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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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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Must do list for: Cape Town, South Africa

  • Table Mountain – Whether it is hiking up or cable car, it’s just a top attraction, filled with panoramic views of the breath taking city that I call home

    Table Mountain and Cape Town City Centre

    Table Mountain and Cape Town City Centre

  • Boulders Beach – Penguins penguins everywhere. A beautiful beach off Simon’s Town, with huge boulder’s and nosey little penguins. And be sure to stop in at the famous Brass Bell for lunch in Kalk Bay on your way home.

    Boulders Beach

    Boulders Beach

  • Kirstenbosch Gardens.  – Be sure to go check out the Botanical Gardens, they are magical. There is a bridge walk you can do over the tree tops. Bring a picnic basket, wine (lots of wine), friends, and enjoy the magic. If you’re here over Summer, you’re in for a treat. The botanical gardens offer sunset concerts every Sunday through Summer. Live music, in a natural amphitheatre, surrounded by trees and Table Mountain as the backdrop.
  • Go see a Jeremy Loops concert. By far my most favourite musician that has grown up on these shores, your heart will melt as he captures the essence of Cape Town through his music.

    Jeremy Loops playing at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

    Jeremy Loops playing at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

  • Mosey around the Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay for a cruisy Saturday brunch with a glass of bubbly in hand and some great local music.

    Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay

    Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay

  • Go to The Assembly to see a live show. I can’t explain it. It’s just a must do.
  • Go to Robben Island and see where Nelson Mandela lived for so many of his prison years. If you have time before coming to South Africa, you should read The Long Walk to Freedom while you’re sitting on one of your many flights/busses/trains around the world.
  • Hike up Lion’s head to watch the sunset

    View of Cape Town from Lion's Head on a Full Moon

    View of Cape Town from Lion’s Head on a Full Moon

  • Another great market to go to on a Saturday morning is the Old Biscuit Mill to the Neighbourhood Goods market. Great food. Craft beers. Happiness.
  • Drive along Chapman’s Peak Drive. The views are incredible. The road was closed for a number of years because of dangerous rockfalls, but now that that’s all fixed up, take advantage of the scenery.
  • Looking for a tip top beach to soak up some South African sun? Llandudno beach is the one for you. A local surf spot, a small beach, lots of boulders to clamber onto, white sand, and the only thing you could try fault it on is the crisp cold ocean, but even that is hardly a fault.
  • Go SKYDIVING!! Cape Town has one of the most beautiful settings in the world. Mountains, Ocean, City. Why not do a jump out of a little aircraft and take in all the sites from the sky. These guys are great www.skydivecapetown.co.za
  • Go to a music festival. Cape Town is know for it’s PsyTrance music scene, and the parties are world class. When it comes to other music festivals, Rocking the Daisies is a brilliant one.
    Rocking the Daisies 2012 during Bloc Party's performance

    Rocking the Daisies 2012 during Bloc Party’s performance

     

i made it to sydney

Damn but jet lag sucks. I’ve never really experienced it properly, even though I’ve been all over the world. But this time I really struggled. Just after I had adapted to being home in South Africa after flying from South America, I decide to confuse my body even more and hop across to Australia (via Dubai). So far this year I’ve literally hopped across the whole Southern Hemisphere!! Needless to say, it took me a couple of days to adjust to the time differences.
Luckily, while I was backpacking in South America, I made many amazing friends that happen to reside in Australia. One of them being my friend Mike (he feels more like a brother than a friend though to be honest). He and his family welcomed me into their home in Sysney’s suburbia, where I spent a couple of days letting my body clock adjust. I did also venture outu into the city a few times, seeing and catching up with old school friends, family, etc…and well, obviously I went to the Sydney Opera House too.
A few highlights from my week in Sydney:
  • Mike and I went to a rally in Hyde Park. The rally was against the new lockout laws that the government is trying to introduce in Sydney. Basically, there was a fight in the famed Kings Cross party area in the city, and a guy was sadly killed. Now the media has basically forced the hand of the government, to pass a new law that night clubs stop selling alcohol at 1:30am, and close all night clubs at 3:00pm. To me this seems acceptable because at home in South Africa, it is relatively similar, but I understand that it’s not what they are used to in this huge metropolitan city.

    Mike and I at the Rally in Hyde Park

    Mike and I at the Rally in Hyde Park

  • My cousin, Anton, and his wife and their gorgeous little 19 month old twins also live in Sydney, so I spent a night with them and got to meet my second cousins. I also got to catch up with Anton after not seeing him in about 8 years. So happy. Family is always family.

    My two little cousins Enzo and Nina

    My two little cousins Enzo and Nina

  • The famous Bondi Beach is really quite beautiful, but also rather over saturated with people. On this particular Saturday afternoon, I met up with an old friend from High School, Natalie. It’s been about 6 year since we last saw each other. Well, whenever the last time I was in London was, that is when I last saw her. She lives here now. It was really interesting to chat to her about different visa options if I ever decide to settle down in Australia permanently, and obviously just to catch up in general.

    Catching up with Natalie, an old friend from High School

    Catching up with Natalie, an old friend from High School

  • The Sydney Opera House is of course a must see tourist attraction, and with my interest in Architecture, it was incredible to be standing next to this huge piece of art, carefully crafted against the skyline of Sydney and the harbour. There is a bar just next to the Opera House, called Opera Bar, and it’s a must see for anybody visiting the area. I went alone and had a beer, to the delights of an American family snickering next to me about how they feel so sorry for that girl sitting all by herself. My patience for American’s is still very very low, because every time I come across American’s, they prove to be the identical mould of the stereotype that they are perceived to be (bar a few special cases, where I have met and made amazing friends with).
  • Back in the days when I grew up in Johannesburg (between my age of 0-11 years), we were good family friends with the Zock Family. One of their sons now lives in Sydney, so of course our mothers co-ordinated for us to meet up. Him and I went out for beers and dinner, and I spoke so much that instead of waking up with a hangover the next day, I woke up with an aching jaw from all the chatting I’d been doing. Poor guy, having to listen to me nonstop chatting for hours. It really was a great night though and I’m happy that I saw him.

And then off I went again, as I do, always moving, never staying still in one place for too long. The next flight out took me to Cairns to meet up with my friend Hayley (a girl I met in South America), and the two of us will be going out and searching for jobs on farms, fruit picking, for the next three months. More to come on that in the next post……

30 hours of travel. 9 time zones of confusion. I made it to Australia

When I first ventured off on this journey 6 months ago, I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would end up in Australia. But here I am. I am in Australia!

After 2 weeks spent at home after my South America trip, I was more than ready to be reunited with my backpack again, and setting off on the next part of this adventure.

The past 2 nights I’ve spent at my friend Michael’s house, getting over my jet lag after 30 odd hours of traveling and 9 time zones of confusion to get me from South Africa to Australia. Michael’s family have been absolutely the kindest to me and I’m so grateful to have a place to get my bearings…but now it’s time to explore. It hasn’t even hit me yet that I’m actually in Australia because everything seems so normal. The shops are the same. The people are the same. The pubs are the same. No culture shock yet. But then again, I have just been hanging out in the suburbs. From tomorrow, the adventuring in Sydney begins.