Sat | Jan 20, 2018

Ariane takes on Africa

Published:Monday | February 27, 2017 | 12:00 AMKrysta Anderson
Ari adventures into the Safari.
Viewing Nelson Mandela's prison cell where he spent his 18-year sentence was certainly a surreal experience.
Ariane Collman embracing life in South Africa, accompanied by a statue of the late great Nelson Mandela.
Imagine a world where we weren't all free? This sign made Ariane forever grateful.
An extraordinary experience - becoming one with the wild.

Returning to the motherland has been the dream for so many yearning for a deeper connection to their roots. And the 'Dora' in Jamaican Ariane Collman decided go on an adventure, taking a trip to South Africa for her 30th birthday. The visit, a dream come true for her, could not have come at a better time, since it occurred during Black History Month. So she made the best of the occasion and relished in the two-in-one celebration.

"Travelling to South Africa was primarily a celebration of life and freedom and a way of embracing the change that would inevitably overtake my life. I always looked forward to turning 30 and decided that this would be the year that I travelled to Africa for the first time, to celebrate my birthday and to fulfill that burning desire I had to connect with my roots in the mother city," she explained to the Flair.

She started out by sharing her experience with family members and friends via social media, with the hope that it would inspire Jamaicans and those of other cultures to travel and explore other countries of the world. In no time, Adventures with Ari became a hit, and everyone expressed joy in jumping on board vicariously through Collman.

Exploring different foods, dances, museums, and nature that South Africa had to offer was life-changing and meant the world to her. Even though Africa sometimes felt foreign, paradoxically she also felt as though she belonged. Customs, beliefs, energy, culture and way of life, she said, rang so true to her, and she felt right at home. That feeling still hasn't left her, despite returning home, "Africa never leaves you, it just never does, it's forever within me."

She described her overall experience as nothing short of magical and definitely unforgettable. Let's go on a pictorial journey, where she highlights significant sites during her trip, accompanied by her own moving views of their deep-rooted culture.