All the beauty of India – Part One

I haven’t written anything in a lonnnngggg time. I guess life just takes over without you realising.

Over this past weekend though, a friend that I hadn’t seen in a very long time was home to visit (she lives and teaches in Hong Kong now and I live at home in South Africa). She told me that she loves following my page. It’s weird; I never really consider that anyone actually takes the time to read what I have to say. Nonetheless, one of the items on my “35+ things to do before 35” is to maintain my blog, even if nobody reads it.

SOOO, thanks Cay for giving me the kick up the butt that I needed. Now I can finally tell the story of our magical journey through India (8 months ago!).

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Packing Lists

travel list
travel list

I’m a planner, a list maker, an organiser…but when it comes down to it, I’m still always open to the idea of dropping my plans, to do something better!

4 more Mondays, and then we’re off on our trip to India. So what do you think I’m doing in the meanwhile, PLANNING! I can’t contain my excitement.

What would you take on a 3 weeks trip to India? Thats one week up in the Himalayas in December (cold), and then 2 weeks down South causing along the beaches from Kerala to Goa. A bit of a contrast in climates.

So…my thoughts are:

2x leggings

2x warm top (no jacket…to bulky and annoying)

bikinis & underwear & socks 🙂

1x scarf/sarong (good for being conservative and covering up, but also great for using on the beach)

2x maxi skirt (have to cover those legs in India but still cool enough for the heat)

a few tops/tshirts/vests

antibiotics (in preparation for delhi belly) & toiletries

flipflops & trainers

Am I missing anything?

1x boyfriend

iPhone & goPro & selfie stick –> (am I seriously even considering buying one????)

passports & tickets & book (the sequel to Shantaram which has just been released!)

happy energy and a sense of adventure

And I think that should just about do it…

What do you think?

Bare in mind that I’m going to be shopping up a storm while I’m there. I’m bursting with excitement.

It’s been too long since I went on adventure of this scale. ❤

India… AT LAST

It’s this crazy thing…INDIA…I’ve been dying to go there for so long, yet the planets just wouldn’t align to make it happen. I’ve previously even had flights booked to go there, yet the wind set my sail in a different direction, and I ended up going back packing in South America instead. I’m not complaining. South America was AMAZING. But India, let me visit you please!

At last, it’s all working out as it is meant to. The world is a strange place, and I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. My boyfriend and I have been saving hard, and having a boring year of the “real world”, but it’s worth it, because tomorrow, we are finally going to pay for our flights, and in December, we are FINALLY going to spend three magical weeks gallivanting through the cultural pot of India. INDDIAAAAAA!!! (I hope I’m not jinxing it by writing this little over excited piece).

 

But…it’s meant to be this way. Both our jobs granted us leave. Fantastic. It’ll be great to travel this route with a male. I’m not a nervous traveler by any means, but I do think it’s good to take precautions when required, and I think this will be a good instance where, having a strong man by my side will be a wise choice. And finally, I get to touch down in India.

I am beyond excited. I now also finally have something radical to blog about. Sorry for being so quiet lately!

If you have any tips or tricks about India, please let me know. We will be doing Northern India, and then spending New Years in GOA. Oh my goodness pinch me now please! 

goa-sign-in-sand

3 months probation!

3 months probation! It’s not what you think. it’s the good kind of probation.

I’ve now been at my job for almost 3 months. What defines 3 months to you? When I look back, 3 months to me equals 3 horribly difficult, soul numbing months of banana farming in Australia. 3 months was just under half of my trip through South America. 3 months can drag by, or it can fly by, depending on what you’re doing. But this time, the 3 months have flown by,  3 months of probation at my new job, and at the end of this month we will (hopefully) sign my permanent contract.

So, what has been happening in the past 3 months (other than me neglecting my blog)?

Well, to summarise…

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Change of Plans

Change of Plans!!

As a fellow traveller, I’m sure you will completely understand the concept of changing plans without much notice. Making long terms plans is scary. Planning ahead is a difficult concept to understand. I love planning, but I never seem to stick to my own plans… and it has happened again.

Steven and I had big plans to go Teach English in Thailand. We’ve been working hard at our TEFL courses. Steven had resigned from his job. We’d even booked our one-way flights to Phuket. Aaah too much pressure, we’ve pulled the plug on that idea for now.

I’ve become quite happy being home. Just having a place to call my own. Having my family and friends around. Having a stable life again. It’s a nice change, and I appreciate my city so much more after my time away. So, we’ve come up with a new plan. A 2-year plan (I silently laugh at myself… Let’s see how well this one sticks).

2015

– Stay home and find a job (I’m in the process of job hunting… It is SCARY!!)

– Spend the time exploring around my city. Cape Town is magical and there are sooo many things to do. I’m busy working my way through a book of hikes called “Easy walks in the Cape Peninsula

– We have our flights booked and paid for to Thailand, so we’re going to date change them and destination change them and either go to Nepal (trekking in the Himalayas!!) for a couple of weeks.

2016

– Work work work (making my CV look more solid again, getting some more work experience and making sure my two University Degrees don’t go to waste, and saving money)

– There is an organisation called Greenpop, based here in South Africa. Every year, they do a big expedition to Zambia and spend a few weeks planting trees, in a big push for reforestation. I would love to get involved in that. It’s been on my list for so long. That’s mid year.

– Then in December, I can hopefully, finally, get my feet on Indian soil. India is this illusive place to me that I just don’t seem to be able to get to.

2017

– If all goes to plan, in 2017, we (Steven the boyfriend and I) would like to relocate to London. Work from there, and travel from there. It is expensive as a South African, with our poor exchange rate, to relocate to London. So we need two solid years of saving to make this a reality.

London's calling

London’s calling

– Europe is a huge open door waiting to be explored. Although I’ve seen my fair share of Europe, there is still just sooooo much more waiting to be seen…. and when in London, it is just a hop, skip and jump across the Channel. I also have a British passport, so that doesn’t hurt.

Travel is in my bones, I always want to do it, but I’m a bit burnt out. We all get to that point. I think it’s more than okay to settle down again. Nobody said you had to travel full time. Now I’ve had both experiences. Full time home living. Full time travelling. Now I’m going to try out a combination of the two.

Voila! Look at me being so mature and focussed. Anyone have a job for me? 

My brother got married!

Beautiful Bride and her bridesmaids. (Can you spot me?) Photo credit goes to the lovely ladies at Black Balloon Photography https://www.facebook.com/blackballoonphotography

It’s the craziest thing… my brother got married! He’s been dating Amy for 8 years, and this past weekend, they finally got married, and what a beautiful day it was. Our family has just doubled in size. Continue reading

New Years Resolutions

Happy New Years from South Africa

New Years Resolutions

May this be the year to fulfil all your dreams, go on loads of adventures, say yes, smile, let your skin absorb some sunshine, let the ocean wash away your worries and let your toes bury themselves in the sand. Happy New Year Everybody! 

My question is, do you ever set yourself New Years Resolutions? Do you stick to them? I don’t normally bother, but this year, I’m keeping it simple. These are my New Years Resolutions:

1. Travel travel traveleasy, we’re headed to Thailand, but also, potentially meet Hayley (my travel buddy while in Aus/if I were lesbian she would be my partner, but I’m not) in Nepal in the British Summer, and meet Danni & Kieran (close friend from home and her boyfriend) somewhere, maybe Bali? So that’s a good start for that resolution.

2. Teach English in Asia – Flights are booked. Busy doing my TEFL course. Have I made this all to easy for myself?

3. Stop eating red meat! (I was doing really well at this in Australia, but since I’ve been home, and we Braai (BBQ), and eat Biltong (way better than Jerky!), and my mom cooks an amazing Spaghetti Bolognese and a cracker of a roast Lamb too, it’s made it pretty hard to stay away! So, I thought that as soon as I get to Thailand in March it’ll be a fresh start and the best time to curb to red meat diet).

4. Last but not least, my resolution is to say yes to more adventures!! 

I don’t even know if these are resolutions, they feel more like ideals that I would like to deeper engrain into my soul. And so ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, princes and princesses, cats and dogs, these are my goals for 2015.

Happy New Year!!

travel map

Click here to see my lovely Travel Map at Travellerspoint. It’s still a work in progress. So many places I’ve been that I still need to add (mainly Europe). Still so many more places to see. Travelling makes me happiest.

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…life in limbo isn’t all that bad

Cape Town, South Africa

When I came home from Australia in September 2014, it was 3 months earlier than planned. Plans! Who needs them? Everything happens for a reason. Everything always works out how it should. I’m a firm believer in this.

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Why travel makes you awesome!

It’s amazing what travel does for a person, for their soul, for their happiness. I read this post from Nomadic Matt, and loved it. I had to share. http://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/why-travel-makes-you-awesome/

I cannot wait to get out there on my next adventure. I am counting down the days. My soul needs some new inspiration, some new challenges. Enjoy, and thanks Matt. 🙂