Sunday, May 25, 2014

Walking the fields of Fordoun in South Africa's Midlands, and remembering school in Tokyo

Fordoun Hotel & Spa in South Africa.
This is what I wake up to every morning.

Yesterday, in South Africa living a Travelife, I took a long walk around the fields, hills and ponds of Fordoun, a beautiful spa in the Drakensberg mountains.

This is where I have been spending a long chill-out weekend before hopping on that long flight back to Asia.

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INFORMAL AND NATURAL

I've been to some of the most beautiful and luxurious destination spas in the world, so I have lots of places to benchmark Fordoun on.

What a lovely and enchanting place this is, in an utterly natural and relaxing way. There is no artifice at all here.

A FARM THAT BECAME A SPA

Fordoun Hotel & Spa in South Africa.
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It's really a farm that's been turned into a luxury spa with African influences and very serious treatments.

Yes, this may be a very down-to-earth place, but they certainly mean business with their spa treatments.

THE DERMALOGICA EXPERIENCE

The Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa.
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All their beauty treatments are based on the first-rate Dermalogica range of products and treatments, while their wellness treatments make use of an African organic line they have developed themselves.

I just had a Dermalogica facial this afternoon and it was amazing.

REMEMBERING TOKYO

Fordoun Hotel & Spa in South Africa.
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And yesterday, while I was walking around, I remembered my very first day of school in Tokyo ages ago.

The very first school I went to in Japan, for a third-year college exchange program, had (and still has) the most beautiful campus in Japan.

EARLY AUTUMN IN JAPAN

Fordoun Hotel & Spa in South Africa.
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It was early fall when I arrived for my first school term in Japan so all the foliage was red and gold, making it absolutely stunning.

And yesterday at Fordoun offered very similar views, as it is early winter in this part of the world and the trees are still in their red phase. The photos of Fordoun that I've posted here are so like the campus of my old school in Japan.

MAY IS PERFECT WEATHER
FOR SOUTH AFRICA'S NORTHERN REGION

Fordoun Hotel & Spa in South Africa.
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The weather too has been simply perfect -- cool but not cold, and basically bright sunshine all day. In fact, I've been very lucky with the weather in South Africa's northern area so far.

I heard Cape Town has been having lousy weather, but here in the north, almost every day has been simply beautiful.

I've only had one bad day out of 15, making me think South Africa's northern area is going to see a lot of me every May. I just love the weather and the temperature is just right, right now.

It's also perfect safari weather. Just before sunset today, for instance, we drove out in search of cranes, and we had the windows open even if the sun was on its way down.


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NOSTALGIC FOR MY FIRST DAYS IN JAPAN

Anyway, back to my first day at my school in Japan, which I suddenly recalled after walking through Fordoun, which is so similar to my old campus.

It made me very nostalgic, remembering how I'd dropped my bags off at my dorm room and then rushed to walk outside, almost the minute I'd arrived.

A friend and I walked to the school's tea house at one end of the very large campus, and I remember how amazed I was at the beauty of my new campus in the fall.

THE CHOICES THAT WE MAKE

An amazing sunset over the Drakensberg Mountains tonight

I also remember thinking at that time: "What have I done?"

After all, I'd left a school and a life I loved for a strange new place.

But how nicely my life has turned out so far because of that single decision to go to school in Tokyo. And yesterday, I also thought of how different things might have been if I hadn't gone to Japan.

But either way, I'm certain I would still be living a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.

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