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Travelling to Africa for the 1st time for my 30th Birthday

In this latest adventure, I found myself just an hour outside of Johannesburg, embarking on a mini safari at a nature reserve. The thrill of seeing majestic animals up close was a profound reminder of the vibrant natural heritage that South Africa has to offer. From white lions to elusive cheetahs and powerful rhinos, the safari was a captivating experience, providing a stunning glimpse into the country’s wildlife.

As I journey through various countries, living like a local and delving into authentic cultural experiences, this adventure in South Africa has been particularly eye-opening. My goal is to bridge the gap between American society and the rest of the world, emphasizing our potential as global citizens. By embracing and learning from our differences, we can cultivate a more open-minded and inspired community.

A Unique Cultural Experience

During my time at the nature reserve, I captured some incredible footage of the animals and the breathtaking landscape. The highlight of my day was the prospect of a family-style dinner with people from diverse backgrounds. This gathering promised to be a melting pot of stories, flavors, and traditions, showcasing the rich cultural diversity that Johannesburg has to offer.

I was also intrigued to learn that South Africa has the second largest Indian population outside of India. This fascinating tidbit came to light during my conversation with two Indian siblings I met on the plane. Their stories and perspectives added another layer to my understanding of South Africa’s multicultural fabric.

My First Trip to Africa: A Personal Reflection

This journey marks my first time traveling to Africa, a milestone that carries deep significance for me as a Black American. Growing up, Africa was often presented as a distant, almost mythical place, rich in history and culture but separated from my daily reality. Standing on African soil for the first time, I felt a profound connection to my ancestral roots, a sense of coming full circle.

Being here allows me to reflect on my identity and heritage in a way that is both personal and profound. It’s an opportunity to understand more about the continent that is integral to my history, yet has always felt so far removed from my life in America. This trip is not just about exploring new places; it’s about reclaiming a part of my identity and bridging the gap between my African heritage and my American upbringing.

A Conversation with Sansa

One memorable interaction was with Sansa, a local who has lived in Johannesburg for over 20 years. He shared his insights into the city’s Pan-African culinary scene, reflecting on the blend of cultures that shape the local food landscape. Sansa’s vivid descriptions of the various aromas and flavors painted a picture of a community where different cultures come together, each contributing to a vibrant and dynamic society.

Sansa also touched on the complexities of post-apartheid South Africa, highlighting how the country’s history continues to influence its present. He humorously recounted experiences of adapting to different culinary traditions, emphasizing the shared curiosity and openness that can bridge cultural divides.


Sansa’s stories echoed a broader sentiment of unity in diversity. Despite the challenges and lingering effects of apartheid, South Africa’s cultural mosaic offers a testament to the resilience and adaptability of its people. The shared experiences of growing up alongside neighbors from different backgrounds, attending the same schools, and navigating the nuances of cultural differences, all contribute to a rich, shared heritage.

As I continue my journey, exploring new places and meeting new people, I am continually reminded of the beauty and strength found in our differences. South Africa, with its complex history and vibrant present, serves as a powerful example of how embracing diversity can lead to a more enriched and understanding society.

For more stories and insights from my travels, subscribe to our newsletter and join me on this journey of cultural discovery and global connection. Let’s explore the world together, one city at a time, and build an ever-growing Extended Family.

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