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Discover Your Own "Africa"

Updated on March 5, 2012

Sojourning is going beyond taking a vacation or visiting places you haven't been to. It involves more than just casual interaction with different people. There's more to travel than taking pictures in the most amazing scenery, and recording one's presence in historical landmarks all over the world. After you have seen them all, done that, then what? Brag about it to your friends and relatives, post your photographs on Facebook for everyone to like?

There's a whole different kind of fun and meaning that we can attach to going out of our hometown, outside our own borders, by not limiting the travel to restrictive tourist itineraries. Take the adventure of actually living with the residents, mingling in a different culture, and understanding the ways other people live, work, and play. Such form of immersion, however, requires more time and effort. It can be very expensive and dangerous.

But there's a growing number of sojourners that include the Peace Corps, International Exchange Students, foreign businessmen, overseas employment, inter-racial marriages, and practically every interaction with unalike others. Some exotic vacations are now being marketed with sojourning in mind, including, but not limited to, staying with foreign host families, and reality explorations. Such creative vacation destinations can be very lucrative.

After all, we all have a place (or time) of our dreams - strange, unknown, unfamiliar, scary, new - all different from what we are used to, outside our comfort perimeters. Sometimes, we get there by choice, as taking a trip, or seeking job assignments here and abroad. At times, by chance, as the person we love or marry happens to be of different age, race, or religion, a parent, child or sibling is of different sexual orientation, or a friend of different vocation or socioeconomic status.

Whatever sojourn we take, let's call it our "Africa".To a Polish immigrant, New York was his "Africa", A father's "Africa" was parenting a gay son and a bride's own is Sharia Law. Once you discover yours, do share it, so that we can live each other's lives vicariously, and hopefully fully and freely.


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    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      I've been to some countries of Africa as a seafarer, especially in South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana and Angola.

      Now, after reading your hub, the word "Africa" gave a new meaning to me.

      Sojourning is really digging deeper to the place, not only in that continent, and making it your second home, too.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Mr. S!