I’m at Johannesburg airport waiting for my flight back to London, and reflecting on my five-week tour of South Africa. Travelling on my own to a country I don’t know with a fairly minimal amount of pre-planning, so many things could have gone wrong. In fact, I was lucky enough to meet so many lovely and friendly people who made my whole tour a joy. Here are just a few I’d like to thank particularly:

  • My parents, who not only put up with me running off across the globe at Christmas, but who enabled me to do so;
  • Liz (@CricketVixen) who kindly and unexpectedly volunteered to help me plan my trip when I didn’t have time, and who helped me make my plans a reality;
  • Kate Holden, my old university colleague, who welcomed me to Durban and showed me that South Africa isn’t all scary and dangerous;
  • Hazel (@HackneyHaz) who introduced me to the Barmy Army crew and made me feel so welcome (she also has the best flag!);
  • Itchy, who came all the way out to South Africa to go on a cricket tour with me, despite having no interest in cricket, and who was a brilliant road-trip companion;
  • George (@GeorgeDobell1) who was great fun as always and made sure I spent New Year’s Eve and my birthday in excellent company;
  • Antoinette (@Mspr1nt) and Max (@_MaxBenson) who put up with me repeatedly crashing their parties, and were great hosts;
  • Diane (@DewGirl99), Matt (@Matt_Burleigh), Ian (@Marriotti67) and Jason (@JasonGHiscox) for great evenings at The Vineyard;
  • Dutch Bird Kate (@DutchBirdKate) who, amongst many other things, got me into the best after-party ever, for which I’ll always be grateful;
  • And especially Joanne (@lil_green_tpot), who has been a great guide in Pretoria and a fun Test match companion, and who didn’t even crow (much) when South Africa won.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and there are so many other people who have made my trip better – Sindy, Neil, Woy Woy Pom, Huw, Maria, Napalm, Ian L., Katy C., Lesley, Steph and Karen, Caleb, the list goes on – but my final thanks go to the England and South Africa cricket teams, without whom there would be no tour and no England series victory!