African sunsets are majestic. Unfortunately, my low quality phone camera does not do it any justice. It’s something that I encourage everyone to see for themselves in their lifetime. As soon as it starts to set, the sun actually goes down really quickly. After the third photo that I took (the first one below), the fiery ball of life very quickly dropped below the horizon. Viewing the sunset over the Zambezi River elicits a deep sense of serenity.
We were brought here by the host of an acquaintance that I met during my bus ride from Windhoek, Namibia back to Livingstone. The acquaintance is a British lady in her late 20s or early 30s, traveling alone and couch surfing through Africa! I’m amazed by either her bravery or recklessness. The difference between the two perspectives is probably akin to seeing the glass as half full or half empty. Choosing to be more positive in all aspects of life, I choose to admire her bravery. She claims to have had great experiences and highly recommends couch surfing. As a cautious person, the potentially fatal consequence of simply one “bad experience” is enough to keep me at bay. Though the idea of getting to meet locals (and saving a few bucks) is attractive, I’ll stay in the backpackers bubble–that I have come to find comfort in–for now.
The ubiquitous backpackers hostels are an institution that makes traveling through Africa relatively straightforward and budget-friendly. Trying to find local accommodation without online reviews by other travelers is always a hassle and likely more expensive than the dorm setup offered at backpackers. That’s an aspect that I think makes traveling in Asia and the Americas more challenging. Anyway, I must learn how to camp with ease and confidence, as I have learned that camping can be a great inexpensive, and sometimes the only, option. (**cough**cough Namibia)
It also feels nice to be back in Zambia, like a homecoming. I can feel attached to some places rather quickly. Once again, this reminds to me take time at a place and give a chance for the place to show itself. Looking back, I remember walking along the same dusty and sans sidewalk streets of Lusaka three weeks ago and wanting to head back to the first world almost immediately. It was especially heartwarming when all of the staff at the Livingstone Backpackers remembered me by name; unfortunately, I had not bothered to ask for many of their names. I frequently fail to remember how trivial yet significant it is to ask for a person’s name and address them by their name. When I know I won’t be in a place for more than a few days, I usually don’t ask for people’s names because I rationalize that in the long run the chances that we will meet again or remember each other’s names is slim to nil, so why the bother? But, it is an important human decency. Whenever anyone takes the effort learn my name, especially on these transient journeys, it never fails to surprise and touch me. I really need to improve in this aspect.