6 min read
People want to be inspired to thrive. None of us wants to “just get by.”
Immersive experiences allow us to embed ourselves in a new way of being. That’s beneficial because it offers us a chance to practice something we learn immediately.
In recent years, there’s been a shift towards conscious traveling. Travelers are socially, economically, ecologically, and culturally more aware now —and I think this is a fantastic shift.
Yes, you deserve a holiday filled with beauty, memorable moments, relaxation, and stories to tell for a lifetime.
Here’s the kicker: those two things don’t have to be mutually exclusive. We don’t have to sacrifice everything we want and a bag of chips to travel consciously.
Well, that is only if you travel to one of the most majestic places on Earth: Cape Town.
While traveling to explore, learn a new culture, expand your mind, enjoy unique food, gain new perspectives, or just zone out from a daily grind and world that feels overwhelming are all valid and needed; we can also do it in a way that our lives (and others) become enriched.
So why not travel in a way where everyone wins?
Coming to Cape Town is more than just getting the trip of a lifetime; you help a country create jobs, help people in need, and, along the way, maybe develop the kind of daily attitude that will ensure your life can become filled with a tapestry of meaningful experiences.
The obvious reasons to visit the Southwestern most tip of Africa are the natural beauty, the food, the wine, beaches, shark-cage diving… you name it! You can find hundreds of other blogs detailing the “things” you can (and obviously will!) see when you step off the plane. I want to give you six reasons why Cape Town is more than just the Greatest City on Earth (Voted ten years running in the Telegraph Travel Awards), the Second Best Value for Money Long Haul Destination (Voted by The Post Office Worldwide Barometer), Fourth in the list of Cities “You Must see before you die” (as collected from 50 travel enthusiasts, experts and agents), and was The World Design Capital in 2014.
Why do travelers love Cape Town and South Africa so much you ask? Glad you asked! The position reflects South Africa's allure and lasting impact on travelers in these awards, chosen by 27,000 dedicated readers.
Here are Six Surprising Reasons Cape Town is for you so that, as the SA Tourism Website eloquently says, “Come as you are, leave as you’ll never be again.”
1. Exchange Rate
I’m guessing this is most likely not top of mind for you when picking a destination. South Africa might be a long-haul flight to visit; as an example, from San Francisco, you are looking at 32 hours of combined travel, including about two twelve-hour flights. However, once you’re there, the bang you get for your buck is exceptional (unfortunately for us locals who wish to travel, though.)
Using SF as another example, what a single person spends on dinner easily translates into a lavish 3-person tab, including phenomenal wine. I guess it’s like stepping back in time for travelers to eat and drink the way their currency was before inflation? Barring some of Cape Town's top-end accommodations, everything will feel great value for money.
Isn’t it great to feel like you’re getting more than what you paid?
When was the last time you had that feeling?
Ubuntu is an African philosophy that embodies camaraderie and community building. As Nelson Mandela once said, “If a man arrived in a village, he did not need to ask for water or food, it was just customary to give him what he needed.”
As a philosophy, Ubuntu doesn’t believe in “self-made men” because we are the sum of everyone who has interacted with us, taught us, helped us, and worked with us. It also celebrates our interconnectedness rather than trying to separate us from each other. We don’t succeed in spite of others, but rather because of them.
I see it as a beautiful blend of personal accountability and drive to discover what we’re capable of while remaining connected to our community and in service of them.
I can succeed and bring others with me.
When you travel in a way that immerses you in our culture, you will see and feel some principles underpinning the philosophy: unity, seeing the broader perspective, hope over optimism, forgiveness, and why little things make a big difference.
That is the perfect introduction to Reason 3.
3. Create Generational Impact
An African proverb says, “Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.”
Challenge is essential in life to discover our capabilities. BUT… there’s a difference between facing adversity and living in adversity. There are too many people in South Africa still living in “rough seas” thanks to decades of a lack of opportunity. To put it into perspective, imagine that people would love to sail but don’t have the machinery required to make the boats. They have the desire, enthusiasm, and technical abilities — they just lack resources.
Yes, South Africa has many challenges, but that provides immense opportunity to make a difference. By supporting the right companies and nonprofits aimed at putting themselves out of work (that means solving problems sustainably), the opportunity in South Africa isn’t just to create change — but generational impact.
Remember the exchange rate? What might seem like “a little” in your eyes when compounded by the exchange rate becomes immense. In any case, to someone with nothing, your something — means everything.
For example, One tour with Beyond The Summit: Spirit of Ubuntu generates enough money to impact 10,000 children by teaching them to read. And as new groups of kids come to those poor primary schools each year, that number will continue to be magnified by the years that pass.
4. Hub of Innovation & Creativity
They say necessity is the mother of all invention. Did you know about these inventions out of South Africa:
CAT scans (Alan Cormack)
The First Heart Transplant (Dr. Christian Barnard)
Speed gun for sports
Oil from coal
Magnetic Shark Barriers (instead of nets that also catch other sea creatures)
We may be a small country way down at the bottom of Africa, but we still contribute to the world! These are some of the larger innovations the world knows about, but you can also learn from this spirit of innovation that flows through the veins of all South Africans. You just need to drive down the N2 highway in Cape Town and see the ingenuity people with nothing have as they build their homes out of scraps and wood.
You will also see people starved for work, taking matters into their own hands, and, with incredible skill, making art, trinkets, jewelry, and decor items. All with a definitively African flavor.
5. Proximity to Diverse Landscapes
In places like the USA, you can spend hours driving across the same countryside. Cape Town has mountains, ocean, Winelands, arid west coast, Karoo (desert), Garden Route (lush forest), and Metropolitan areas, all within a 3-hour radius drive from the heart of Cape Town. At most, you may drive about 30 minutes without a change in scenery as the countryside constantly changes, like a one-man show playing various characters for you.
Why is this beneficial? Well, Instead of spending hours of travel time to see something new, you can experience three gorgeous settings in a day. Secondly, some paradises, like Mauritius, can be remote, and so once you’re there — you’re there, and nothing changes. There is nothing wrong with going to a beach resort, but here, you can explore the mountains in the morning, go to the beach for lunch, and finish in the winelands.
Besides having so many international influences over the years on our culture, you will also see how such a diverse landscape has helped seed such a diverse array of cultures.
6. The People
We all live to feel inspired. Just look at the success stories on TED. Stories of resilience and hope inspire others to thrive. Life is hard. I don’t need to tell you — take the last three years with Covid! Many people have been pushed to their breaking point, and sadly, some succumbed.
A wise man in Cape Town, Thando Sekame, told me. “We South Africans are like the Rooibos tea bag. The longer you leave us in hot water, the stronger we become.”
I love that!
For decades, every South African has been negatively affected by government, policies, corruption, crime, water shortages, and energy crisis. Their experience of those challenges depends on their current economic situation, though, so as with most things, unfortunately, the poorest people suffer the most.
Even in these dire circumstances, the level of humanity I have experienced daily, the smiles, being looked at in the eye, and humor have all been unmatched wherever I travel. For this reason, when people answer, “What made your trip to South Africa so special?” —the answer is predominantly, “The People.”
It’s something I’m incredibly proud of, and it speaks to Ubuntu and our shared experiences that no matter what, we want you, our guest, to feel seen, appreciated, cared for, and enriched by your visit with us.
I Am Ready to Take A Trip, Sign Me Up!
Not only is conscious traveling becoming more common, but incentive travel is on the rise, too. As a passionate South African committed to building on the foundations of freedom so many people fought decades for, I have combined 25 years worth of experience in personal development, overcoming numerous extreme adversities, a love of travel, a love of South Africa, and a desire to consciously create experiences where everyone wins to collaborate with my fellow countrymen to bring you an experience like no other.
If you’re looking for an executive getaway with a difference; a sales incentive trip like no other to inspire staff; an MBA completion tour with a twist; or run a MasterMind and want to elevate your programs by adding a unique layer of life learning that sets you apart and empowers participants to reach new heights in both personal and professional growth—this experience is for you.
As South African Tourism says on its webpage:
“Come as you are. Leave as you’ll never be again.”