It is my privilege to introduce an inspiring guest post about AFRICA by Amy Goldsmith who is a business assistant from Melbourne. Her job allows her to travel a lot, which also happens to be one of her greatest passions.
As a proud African, a sense of joy enthralled me reading this article and actuates me to share it with my esteemed readers. I truly hope you enjoy it and most importantly let it inspire you to visit this fascinating continent – my root and my home – Africa.
I have recently visited Ethiopia, Zanzibar and Mozambique, and during my African adventure, I learnt many precious lessons about myself, people, different lifestyles and life in general. The encounter with an environment and culture that are diametrically opposite to the ones I am surrounded by every day in Australia helped me broaden my horizons, conquer my fears and become more flexible. If you ask me, everyone should visit this incredible land at least once in their lifetime: outside of the comfort zone is where true magic happens and a starting point for personal growth. Here are a few bits of wisdom I brought home from my exploration of Africa – hope you find them inspiring!
- Connect with a different Culture and People
The locals I met there were friendlier and more hospitable than I could ever hope for (I admit, my expectations were based on Western stereotypes about this part of the world, and I am a wiser person for ditching those). I was impressed by Africa’s vibrant culture: each region of this fascinating continent cherishes a deep connection to its roots, and I had a chance to see a kaleidoscope of Africa’s cultural heritage first-hand while attending a few music festivals during my tour of the three countries.
2. Experience the Adventure of Your Lifetime
I knew I was in for an adventure when I decided to head off to Africa – but I never expected it would be half as amazing as it turned out to be! I fell in love with the pristine beaches at first glance, and I visited a few national parks such as Gorongosa, Bia and Kakum. What left a great impression on me is The Rift Valley in Ethiopia and the Blue Nile Falls. Those places should be on every tourist’s bucket list!
Wild species here are successfully spiting urbanization, and lions, elephants and leopards seem unfazed by the sight of man, their biggest enemy, in their natural habitat. Take it from me – paradise does exist, and it is called Africa.
3. You Learn New Things About Yourself
I never knew I could be resourceful and spontaneous until I landed in Africa. Over there, you start to adapt and act spontaneously within a single day: plans are made on the fly, without long-drawn hassle and needless delays, and interactions with the amiable locals brought out the best in me. I learnt to trust absolute strangers and see silver linings everywhere, without needing to control everything to feel safe, and I must say that is a side of me I did not knew even existed.
4. Face Your Fears of the Unknown
One more note about Stereotypes: I heard that Africa is a cradle of crime before I departed from Australia, but from what I have seen, the streets here are actually safer than in most Western countries I had visited so far. I was not even insulted: I was surrounded by smiling faces at every step and the people I met were more than willing to help me find my way around town. I did not catch a single sideways glance or hear an impolite remark behind my back.
5. Return Home With New Priorities
I enjoyed my trip to Africa very much, and I am planning my next trip to Ethiopia in a couple of months. Life is too short to stress over things beyond our control – my priorities for the future are crystal clear, and they involve active living, tasting life to the fullest and exploring the world whenever possible, instead of over thinking everything to the point when I give up on my dreams just because achieving them sometimes involves a bit of hard work.
6. African People Inspired Me to Be More Motivated
I learned to dismiss all my stereotypes and saw Africa as it really is – a continent with a lot of potential and hard-working, ambitious people. I have always been an ambitious person, but in Africa I realized the most important thing is in life is to believe in yourself. This way everyone else will believe in you too! For example, e-commerce is well developed in some parts of Africa. Kupatana is a business that proves e-commerce is successful and popular in Western African countries like Tanzania. And there are many more companies that prove my initial conclusion!
My trip to Africa was a major milestone in the way I see and respond to new experiences, and I found the journey both educational and fun. I will be coming back to Africa soon with my family – I think the continent has a lot more to teach me!
Find out more about Amy travels on Twitter.