In 2012 we decided to do our first “giant” trip that involved planes, trains, and automobiles, multiple weeks, and multiple countries in Europe. We started out in Brussels, headed to a fifth floor (EUROPEAN fifth floor, so really sixth floor. Don’t let them try to fool you) walk-up with narrow curlicue stairs in the Gambetta in Paris, then went off to Madrid, Barcelona, and back to Brussels before flying back to Zambia.
There are many things you can’t plan ahead for while traveling, no matter how dedicated, resourceful, and thorough you try to be. Like, for instance, a rotovirus outbreak.
You can’t plan for a rotovirus outbreak, people. YOU CAN’T PLAN FOR THIS.
As promised – because I’m all about fulfilling promises – I’m about to give you the keys to the gates of culinary paradise. A recipe so profound, so life-changing that I had to translate the recipe into English from the very alphabet of the Heavenly Angels. A recipe that is the actual Platonic ideal of macaroni and cheese. A recipe that epitomizes everything that is good about pasta, bourbon, cheese and bacon by mixing them together.
The thing about being an expat living in Africa is that everyone brings you booze for every occasion. Plus there were all those times you passed through the Duty Frees in various transit airports (Pro-Tip: Big 5 Duty Free in Johannesburg’s OR Tambo. You can thank me later). And don’t get me wrong, a lot of it gets properly used in the imbibing process. However, it is inevitable that there will be a move that will come around just when you have reached maximum booze collection density .
I’m not going to lie, our family has a deep love of visiting South Africa. It’s a fantastic place – one of the most beautiful places in the world -with incredible wildlife and an outdoorsy lifestyle that gives a visitor no chance for boredom. And while I normally stop reading any travel article that uses the word “vibrant” to describe a place or culture, I honestly can’t think of any other word that fits South Africa as well.
If Vienna and London are imagined in the staid grays and whites of a proper European city and Budapest is a sepia tone of historic struggles, South Africa is bright purples and reds, with contrasting colors everywhere you look.
But when you are from America, South Africa doesn’t seem all that big. After you visit the big tourist names of Cape Town and Johannesburg and see all there is to see on day trips, what else is left?