All posts filed under: STORYTELLING

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BANGKOK, BABY. A LOVE LETTER TO A HOT CITY.

I think love and travel go hand in hand. You meet places, you leave places, you miss places. Just like you meet, leave, miss people and everything that happens in-between which you may or may not call love. There was no love between me and Bangkok when we first met, it was really just a drunk one-nightstand Quite literally because I had just stumbled from a plane onto Khao San Road, landed in a bucket full of nondescript alcohol, and left the next morning with a queezy stomach and not much memory of what happened the night before. A regular occurrence as it seems with Bangkok nights and one-nightstands all over the world. But as it sometimes goes, even with those one-nightstands, some stick with you and once you recover from the boozy haze you may even remember them fondly. I liked this one night in Bangkok enough to return within a year and then another year. You may say I have a crush on Bangkok. Of course the beginning of meeting someone new is …

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LIFE LATELY. MARCH EDITION.

The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. Sorry, I actually hate this expression and hope you do too. But holiday life has indeed been somewhat busy and while I’m trying to decide where my sandy little feet will go for dinner I thought to give you a picturesque overview of what has been happening. I took full advantage of the business class flight that Emirates bestowed on me and changed my return ticket in order to add a week to do my Advanced Open Waters in Koh Tao. So after yet another day of getting up early, catching a plane, waiting, catching a ferry, I have arrived back in paradise and giving New Heaven’s diver’s hut a go. So far so good, because while it is a simple little accommodation I do have my own office porch including sea view and the hugest banyan tree to watch over me. And more importantly tomorrow I will be off into the blue again and while a bit anxious, it has been ages it seems, I cannot …

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UNDERWATER LOVE.

I thought I would panic once submerged in water. And if I did what would happen to me? I will hold on to you and you will breathe slowly, says Erkan, my dive instructor. Not the answer I am hoping for, because really the only thing worse I can imagine than panicking under water is panicking under water while someone is holding on to me in that panic. But of course he is right, because that is the only thing you can do under water. Just breathe… Luckily it doesn’t come to this, because after my initial, slightly shaky giant stride I am hooked. Insert a, to fish insensitive, hook, line, and sinker joke here, but I immediately feel like Arielle, only unlike her the underwater world is calling me, pulling me under. Though I am slightly relived to realize that the water is not literally pulling me under. In fact it is harder than it seems to get there and while breathing with my regulator becomes second nature to me within a moment, neutral …

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WHY I HATE TRAVEL.

I wanted to title this post Why travel is bullshit, but then I thought bullshit was a rude word, I shouldn’t use in a headline and so I changed it. But really, it is bullshit. You would think that I couldn’t dislike something that makes me so unbelievably happy, gives me butterflies like no guy ever has, and turns me into a better version of myself with each step I take out into the world. But I do. Oh, how I wish I could have been content with what I had when I was little, alas I wasn’t. I always wanted something, I was always curious, and had parents who supported me, eventually lovingly pushed me out of my nest, making me go and explore the world. Yes, of course I am grateful, but sometimes I wish I would have stayed home. Now I have the daily dilemma of wanting more. More to see, to explore, more new, more same same but different, less ordinary and more ordinary away from home. I hate it, but …

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JE SUIS CHARLIE AND WHY I TRAVEL.

Today like many others I guess I am thinking of Charlie. And me, an agnostic at best, is sending out prayers to the victims, their loved ones, and to every Muslim who will have to face repercussions for a crime they didn’t commit in times to come. While reading some articles on the topic, I made the mistake to look at the comment section. One guy was proclaiming that potentially all Muslims could become terrorists, that it was sort of in their nature as Muslims to be prone to violence, and therefore he would never again trust any Muslim. I was shocked and actually thought he was joking. He wasn’t. While I wanted to engage in dialog with him I realized quickly I couldn’t win. And by winning I don’t mean necessarily convince him of my opinion and change his views, but of getting out of the conversation with any kind of satisfaction or with having learned something valuable, of having sparked new thoughts in his minds and mine as well. So I left the …

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A FIRST FOR EVERYTHING: NAMIBIA & THE PERFECT MORNING AFTER.

Lucky for me I already wrote my post about highlights of 2014, because on New Year’s Eve I could not find anything even Facebook likeable, because I was/am sick and I’m feeling sorry for myself. Mind you, as I also hate New Year’s Eve with a passion. Funny enough everybody seems to say they hate New Year’s. Yet most people who say they do are also people who will still find themselves last minute shopping for a new, probably sparkly outfit (what is it with sparkly outfits on New Year’s Eve??) and spending a fortune to be at some fancy party. Or they will at least find themselves in a room full of people they don’t really like, eating fondue. While I can’t even put my finger on why I dislike it so much, this year I had decided to finally be brave and officially skip it. Then I got sick and this was my perfect reason to hate it a bit more and stay at home watching Friends reruns. But after an always overrated …

A CHRISTMAS TREE WINNER.

When you are starting out with a new blog your first readership will be very likely consist of friends and family, sometimes bribed to read and comment with cookies and in my case wine (my friends and family care more for the latter). Obviously the need for readers exponentially goes up when you plan your first giveaway. What is worse than having a really awesome price that nobody wants? So that this wouldn’t happen I pestered and bribed some more to have a grand total of four applicants who wanted an awesome Christmas tree sponsored and planted by Greenpop to give to a loved one. While I might sound sarcastic by calling it a grand total of four, I am actually quite touched that these four lovelies took the time, humored me, and commented. So I thought I should honor them, do the proper thing, and make it a real drawing of the winner: I wrote each person’s name on a note card, folded them up, put in my Le Creuset pester, and together with …

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‘ITWAS THE NIGHTS BEFORE CHRISTMAS.

I recently wrote a story for the Travelettes about experiences. So often we seem to have a destination bucket list, but for me it is really all about the things I want to do and see rather than just places. One of the things I really want to experience now is Christmas time at home. While there are many times when I miss Cape Town temperatures, I haven’t had proper Christmas feelings for the past seven years there. As a child my mother would tell me that in South Africa the candles were melting on my auntie’s Christmas tree, because of the December heat. That is a complete hoax I think my mother made up as I have never seen that happen (if you are a South African and it has happened to you, speak now or be forever silent!). But still the sun is shining and everyone struggles with eating too many Christmas treats while trying to maintain that bikini body. And with all that sunshine you will have a hard time seeing the …

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THE MIDNIGHT BLUE GIRAFFE

When I was born my brother who draws really well made a drawing of my mother and I that showed a mother giraffe and baby giraffe. Probably inspired by the fact that my mother has a somewhat long neck and that I was a tall 59cm when I was born. So I think giraffes were predestined to be my spirit animals. However that bond was only really formed during my very first safari when all of a sudden I was next to one and it felt like Wow. Hello. Where have you been all my life, friend? From that day I have loved giraffes and will ignore the lions, the rhinos and won’t care if I don’t see a leopard as long as I see giraffes. My timeline is overflowing with giraffe pictures that friends post for me all the time (thanks, guys!) and needless to say my most wanted holiday destination is Giraffe Manor in Kenya; I was the most jealous when my cousin Adam went and got to feed a giraffe. That was …

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A PERFECT HOLIDAY.

What is the perfect holiday? Is it travel, is it vacation? Tomāto, tomăto. My newfound travel heroine Lisa Lindblad said in her interview for Pure that travel shouldn’t be a privilege, it should be a requirement. And that travel in itself is meant to be challenging as it is work already through its etymological meaning. I like that sentiment. And so travel doesn’t contradict with the sentiment of sunloungers and holidays, it’s simply a part of it, or at least should be. Personally I don’t need a sunlounger and while I’m not one of these strange people who never seem to get sand on their towel (how is that even humanly possible?), I want the sand. I want it everywhere. A beach holiday without sand is completely pointless and if I don’t bring it into my living room upon return, I wonder why I even left in the first place. Also the mozzies…While I really don’t like mozzies, I think a holiday without them doesn’t feel quite right.* I’m writing this and I just smashed …