I have been living in Port Edward for about 18 years or so, going away to other places for short periods of time but always returning home. I had a nice apartment but rent was way too high for me R2400. I struggled to pay rent as I always do and most months I just make it, but at the end of 2017 I realized that I was not going to make rent and I was kind of getting tired of Port Edward and wanted to see other places.Traveling Alone To Sodwana Bay
I sold everything I had and at the end of Dec I left my comfortable apartment with only a bag, my laptop, a sleeping mat and blanket, my spear gun, a few items of clothing and of course my dog Liefert. I managed to get work at a super chube down by the beach for the December holidays and I basically worked just to pay off rent that was due. Instead of going to stay with a friend or family I decided to go homeless and sleep behind a church. My family knew about it and begged me to stay with a friend or with them for a few days but I didn’t want to. I wanted to see if I could survive without always falling back on my safety net which is family. In the bible it says that those who do not work shall not eat. I wanted to force myself to go out and work or do whatever I have to do to survive without asking my family for any kind of help. It’s the only way I learn, some learn other ways but this is my way. Staying behind that church was tough. You sleep with one eye open and Liefert is constantly running around barking or growling or investigating things which all of them could be a possible threat. I was not in the least bit scared, just constantly on the lookout for danger is quite exhausting and challenging.
Also sleeping on the ground took some time getting used to plus one of my biggest fears is a snake slithering into my blanket. I will literally just pass out of shock. Luckily during the day I was working at the super chube and took all my stuff there and then at night return to the church and just sit until dark and then try and sleep. I had no smart phone to distract me and didn’t make any fires to cook. I kept lighting to a bare minimum as to not draw attention. That lasted only three days . I must say I didn’t like it very much and longed for the comforts I once had. My mom obviously couldn’t bare the thought of her son being out in the open, yet she respected my decision although she would always try to get me to reconsider. Here is the thing about mom, her children are all grown up and have their own lives and places to live and have to look after themselves, she will always help where she can but she does not want her children living with her, especially me. I don’t want to live with my mom either, I’m a grown man and although I make very little money I still live independently. I always find it strange when people ask me why don’t you go live with your mom or even worse they naturally assume that I live with my parents.
They say things like she can cook for you, do your laundry don’t have to pay rent etc. I have some dignity and pride and yes my mom does help me from time to time. So Brandon also couldn’t bare that his best friend is sleeping behind a church and also offered that I stay with him. I was basically waiting to finish my holiday job at the beach and then I would go off to the north coast and explore. That was the plan and so going homeless in my own town would help me prepare a bit for what is to come. I eventually gave in and stayed at Brandon’s for two weeks which I was very grateful for of course. I was not quite ready for homelessness just yet and I must admit that it is mentally tough. I always knew deep down that eventually one day I would be homeless, depression has me in it’s talons and work just has no meaning for me. Not even God’s work can get me out of bed, I’m just always tired.
So the time came and I finished my summer job, paid the rent I owed and planned my next move. I decided that I will take a shuttle to durban airport and then from there I will hitch hike to st lucia and then I have to figure things out. I stayed at my brother’s house for a few nights, bought a sleeping bag and got a small tent from Brandon’s father in law. The day came and off I went with my dog to the unknown. Big brother gave me R1500 and I was so thankful for it. I owe him so much and not just money that I wonder how I’m ever going to repay him. Although he always tells me that he does not want it back, I still wish that I could do something big for him one day and that goes for the rest of my family too.Traveling Alone To Sodwana Bay
I was excited and nervous at the same time when I left but I knew Jesus was with me and although I doubt sometimes and I am fearful of not having cash to get me out of trouble I just keep going. I don’t know if its a kind of blind faith but I would never have done this few years back. I’m that kind of guy who utterly needs safety and security and money before I attempt anything new. I can’t just wing it. But here I am on my way to the north forcing the man in me to come out. I got to the airport and sat down to eat some packed lunch Broeks’s wife gave me. I then walked to the highway and started hitch hiking. I guy picked me up and took me to as far as the toll gates. After a long while another guy took me as far as Balito turn off and then without getting any lifts I held up R50 and a black guy took me all the way to Mtubatuba, 20km from St Lucia. I caught a taxi to St Lucia, first time in an SA taxi, and he dropped me off at a hostel I decided to stay at for a few days.
I stayed in St Lucia for about 2 or 3 weeks, can’t really remember, I didn’t like it here, the people are unkind, it’s expensive and geared solely for tourists. There’s not much to do but enjoy restaurants and then the river which is full of hippo’s and crocodiles. Hippo’s come out at night into the town so it’s dangerous to wonder around at night. I decided to leave for Sodwana Bay, 200km further north towards the Mozambique border. I met a guy from France Diran and we became friends, he said he’ll go with to Sodwana to shoot some fish but first he wants to camp out in the wild for one night. So we booked out of our hostel and took a trail deep into the forest and set up camp just off a path. I must admit I was not liking this idea very much but not to be out done by a frenchman I showed no fear and just carried on like it’s just another day in Africa for me. I obviously planned my escape route well and set my tent entrance near an accessible tree. Liefert was happy as a pig in Palestine and ran around like a mad thing marking every tree and bush he could find. We braai’d some chicken straight on the coals and had some fruit.
The mosquitoes were relentless and when darkness fell we were in the tent. Diran’s tent was just a square canvas draped across a rope and some netting. He just couldn’t get his tent right and I eventually said “frenchman, a hippo is gonna nibble on those toes tonight and you’ll have no blood left from all the mosquito bites, you can bunk with me and Liefert if you want” Not that we had a real chance if a hippo did decide to trample our tents but it felt safer. I nestled my little tent into a thicket quite well and it was under a a big tree trunk growing sideways over the tent making escape a bit easier should we get a gap. He eventually gave in and said ok. I couldn’t fall asleep straight away and some buck came and made a racket close to us. I awoke with a startle about 1 o’clock and heard the hippo’s about 50m away but they never came close and we slept in peace for the the rest of the night.
Next day we packet up and off we went to Sodwana. We didn’t know where we were going to stay and would have slept in the bushes but a guy picked us up and we stayed on his yard for R50 a night. Diran eventually left and I stayed on the grounds for about a month until I moved into the little room I am in now. Its now 8 months later.Traveling Alone To Sodwana Bay