When I was a little kid I had a world map stuck on my cupbord door on which I would mark little pencil x’s over places I wanted to visit one day. Most of the places on my x-list were places I had read about in old National Geographics or in the Encyclopaedia Britannica books in our family bookshelf. Some were places my folks, granddad or ouma had spoken about as places that one had to see in a lifetime. Often the only reason a certain place would qualify for an x on the map was ’cause it had a cool-sounding name like Titicaca or Wagga Wagga.
Over the years, I was quite distraught how few x’s were ever being ticked off – something the wanderlust bug in me had a serious issue with. Despite the map having long since disappeared into old family-house nostalgia, I still have a lot of those x’s saved to memory and I’m working hard at knocking them off.
About 6 years ago, I moved to Zimbabwe on what was then quite a leap of faith. In that time (and during some prior visits including my first one – a particularly memorable varsity road-trip that sold me completely on this country long before I decided to move up here), I have been lucky enough to get to some of the really cool areas and destinations in Zimbabwe. This led me recently to recall my old world map full of x’s and I figured it would be a good thing to put together a list of places in Zim that I still had to get to. So going with the old green pin (done), red pin (still to be done) idea, and bringing in some of the technology available these days, even to a self-declared technophobe like myself, I have created a map of Zimbabwe and pinned the various places I have either been or still hope to get to. Obviously, the places I have pinned are places that I have either spent some time in or that have some intrinsic tourism value or interest – Chegutu, therefore, has not been pinned, despite numerous visits…
As the concept grew on me, it made sense to write a little blog post on each of the areas I have been to, focusing more on the what and the how and the wow, then on the why – which in a country as complex as this, would not be doing anyone any value. I also hope to use this little idea as a motivator to get me to green off some of my red pins… and updated maps will be published from time to time to include any of these new ticks. At this stage I am not entirely sure on the style or focus of each blog post – details that will no doubt evolve and emerge as things progress… Until then – enjoy this pretty random magic-carpet ride through one of Africa’s craziest and wildest and saddest and friendliest countries… haapy days!