Snakes in Bottles

IMG_4344I’m getting seriously excited about our upcoming trip to Thailand and I keep thinking about the trip I had almost a year ago which leads me to wishing that I had written about some of it at the time.  I suppose dragging a laptop around with me on holiday might have felt too much like work, but still, I should have done a bit of documenting. I plan to do a much better job of documenting my travels on our trip to Thailand in September, but it won’t be a rehash of the trip I had last May so it will be missing a few things.

One of those “things” will be a trip to Laos, which is one of the stranger places I’ve been to in my life, and I’m kind of sad that I won’t get to take my husband there because I think he might find it fascinating. I guess maybe we’ll get around to visiting the place at some point, but it definitely won’t be this year. (more…)

Darling Jolene

Photo on 2014-04-10 at 10.33 AMAfter yesterday’s bout of hysteria my now-good-friend Jolene Cawthorn contacted me to ask if I could give her the opportunity to show me that not all travel agents are terrible. The woman is a machine! THANK YOU Jolene! You are incredible and I really appreciate you looking after us so well.  And hats off to  you for being proactive and stepping in!! Too many people are timid about offering help when help is needed. You rock!

Guess how I know Jolene? She is involved in Herbalife!! As I understand it her mom is quite active in the business and Jolene and I have come in contact because of our mutual involvement, albeit a passive involvement.

Now of course I can’t give credit to Herbalife for Jolene’s efficiency — that credit belongs to her alone. But I do think that the company often leaves a positive mark that we might not all be aware of sometimes. And that thought makes me smile. Obviously being a Herbalife distributor is not for everyone. But I really do love the idea that even if Herbalife turns out to be “not for you” there is so much to be learned that you can take out into your life – no matter what you choose to do with it.

The main point is: I now have a DECENT flight itinerary and I don’t feel like I’m being ripped off. Now I just need to sell a body part or two and everything will be peachy!

Bad Service Blues

Photo on 2014-04-09 at 11.12 AMI may have said it before but I think being involved in Herbalife has ruined me as a customer. You know how you get those timid customers who never demand anything, they just kind of sit back and take the crap that you give them? I suck at that. And I blame Herbalife. You see, because I have been to so many Herbalife seminars and meetings and because I have been fortunate enough to interact with the creme de la creme of Herbalife society I have some seriously high standards instilled in me. Actually, they’re not that high. They’re pretty reasonable. They only look high because “reasonable” has become too much to ask of basic service providers.  (more…)

I Just Pressed Enter

IMG_4837The three people who pay half an iota of attention to my incessant ramblings on Facebook may have picked up that I have plans to move to Thailand. Weird how these things work. You say the idea out loud and it’s fun to talk about and make plans but it usually feels like you’re having a conversation about what you plan to do with your fictitious lottery winnings. Well, after almost a year’s worth of “what I’d like to do” conversations followed by a few more serious conversations over this last month I have finally taken the first REAL  step into making this all a reality: I paid for something. In fact I paid a lot of money for something!

I decided in February (while I quietly sat in the back seat of my dad’s Volvo on the way home from a wedding in Cape Town) that the scariness of our plan was that we planned to just go to Thailand, do our practical TEFL course and then kind of “wing it” as far as finding accommodation etc was concerned – with three kids in tow! The thought was kind of horrifying. So, what I decided to do was somehow save up for a separate no-kids-in-tow trip to Thailand for just the two of us. That way Ty can be sure that he is definitely happy to live in Thailand for a little while and we can do our course and figure a few things out without the pressure of over-excited kids to entertain.

Of course this is easier said than done. My three most consistent clients have politely dropped me with a “we’ll be in touch” promise that has yet to be fulfilled. Bye bye finances! Of course no one is taking my calls. So “saving” is proving to be a little tougher than I had originally hoped. Luckily Ty’s Herbalife business is ticking over steadily so that helps a lot.

The point is: I paid my first payment on our TEFL course. The payment has gone off of my credit card. We have to be in Thailand (Phuket) on the 13th of October.  I am elated and terrified at the same time. But mostly elated because I just absolutely cannot wait. My kids are so excited. I am so excited. My husband is excited. There is happiness in my house.

Finances are just going to have to keep up otherwise I might have to exchange pics of my boobs for Kickstarter donations.

Actually….

Train Trippin’

DSCN0101 Once upon a time I watched a Bruce Springsteen DVD and thought to myself “I hope that one day I can see ol’ Bruce live”. A weird thought perhaps for someone barely familiar with the man’s music, but then again, it is quite hard to deny the man’s charismatic presence. With only the idea that I would like to see him live one day, I was very quick to decide on a trip to Joburg to see the man perform when it was announced that he would be gracing our primitive shores. And so it was that on Friday I found myself on a train headed for a mere 24-hour stay in Johannesburg. Of course trains are not really part of my every day life. But then again, neither are planes or busses. No…. We drive everywhere. Usually. Usually when petrol doesn’t cost three arms and several legs. Driving is fast becoming a luxury to be set aside in favour of essentials like food and sanity.

DSCN0093Anyway, I’m quite pleased to be able to announce from experience that train rides in South Africa do not suck too much. Hubby and I found ourselves quite comfortable in our small compartment made for two (though I must admit – two average sized people would be comfortable – two large people maybe not so much) and it was quite nice to just veg out a bit and read without being distracted by life. The train was clean. The staff on board were all pleasant. The bathroom didn’t make me want to refrain from liquids.

Unfortunately though…. both our trains were hopelessly late in getting to our destinations. This I find particularly sad because it seems that it is a typical issue and not one that we were unfortunate to encounter due to shoddy timing. It is DSCN0154something that seems to happen  a lot and I must admit that not being able to rely on this kind of thing bugs me. The signalling systems at the stations pack up and once that happens, you’ve got an issue where several trains need to be guided to their destinations by a single “pilot”. This takes forever. Our train was so late in getting to Park Station in Johannesburg that we eventually had our friend pick us up in Germiston. Then on the way home we got stuck in Germiston again. We ended up getting home four hours later than expected.

Was it worth it? Yeah I guess it was. A little quality down time with the hubby was nice. The train food was a bit “meh” but it could have been worse. Travelling for 48 hours in order to watch a concert is possibly a little silly though. Perhaps the trip might feel more worth it if a little more than 24 hours passes in between…

This one time at the airport…

My friend Craig (and when I say “friend” I mean this guy I met once but am friends with on Facebook and I think he’s kind of cool so I call him my friend) posted this status on Facebook a couple of minutes ago:

 Nothing like spilling a full latte all over your bags and your shorts and shirt right before heading to the airport.

Of course I had to giggle. Firstly because it is funny, but mostly because it is not nearly as bad as what happened to me when I was at the airport on my way home from Thailand. (more…)

Hard to be Home

IMG_4837I’m struggling to be home. Perhaps this is a ridiculous observation, but it has already been five days since I got back from Thailand and I am still trying to escape or downplay the suffocating mantra playing in my head: I’m sick of here.

I think I’m a pretty patriotic person. I get annoyed often when people piss off overseas to “escape” South Africa. You shouldn’t go somewhere to get away from somewhere else. If you want to go somewhere it should be because “there” is where you want to be, and not because “here” is where you don’t want to be. Does that make sense?

Except that I’m struggling with “here” now. I haven’t really before. Ok, I lie. I have once before. When I was 18. I am now 31. I should be a bit less crisis-sy. And yet all I want to do is pack away my life and piss off because I am so mind-numbingly over the proverbial rat race that I could scream. The holiday I took was supposed to fix that, but instead it seems to have simply accentuated it.

I think I’m tired of living in this Westernized world where everything seems to be about pressure. Pressure to have the right kind of job and make the right kind of money and drive a decent car and buy a house and have fancy gadgets and blah blah blah blah blah.

I met the coolest guy just over a week ago. Do you know what he does for a living? He hops on a boat and takes people to Phi Phi Island every day. Do you know what happens there? Nothing. You eat. You drink. You swim. You catch a tan. You snorkel. You do nothing. It’s fucking awesome. This man has the best job in the world. Every single day he gets to experience happiness. Because all that nothing comes with a fuckton of happiness that none of all this other shit we aspire to brings. He makes people happy. He gives people the experience of a lifetime. Every. Single. Day.

And what do we aspire to? Go to school. Go to college. Get a good job. Make lots of money.

Fuck that ideal. It’s stupid.

 

Bucket List Check – Thailand

I wrote a Bucket List a little while ago. I know Bucket Lists are supposed to be a “before you die” thing but I think that’s dumb. I nearly said “no” to this trip. In fact I did at first. It seemed too overwhelming. Too expensive. Too “unplanned”. My brother and my folks qualified for a Herbalife holiday to Phuket and my brother asked me to be his “plus one”. Dreamy! I just need spending money and money for a ticket. Even so little seemed impossible. But somehow I did it. Which brings me back to the “before you die” part. Lately I have been asking myself why we continuously put the things we want off. Not everyone does that. I do. And then ten years later I wake up and go “But I wanted to do that! Why didn’t I?”

When I get home I am going to cross Thailand off of my Bucket  List. And then I am going to add many many more items to the list. And I am going to start doing them…

For now though I have 15 days of amazing ahead of me. Thailand has been my Number One country to visit for as long as I can remember.

And you know what? Making it happen wasn’t that big a deal! Even when strange unforeseen circumstances hit and I fell apart, it STILL turned out ok.

Say what you want about God, or religion, or faith. I  believe that there is a force out there that wants good things for all of us. And I believe that as soon as you take a step towards the things that you want (instead of merely staying in once place and wishing) an entire Universe starts to conspire in your favour to give you those things.

A part of me is sad to leave my husband and my baby sister and my baby behind. But leaving the opportunity behind would have been even more sad!

One Week

Tropical beach, traditional long tail boats, famous Maya Bay, ThailandBy this time next week I will be on a plane. Well… I think I’ll be on a plane… I should really check the flight times… But yes… Sometime next Monday I will be on a plane to Thailand and at this point it could seriously not come soon enough. All I want to do right now is dig into my cupboard and start packing. No idea what to take really. I’m thinking an empty suitcase with plenty of space for souvenirs. Also my sanity. I should pack my sanity and try to glue it back together again with a bit of wine once I’m settled on the plane. Yes. Let’s do that…

I changed my mind….

So a little while ago I entered a Valentine’s Day competition and then completely forgot about it…until Monday when I got a message telling me that I had won a Valentine’s Dinner and a night in the honeymoon suite at The Kelway Hotel…

So yesterday was filled with heart shaped choccies and and googly goofiness. Kind of silly of course but it was a happy day. It’s  crazy what a night away from home does for your soul. Ty and I took a walk along the beachfront with some ice cream. We took a long bath and dressed up and ate wonderful food and got to spend the night in the coziest room.

It was delightful! Definitely the best Valentine’s Day ever.  (more…)