All photos and text by guest writer and intrepid traveller Megan Mow
Have you ever been homesick for somewhere you knew wasn't home? Wait, let me narrow that down a little bit more... not just somewhere you knew currently wasn't home, but that you knew couldn’t be for a long time? I've been dealing with that a lot lately.
Recently I traveled to South Africa and Namibia, and I connected with Namibia in a way that I never thought I could with any place. I love to travel. If I could spend all my time seeing the world, I would. But while most trips end as fond memories and experiences to look back on, my trip to Namibia became something different entirely. I became not only interested in the country and what I experienced there, but enchanted by it.
The kindness and openness of the people, the majesty of the landscape, the scope of experiences… all were overwhelming. Of the places I have visited, this is the one that I can say truly transformed me and returned home with me.
When I wake on a particularly beautiful, clear morning and spend it along the edge of the cold Pacific Ocean, my mind skips instead to the South Atlantic and to the sand and shore in Swakopmund. Later, the afternoon starts to fade and the shadows lengthen as twilight descends. I inevitably find myself eagerly viewing the sunset in hopes that even for one evening it will rival the vibrant colours I saw each day at dusk in Southern Africa. When night has fallen fully and the stars above me stand out against the black blanket of sky, it is not San Diego on my mind, but Namibia.
Namibia just felt like home in a way that Virginia or California never have. I've been to plenty of places in the United States, and South Africa was lovely, but Namibia was just different.
Since my trip, not a day has passed when I have not longed to return. When the weather is just right, or a particular landscape catches my attention, my mind inevitably travels there in an instant. I may not be able to go back for a few months or even years, but I do know that if somewhere can leave such a deep impact upon me I will not miss an opportunity to spend more time there or to encourage my loved ones to see it for themselves. I have no doubt that for many others, Namibia will prove to be just as much a paradise and land of dreams as it was for me.