(Taken at Pringle Bay)
So Vital Health Foods has just brought Voost South Africa into the country and as part of their launch, they treated a few of us bloggers to a full Cape Town adventure day on Saturday and this was the agenda:
- Sand boarding in Hout Bay
- Visit to the Penguin Colony in Betty’s Bay
- Zip line tour in Hermanus
- Quad bike trail amongst the vineyards and olive plantations in Hermanus
In between was some beautiful coastal road driving and a hearty lunch in Hermanus… all in one day! They could not have picked a more perfect person for this adventure, if I do say so myself.
But this blog post is not to tell you about what I did that day, you probably don’t really care. It is to tell you that you can do it too, with an early rise, minimal planning and a whole lot of energy for the day.
Here’s a few pics of the day and what we got up to:
SA Forest Adventures were our guides for the day, so you can arrange something similar directly through them. (Ask for Eddy in Hermanus if you want the best time!)
How much can YOU fit into a day? (Hint: The answer is “however much you want to).
Inevitably, I needed a bit of Voost vitamin energy the next day to get out of bed, so well played Voost, well played…
*Side note: If you’d like to follow the other ladies who took part, see their Twitter handles below.
Let me take a quick break from exploring and adventuring to chat about life, quickly. (I suppose that is an adventure too, right?)
I have found myself recently in an Agony Aunt situation a lot. I am grateful that my friends think that I have my shit together enough to be the person that they come to when they need advice, someone to listen to their rants and to give them some no-bullshit truths. The truth is that I don’t really have anything new to say each time and I get it wrong most of the time too, but perhaps what I have to say is worth something to you. Maybe you have a light bulb moment too and change those things that keep niggling at your happiness…
You are your own worst enemy.
You try to convince yourself that doing what other people think you should do is the acceptable solution to a problem. You think that being alone means that you’re lonely. You think that someone else is going to fix you. You are afraid of yourself. You let people make you feel less than what you are really worth. You accept mediocrity. You take on others’ issues instead of working through your own.
Fuck that, dear readers, fuck that…
If you are unhappy, change something. No matter how small or unassuming you think it is, do something that just might change things. It might not, but there is only one way to find out. You are stronger than you think you are. You are more important than you think you are and you deserve to be happy, but you need to help yourself first.
Do what makes you happy, don’t care what other people think, keep working on yourself and make yourself better (you can quote me on this – I expect to see motivational posters of this all over Instagram tomorrow).
Well this is a fun concept! I was chatting to a friend the other day who loves online shopping because it feels like a surprise gift… except she knows what it is so it’s all a big FARCE.
Well, my pretties, Macaroon Collection has come out with just that concept to surprise gift yourself, for real: The Pretty Box. (I suppose you could gift it to someone else, but hang in here with me.)
This was my February box and I absolutely adore all of the goodies!
It’s good to spoil yourself sometimes.
Thanks Macaroon Collection, what a fun concept
If you follow me on Instagram, you are well aware that I have a pretty little (big) horse with whom I am utterly in love.
She is a ridiculous animal who manages to pull off a certain amount of elegance in her ridiculousness that I envy. I’ve had her for just over 2 years and have only recently gotten myself into the position to be able to play Pony-Pony with her almost every day. It’s amazing. And I’ll tell you why in this post.
The first thing that people ask you when they find out that you have a horse is “so what do you do with her; do you race, show jump, what’s that thing with the fancy jackets and fancy walking?” No. None of the above. Having a horse is more than participating in competitions where you jump over poles or do that fancy walking (it’s called dressage, by the way, and is actually a form of training that was developed into a competitive sport). It’s like having a really big, really expensive puppy that you can ride and explore with.
It’s a wild animal with the ability to perform at levels of far more intelligence and power than other animals and the ability to bond with humans (and other horses) on an emotional level (which is probably why it’s fairly female-dominated, due to us being the more emotive and nurturing of the sexes… side note).
Here is what this silly big creature has taught me about being a better human:
- Patience. Working with horses takes time. They have their own emotions and their own brains. You can’t rush them into behaving a certain way – you can only do what is right for them, taking into account their own baggage, and wait for that moment when it sticks.
- Dealing with frustration. You can lead a horse to the water, but you can’t make her cross it. Some horses are scared of water and mine happens to be one of those. She is stabled along a river, so we can’t really go anywhere until I figure out a way to get her to go near the river. Sigh. Getting angry doesn’t help. Thinking out of the box does. I’m on it.
- Unconditional love. A horse doesn’t care what you look like or what you’ve done in your past or that you really just want to run away from your desk and learn to surf in the middle of the day. She just doesn’t care. She loves you even if you’ve got a massive volcano pimple on your forehead and are wearing a holy T-shirt that you slept in.
- Leave the ego behind. Being a wild animal, she doesn’t have an ego. She doesn’t care what the male horse next door thinks of her running up and down the fence trying to get to him – she wants his man-bits and is not ashamed to show it! A new mare comes into the yard and she will chase her away if she gets too close – she runs the show there and is not afraid to say so.
- Getting dirty is the most fun. It’s more fun when you get sweaty and dirty. Proven fact.
- Keeping fit is essential. You just need to leave a horse unexercised for a while and see their physique get saggy and their behaviour change for the worst. A grumpy horse is no fun and also dangerous. So is a grumpy human. Exercise is essential to a healthy body and mind.
- Trust. When you’re riding an animal that weighs at least half a ton, you learn to develop a trust relationship. If you don’t trust your horse, you will never be able to do all the fun stuff and will land up just walking her around while sitting on top like a sack of potatoes, waiting to be thrown off. If your horse doesn’t trust you, she will never have the confidence to do the fun stuff either, and you’ll likely be thrown off and land on your pip.
- Honesty. A horse cannot lie. It’s the most honesty you will ever find in this world.
So no, I don’t race her, I don’t jump her over poles in competitions and I don’t make her do ‘fancy walking’ in return for a ribbon. I work with her every day to teach her something new, to teach myself something new, to love and be loved unconditionally in return.
It’s been far too long since I’ve blogged, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been doing fun stuff, I’ve just been struggling to find more hours in the day to fit it all in and then blog about it too! It sometimes feels like I need to get out of the cage a bit and who am I to deny my own self its’ freedom? Right.
One of my recent adventures has been to Crystal Pools in Steenbras Nature Reserve (near Gordon’s Bay). It’s a short hike (under and hour and quite an easy one) and you are rewarded with crystal clear natural pools straight out of a National Geographic magazine.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, there are quite a few rocks that you can jump off into the pools. You can start off with a 3 metre one, just to test the waters so to speak and then progress to higher ones until you reach your fear limit.
The highest jump is 30 metres, but be careful as anything higher than 20 metres can be really dangerous, even fatal, if jumped incorrectly! I stopped at 8 metres so that I don’t damage my already problematic back. The fear is real, people, even at a safe height, it’s a mind-over-matter battle. Quite ridiculous, really…
These guys below are standing just below the 30m jumping spot… whose keen?
You’ll need to buy a permit beforehand at R60 before they’ll let you in, so email your name, group size, contact number and date you wish to visit the area to firstname.lastname@example.org in order to obtain these. You’ll have to print it out and take with you on the day.
I rode horses,
I climbed mountains,
I played in the waves,
I smelled the roses
And watched them die
And then danced under their petals.
I laughed some more,
I cuddled naughty faces,
I lost friends,
I made friends,
I kayaked in the sea,
I watched dolphins and whales, accidentally,
I gawked at sunsets,
I got lost
I was found.
May the best of 2014 be the worst of 2015.
Here’s a great find, guys, and my first ‘Cape Escape’. Beaverlac is an unassuming camping spot just 2 or so hours outside of Cape Town in the Cederberg. Please don’t freak out – I’m not the biggest camping fan but I can do it for a few nights if it’s a beautiful spot and the facilities are good. This spot has both, so we’re all good. There are chalets to rent as well, if you can’t bring yourself to do the tent thing. I won’t judge you.
The main attraction at Beaverlac is their beautiful natural rock pools.
The Main Pool is a great swimming and ‘lounging around on a lilo’ spot. The best part about this pool, though, is the sheer rock face that allows for fantastic fun jumping into the pool. It’s more of a mind game than anything else and it looks easy from the bottom, but when you get up there and peer over the edge, it starts to get a bit hairy. It’s not that far to jump and the pool is so deep that you won’t hit the bottom, but it’s still a game of coaxing yourself over that edge because your mind all of a sudden tells you that you have rocks in your head.
The Secret Pool is not that much of a secret, but if you’re wanting a free natural massage, the secret is to head on to the waterfall and let the water give you an organic head, neck and shoulders massage (trust me to find a way to have an exclusive spa treatment in the middle of nowhere!).
The Totem Pool provides a nice adventure too. I didn’t manage to get to these (because of my stooopid back preventing me from hiking), but a hour or so hike and you get these pools all to yourself with even higher and crazier jumping opportunities, if you feel that those rocks in your head weren’t heavy enough the first time. (Image cred: cape-hike.co.za)
It’s great for a weekend getaway and cheap as chips. Note that booking is required and you can also bring your pooch along for an extra R50 per day! All info here.
If you’re wanting to get away from it all, and I mean REALLY away, then carry on reading.
I’m not actually going to say much about this holiday destination because I’d rather let the pictures do the talking, but what I can say is that there is a certain kind of peace in the Transkei that is difficult to find elsewhere. Rolling green hills that open up into long stretches of untouched private beaches, roaming cows and horses, fireflies, bonfires and stars as far as you can see. No signal, no electricity. The more difficult it is to get to, the more beautiful and tranquil it will be, I assure you, so don’t pick the easiest spot.
These pictures were taken on a recent short break in a spot near the Ntafufu river mouth, only accessible by 4×4 and a boat (we all took normal cars, not realising how bad the last stretch of road really was and had to be towed out – well worth the adventure, though!). They don’t call it the Wild Coast for nothing, hey
Be ready to rough it, but also be ready to find your peace in the process.
It is such a glamorous idea, working for yourself – waking up late, working in your PJs, jetting off wherever you want without taking leave and just rolling in the cash in the process. Right? Right. Except that is not what it is. There is a misconception of how this whole ‘Be your own Boss’ thing works and it’s almost like people think that because you’re not chained to a desk and trying to stay out of office politics that affect your career, you’ve got it easy.
I made the great escape from corporate and started out on my own and have been at it for nearly 3 years already. I’ve often been asked by friends how to do it and if they should give it a go and I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now, so that you all know.
South Africa is rife with entrepreneurship and my brother once told me that if you’ve got something to sell/provide and you’re confident that there are enough people that will pay you for it, then you can start your own business. This is true, but there are very unique obstacles to working for yourself that you have to be prepared to accept and be strong enough to deal with, else you should just stay in that little corporate bubble and count your blessings because if you fall, you fall pretty hard and take an emotional beating along the way.
I love my current setup and the way that I work, I love my clients and how I handle them, but it is not an easy game and here’s the cold hard truth as to why.
You need money to start
Even if you’re not starting a business that requires a capital outlay, you will need money to live while you get things up and running and find people who want to give you their money. Gather this up beforehand so that you don’t have to stress about covering your expenses while you’re starting to find your feet. Have the finances covered and then you can focus on what you need to do to start making some regular money.
Clients don’t just fall into your lap
Unless you are incredibly well connected (with no restraint of trade) and are the only provider of air to humans, this is going to be a really difficult step. Just because you’re good at something or have something to offer doesn’t mean that this will attract clients through wind pollination. You will have to get out there, go to stupid networking events, cold-call, phone in favours, research and schmooz. And you’re going to have to do it over and over again until you are in a position where you’re getting enough money in to be comfortable. You will be shot down and messed around and just take it in your stride.
Once you’ve done it, you’re well on your way. It’s far more rewarding to have done this on your own than to have relied on corporate structures to give you what you need.
Working in pyjamas is overrated
There will come a time when you wake up one day and head on over to your desk and realise that if you wear another pair of yoga pants in your life you’re going to die lonely and suffocated by all your cats.
There’s nothing better than snuggling up under a blankie with your laptop in the middle of winter though, no self-respecting humans should be out in that weather.
It can be isolating
When you’re no longer in an office full of people all day every day, you’re suddenly faced with your own self, all the time. I am well aware that I am awesome, but nobody else is going to tell me that. You also won’t be invited to Johnny from Accounts’ braai and find yourself trying to find an excuse not to go. Bouncing ideas can be tricky and there’s no such thing as a year-end function with free champagne.
Self-discipline is a real thing
You’ve got to be the kind of person that is self-motivated, self-disciplined and have skin as thick as a rhino, naturally. You’ve got nobody to pat you on the back when you’ve done a good job and also nobody to kak you out if you’ve done a bad one. It’s all you, babe. You’ve got to focus and not play with the neighbour’s cat instead or go ride horses on the beach because it seems more fun (I really have done these things, it’s no joke).
You don’t get a holiday
You can GO on holiday, for sure, but your work goes with you. You’ll quickly learn how to multi-task so that your work fits in with whatever you’re doing and doesn’t make too much of a fuss on your holiday, but you’ll never really be away from it unless you have someone you trust to cover for you while you’re gone (this is rare to find and when you do, hold on damn tight).
You need emergency funds, all the time
Pack away some savings and keep it replenished. There will be times when your clients pay you late, or pay you at the last minute with a cheque that only clears in a week, just for fun. You’ll need emergency funds to cover your important expenses while you wait for them to get their shit together.
You are everything
You are everything to your business. You need to understand marketing and sales, tax (vomit) and finances, business development, IT, admin, project management, client relationship management, data analysis and whatever else is thrown your way. Also remember to be a normal human being too and have a social life and some fun.
Opportunities are endless
All that being said, if you can jump over all those hurdles on a daily basis and enjoy the challenges of each new day, you will find a freedom that you won’t get anywhere else. (I can neither confirm nor deny having worked while lying on the beach). Opportunities really are endless and you can shape things however you see fit. That’s worth any amount of hard work, I tell you.