When I was a kid, all I wanted to be was an adult. Now that I’m an adult, all I want to be is a kid again! I cringe at all the naps I refused to take (now, I’ll take ALL the naps I can, given the chance!).
In celebration of Youth Month, Travelstart is encouraging all South Africans to relive their favourite childhood memories – I needed absolutely zero encouragement here, I’ll happily take a break from my reality of cleaning snotty noses, wiping bums and watching hours of endless Peppa Pig whilst simultaneously fetching cups of juice, and taking orders for sandwiches with, and without peanut butter.
Being born in 1985, I was four when we moved to a small diamond mining town in Botswana called Orapa which borders on the edge of the Kalahari Desert. It’s a tiny fenced off town – with access by permission only – as a result we led an incredibly sheltered life growing up. The temperatures soared easily into the 40’s daily and I clearly remember running around town barefoot, hopping from one shady spot to the next, often dodging devil and paper thorns and cooling my burning feet whilst picking off the melted tarmac!
We happily roamed the streets of our little town with a sense of unfetted freedom, we didn’t even lock our doors! The only real threat would come from a rogue lion or leopard that might have jumped the fence, but we did often worry about being chased on our BMX bikes by warthogs!
Our weekends were spent on bush explorations to game reserves, or travelling to the neighbouring salt pans where we waited for the flocks of flamingos to arrive, or searching for semi-precious stones.
Last to get any of the latest fashion in our one and only clothing store, ironically called The Shopping Centre, I was only just cottoning on to the choker trend when Jelly shoes had been out for an age already. Thinking of my childhood I’m transported right back to swing tops worn with ski pants, roller skates, secret club meet ups on Friday’s after school and sticker swopping. To gob stoppers and jellies that we bought from Mrs Porter’s house down the road, and the endless summer days spent trying to beat the hot African sun in swimming pools. Mind, before diving in, you needed to check the weir and pool for any cobras or water scorpions that had the same idea as you. When we weren’t away in the bush, our holidays took us, literally cross country, on 15 hour road trips down to the coastline of KZN, all while listening to Cat Stevens cassette tapes on repeat.
There was no worrying about another petrol price hike, which primary school to apply for or what car chair to buy next – my reality right this minute – those were simpler, carefree times. Oh what I would give to have a break with some quiet time on a white sandy beach in Zanzibar right now.
With Cheap flights to Zanzibar you could be up to 50km away from the mainland on one of its many small islands or any of the two larger ones or even exploring its historic centre, Stone Town, which is a World Heritage Site.
The Paper Jet Challenge.
Oli’s obsessed with paper jets. If he hasn’t made one at school, he makes and decorates them at home, this takes us straight back to our childhood with jets whizzing past our heads followed by shrieks of glee, we need no encouragement to enter the Paper Jet Challenge.
What is the Paper Jet Challenge?
Take a break from adulting (who needs the incentive, I mean really!) and make your best paper jet. Take a video of your creation flying, tagging all the right people as per the competition guidelines and you could be walking away with Travelstart vouchers, a Ryze Tello minidrone or, the biggie, a holiday package to Zanzibar worth R25 000! Right, who else wants to insert the ‘hands up emoji’ right about now and think about asking the grandparents to come babysit for a few days?!
This post is in collaboration with Travelstart. Competition closes on the 7th July 2018.