One year in Swakop – flashback

„How did you end up in Swakopmund? Isn’t it weird to come to the desert to go snowboarding? No normal person would do that.“
Well it’s a bit more complicated. I never planned to stay in Africa. It was just a 6 month trip to that continent which fascinated me. I think I never explained to you how I actually got this job. I tell the story almost every day on the dunes. Sometimes shorter sometimes longer. Depending on my current mood.
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This morning my mood was influenced by the weather. I know, I am now since a year in Swakop and familiar with the foggy mornings, but this morning was special. I couldn’t see the dunes from our parking spot. And I had to use the windscreen wipers. Because of the fog. That why I really didn’t feel like talking. I came as a backpacker, did sandboarding once and Beth decided I have to work for her. „No that’s not true. Anne came once and did sandboarding. Then she came again. Then we had a double trip and she did both of them. In the afternoon we had a girl who was too scared or whatever. My guides only said now go down, just go! And then Anne came and took her hands and boarded down with her. So I realised that she was more helpful than my actual guides AND she has a lot of patience. And then I realised I need her.“ Yeah, that’s the longer version of my story. In between I did a road trip through southern Namibia and when I came back it was Eastern, they were really busy so I worked already for them. Easter Sunday I arrived there and Beth just said I have to drive a combi. Show the clients our office, drop them at Swakopmund Hotel and then bring the combi back to my house, at Spar in town. What? Sure I got this. They had to jump start the car, because of the old battery but then I was on my own. Still being a tourist, driving already other tourists back to town in a car I’ve never driven before. And then I went back to my Hostel to find reasons why I should not take that job. And couldn’t find a single reason not to do it. So I had a last dinner with Beth where I told her, that I will come back in month time and continued my trip. And I did come back to Swakop. On the 3rd of June 2015.
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And today, exactly one year later, I come back from an early trip with my boss and go out for lunch with her. To the beach. Because the fog is gone. And it’s warm. And sunny. We are sitting at Ocean Cellar, drinking white wine and Savanna and watching a seal enjoying himself in the cold ocean. Life could be worse. I can’t complain. About what I achieved in this year. What did I achieve? My friends back home are building houses, getting children or doing their master. And what about me? I am walking up dunes every day and spending my afternoons at the beach. Well I might look as I did not move on in this year. But I did. I reached a certain point of happiness. Which I feel every day. Every day I get up, I get up with a smile. Even if it is hidden behind a hangover. It is there. Somewhere in my body. And that is all what counts for me. I can laugh about the question from other tourists „so when are you gonna have a real job?“ Well what qualifies a job as a real job? I don’t know. And I don’t care. I’ve lived here now for a year and I love my life. All the camping trips I’ve done. Rock climbing. Paint balling. Surfing. Jogging. Skydiving. Braaing with friends. Chilling at the beach whenever I feel like it. That’s what I need in life. In this year I learned that I don’t need a lot of material things. I need memories. Lots of good memories. And that’s what I collected in this year. And I still have plans for more memories. Maybe enough for another year.
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And while I am writing this article I am covered in my warm blankie from Ghana, surrounded by two pets who became as well part of my life in this last year. Pet sitting. House sitting. Became a new meaning for me. It’s something what I am doing now on a regular bases. Beth left. So I have a house to take care of. And a dog and a cat. And Des left as well just now. So there is one more flat in the same time to be looked after. And 5 cats. Yeah. Cats and dogs are definitely part of my life in Africa.
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