I just came back from a wonderful vacation in Zanzibar, Tanzania, nicely tanned, relaxed and super happy! BUT on the first day of my vacation, I didn’t feel like this AT ALL!
The biggest culture shock EVER!
The boat from Daressalaam to Zanzibar was one of the worst experiences I’d ever had. We drove into the port with a taxi and about five people walked besides the taxi, hoping to carry our luggage for 50m and get tipped for that. We had to FIGHT to not have our bags taken out of our hands!
The taxi drive to the hotel was about 45min. We passed through Stonetown, the city of Zanzibar, and saw lively markets and people everywhere walking barefoot in the dirt, butcheries with hanging meat, waste and plastic everywhere… I was SHOCKED by these impressions… It was my first time in Africa, and it felt like there was poverty everywhere.
We have friends who are considering Zanzibar for their honey moon, and I asked my boyfriend „could you imagine coming here for honeymoon??“ I was just so freaking culture shocked like never before in my life! (And I am pretty well travelled!!!)
My thoughts were: WTH AM I DOING HERE???
We arrived in our hotel and things got better. The staff were very friendly, our hotel, Paje by Night, turned out to be a really creative place! Their sunbeds were made of wooden palettes, the toilet paper holders were old bicycle handlebars, the soap was placed on a mofa mirror… I began to like the place.
Masai Lesson: Live in the NOW!
Next thing: we explored the beach! Not 5min passed and several Masais came to sell us their stuff. I didn’t want anything, because I felt like I didn’t need anything! Once we started talking to them, I got really intrigued by them. Of course I ended up buying some beautiful, handmade jewelry, and I remember lots of funny and interesting conversations I had with tme. We showed them pictures of the snow, and they shared how they killed a lion (at least in their imaginations lol!!!). I admired how connected they were to mother earth. They respect nature and fully live in the moment. And every evening, groups of up to twenty people played football together at the beach. Including kids, kite surfers, and Masai. It was a spectacle watching them have fun!
My thoughts were updated (THANKS UNIVERSE!!!)
I started to really ENJOY watching people have fun and diving into a completely new culture. Do you think someone was „excluded“ from playing with them because of not being „cool“ enough? Of course not. Were they able to communicate in a common language? No. There was no prejudice nor hatred against anyone, it was just a very loving and respectful environment. And I have NEVER BEFORE seen anyone have so much JOY winning a football game like these guys! (I might make a vlog about it, so stay tuned for this one!!)
How kids spend their day
The kids get off school around 1pm and then hang around at the beach with their friends. The big sisters carrying their baby brothers and sisters in their arms, playing around doing acrobatics in the sand (with the risk that their pants might actually rip or they get sandy all over!). That’s the lovely side of it. They play in the water and LAUGH ALL THE TIME.
The downside was this: they saw my water bottle and came begging for it… And of course I gave them water, it didn’t cost me anything. Now I’m very health conscious, but when they see a coke, they ask for the coke. When they don’t see anything, they ask for candies, for Nutella, for Pringles, or for money… I am very concerned about these kids’ health to be honest, and first signs already show in their bad teeth or bloated bellies… The first few days were very difficult for me. I thought about all the money and wealth I had, but I felt like I couldn’t make a difference! In the coming days, I bought them bananas and coconuts and started playing tic tac toe with them. We took pictures together and just had fun. I learned some Swahili words, like gashindri, which means something like „good“ when you win a game! Everytime we said some words in their language, their eyes lit up. It was such a satisfying feeling!
My thoughts became more and more loving:
I felt like I was being taken back to my childhood, where there were no worries at all, and all I wanted to do was just play and have fun. I admired how caring and joyful these kids were, even though they had literally nothing. It was a very heartwarming feeling.
I was so sad to leave this place, I couldn’t even believe it myself… I had fallen in love with the slow lifestyle of Zanzibar and the loving and friendly community of the local people. The place that I had initially thought would turn into my worst experience ever, turned out to be one of my best vacations ever… I am so grateful for this experience and when I look back, I wish I wouldn’t have judged this place at such an early stage.
WHERE ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS OF LIFE TRICKING YOU?
In what areas of your life are you judging just like I did on my first day? In your job? Or maybe your partner? Or your kids? Where can you only see the bad things, where there are actually plenty of good things hidden? How about in yourself? Where could you see the love and glory, if only you took the time and were open to receive what’s there for you?
I help women just like you find balance in everyday life and create a vibrant lifestylethat makes you wakeup full of energy and happiness, and with that incredible feeling that life is full of miracles! No judgment! Know this feeling???
If you’ve wanted to contact me for a while now (I just spoke to some women last week and they all said that!!), click that button and get closer to your most beautiful self!
Hakuna Matata, my friend!
Love & Sun,
PS: Do you want to know how I overcame my fears with Kitesurfing? And why I drank fresh coconut every single day? I will share the stories behind this in another post soon .