Finding Myself Abroad

After a few days in Cape Town I realized for the first time in my life, no one around me knew anything about me – my personality, my history nor my status in life.

I’ve got to say, it was the most freeing experience I’ve ever had.

Having spent a couple of weeks settling in as an intern at my awesome company, I began to master the overwhelming speed of having to learn new skills. I felt like I’d been deprived of challenges and novelty for so long that I welcomed being dropped into a role which I had next to no expertise in. With no exaggeration, I can say I had one of the most intelligent, enthusiastic and encouraging people as my supervisor (I loved that his go to solution for anything was to find an old broken device and show me how to put it back together!).  He was never at a loss for an answer to any question I asked, and helped me develop skills and knowledge in electronics and programming that not only prepared me for work in the  industry, but also helped me develop an enthusiasm and interest.

Both during my internship and during my activities outside of it, I didn’t feel like I had anything to prove. At work I was there to learn and any input was appreciated; Matteo (my supervisor) made me feel comfortable enough to be wrong and ask questions. Outside of work I let my guard down and was myself.

I was uncharacteristically open with the people I met, to a degree of comfort that I still cannot put into words. Part of the experience is likely due to the fact that after our initial introduction to each other during the Garden Route, my new friends and I went on a planned trip excursion together.

After the Garden Route, the group of us went on a  sunset cruise, where I stood on the bow of the boat, an absolutely exhilarating experience. And of course the sunset at sea is a marvel that everyone’s got to see!

There are several hikes to complete around the city, and each one has a number of routes to climb. I’ve always craved the outdoors, but after climbing Chapman’s Peak as a first hike, I realized the physical exertion for someone who’s hiking properly for the first time is a bit of a shock to the system! But, you do get accustomed to it quite quickly. Even when you’re broken and tired, the inevitable promise of standing amongst friends and admiring awesome views keeps you going.