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? 

…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. 🙂

 

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.  ♥

 

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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Russel Heads and The Great Barrier Reef…FOR FREE

On the boat to Russel Heads

The only way to truly experience a country as a backpacker, is to meet some locals. The locals will take you to the most intimate secret spots imaginable. They will go out of their way to share their beautiful country with you. When I am at home, and I come across travellers, it is my favourite thing to show them how beautiful Cape Town is. Karma comes back to you. Continue reading

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

     

life as a banana farmer

Nina sent me this

I’m in Australia, in a dingy little shit hole town (for lack of a better description) called Innisfail. I’m here for the next 3 months. I’m currently in Australia on a 1 year Working Holiday Visa. The Australian Government offers the option of converting the visa into a 2 year Working Holiday Visa in exchange for working for 3 months doing “regional work”. Regional work can be anything from farm work to construction, but it has to be in a regional area and has to be primary work, as in actually picking fruit or packing it or physically building houses etc. Working in a construction office as an Architect or something of the sorts would not classify as “regional work”. So here I am, in Innisfail, working as a banana farmer. Continue reading

almost in australia

Is it weird that I am so incredibly frustrated at being home? Home should be a happy relaxing place to rejuvenate before my next journey. Instead it’s making me more and more anxious and restless.

My previous post touched on how, upon returning home after 5 months in South America, it felt like I had changed so much, but everybody else had stayed the same. But now, after being home for almost 3 weeks, I’ve actually come to realize that everyone else has changed to. Of course life doesn’t stop, and I understand that, but I’m no longer a permanent feature in my friends lives and therefore I’m not a priority. Lots of friends have actually blown me off since I’ve been home, choosing rather to hang with the people that they know will be there in the long term. People move on. Life moves on. Everyone moves in their directions.

2014-02-11 17.29.55

#selfie with my Boston Terrier Willow

Don’t get me wrong though, I have had some absolutely magical moments while being at home, I’ve been to a beautiful music festival out in the wine lands of Cape Town (Origin Festival), I’ve been to one of the most prime up and coming electronic music festivals in Cape Town (Cape Town Electronic Music Festival), been to food markets, eaten incredible food, swam in the ocean and spent time with my family and been for countless walks on the beach with my beloved doggies. All of that said, as much as I still love all of my friends at home, it’s become very clear to me since I’ve been home, who my true friends are, friends that are my friends no matter whether I am at home or not and which people have moved on from our friendships probably without them even realising it themselves.

It’s been a weird trip being home, and I kind’ve wish that I had’ve gone straight from Ecuador to Australia, but such is life, and here I am in South Africa. Three more sleeps, a few goodbyes, and I’m off on the next part of my adventure. I am beyond excited.

Have any of you other long term travelers had any similar issues with friendships and reverse culture shock and settling back in at home? I’d love to know if I am being over sensitive or if this is a general trend.

Happy travels xx