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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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

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? 

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. 🙂

 

City to do lists: 2 week trip from Cape Town to Coffee Bay

My friend Hayley (British), came to visit me in South Africa. After backpacking together for 6 months, I know pretty much what she likes and dislikes. We spent 2 weeks exploring Cape Town together, and then I sent her and another friend, Braden (Canadian) off on a two week trip from Cape Town to Coffee Bay. Because they had limited time before Hayley flew back to England, we had to fit a lot in for them in that time. So I made them a plan of action, and it goes a little something like this:

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Since I’ve been home…

I’ve been home for 6 weeks already. Time. Where does it go? It’s crazy to think that 6 months ago I was all covered in banana sap on a grubby, sweaty, humid, spider infested banana farm in Australia, living in an 8 bed dorm for 3 months, and counting those days away with so much resentment. Now, the days are flying by quicker than I can even imagine.

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Time to unpack my backpack…

The boring stuff: To summarise the end of my time in Australia… Hayley and I worked in Dingo, Australia for three months, and it was an interesting experiences to say the least: from baby kangaroos to light aircrafts filling up at the service station, a town with  a  population of 56 people, one dingy pub with no ambiance in the slightest, lots of hours spent cooking burgers for truck drivers in the roadhouse, mopping kitchen floors, but most importantly at this stage (at the end of a year of travels), we were saving money. I know money isn’t everything in the world, and I try my best to live with only the necessities,but in order to come home and happily settle my feet back down on the sandy shores of Cape Town before starting to look for a job here, money is a necessity!

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Splendour in the Grass

We’ve finished 6 weeks of our interesting experience of working in the teeny tiny town of Dingo, in Central Queensland, Australia at a Roadhouse/Truckstop/Petrol Garage/Servo. As a reward for reaching the half way mark, Hayley and I took ourselves off to Splendour in the Grass for a week of magical music festival twirling, floating, tambourine jangling, sunshine, happiness, and an overload of musical sensations. Continue reading

Moving to a town called Dingo

To be done with banana farming is a dream come true. We left Innisfail rapidly and happily and headed off to Cairns for a couple of days at Lex’s house (our home away from home). After our final weekend of drinking ample bottles of red wine and doing a final shop of all our necessities, we headed off on a week long road trip down the East Coast of Australia, from Cairns to Rockhampton, and from there, we then inland to a tiny little blip on the map called Dingo: our new home for the next 3 months.

backpacking with kermit

backpacking with kermit

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no more bananas

The past 3 months of living in Innisfail and working on a banana farm have probably been the shittiest 3 months of my life. It’s been a roller coaster of squished rats, spider bites, cockroaches, frogs, rat piss and long hours of physical labour, working side by side with the stinkiest Frenchman of all time. To top it all off, I have also been living in one of the worst towns I’ve ever traveled to, in a hostel that I probably wouldn’t recommend to anybody else, ever. The job on the banana farm has been by far the worst job I have ever had (so far), but it has also been the job that I have been most scared to lose. This job, doing 3 months of regional work, enables me to extend my working holiday visa in Australia by an extra year. Continue reading