My travel nightmare: Navigating Visa Issues Alone in Africa

Travel nightmare in Africa
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e31s1 My travel nightmare: Navigating Visa Issues Alone in Africa

Rising from the Ashes: Navigating 10 Weeks of Visa Limbo

Traveling can easily become a nightmare, especially when visa issues arise and you are all alone in a new country. When I reached my sixth month of traveling I was ready to throw in the towel and go back home. Every kind of disaster imaginable had happened during these first months. Not counting how it all started, I had been so ill and physically weakened, I had lost my passport and visa in a country where I was completely unknown, spent ten weeks at a hostel not being able to do anything but worry and question all of my life decisions that had led me here. Furthermore, I had lost a ton of money and all of my confidence. What a f*cking mess.

My ten week without a passport, pretty much ment isolation and passiveness, being stuck inside a hostel. While I was there, somebody spiritual reminded me that I chose to be here in this situation. The instant I heard it, I wanted to tell that person to take their philosophy and shove it up somewhere… I had not left my whole life behind only to lie down and do nothing, or had I? I could feel my two sides struggling within, the one who told me to rest and trust the process versus the one who got anxiety from the non-existent plan and all the very much existing problems.

Those ten weeks were the hardest. Sitting in the unknown. Not knowing when or if it would be resolved. Not being able to judge the severity of the situation I was in. No joke, that period almost crushed me. Any and every bad habit or toxic coping mechanism that I have ever embodied at some point in my life resurfaced all at once. I will spare you the desperation expressed on my diary pages, let’s just say that if I ever wanted to try some shadow work, the timing was God given.

When something finally did happen to resolve my situation it was me, I was the thing that happened. I woke up one day, powered by a wholly wrath that I’d never felt before, and told everyone that we are fixing this today. Within 12 hours I had my passport back in my hands and after 24 hours I was back in Mozambique waiting for the bus to take me to Tofo. I cried with relief.

It was empowering to know I was the one who saved me, but I also felt silly for letting it take me so long. Maybe that was the lesson of my 10 week isolation. That I am the power, the enabler, the destroyer, the creator of everything that exists in my reality, the good just as the bad. Now, in the publishing moment, that I have passed my 1 year mark traveling I can see how important those 10 weeks of being in the unknown were, but I did beg the Gods to be done with the hard lessons for a while.

Woman working in the Junta, Maputo bus rank, selling drinks.

Existential crisis in Paradise

Alas, the Gods did not listen, the hard lessons continued. I had been invited to Tofo, a sea side village in the middle of the Mozambican coast, to cover a retreat. A sponsor of the retreat had heard of my blog, seen my work and wanted me to “do something” there. Very diffuse but I was eager and willing. Payment, who needs that when there is an opportunity at hand! That should have been my warning signal to myself.

When I get to the retreat it turns out the organisers have not been informed and does not want me there. Oh my goodness. To say that I died a little bit on the inside is an understatement. The humiliation of it all! To have sat 12 hours in a sweaty minibus in order to go work for free in a context where I’m not even wanted. Yohh. I felt like the biggest failure on the planet.

I was proper pissed at the sponsor who had invited me but mostly I was angry with myself. Dreams are such a vulnerable space to be in and I had not done my due diligence to ensure the soft reception of them once I put them into the world. It was a horrible lesson to learn but I decided to see it as such, otherwise the missed opportunity would have crushed me. Always get the approval of the main organizer, always get everything on paper, don’t work for free.

Soulful lessons from learning to live through my heart

As awful as the experience was, it triggered a lot of things that I am now grateful for. It made me realise that I had something I wanted to offer the world. From having no clue of what I wanted to do in life, to feeling a genuine joy and curiosity to try my own ideas out. To take up space for real. To be seen and heard.

It also made me remember that I LOVE a good day party. And that shame dies when you dare to speak and address whatever it is to an empathetic listener. I decided then and there to give myself grace. What I mean by that is that I started to accept that I have no control over the lessons life has in store for me or how messy it is going to be… but I can make every effort to give myself grace, chose what brings me joy and bring out the beauty in the small, everyday steps.

It can sound silly and fluffy but I am telling you, it has made all of the difference. I started taking soft walks in the morning thinking that moving in the physical might eventually catalyze the energetic movement in my life that I was envisioning. After my third week in Tofo my body started running. I don’t know who was more surprised, me or the beach dogs that had kept me company every morning on my walks. They are called the Ambassadors of  Tofo and are huge dogs that run around freely. Not all of them are kind so I would recommend you to be intuitive and attentive when you interact with them.

5 thoughts on “My travel nightmare: Navigating Visa Issues Alone in Africa”

  1. Pingback: Live music in Maputo - The global entity

  2. Monica Andersson

    Jag har lyssnat. Tyckte mkt om att höra dig läsa avsnittet. Kanske för känslan att ha dig nära 😊💗 Men jag tror oxå att jag gillade det av andra skäl.
    Väldigt fint avsnitt oxå. Viktigt innehåll 🌺🌺

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