OVC George is a Representative office run by the OVC Stellenbosch franchise office which services the entire Outeniqua and surrounds area.
“Life is a journey – enjoy the ride!” It has become a bit of a clichè but I believe it is true. So far, my journey has been rather incredible. During my student years, I travelled to Lesotho twice on outreach programs. After graduating, I went to the USA on an internship in the Florida Keys. My year in the US included snorkelling and jet skiing in the Mexican Gulf, enjoying sunset cruises in the Atlantic Ocean, experiencing Broadway, Central Park and going to the top of the Rockefeller Centre in New York. I watched a football and basketball game, both very entertaining, but rugby and cricket are still my favourites! Two of my highlights were visiting Universal Studios and Disney World in Orlando.
My next adventure was visiting Alberta, Canada and falling in love with the Rocky Mountains. I did an ice-walk in a frozen canyon, went white-water rafting in salmon-rich rivers and swimming in glacier-fed lakes. I did a bobsleigh-ride on the 1988 Olympic track and visited Olympic torches in Calgary and Vancouver. I went on an amazing bear-safari and almost got trampled by an elk while picnicking near a river! I went shopping in the biggest mall in North America, saw a rodeo and watched an ice-hockey game.
While working for OVC I have had the opportunity to travel to Mauritius, Thailand and the UK. In Thailand, we spent one night in Bangkok and had a very scary Tuk-Tuk ride. Down in Krabi we saw the famous James Bond Island, climbed 1237 steps to see the sunrise from the Tiger Cave Temple, enjoyed massages on the beach and went snorkelling in crystal clear water. In Chiang Mai, we went elephant tracking, enjoyed white water rafting and shopping at the markets. We also went to see how the hill tribes live. In the UK, I got to see all the big tourist spots in London. We also visited, Cambridge, York, Liverpool, Dublin, Cardiff, Bath, Stonehenge and Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, the town in the UK with the longest name!
I am addicted to adventure. My current adventure involves exploring my own beautiful country while sending some new travellers into the world to go and have their own adventures. As the South African Airlines coffee cup says "Ukuhamba kukubona" – Travelling opens a window to the world!
I once saw a quote saying " Pictures dont last, but memories do" and I never really experienced how true this is until I met OVC and joined the Au Pair program.
I remember back in high school I had a pretty simple life plan laid out for me: go to college, get a degree and find a decent job. This picture perfect life I imagined soon got set aside when I decided to leave South Africa and go Au Pair in America for only a year, and boy am I happy I made that decision.
My journey started in New Jersey as we all came together from different countries with the plot twist of getting a roommate from somewhere youve probably never even heard before. I soon realised that these will be the days Ill look back on once Im older and have to make the best memories for myself and others. I lived in Virginia and San Francisco my first year of Au Pairing and needless to say, I had such a blast that I just NEEDED to make use of my second year Au Pair contract. I used this as an opportunity to travel the States even more and decided since I have already seen the East and West coast, it was now time to go and travel the South.
During my 2 years of Au Pairing, I visited more than 10 of the 50 states of America and have met and became friends with people from all over the world. My favorite part was learning about their cultures and food, as well as teaching them about ours. Music and traditions are also two very interesting topics to me and I found it fascinating to learn about other au pairs and Americans traditions as well as music and dance styles. My favorite people I met along the way were definitely the Brazilians, theyre very welcoming and I secretly believe that they never run out of energy.
I will always remember my Au Pair years and will forever be thankful for everything I learned about others and myself along the way. I would definitely recommend any traveling program to all young adults who are interested in such experiences.
I am grateful that Im able to work for the same company who helped shape my life as it is today, and I hope to give many people the same opportunity of finding joy in their life the same way I did.