“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened”
If I had to conclude my semester in Cape Town, South Africa with one quote, this would be it. Arguably, the best five months of my life to date. While I would recommend studying abroad in any location, Cape Town will forever hold a place in my heart and a number one slot on the list of recommended places to go. The kind of experience one attains while in Cape Town is simply all encompassing. I embarked on the most adrenaline-packed adventures, met the most incredible and impactful people, studied in the most intellectually stimulating environment, and drank in the most culturally-enriching experience a 21 year old could have. From the vineyards of Stellenbosch, to the supertubes of Jeffreys Bay, to the succulent circle of Afrikaburn, to the dunes of Namibia, to the sweet, sweat-saturated victory of the 3 Peak Challenge, to the Mother City herself, living in Cape Town for five short months exceeded every expectation that could exist.
As cliché as it may sound, living in Cape Town taught me how to live. While adjusting back to life state-side can be frustrating and disheartening, existing within a limbo of two realms of life, harboring untranslatable stories and knowledge, it can also prove to be enlightening. I lucked out as my destination post-Cape Town was a New England farm where my obligations pre-summer job have been weeding, mulching, mowing, raking, lounging, and of course some class 4 Father’s Day white water rafting. So needless to say, a fair amount of self-reflective time as I extract the infiltration of determined weed after determined weed amongst the easy-going lilacs. Naturally, I couldn’t help but draw some metaphorical parallels. In the garden of life, it’s not all bad to have some weeds. Now I know I know this may seem counter-intuitive as weeds only create work for the gardener, but that’s exactly the point. Life is never a patch of care-free lavender, life has weeds. However, the weeds are what challenges you to expose the flowers, the good stuff in life, and make it all the more rewarding. While it may seem like a stretch, that’s what my semester in Cape Town taught me; challenge is good. Mentally, physically, spiritually, you name it. So, to conclude where I began, a motivational life quote from the intellectual genius of a man whose title eludes to a different profession, Dr. Seuss.
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
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<p>Nature lover, adventure seeker, and music enthusiast. Raised on a Northern farm, educated in a Southern city. Self-proclaimed environmentalist with an unyielding admiration for the avocado-eating Resplendent Quetzal. Moto to live by: "Be the change that you wish to see in the world"</p>