Snow globes and snoozing: Sascha van Gelder’s holiday must-haves

Snow globes and snoozing: Sascha van Gelder’s holiday must-haves

Growing up in Nelspruit, we were at the centre of the Lowveld and right next to Mozambique, camping spots such as Merry Pebbles and Sabie.

December and Easter, though, were reserved for the Drakensberg and the ocean. Nothing was better than being at a gorgeous camp spot with other families who were strangers at first and by the end of the holiday were friends whom we still recall. My bicycle was my best friend.

My first trip abroad was to Mauritius. And though I lived in Mozambique it was still an amazing experience and the vibe was just something else. 

I won’t lie, the thing I remember most about that trip was sleeping. It was our first trip away since we had children and we indulged in our afternoon naps, and though I threw up like crazy on the boat trips I remember the islands: the crystal-clear waters and swimming with the fish. It is still my proudest moment that I actually managed to finish a book.

A funny story from my travels is about the time we were travelling with friends in Marloth Park, Mpumalanga, where the animals come up quite close. Some will even eat from your hands. The zebras were visiting and we were feeding them. My friend admitted he was petrified of feeding horses of any kind, I convinced him not to be scared — it would be fine. So he did! I proudly patted him on the back while the zebra went in for a bite and he got the fright of his life. Food went flying, zebras went running, we were just laughing.

I think a visitor to my hometown, Nelspruit, should not miss the outdoor restaurants and city gardens. They are amazing, especially the botanical gardens, which have one of the only rainforests in the country. It is beautiful. They also have a Braille trail, which was installed for those with visual impairments.

We had a horrible trip to Bilene in Mozambique once. The trip involved seven hours at the border, a 1am run-in with the police and a seriously injured foot. It just was not our trip.

The one thing I always make sure I do on holiday is take a moment to myself. I always strive to walk away, put in my earphones and just zone out. I like sitting with myself and my thoughts and enjoying the place I am visiting.

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