I’m currently working on updating the Mozambique Bradt Travel Guide for its upcoming 7th edition (Aug 2017). Three of my 4 months in Mozambique were spent wandering about the country, gathering information for the update. (And by wandering, I mean strategically sprinting!) The final month of my time here has been spent recuperating from the cozy chapas, soaking in the Mozambican sun, and watching the whales as I wrote.
The country is massive–2,500km of coastline with an inland to match–and has been quite the challenge to cover, especially when tasked to do it all by local transport and with the limited time posed by visa restrictions. The author I work under said that it is the hardest book he has to update mostly because of the size, language, and heat. Of course I had to accept the challenge of hours upon hours of sweaty chapa rides and comical mimed conversations with minimal Portuguese tossed in! Not to mention the flittering birds, marine and terrestrial wildlife, bustling markets, crashing ocean waves upon miles of coast, inselbergs piercing a stretching sky, and all the palms, prawns and papaya a gal could ask for.
I won’t lie; the trip was difficult at times. Everyday my planned route or timing changed due to some unforeseen hitch. Mozambique is a country where you not only need a plan B… you need a C, D, E, F… and sometimes have to resort to the counting the leaves on a palm tree after you’ve run out of alphabet letters. There, admittedly so, were a few times I was close to tears, having been pushed when dehydration and fatigue were getting the best of me. I was tested and I loved it. Each time I was forced to dig a little deeper, I was always pleasantly reminded that there is always a coconut under those palms to quench your thirst, make you pause and remember that this is what living is all about. Paradise, and all things worth pursuing, always has a price.
I’m now in the possession of innumerable memories of moments composed of pure grace. The simple acts of kindness, connecting conversations, and the natural splendor of Mother Nature have all reminded me of why I travel and why I write. Each adventure I'm reminded of the beauty and wonder the world is capable of and how I might contribute. It stretches my soul and grounds me. At the end of it all, I’m reminded to live—live simply and fully.
I arrived as the whales were migrating to the coast of Mozambique. And now, just as they are leaving, so must I. Until next time, Mozambique, thank you for welcoming me, challenging me, and showing me your magic.