11. Dec, 2014

A Dream Finale

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain.

I hope Mark Twain’s sage words inspires you as much as it has me. It may well have been at the back of Elizabeth Gilbert’s mind as she embarked on the odyssey so masterfully portrayed in “Eat Pray Love”. Just as choosing to travel to new places is a leap of faith, trying out new food and/or beverages requires intellectual inquisitiveness and emotional bravery. The effort and risk of venturing into uncharted waters do offer rich rewards, though – the greatest of which is that your world keeps growing – instead of shrinking – as you grow older.     

My life’s journey thus far has made me realise that exploring one’s environment is not simply an activity, but rather a state of mind. Its benefits are not just the preserve of those endowed with the means to visit far-off, exotic destinations. The best example to me is spending time in the Kruger National Park with my parents, who – although they have never been outside Southern Africa – are true travellers. Both past the four-score mark, their intellectual curiosity never ceases to amaze me. Instead of merely reliving memories as older people often do, their conversations around the Leadwood fire centre on the new things they hope to see in the coming days.

Tonight sees the Finale of Masterchef South Africa 2014. The two contestants personify the emotional bravery I alluded to above. Siphokazi Mdlankomo is a domestic worker from Cape Town who refused to let her seemingly humble background deter her from pursuing her dream. Roxi Wardman from Durban is – believe it or not – an assistant train driver! Can you imagine the courage it took to not only enter one of the toughest reality shows around, but to overcome their fears of all the “isms” one can think off? They clearly both have the kind of inner strength that makes you fight instead of flee. Neither feared confronting foods and techniques they had never experienced; instead the embraced them and grew as cooks and as people. I salute both of you, ladies. I wish it were possible to have a draw...   

"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharlal Nehru.