I Totally Bought Hiking Shoes

Seems like a bit of a weird thing to announce that I’ve bought hiking shoes I suppose, but guys, I haven’t had a new pair of takkie-type shoes since about 2004. If not before then. To be honest I don’t even have “workout” clothes.

Generally my “walking shoes” consist of slops or pumps and lately I’ve been wearing these cute lace up things that Mr Price sells for really cheap. They’re good enough for walking. Last year I actually got a pair of “walking shoes” from Mr Price Sport and Lord if they didn’t chew massive holes in both of my feet on day one of my trip to Turkey. They’ve been in the naughty corner ever since.

But the thing is, I’ve been on a bit of a try-and-get-a-bit-healthier kick lately and thanks to my Herbalife journey as well as my Body20 journey I am at a point where I am legitimately strong and energetic enough to feel freaking keen to take up some hiking.

I’m going to Kanchanaburi while we are in Thailand and there are these crazy beautiful waterfalls that you can hike to and I am so so so so excited to see them.

So I bought hiking shoes.

For hiking.

I’m a hiker now.

My hiking shoes even have all these tiny holes in them so that you can walk in water and not feel like you’ve just messed up your shoes.

And they’re comfortable.

They’re ugly af. But they’re comfortable.

If you’re curious I got them online from Hi-tec for R299 which was kind of awesome because I didn’t have to go into a shop and try to pretend to be someone who buys things like hiking shoes, and also they were cheap (yay -sales!) which is great because I’m super stingy.

Now I just need hiking pants…

Anyone know what those look like?

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?

I’ve broken up with myself…

When the new year rolls around you inevitably find a slew of folks suggesting that you leave bad relationships in the past. This, of course, is sound advice, and I have followed it myself on quite a few occasions (it gets easier to do with practice). This year, however, the person I am parting ways with is myself.

Of course, the only reason I am putting it this way is because it sounds very dramatic and it will make you roll your eyes.

What I really mean though, is that my travel-loving adventurous self and my introverted curl-up-with-a-book-and-never-leave-home self are parting ways. But only in the blog sense. Unfortunately in the real world we share a body so we’re stuck with each other.

That’s right: I have finally listened to all the experts and I’m splitting my home-schooling blocked-author mom persona and my travel persona up, because honestly the combination doesn’t make sense even to me so I can only imagine how many raised eyebrows occur when folks land up here.

The travel self is being spoiled, because even though she is relatively new, she is still being allowed to keep the Passing the Open Windows url. The older self, that some of you might still know and love, will be adopting her namesake as a url and will be pondering life and sharing her facts and fictions over at Nadine Rose Larter. For now, you’ll have to forgive both sites for being stuck in a bit of a transition period. I like to think they’ll soon find stability.

Here’s wishing you all a great new year of positive changes and progressive happiness. I hope your 2017 is filled with the exact adventures that make your hearts sing!

 

Don’t let hypothetical future plans ruin your current actual plans!

IMG_0994I have this thing where I tend to be either all in or all out when it comes to pretty much all the things. I have no middle ground. No balance. No chill. And I suffer quite a bit (okay like 100%) from a phenomenon called state dependency which adds to all that no chill and no balance stuff. Seriously. How do balancy people do this life thing anyway? Because I am failing so hard!

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve become a little travel and photography befok. This is sort of a midlife crisis I suppose. A nice one, though. It’s just that I suddenly woke up and realised that I don’t want to wait to do the things that I love anymore. And I actually for once and for real set about fixing that. During this process I came to acknowledge that while I will be busy being a mom for the next ten years at least, after that I’m going to pretty much be on my own with no career or idea of what to do to keep me busy.

And so I came to decide that while I educate my children, I should begin educating myself in a field that interests me: travel. Which will inevitably lead to taking more pictures and writing more stories. Three of my favourite things. Right there. Oh my god I am SO excited about my future for the first time ever!

So what’s the first thing I do after making this decision? I decide that I must go to a travel conference in Jerusalem in March. This I somehow need to finance on an unpredictable salary while still making sure my family doesn’t starve.

Nadine: chill. (more…)

Travel Plans and Crazy Schemes

Anniversary Road Trip

I’m not even kidding a little if I tell you that over the weekend, in an attempt to get a little better at this whole travel thing,  I spent about 15 hours fiddling on flight and hotel apps. I’m 97% sure that I did nothing else over the weekend actually. I watched….something. What was it? Oh yes… The whole of the IT Crowd series. It’s funny. When you pay attention between apps.

You see….

I made the decision this year that my salary (and it is not a big one) is now exclusively travel money. I am paying for absolutely nothing in this house. Nought. Nada. No.

That sounds terrible.

But…

We love to travel.

So. We decided that if we can make Ty’s salary work hard enough to cover “life” then my income can be used exclusively for fun. It’s hard. But we’re making it work.

Anyway,, my new “rule” is that whenever I pay off my credit card I’m allowed to buy flights to somewhere. We are trying to keep flight costs under 10k per person (not so easy when you have to add PE- JHB flights to any international flight) but we are determined to live the life that we want to live instead of constantly making excuses for why we can’t have what we want.

I had big plans to take us to Zanzibar for our Seven Year Anniversary this year (gotta combat that seven year itch!) and I had even found us super cheap flights on Fast Jet which I was more than excited about. But I didn’t want to get the tickets before I’d managed to properly pay off my credit card. Well, it’s almost done, but when I checked for tickets on my very specific dates, I discovered that the flights I was planning to use were full.

DEVASTATION!

This has been on my mind for a month. All the scheming. All the figuring out how to make it work. All the eating of lentils and chickpeas and turning down invitations for drinks because “I’m saving for a trip”. GAH!

Ok fine. Try other dates. Nope. Nothing around our anniversary works. At least not in the kind of time-efficient way that you need to employ in order to make the best of the husband’s leave.

So…

I decided to give my credit card a tiny little break and we are going to celebrate our first 7 years together with a long as hell road trip from POrt Elizabeth to Mozambique and back.

Why?

Because the bug has bitten, babies. And it’s not leaving any time soon.

 

Travel Bug Bites and Combatting the Voices in My Head

12744634_10153763236316117_4500512389828294865_nSo, even though I’ve always known that “travel” is one of those all-round Bucket List items that I desperately want for my life, something quite serious has changed in me in the last little while. A massive shift over the line between dreaming and doing has taken place, and while I am still not entirely sure about my “how” I am quite confident in my “why”. I can’t keep telling myself that you can only travel when you’re young, or when you’re single, or when you don’t have kids. I can’t keep telling my children that they can do anything they set their minds to, and encouraging them to travel as soon as they leave school and not stop for at least ten years, and then hide away to have a little sniffle about how I can’t manage to fit in all the things I want to do with my life and how I wish I had been brave enough before I became too settled. If I wait until all the kids have left the house, there won’t be enough time to fit it all in. And honestly I don’t know about you, but I have heard WAY too many horror stories about how someone finally retired from whatever they were doing only to succumb to some sort of fatal incident before even remotely getting to settle into their “real” life. I can’t do that to myself! Besides, we’re already a pretty unconventional family. We might as well continue adding to our list of all the things we do differently, right?

So I’m planning my next trip. And I’m almost ready to make it happen. I just need to squash that little voice of justification. I recognise the voice though. It’s the same voice that told me that dancing was ridiculous and that the happiness it brought me was of no consequence. It’s the same voice that told me that being a musician is ridiculous, even if it’s just for fun. It’s the same voice that laughs at me for wanting to write, because how on earth is that ever going to work?

I’m starting to figure you out, voice. And I’m getting better at telling you to eff off.

Springing Forward

Photo on 2015-09-01 at 9.14 PMI had one “plan” for Spring Day today: see if my razor is capable of navigating through the forrest that I have been growing all over my body. Of course, that didn’t happen because it’s too damn cold today and I’m pretty sure all that fuzz is actually keeping me warmer than usual. Instead of the evening with my usual – tv/ipadding/tea – I found myself on Google, investigating costs for trips – sans tv! I reckon it’s time to plan a new adventure, even if I can’t take it anytime soon. I imagine that it is in all the not planning that all these things that we want to happen don’t. If that doesn’t sound particularly profound it is because it isn’t. And yet? Well…and yet the plans are hardly ever made because we’re always waiting for one bloody thing or another. Bugger it. My head is too buzzy for waiting. And so I’m making plans and checking out hotel prices and silly things like that.

But  even though I’m in the very dreamy stages of planning right now, what I want to know is:

Where are the weird places to go? The quaint and quirky and wonderful?

Where is the most interesting place you have ever been?

I’m thinking of Prague.

I’m thinking of Cambodia.

I’m thinking of Bhutan.

I’m thinking of Nepal.

I’m thinking of Colombia.

I’m thinking of Italy.

I’m thinking of Iceland.

Where are you thinking of?