Have you ever heard that saying about the grass being greener on the other side? Well, let me tell you, it takes on a whole new meaning when you're soaking up the sun on a trade road trip down south in England during July with your importer. Picture this: Going to Wimbledon is on the horizon, and guess what's stealing the spotlight? Our new vintage of Taste Rose, racking up compliments like there's no tomorrow.
A trip to a foreign country remains an enlightening experience. I almost always travel with Hugo and the twins. This time, however, was a visit to our importers and distributors, and I was on my own. Daunting yet exciting.
The first lesson I learned was to be alone and be okay with being alone. The second one was that you can drink a glass of wine at a restaurant – alone! One also quickly learns to make a plan or several plans. You train yourself to read Google Maps without Wi-Fi or even better get a foreign sim card or you find beacons that lead you back to where you want to be, which in countries without mountains is quite the skill!
Visiting a foreign country also teaches you to adapt. In Wellington, dinner is early evening, but when you entertain guests abroad, dinner may very well start long after sunset and wraps up close to sunrise. Not exactly leaving you with heaps of time to recharge before that next round of trade visits and early-morning wine tastings. By the time this whirlwind two-week European visit wraps up, you exchange kisses on foreign cheeks as if you have been doing this all your life.
It wasn't all about "wining" and dining, though. We made time to do some exploring and retail therapy. Karlin (Winemaker - Vrede and Lust), Michelle (Junior Winemaker - Benguela Cove), and I took the road to Brugge - all three of us in the front of a delivery van made for two - the South African way. It was here that I took the opportunity to test my right-hand-side driving skills, I am usually Hugo's co-pilot and navigator so this was a great way to tick this box. We had a few awesome girl power moments, totally owning those roundabouts like champions. Who would've thought it could be this exhilarating?
I must admit I love traveling. But the best part of traveling abroad is coming home to my loved ones, my people, and my country which offers so much.
Yes, I know the picture painted of South Africa is often one of violence, poverty, sub-standard education, a corrupt Government, a medical crisis, illness and so much more. But don't overlook the potential. Challenges are there and there is an infinite amount that needs to be done to address these challenges and problems, but South Africa to me is home, it’s an opportunity, it’s a vibe only we understand and know, it’s luxury, it’s vast and breathtaking. It holds my heart.
It's funny how a very expensive trip (the exchange rate is real) reminds me just how blue the open skies can be on a sunny winter's day, how picturesque our backyard is with the Hawequa mountains and rolling vineyards as a backdrop, and the realization that traveling with Hugo is truly the way I want to explore the world.
As far as I can see the winter grass growing all around me is bright and green.
Till next time.