Monkeys Outside of Kanheri Caves

I’m busy having a grump with myself because in the name of stabbing nostalgia I am busy looking through my photographs from Mumbai and I see that I took zero pictures while at the Kanheri Caves. At least I didn’t take any with my camera. My google photos backup has a couple of blurry pics with too much HDR on them (oh Lordy I loved that filter for a while…) but beautiful pics taken with my camera?

Nada.

WHY WOULD I DO THAT?!

Oh yes… Because there was a “No Photographs” sign at the ticketing office and uhm…probably I shouldn’t have those pics on my cellphone either… How did we pull that off anyway? Did we go into stealth ninja mode? Is calling it “Stealth Ninja Mode” superfluous?

Luckily there were all these gorgeous monkeys hanging out outside of the entrance to the caves so I totally got to photograph them with all their little old man babies. How cute are they? So cute…

Oh my God so cute.

You can find more pics on my Instagram.

Meet Me in Mumbai

Facebook’s On This Day feature tells me that today two years ago I was waiting patiently (ha!) for a plane to take us to Mumbai.  Our trip to India was truly one of the craziest things I have ever pulled off. In fact, the reason we were able to go was because we were able to cash in all the medical aid savings that we hadn’t used for a couple of years. We got lucky. And that trip was the reward for our luck.

Man I wish I could go back… But I suppose that is the curse of travel. We live forever doomed to miss places that we may or may not ever return to. It’s an ache that is bitter as it is sweet.

We didn’t spend enough time in Mumbai though. In fact: I could easily see myself spending as much as a year touring the whole of India and never getting bored. I’d love to lose myself there for a while. Taking in the sights and smells and sounds. India is truly a kaleidoscopic carnival for the senses. We never did get to see the Elephante caves, on account of us getting there a little late. And we opted to miss out on a Bollywood tour for financial reasons, which I definitely regret.

We did get to go to the Kanheri Caves though, and those were so freaking cool I’d love to go again. The architectural tricks used to make sound and light carry throughout those giant rooms is just remarkable. And the echoing chambers are eerily beautiful.

And then there are the temples. So many temples! I wish I could do a temple tour of the whole of India but I imagine that would probably take six years.

I think for love and joy I might start sharing some of my pics on Instagram because sometimes nostalgia can act like soul food, right? And if I can’t have Indian food well then soul food will just have to do…

(hopefully my worse-than-now photography skills won’t depress me too hard!)

Travel Resolutions & Other Failures

My resolution for travel this year was to attempt to get away for the weekend once a month. Of course the last weekend of January has come and gone and we have yet to be away. Somewhere along the line I’m going to have to figure this stuff out. Although I suppose you don’t stop being a traveller just because you’re a little on the broke side. Thankfully we have a trip to Port Alfred happening around the corner, and even more thankfully, my parents are paying for it.

I must admit it’s a little tough though. I think we could manage a few mini-vacations in the area with relative ease. At least without crippling ourselves. And those little mini-getaways are truly soul-feeding and good for all sorts of things from mental health to relationship health! But… Isn’t there always a but? (more…)

The New Bucketlist

Last week I asked you for some ideas for what I could put at the top of my Bucketlist after my daft self went and actually completed my #1 travel dream last year. It’s kind of tough to come up with a new #1 I must admit. And I have not actually achieved this goal even though I’ve been thinking about it all year. I imagine the answer to this is that perhaps one day my #1 will instinctively reveal itself to me and I will just have to wait until that happen. So there’s no ultimate #1 anymore (why does this make me so sad?!) but I do have a list of things that make my heart soar a little so I thought I’d share those instead.

I should disclose up front that it is most likely this list will get neglected a bit. Not because I have no intention of completing it but because the things at the top tend to be the most costly and I am just silly little old me we a tiny budget so some of them are a little (a lot) pipe dreamy.

In no particular order:

  • Drive from South Africa to Kenya over a period of 6 months
  • Swim with the pigs in the Bahamas
  • Eat pizza in the place where Elizabeth Gilbert ate pizza in Eat Pray Love (where was that?)
  • Be in Japan when the sakura trees are blossoming
  • A cruise to Alaska (where I will hopefully see killer whales in the wild)
  • Rent a car in Iceland and drive around the whole island (when I’m richer than God)
  • Disney – I don’t even care which one I just want a selfie with Minnie Mouse
  • Dance lessons in Argentina
  • Tulip field photoshoot in Holland
  • Prague

Good list, right?

What’s at the top of your travel bucketlist?

So I have this problem where I start pretty much every blog post with the word “so”…but my other ridiculously over-the-top-and-yes-I’m-aware-that-this-is-not-a-real-problem problem is this: I ticked off the #1 thing at the top of my bucketlist last year and now I’m feeling a bit now what about it.

To be honest I didn’t even realise that this sort-of malaise had settled over me because of it. It’s not like I’ve forgotten the experience or haven’t put in enough time appreciating it. Of course I have!  You don’t forget hot air ballooning over Cappadocia in a hurry, and just the memory is enough to bring about a smile. But for so many years the one thing that I’ve wanted to do above all other things is climb into a hot air balloon. Funny enough it occurs to me that there is a kind of bittersweetness in achieving what I consider to have been a bit of a lifelong goal.

Now here I am staring down the wide-open possibilities of 2018 and I have no idea what to pick as a top contender. Because there was really just that one thing  at the top of my bucketlist followed by an ever-growing mess of other things that all sort of jumble together and have no specific ranking.

So (so!) tell me please: What is at the top of your bucketlist? Because I need some ideas.

Everybody Gets a Strawberry

So last weekend I found myself lucky enough to have an entire day in which there were no kids present and I immediately insisted that my husband take me to Mooihoek Strawberry Farm to pick strawberries. Partly because I really wanted to pick strawberries, but mostly because we were in serious need of getting out of the house and away from real life – just the two of us – and this was a kind of cheap and quick way to do it.

Of course, like mine was, all of your timelines for the last month have been filled with strawberry pickers, so you know what I’m talking about. But I wonder if any of you have marvelled at the success of this exercise the way I have. I actually haven’t been able to stop thinking about it, and quite frankly, being impressed by it all. It was such a great reminder of the power of social media and how so much can be achieved just by offering people an experience. I absolutely LOVED that “picking strawberries” was something both locals and guests of Port Elizabeth could add to their holiday itinerary this year. And I mostly loved that it was such a cost effective and “different” option. Is it weird to be so pleased at the success of someone else? Hmmm….

I think today is the last day that you can get yourself a strawberry or two from Mooihoek, so I have done a terrible job of being an influencer in this regard haha (unless any of you were re-tempted to get your strawberry on by my Instagram Timeline) but I do truly hope that the successes experienced by Mooihoek Strawberry Farm might inspire a few more similar experiences to start popping up around/near The Bay.

And why do I say this? Because what Mooihoek had to offer was doable. It didn’t cost the earth to take your kids out to the farm for an hour or two (petrol and R30 per punnet of self-picked strawberries). And you learn a thing or two while harvesting your own food. Things like “my goodness I really should be more grateful to all the people who are involved in putting food on my table because even though this is kind of fun for an hour it is actually seriously hard work and this hard work is what keeps our nation fed” which is a super important thing to acknowledge. I did also learn that factor 30 is no match for the sun beating down on Hankey… I really should practice being out in the sun more.

Granted I probably should have taken my kids with us like all the other “good” parents we encountered during our visit. You know so they could learn some of these things and pick their own strawberries so that I didn’t have to share… Hopefully this will happen again next year and we will somehow manage to go as a group (my older kids have a job now so they’re never home though!)

I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to have a point in mind when I start writing these posts. I guess the point is this: Sometimes simple is really awesome. And observing the success of something so simple was kind of cool. Inspiring. So much of the awesomeness that our little part of the world provides gives me the warm and fuzzies. This was one of those things.

Did you enjoy your Mooihoek Strawberry farm experience?

2018: A Year of Here

So even though I’ve just spent the last six hours (don’t judge!) trying to figure out if we can go to Thailand for my husband’s birthday, our travel plans for this year really just include a whole bunch of exploring around home. Luckily we live in Nelson Mandela Bay and there is plenty of exploring to be done right here which means I’m not too worried about being a dissatisfied adventurer. But you know how it is: sometimes those planes call us so hard!

Alas, no! No planes! In 2018 Nadine needs to stay in just this one country. Unless, you know, she doesn’t…

To be honest though guys: somewhere along the line the mom and the dad need to get away a bit. Raising kids works out better when you take a break. (as an aside: does anyone want my kids?)

Of course a good old fashioned roadtrip or two will be thrown in for the fun (and necessity) of it. Depending on the budget which is currently at zero but will hopefully climb up as the year goes along. I should sell some things. (aside: does anyone want my things?)

For now we’ll just throw around a couple of ideas perhaps and do a far better job than we usually do of observing our own surroundings. I’m the biggest culprit of observing a Home is Where We Hibernate lifestyle…so I fully admit that the challenge will be me.

Am I capable of change? Probably no, but I’m going to try.

Taking a Break from the Written Word

My dearest followers (all seven of you) I hope this message finds you well on your way to celebrating the most fantastic of summer seasons (or winter if you’re on the other side of the world). I just wanted to pop in here to let you know that I have not, in fact, faded into the sunset, so much as I am taking a break from this little corner of the internet for a tiny while.

My head is buzzing with all sorts of projects that I have planned for the New Year. I have a notebook that is quickly filling with way too many ideas and my excitement for these projects continues to grow.

A few issues with my health over the last six months or so have made me force a little more ease into my life. And so, for the month of December I have decided that without even the smallest bit of pressure to write about each and every experience and without the guilt that sometimes accompanies rest, I am taking a real blog break.

Of course, December is the time of year when a lot of exploring happens. But I’m just going to enjoy the few bits I have set up, occasionally sharing them on my Instagram of course (Why do I find Instagram so soothing? Is that weird?) and maybe doing a bit of micro-blogging over on Facebook.

As for here: I’ll see you all in again in January…with travel plans and over-shares and hopefully a 2018 filled with adventure!

Happy Holidays, everyone!

 

Some more thoughts on selling panties…

Ok so I told you about how some girls confessed to selling panties as a way to make money for travels the other day, right? And I can’t stop thinking about it because obviously who would even stop thinking about something so fascinating? This trope that we see on the telly from time to time is totally real. Who knew? (ok I did sort of know)

Of course I can’t remember where all I have seen this particular storyline….perhaps you can let me know in the comments?

Definitely once on Younger that chick who doesn’t look young tried to sell her panties and it all went wrong. That’s the whole point of the trope, right? To tell you how wrong it is to sell your previously worn and not yet laundered underwear to strangers…. Because karma, obvi. (this subject has turned me into someone who uses the word “obvi”)

So of course my thinking goes to what is the worst that could happen? 

I obviously have to make a list of questions that I need to ask myself seriously before setting off on this potential business venture…

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

1.) Is there a chance that I could be plagued with visions of men sitting in corners while they deeply sniff my underwear? And because I have a so-far-undiagnosed-but-still-very-real anxiety disorder is it likely that I will have actual nightmares about this?

2.) What if someone sends them back and demands a refund? Will this harm my self-esteem?

3.) What if someone local orders all of them to be shipped to a PO Box and the curiousity sends me into a tailspin? Do I have the stamina to sit outside of a post office until they are collected? Will such knowledge ruin my life? I am still not over getting an anonymous Valentine’s card that one time when I was in high school.

4.) Would it be wrong to put clean underwear on the dog and then sell those?

5.) Where would the tail go though?

6.) Can you be arrested for selling  dirty underwear that you pretended was yours but was actually the dog’s?

7.) What would the charge be?

8.) How does bail work?

9.) Can you use money earned from selling dirty panties to pay for your bail to get you out of jail for selling dirty panties?

And lastly but very most importantly….

10.) Is is possible to clone actual human beings from underwear DNA and are we sure that all these men who so readily buy used panties are not somehow involved in a dodgy cloning scam? And if they don’t know that it is dog DNA in the underwear  sold to them by me is it possible that I might be contributing to a dog/human hybrid army that will eventually cause world peace because let’s face it dogs are so much nicer than people….

Actually in that case maybe I should sell my underwear.

Now I just need to find the dog…

PS: I sort of feel like maybe I need to clarify that I’m kidding about exploiting the dog before I get into trouble. It’s Friday. I don’t feel like trouble.

 

Should I sell my used underwear?

I’ve noticed that as I age I become far and far less of the sort-of-a-prude I used to be when I was a kid. There are things I have massively relaxed into as the years have gone by and I admit it feels kind of good. Things like recreational marijuana use, the odd unit of alcohol (gosh that sounds funny but it’s better than listing all the different alcohols) and even causal sex don’t terrify me in the way they once did.

None of that was really the point….

ANYWAY…. I’m in way too many different groups on Facebook, but one of them is a group for girls who love traveling. I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to be in there because there is a definite single-girl-alone-in-the-world vibe – which I love of course but it doesn’t apply to me.

Because of one of these girl groups, the other day I discovered something super interesting. It turns out that it is not that uncommon for girls to sell their used underwear as a way to make extra cash for their travels.

Now of course we’ve all seen the episodes of whatever (Girls, Younger) on TV where this sort of things goes disastrously pear-shaped… But…

I cannot help wondering if this is a viable thing to do! Ok sure… it’s creepy as hell. But if there are men out there willing to pay for their bizarre fetishes, like purchasing women’s used underwear, I really don’t see why women shouldn’t take advantage of that. It surely is just a case of two consenting adults, right? And if you can get past the creep factor and not allow too many weird thoughts into your head post postage… Well then it’s a little bit like free money, right?

And so my question remains….

Should I sell my used underwear?

Or should I just write a weird blog post about how I’m considering it so that the next time you see me you won’t be able to think about anything other than the fact that maybe my panties are for sale…

Kragga Kamma and Addo Elephant Park: The Perfect Share the Bay Combo

So I asked you all last week about how you go about sharing the bay with your guests and Sarah from Chasing the Rainbow had some awesome suggestions but at the writing of this post the rest of you failed me miserably with your silence. *raises questioning eyebrow*

I discovered, however, that when it comes to international guests especially (and shame probably those poor Cape Townian plebes who only have mountains to look at but no elephants) that right here in the bay we have the absolute perfect combination of exquisite pleasure for your eyes.

Of course I did technically already know this… But I didn’t know that I knew it. You know?

You see…. This is what happens. Addo is incredible. There is only a tiny chance of you going to Addo and not finding any elephants. On the odd occasions, I have heard, that the giants disappear and no one can find them (so mysterious!) but for the most part there is a high likelihood of you spotting the beasts and being completely awed by them. So of course, this is a brilliant place to take guests. Especially when they are British and all the animals they know are livestock and squirrels.

While at Addo your guests might well even see lions and all sorts of other treasures like dungbeetles and spring hares. How awesome, right?

Addo, however, has no giraffe. There are no tall trees in Addo for giraffe to feed off of.  And what is a trip to Africa if you don’t see a giraffe? An abomination! And this is why, Bayers, after you have taken your guests to Addo you MUST take them to Kragga Kamma Game Park. Because Kragga Kamma has giraffe. And they have cheetahs. And buffalo and those glorious beautiful fat unicorns (who have babies!) that we all love so damn much.

Together, Addo and Kragga Kamma make up the perfect gaming experience for anyone who has a little time to spend in our bay. So if you don’t know where to start, start there.

And after that? Well of course there is still so much more…

How do you #sharethebay with your guests?

So I’m a huge fan of the #sharethebay initiative that Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism has been running in our bay for the last couple of years and of course you know that I’m a huge fan of travel (this is a travel blog, after all, even if it didn’t start out that way!) but I have to admit a dirty little secret:

I don’t know what to do with guests when they visit…

My cousin and her husband and brand new bouncy boy are arriving a little later today and once again (actually for the third time in the last month) I find myself wondering what to do with guests when they visit. These particular cousins are from the UK so honestly all I really need to do is show them what colour the sky is when there are no clouds, but I’d like to do more.

I feel like I should have like a go-to #sharethebay routine that I use for first-time visitors to the city. Is that dumb? I mean… I know there are plenty of lovely places and I’ll show them a few of those places in the short time that they will be here, but a big part of me kind of wants to sit down sometime and do a kind of set itinerary. Like have a list of things to do if you have half a day, or a day, or three days. That sort of thing.

So what I want to know is what do you do when out-of-towners visit you? How do you go about your #sharethebay when your time is limited? What are your must-sees and can’t-misses? And don’t tell me there’s so much to do – because of course there is! (actually that might be part of the problem)

Tell me. Specifically.

What do you do?