I have always been mistaken to belong to a younger generation than the one I belong to. In some cultures this is a good thing while in some, it’s quite a challenge because people judge you based on your body size. I applaud those that watch their weight by checking what food contains religiously but that has never been my thing. What has helped me is exercise.
Being a high school teacher, I have sometimes been mistaken to be a recent allumni because well …. some people think that way, not because I still get in touch with my teen self when working with teens at times but because they think I look young. But what has really helped me stay forever 21 in this confused world of stresses?
So basically, this is the thing: though a teacher, I have taken sport seriously. I have always started aerobics and tennis in schools I have been attached to. I have also always been involved in athletics with the teenagers I teach just to lead by example so to me exercise must be doing some wonders!
When in my personal space without these teenagers I see everyday, I still take long walks mostly around my neighbourhood, which brings me to this beach hike I did in Zanzibar from Nungwi to Kendwa and back to Nungwi and you have got to see the beautiful things I saw!
I boasted an 8km in a day dedicated to beach side hike because the first 4km was done in the morning and I spent the afternoon going back to point A. This walk was not about the speed but the soothing effect of everything I saw in between. Naturally, for experienced walkers, this was supposed to take a total of 2 hours.
I started off with my pink Nike backpack loaded with nothing much but some swim wear cos I knew I would need cooling off somewhere ahead. I packed myself some ‘chewies’ to go. I didn’t carry a water bottle, I knew I would find H2O ahead.
Point 1 : Starting points
I wanted my starting point to be so clear this was some serious walk and I meant business! The two places that marked my start were Makofi Guest House (Where I took a deep breath knowing I would be back in the evenings) and by another place with a poster you can only find in Nungwi. The beauty with this walk is that I had company and so I was more motivated than if I did this solo.
Like I mentioned before about not ageing, staying young has got to do with attitude as well as “loving what we do and doing what we love” just like the relaxing words I found at the start point of my hike. You will stay young when you do what you love and learn to love what you do. This happens because it keeps you smiling and a smile makes you look younger.
We walked for about twenty more minutes for the other signature start point I wanted which was the “Hakuna Matata welcome again ” sign post. This sign post spoke the truth to me as this was my second visit to Nungwi, Zanzibar. Again, I fell in love with this sign post because it spoke truth. Many would know this phrase from the legendary cartoon Lion King and this phrase means “no worries” in the swahili language. The reason people think am forever 21 is because I always stay away from worries. I look it in the eye but I get rid of it. I also almost all the time avoid toxic people unless there is really nothing I can do to avoid them.
Point 2: Aren’t horses the cutest?!
We continued walking for a good two hours. Not rushing much caused us to appreciate the turquoise waters of Nungwi! This was a long stretch of beauty only to bump into more of what nature can offer. Horses! I even remembered that the day before this hike, I went to the stables at Zanzibar Horse club in Nungwi and met a cutie called Oreo.
Maybe one of these horses we saw was Oreo at work but it was kinda nice to see horses on water! The two hours paid off obviously. It was clearly time to take pics. The horses looked at peace on duty and cooling off. This reminded me how we should stay calm even in adversity if you want to avoid those wrinkles. Focus on positives.
Point 3: The cave lady
After a good time horse viewing, we enjoyed a stretch of nothingness except her majesty, the Indian Ocean.
After about an hour or so, we found a rocky, cave-like area. These caves must be formed by water from the ocean and its force. We paused.
When I saw these caves, I was reminded how caves are actually home to a number of animals and if this was the northern parts of the globe, I was gonna be talking bear stories. We don’t have them on this side of the globe. Nonetheless, caves are a refuge for some creatures and going back to keeping fit and staying young, we all need a refuge when down. The other reason I have also been mistaken to belong to the younger generation is because I have mastered where to go for refuge. When I feel down, I know what to do to snap out of it or go through it but feel safe and rested. I have surrounded myself with people with the right energy and sometimes like an eagle, I have sometimes shut some toxic people out so I energize.
Point 4: No place like home
No matter how much fun you are having away from home, the thought of your home country will cross your mind. After leaving the caves, we were at it again. This next spot felt lonely. We were in the middle of nowhere except for the ocean. I thought of back home.
I missed home but I had something on me reminding me of who I am, Zambian. I have had my flag for a long time now and always find a reason to carry it. You will stay younger when you know who you are and quit being like someone else.
Point 5:Pirate lady
I was exhausted and decided to take a dip in the shallow end of the ocean. The swim wear came in handy. Getting to Kendwa is all I could think of. I heard this was also a cool place where full moon parties are held every month! I shook off the feelings of missing home and decided why not pretend to be a pirate girl on this dhow that I saw. I needed to feel powerful to finish this exhausting walk. Sometimes pretending to be okay is okay and may actually cause you to be okay because your focus is on the positives.
Point 6: Unfinished buildings
At this point, it was too late to give up on getting to Kendwa. We knew we were close but no sign of it was showing except for the unfinished building on water that was coming up which reminded me that keeping our hopes and faith high can sometimes drive out some negativity which you know will make you experience ageing. A stone throw away from this building was some art I found being sold and just looking at this art was quite refreshing. Always look at the big picture and brighter side to stay young.
Point 7: Kendwa, we are here!!
Because of the faith we had, we finally made it 4 kms to Kendwa! I really wished those much talked about full moon beach parties where happening this night because I was gonna stay at the beach overnight, lol! I saw the sign posts showing us we were in Kendwa and this is where I went into the ocean to cool off a second time. I have learned that finishing small tasks that you can handle is quite fulfilling. The feeling of accomplishment can be found even in the least challenging things like this hike but they do keep you in high moods and looking young.