Back in Cape Town, an almost stolen car, and the importance of mindfulness.

I’ve been back in the Mother City for one week now. It’s been good.  Not only is the sun shining but it’s been windy every day since I’ve been here and, along with lots of other northern Europeans, I’ve been able to indulge my passion for kitesurfing.

But, I come back to Cape Town for other reasons. It has a feeling that is hard to describe. And as much as I enjoy exploring new places, there is comfort (and ease) in returning back to a place I’ve visited before. Especially when it is somewhere which offers so much.

Not only is there good kitesurfing between November and March, but there are options to surf, hike, visit wine farms, explore the city, visit nice restaurants, and much much more.

So, this is my 6th time here and I’m staying for a month. I’m lucky to have some semblance of freedom to do this. You’ll have to buy a copy of my book to understand that story better!

Anyway, I’m aiming to share a few travel tips over the next few weeks but I wanted to start this chapter off with a story on mindfulness.

For my first week, I decided to stay in an Air B and B accommodation. I’ve met a lovely family who has been brilliant.  I’ll definitely stay here again if they’ll have me back.

This morning I decided to drive to the beach, park my car, and run 5km along the beach and walk back. Nothing unusual there except my minds not quite in the right place. I can tell because my thoughts are distracted and I don’t feel fully focused.

My run goes well. It’s hot but manageable and I walk back to my car once finished. Except it’s not there. I’d parked along the seafront between two landmark buildings that I know, and it’s gone.

I walk the entire length of the beach to be sure. I walk past these little wooden African men for sale to tourists which I’d run past earlier. I walk to the furthest point of my run and I walk back to the start.

No car.

It’s at this point I’m convinced it’s been stolen and my stomach does this kind of drop and I start to panic.  It’s a 30-minute walk back to my accommodation. Then I remember my keys are in the car. F**K.

My thoughts start racing. What will I tell the rental company?  Will my insurance cover it? What will I tell my hosts? Will they have to change their locks. It’s the owners birthday today – this is the last thing she will want to have to think about.

It’s at this point I bump into someone I met at my accommodation. A friend of the family. It’s a random meet on the beach and I explain I’ve had my car stolen and ask for a lift back. She’s obviously concerned and agrees.

Before we head home we decide to drive the coastline once more just to be sure. My little car is bright red and should be easy to spot.

We drive up and down to where I thought I’d parked. Nothing. And then I see a roundabout which obscures the view from the road. Surely I hadn’t parked it all the way over there. I’d have remembered.

I even look back to where I’d ran and I’m convinced it was too far away. There was no way I’d ran that far. We take a look and yes, you can guess, there was my little red car. Sitting patiently.

Easily done I guess but I have never felt so relieved and so stupid at the same time. Moral of that story I’ll leave up to you…

Massive thanks to Jody for the lift.

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