Woman in city

5 Things That Happen to You When You Explore a City Solo

Chas has officially migrated to working at UCT (sob), so I’m on my own most weekdays. There are many places in the world considerably worse for hanging out solo. I actually quite like the time alone to write and look for a job and explore the city. It’ll get old, I’m sure. And soon.

But lots of things happen to a person when they’re out exploring alone. For example:

1. You come to terms with the fact that it’s your duty as an expat to determine the best beach in Cape Town.

This can be quite hard on a person, as you might imagine. In the running so far:

Pros: White sand + beach bods (this beach, as we’re told, is the one to go to if you “want to be seen at the beach”).

Cons: Beach bods + beaches this picturesque can be quite frustrating. Do you know what I mean? You just keep thinking about how beautiful it is. It’s exhausting.


Clifton Beach

Clifton, as seen from above

This is another of the FOUR beaches that make up Clifton, because Cape Town doesn’t hold back on picturesque.

Pros: More white sand + more beach bods + maybe slightly better facilities?

Cons: Ok, there are none.


Pros: Wide and long + great views of Table Mountain.

Cons: Wind. Also, trash. Also, almost being hit in the face with a kite.


Pros: Fewer people + huge rocks for climbing.

Cons: Climbing said rocks solo and wondering how anyone will ever find your body.

 2. People (men) make conversation with you or offer you rides or follow you through the Company’s garden telling you to move your phone from your back pocket to your front pocket, and when you say, “thanks, I’ve got it,” they continue to yell at you and say, “No, you don’t got it, you don’t got it!”

3. You take a walking tour of Cape Town.

…and end up being invited in to tour the Bertram House and St. George’s Cathedral. You also find a new favorite coffee shop, Haas Collective.

4. You visit a museum and decide you’ll never get in the ocean again.

That’d be the South African Museum, which has a fantastic exhibit on sharks, whales, and other terrifying creatures of the sea. You discover that the largest squid ever found–a creature which has never been seen alive–was 17.4 meters long. Almost 60 feet.

Ok, stop and think about that. THINK ABOUT THAT.

Also, small, taxidermied wild cats might start to remind you of your own cats. You might get emotional. You miss them. You might text weird pictures to loved ones while they are working.

Cat biology

Professor Waffles and her African sister

5. You realize most things are best done with someone you love.

…which is why I’m excited to head off with Chas to De Hoop Nature Reserve tomorrow for a weekend away. Our first South African road trip! Crossing our fingers that Lumpy car makes it.

2 thoughts on “5 Things That Happen to You When You Explore a City Solo

  1. Begee says:

    Ha!!! Absolutely adore these posts!! Make me laugh so hard. And I think you’re just trying to make us “State-side-peeps” jelly with all those CRAZY awesome pics!! The only one that weirded me out was the Taxidermied cat….


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