Remember that girl – Day 25


Remember that South African girl that went to Israel to find herself. With no plan and a tent on her back. She hiked around the sea of Galilee, slept on either side of the Jordan river. Hiked in the desert. 

I hardly remember her.

It feels like a different lifetime.

The adventure, the blisters on my feet, the depression, the laughs, the trees and the smells. It all seems like a lifetime ago.

I was so lost and confused I thought – but I was just me all along. I never lost myself. I just discovered new fragments of myself. I just learned and I suffered and I cried in ways I didn’t imagine possible. Not crying tears, but literally crying in my soul.

But I left all the horrors there.

My last night in the desert – I left all that horror and that pain and fear in the Rhamakesh crater at Mitzpe Ramon. I left it all behind.

I went looking for myself in the wild – Day 11


I had to go to Israel because I had to do it for me. The woman as well as the little girl inside me needed to go. I needed to get away from the hurt and the pain that was haunting me. I needed to be alone and to fend for myself and fight for myself and be wild and free. I needed to make a new identity and I needed to be free to be who ever the hell I wanted to be and I had to start again.

Ironically who I needed to be was me, I didn’t even change and I didn’t even try to start over. Through the mountains and the waterfalls and the desert it was still me. It was still Danielle with her past and her fears and her dreams and I didn’t pretend to be anyone else.

I had to go because I had to find myself.

Little did I know that I had been with myself all this time. I knew and I know who I am. Maybe tiny fragments got lost and pieces fell away and there were new facets to my being that were growing. But I was still myself during it all.

That is why I had to go. Because I would never have learned that it had been me all along.

I would never have realised that I was in fact the strong woman that left an abusive marriage and I would never have recognised the compassion and the hope I have for people. Things like love and family wouldn’t have become my everything, the need to be a mother would never have made itself so apparent had I not run far far away from it all. My relationships have been strengthened and I feel the beauty of nature on my skin every day now and the sparkles in animals eyes.

There is a fire burning in my heart now. A fire so strong that it will never be put out. Perhaps that is why I had to be stripped bare and thrown into the wild. Perhaps I needed to learn my own strength. Only once I was forced to question every corner of my existence, my morals and my choices, and only when I was threatened with unbearable pain and abandonment would my true fire start to burn.

Perhaps that is why it all happened and that is why I had to leave the city that I was born in and I had to run far away and grow on my own.

Now its all in the past and theres a fire burning in my heart and my soul. Now all that remains are those memories that I left on the top of a mountain in the Golan Heights in Israel while looking over the beautiful landscapes of Syria. Thats where I left it all, in the calm of the valleys when hiking along the Jordan river.

All there is left to do now is freely be myself no matter how much that girl was judged and tortured, in the end, she is all I have.


I hate wearing the same outfit two days in a row, now i am doing it two months in a row. Haven’t worn make up in forever and the Israel sun has really brought out my freckles – Day 14 


I wonder if I will spend less money on clothes and make up and hair and so on when I get home? Or will I slip back into my old ways? Because honestly I have already planned what I am going back to wear to dinner with A the first night I am back home haha 

So I have learned that I can live with little luxury, eat peanut butter sandwiches and oats everyday and never drink nice wine. I can wash my hair once every two weeks and not use a hair dryer and I don’t need make up. I don’t need so much clothing and I don’t need to paint my nails. 

I want to though. 

I actually want to and I actually like it. But I guess I have learned that I don’t need it. 

I have learned to accept myself the way I am. 

It’s a constant struggle every day. Trying to love what I see the mirror. Not covering up any flaws with make up, not wearing clothing that hides my body or that makes me look prettier. Not doing my hair. Just being me. Completely untouched. 

Completely real 

Hiking up the green trail seemed like a good idea at the time – Day 12 


Oh my fucking word. 

The desert is not your friend. 

It’s incredible. Too beautiful for words. But hiking here isn’t a joke. 

‘Just don’t come back up the green trail’ they said. 

But noooooo. Danielle thinks she’s tough. She thinks she can conquer any mountain. 

So I hiked back up the green trail and my cheeks have never been so red. 

The desert – Day 10 


The desert baby. 

The vastness. 

The heat and the colors. The sands and the rocks. The sun scorching hot and my skin feels dry to the touch. 

I’m a desert girl so I feel very at home 😊 

The bus drive was 8 hours long with a stop over in Tel Aviv for 2 hours. 

I binged on the bus which isn’t ideal. But it happened. Coffee, a croissant and 2 chocolates. In tel Aviv I had muesli and purged that. I feel in control when I purge, I hate it, but I do. 

Again, when I sit here, my feet hanging off the ledge of this beautiful crater in Mitzpe Ramon, all I think to myself is ‘why?’ When there is so much beauty in this world, how do the demons still take ahold of us. Our demons still hold such a tight grip on us.