2011
11.17

So a black out in Lusaka, Zambia and a sick fiancée sleeping on the couch has given me the time to work on my gift to Nick for his upcoming 30th birthday.

Birthdays have always been a big deal to me, much bigger than to Nick who doesn’t care where he is or what he does of what we eat on his special day – he’d be happy with the same old canned tuna. In the week leading up to my birthday, I ate ice cream every day and on the day itself I presented Nick with a list of 10 foods I wanted to eat for my birthday. I also insisted on a bday card and a bday cake. We’re in Africa, travelling, but nothing is impossible. We’re here aren’t we.

So because I don’t have the luxury of ordering from ebay or wandering through Westfield, for his big 3-0 I’d like to let him know how much he means to me.

We’ve spent our entire 20’s together which has been an absolute kick-ass time, and I’m sure our 30’s will only bring new and exciting adventures. To start your 30’s in Africa must be a good sign for the years to come.

I realise how lucky I am to have someone who has this African experience coarsing through their veins at an equal speed to mine. Who feels the same excitement when picking up a lion cub and shares the same dream for making it to Greece.

I am with the person I love most in the world and the person I will share the rest of my life with (although I’m sure we’ve had many other lifetimes together already). At this time in our life we both are dreaming the same dreams and living the same life. This is where we want to be, together.

A lot of people tell us that if we can make it through this African adventure together than we’re meant to spend the rest of our lives together. I always smile to myself when I hear that, because it was long before this trip that I knew I would spend my lifetime with him. This trip wasn’t going to make or break us because something long ago had already made us. I don’t know when it was that we decided we would be together, forever. But I’ve known it for a long time.

Its quite possibly the only thing in my future that I’m sure of. We don’t know our next destination, if we’ll make it to Greece or where we’ll settle. Which frankly, can be quite unsettling. But its hard to think about our future when we are presently living such an amazing life. Amazing.

Sharing this journey with Nick has completed my African experience – the terror he gives me when jumping in a croc and hippo infested river, the headaches he gives me by not letting my neck and eyes rest in our search for a Leopard, the attitude he gives me when he wakes after mosquitoes have kept him up all night. The laughs we share, the meals we make, the long drives together . The piggyback to avoid the spitting cobra, keeping watch for lions while I pee, the encouragement to drive the manual car. The annoying noises to attract an animals attention. That pesky optimism that shines through the dark moments (so annoying when you are sure you are going to get eaten by hyenas). The know-it-all roll of the eyes when I say I want to become a yogi, and he says “stop reading that book zul”. The person that lets me yell when I am tired from everything (even when I can’t reciprocate the same calmness in moments of his anger) and the person that is right here with me on this special journey.

Nick has a beautiful, creative and happy soul and a fun-loving personality which completes him. There is no other person better suited to this adventure than Nick. His charisma and sincerity make him a true gem in Africa. And most days I realise how lucky I am (the other days he simply drives me mental!).

So, my dear 30 yr old Nicholas, who has made this trip possible. Who has travelled with me for 15 months so far from the world cup and up. Who has encouraged me to bungy jump, white water raft, dive with sharks, drive a manual car and like dogs. Who has supported my quest to make the perfect curry and pee freely.

Its being with you, here in Africa that has made this trip the happiest time of my life. Its not just Africa that touches my heart, its YOU in Africa with me.

Thank you for taking this journey with me and for loving me with as much love as you do.

Happy birthday my African King.

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  1. Liverpool anthem Zulf! Now we need more……xxxx all of us in the mountains of Chimanimani, Zimxx

  2. Ok I am crying now … so touching are your words Zulf! Love!

  3. Wow sounds incedible ! You write so well Z! I can’t believe it was 2 yrs ago and we were packing bandannas ! Ps I’m 5 months pregnant and so excited xx

  4. wow guys- you are two amazing people with one soul! Love you both! Farah