I’m Michelle Raphaella Fredman, a writer, and traveler from South Africa.
I was raised in London and moved to Cape Town when I was 10. After finishing school, I embarked on a year and a half backpacking expedition across South America, a trip which laid the foundation for a deep and insatiable love affair with travel.
Whilst in South America, I grew to love the modus operandi of the backpack-bearing vagabond, hitchhiking, living in communes, volunteering in hostels and painting murals. Some of the highs that accompanied this trip, the anonymity, the immersion with mother nature, the thrill of absorbing a new language, impromptu jam sessions, mouthwatering street food and all the bizarre and seemingly, synchronistic encounters with eccentric strangers had me hooked. I vowed to try and always seek out the weird and the wonderful and document as much of it as I could.
In 2014 I returned to Cape Town. My three years in South Africa saw me road tripping across the country, forming irreplaceable friendships, taking up surfing and yoga, mending a broken heart, discovering self-love, completing my English teaching course and receiving my BA in Media Studies and English Literature from the University of Cape Town.
In December 2015 I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkins Lymphoma. Six months of chemotherapy and a lot of tears, trauma, anger, laughter, and celebration later, I was in remission by August 2016. Cancer has only helped to exacerbate my inherent desire to live explosively and explore the unknown, to take risks, create art, eat good food, converse with strangers, write, take pictures, absorb, embrace, accept, surrender and try to fully appreciate my time on this precious Earth.
In January of 2017, after receiving my degree and finishing chemo, I set off on another adventure, this time back to South America, where I backpacked around Peru for five weeks before heading to Ecuador where I lived and worked as a volunteer in the Amazon jungle for two whole months. This experience, living with an indigenous community without electricity and running water was profound. My perspective of the world shifted radically. After this, I moved to Quito where I lived and worked as a high school teacher for a year.
I’ve now embarked on a new adventure, this time back to London, where I’m currently completing my Masters in International Journalism.
In October 2018 I, unfortunately, had a relapse of my cancer and I’m currently navigating through treatment, determined to beat this disease for the second time.
This blog is an archive of my life, of my stories, my struggles, and my successes.