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? 

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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TEFL Course: The first step to becoming an English Teacher in Asia

TEFL, thailand

Steven and I have started our 150 hour TEFL course. We are doing it with Global TEFL UK. They seem to be really organised and helpful. The course is our main focus at the moment. Then its Christmas! Next step, booking flights. We plan to be out of here (South Africa) at the end of February 2015. Off on the next adventure. I can’t wait to have Steven come along with me for the adventure. Traveling solo is fun although sometimes lonely. Traveling with friends is great. Traveling with a boyfriend, this is a whole new ball game ❤

I found this cool article about teaching English, and it’s pretty spot on. So Thanks to the Two Monkeys Travel Group for the post: http://twomonkeystravelgroup.com/2014/11/8-steps-to-succeed-as-a-travelling-english-language-teacher/

Teaching English in Asia

Teaching English in Asia

I have been back home in South Africa for two and a half months now. It’s been great having time out in my family home, spending time with my dogs (they are basically my children), and catching up with my friends of course. But now the time is approaching for me to go away again.

Steven and I have been in big discussions about where we should go to. The consensus is Thailand/Vietnam. So, we are going to do our TEFL (Teach English Foreign Language) course now, then celebrate my brothers wedding in Jan, and after that, it’s time to hit the road at the end of Feb 2015.

Any advice for us on the best place to find jobs?????? I’ve already been given the following links for advice, but any other help would be amazing!!

Oh Asia I have missed you.  ♥

 

An island which stole my heart

Phi Phi Island, Thailand

In December 2012, Phi Phi Island stole my heart. I’d been to Thailand before, but somehow missed out on the incredible experience that this island brings.

We arrived under somewhat confusing circumstances. We were meant to all be on the same ferry, our whole group of friends, but somehow, we ended up on different ferries. It was just Lana and myself on the one, and all the rest of our friends on the other. We arrived first and sat and had a drink at a little restaurant while waiting for them. Once we were all reunited, we began winding our way through the small streets of the island. There are no vehicles on this islands. No cars. No scooters. Just feet and the odd bicycle. Its amazing.

We didn’t have any accommodation booked, but soon enough, a Pakistani man named Ali had attached himself to our group and guided us to a hostel of sorts that his friend owns. And so we settled in.

The island is small, and as you wander the narrow alley ways, there are many travellers around. It is a tourist place, but it is still quite beautiful. On the one side of the island, there is the swimming/partying beach. By day, there are lazy people spreading themselves across the soft sand, absorbing the sun, and enjoying every moment of it. By night, fire’s are set up on the beach, beach bars open up, music gets started, fire dancers show some amazing skills, and everyone has a fantastic night. And so the pattern repeats. On the opposite side of the island is the port, where everybody arrives from. It’s chaotic, filled with people trying to convince you to book accommodation with them.

There are many day trips which can be made to go see the beautiful beach where the movie “The Beach” was shot. There is a little walk up to the top of the island to see the sunset. There is so little but so much.

My most epic memory from my time on Phi Phi, was when we ended up making an arrangement with a restaurant owner to sleep on the massage mattresses in his restaurant, right on the beach, right next to the beach bar that stayed open the latest. We paid next to nothing, lived like gypsies, and were the happiest people on the island.

A holiday worth remembering

In December 2012, there was a huge group of us travelling together through thailand. It was somewhat of a reunion for a lot of us that had all gone to Uni together.  This was a holiday worth remembering.

I’ve been to Koh Phangan before a few years ago, and the previous time, we stayed in Haad Rin (which is right where the party happens), but this time we stayed in Baan Tai in an awesome, simple, cheap and clean resort called Phangan Villa Beach Bungalows, and then got the taxi’s through to the party beach at night. I must say that this second option was so much better as a group. The beaches in Baan Tai are clean and untouched and peaceful and the whole area is relaxed, yet in Haad Rin the beaches are riddled with tourists that don’t care a stitch about the environment. There are bottles and buckets and thongs/slops/slip slops lying everywhere, so much litter, and it broke my heart. So yes, we did partake in the festivities and had a wild time, but I found myself continuously picking up litter. Good samaritan aren’t I? 🙂

For those who haven’t experienced the epic-ness that is a New Years in Koh Phangan, let me explain… There is a long beach stretch called Haad Rin, and on it, there are a whole assortment of different dance floors, all with their own genre of music. You can walk along the beach from one dance floor to the next. You’re allowed to carry your bucket of alcohol mix with you all along the beach and just go with the flow. It’s all very easy and happy go lucky. But it’s also quite dangerous. It’s not a place you want to be walking alone, drunk. The thai people aren’t quite as friendly as the Cambodian’s. I think they’ve just had enough of all the tourists destroying their home. On New Years Eve we were on Haad Rin beach, at the Psy-Trance dance floor mainly, but also scattering around seems as there were so many of us all together. It was an amazing time and everyone was so happy, but it turns out that later in the night (once we’d already gone back to Baan Tai where our resort was), that there was a Thai gang fight on the beach and a tourist actually got shot and killed. That’s enough to scare me away for good. It could have been any one of us that was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

On New Years Day, Jacques and I went back to Haad Rin because he wanted to get a new tattoo, and I wanted my first tattoo. Eeep scary. We walked down to the beach just to take a look, and I’ve never been so disgusted in the human race as I was that morning. There was so much litter churning about in the waves, it actually made me feel so ashamed that I had anything to do with it.

We had our tattoo’s done, and now I’m absolutely hooked on tattoos!! I want MORE!! It’s not near as painful as they say it will be, but I was so glad to have Jacques by my side, holding my hand.    We left Koh Phangan the next day, getting a ferry to Don Sak Pier on the mainland, then a bus to Nakhon, and then a flight to Bangkok. Now this all sounds like quite a drag in comparison to just catching a ferry to Koh Samui and then a flight straight from Koh Samui to Bangkok. But trust me, if you are on a tight budget, this is the way to go! It’s cheaper by far, and with Air Asia, you can actually book the whole ferry-bus-flight combo all at once. Its ideal. DO IT!

And so ends the story of our time in Koh Phangan.  Here’s a little gallery of some of the memories from our incredible few days in Koh Phangan for New Years 2012/2013.