I finished high school in a time when South Africa still suffered from international sanctions against us. South Africa was still very isolated, the world wasn’t nearly as small and young people who took a gap year were few and far between.
I knew I wanted to do and “live an adventure” but our options were very limited. There were basically two choices – either you could go to a kibbutz in Israel or you could go and work as an au pair in one of 5 countries: Holland, Germany, Belgium, France or Italy. Although I did contemplate a kibbutz for a while, my love of children and my (then) fascination with everything French, prompted me to choose the Au Pair route. I didn’t make it to France but at least I ended up in the French part of Belgium.
I think if there was one song that inspired my generation to at least dream of driving through Paris, in a sports car, with the warm wind in our hair, Marianne Faithfull succeeded brilliantly.