from pure Intuition. There was something deep within me blazing like burning coals in the pit of my stomach. Every time I thought about being on that bus, the butterflies would rise in my belly and flutter with such a magnetic force that it was beyond the connection of my nerves. It was something so much greater. Something within was saying, go girl. Pack your bags and go on this journey Tarryn, this is part of your path in finding whom you are.
After, what felt like infinite moments of contemplation (possibly 1000 Frames Per Second) and spending hours chatting to my mother of guidance, Mandy, we came to the conclusion that I was untethered and would ultimately, always choose the unknown path, to thrive in moments that draw every fiber of my being into unfamiliar territories, new sceneries, and peculiar people to interact with, in order to grow. Honestly, saying ‘yes’ scared the cells out of me! Yet there was a truth budding within me, a knowing, that this is what I needed to do, and I needed to trust my own intuition.
Bags, packed. Ticket, bought.
Now I need to share the news with family and friends. With literally half a day for them to digest my decision, I had to giggle, as it gave them little room for opinions. (Though my poor mother’s heart skipped about one hundred beats and nearly stopped!) “What? You’re giving up everything you’ve accomplished to go and babysit some little girl in another land? We have an entire nursery of babies for you to look after!”
Oh, how I had to laugh at this comment. (If you know me and my family, you’re laughing too.)
Most of my friends thought I was nuts, that I would end up coming back to Durban within a month, and were all preparing their ‘I told you so’ speeches, with Love of course.
I’d rather go, grow, and possibly have to start again, instead of staying, and always thinking “what if…” because remember, its fear that holds you back, fear of failure. Yet there is no failure, because every moment you try, you grow, even if the outcome isn’t what you intended it to be.
I saw the bigger picture, and I needed this. Besides, worst-case scenario, I come back home and start again. Is that really so bad? Maybe it was, but for that you will need to meet me on the next page of these travelling toes...