Effortless Travel, Food Adventures and Cultural Exploration

Dubai Marina bird's eye view

I have countless happy memories of holiday travel with my family; from childhood vacations down the Garden route during the apartheid era, to Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand where they somehow I assumed I was a local.

Every obstacle was seen as an adventure, even when we boarded the wrong bus and ended up at the last stop in the middle of nowhere, a good few kilometers outside of Kuala Lumpur.

Family travel

I remember my father telling us that before we could go out to see the world, we needed to experience and see our own country and appreciate the diversity of it’s cultures and customs. During my teens we spent many summers and Easter school holidays in cottages on the beach in the West Coast town of St. Helena Bay, eating freshly caught crayfish from Paternoster during the day, and watching the silver moonlight streaking across the ocean from my bed at night.

My parents also loved travelling along the Garden Route as far as Plettenberg Bay, often with my fathers nieces and nephews in tow. We stayed in guesthouses, homestays and resorts that accommodated non-whites and very often were turned away from larger hotels because of the color of our skins. One of my favorite memories was staying at the Oudsthoorn Holiday Inn, where the staff were amazing and always ensured we had everything we wanted and needed, even during the dark days of apartheid.

Over the past few years I have tried to include a getaway with my brother’s family on every trip back home. It is always such a pleasure to spend time with my nieces and nephews who are so unconditional in their love, trust and affection.

My father taught us to travel with no more than a cabin sized trolley bag for our clothing and toiletries. Larger bags, if any, are strictly for gifts and shopping!!!

Brother and sister posing in front of a bus

On a family vacation circa 1979-80

Solo travel

My first trip alone was travelling to the UK in 1999, and to be honest, I was scared spitless, even though my relatives were waiting for me on the other side. I discovered that it was not as scary as I had imagined. I learned that it makes you stronger when you have to learn to do everything for yourself and by yourself (cleaning toilets and doing laundry, in my case).

I saw myself and others from a new perspective and learned to appreciate the little things that I took for granted as the only daughter in my parent’s home… like a ride from the station on a cold and blustery winter’s night or my favorite cookies and pies especially baked and sent for me by loving aunts.

To read more about my solo travel experiences click on the links below.

Travel Cape Town

I can almost hear you saying ‘You’re from Cape Town but have so few informative articles about it!’. And that is an oversight that we will try to address in the coming months, God willing.

It has taken longer to write than anticipated because my visits back home are taken up with family bonding and trying to do as much as possible in the time I have available.

View of Table Mountain Cape Town

Photo by Dewet Willemse via Unsplash.com

Travel Dubai

Since my father’s death and my move to Dubai a few years later, I slowly spread my wings. I began to explore new places and travelled abroad, firstly with a colleague and then solo after she moved away in 2010.

The most important tool in my travel arsenal has become the confidence and belief in myself that travelling solo has given me. I have tested my physical, emotional and spiritual limits and know what my body, mind and soul are capable of.

Dubai public beach view of Burj al Arab

Travel Turkey

I have visited Turkey many times over the past twenty years and it remains one of my favorite destinations. It was also the start of my Food adventures and focussed travel and cultural exploration.  To hear more about what drives my wunderlust and best food vacation destinations listen in to the Eating Enlightenment podcast.

From the bustling metropolis of Istanbul to the unspoilt beauty of the coast at Fethiye and Olu Deniz. There is always so much to see and new things to learn about the culture, the people and the food.

To read more about my experiences click on the links below.

View from Hagia Sofia

Travel Italy

I first visited Italy for the Slow Food International bi-annual Terra Madre Salone Del Gusto and fell in love with food culture and beautiful country, and had to return to see and experience more.

To read more about my experiences click on the links below.

Italy was not on my bucket list

The Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Travel UK

My first trip back to the UK since moving back in 2000 was to attend Food Blogger Connect, an international conference for food and travel bloggers. It was such a wonderful experience, learning from established bloggers as well as taking time out to visit places that had not even been on the radar when I last lived in the country.

To read more about my experiences click on the links below.

Tower of London

Tower of London

Travel Jordan

My first trip to Jordan was in July 2011, when I went for a long weekend to the area of Ma’in, about 45 minutes outside of Amman. That was a few years before I started the blog and regrettably the only photos I have are the ones below.

Though most of the people I met spoke little to no English, their generosity and kindness did not need words to warm the heart. The driver of the bus for the Dead Sea excursion insisted on stopping on the way back to let me take pictures of the sunset and twinkling lights of the West Bank.

Travel Jordan - West Bank at sunset

Sunset shades reminded me of home…

Travel Jordan - Dead Sea observation area

View across the Dead Sea to the Palestinian West Bank.

Travel Jordan - Hotel & Spa, Ma'In, Jordan

Ma’In hotel hot spring waterfall.

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