The First Week of January Went Like This: Weekly Recap 2019.

“You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do? You should go do them”

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And so another year begins. Happy new year to all, I trust that this year will be filled with everything your heart desires and nothing but success and happiness wherever you go. I don’t particularly enjoy making new year’s resolutions, after all you have 365 days to be the change you want to see in the world. Whether you start on the first of January or the middle of August, it makes no difference as long as you get the job done. I have a video going up soon about the goals I aim to achieve in 2019, but that has been put on hold until the job hunt bears fruit. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as this is the year I’m thrown into the working world and trust that I myself am keeping the job seekers in my thoughts at this time too.

The first week of January was a whirlwind to say the least. The year began with a spontaneous adventure to the gym, which was very hard for me personally as I am still learning to love all my curves and edges.

On the second of January I said goodbye to my grandfather as I had planned to leave for vacation the next day. I’ve always hated hospitals and this time was no different. As my grandfather has Alzheimers, he could not remember me but held my hand for the last time. A bittersweet moment that I will remember for the rest of my life.

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They say good things come in three’s. On the third of January, I packed my camera and lenses in for a trip to Montagu with my grandparents (my mom’s parents), mother, brother and dad. I love road trips, it sparks my sense of adventure and gets my creativity flowing (yes, I made a travel diary). I decided that on this vacation, I wanted to explore more and get out of my comfort zone. Not before I got a few shots for Instagram though.

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To be honest, I don’t really remember what happened on the 4th of January. I think I decided to take a break from everything and just enjoy what the resort had to offer. For those wondering, my family and I stayed in the chalets in Montagu Springs. It’s self catering apartments and I loved every minute of it. I’ve grown up staying in hotels and this was so different. Although I did end up sleeping on the couch because I tend to get claustrophobic in dark spaces and the kiddies room is as tiny as a cupboard. But hey, all part of the adventure! I also tried poitjiekos for the first time and I have to say, I loved it! Apparently I’ve had it when I was younger but I really don’t remember having it so it does not count. I also stepped behind the camera a few times, my favourite shots to capture are the unexpected ones.

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The 5th of January brought about somewhat of an adventure. I decided to golf with the boys. On my mom’s side of the family, all my cousins are boys and on my dad’s side of the family, all my cousins are girls. Nonetheless, we made a day out of it. Although I suck at most sports, I did take a few great shots (emphasis on a few). Montagu has an amazing golf course which offers scenic views and a breathtaking landscape, which makes for an amazing backdrop for photos! Although I was in charge of driving the golf cart, that didn’t mean I couldn’t steal my cousin (who is an amazing photographer) for a few minutes to take a few photos.

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The 6th of January was the day we as a family decided to make the most out of the last day we had left. Unfortunately, this would also be the day that my grandfather would leave this world and become one of the angels above, watching over the rest of our family. RIP Pa, I love you. These are some of the shots we took on the day, which you can find on my Instagram

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The 7th of January just meant packing up to go home. If anyone knows me, I am the type of person who loves to sleep on roadtrips, I’m a pro napper indeed. I’m truly grateful that I made it home safely, but it’s time for me to get back to my passion which is writing and creating content. I am currently on the job hunt, so please remember to keep me in your thoughts and prayers.

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Thailand: Everything a Thailand tourist needs to know.

“We travel, not to escape life, but for life not to escape us”

For my 21st birthday I decided to trade in the classic Cape Town bash for a few stamps on my passport. Thailand has always been on my bucket list and for me to have ticked that off is something I will cherish for the rest of my life. Instead of a laid-back vacation I asked if we could do an island hopper package in which I was fortunate enough to explore the islands of Phuket, Phi Phi and Krabi as well as Koh Poda, Koh Ghai (better known as Chicken Island), Koh Tub and Koh Mor.

I have seen most of what this beautiful island has to offer and have made my fair share of memories. Due to this, I have gained quite a bit of knowledge and do’s and don’ts regarding this beautiful country. If you’re looking for more general information or simply just doing some research for your next trip, you’ve come to the right place!

GENERAL FACTS:

Capital of Thailand: Bangkok (I was unable to explore Bangkok as this was not part of my package but if you are able to go then I would suggest doing your shopping for luxury items such as make-up, clothing and other things here as these are not available in the local areas. I did not do my homework and I was dying to go to a Sephora!)

Currency & Exchange Rate: Thai Baht. This was extremely friendly in terms of the South African Rand which is always a bonus. I would HIGHLY recommend not exchanging your currency at the airport but rather within the city as I have found that you lose out so much more at the airport.

Visa: A visa is not required for stays shorter than 30 days. Only a passport is needed.

Electricity/Plugs: Thailand uses 220V AC electricity. Power outlets most commonly feature two-prong round or flat sockets. Take note South Africans as our 3 point plugs are of no use here and due to the fact that I did not have an adapter, I did not have a blowdryer.

Weather: November to February is the popular tourist season and summer in Thailand. This might be unpleasant if you do not like busy tourist seasons and the beaches tend to be a lot fuller. March to April is hot as well. May to October is Monsoon season and it tends to rain, however when I went it was July and it was so nice and only rained once or twice late afternoon towards the night so it did not put a damper on my holiday at all.

Language: The main language spoken is Thai although most people do understand English.

Greeting: Traditionally, you would greet a woman by saying “Saswasdeeka” which is pronounced sa-wah-dee-kah and you would greet men by saying “Saswasdeekrap” pronounced sa-wah-dee-crup. It is of extreme importance that the difference is heard in pronunciation as men find it disrespectful if you greet them with the woman’s greeting. A greeting is usually accompanied by “The Wai” which is the traditional greeting gesture which consists of a slight bow with both palms pressed slightly together similar to a prayer stance.

Thank You: Manners are of extreme importance. The same rules apply with the difference between men and women. To say thank you to a woman you would say “Kap kun ka” which is pronounced khap-coon-caah and to say thank you to a man you would say “Kap kun krap” pronounced khap-coon-crup

Country Income: The main source of income for Thailand is tourism, secondly fishing and thirdly cashew farming.

TOURIST ETIQUETTE:

Keep Calm: Losing your temper in public or displaying negative emotions in public is frowned upon in the Thai culture.

Respect: This has been mentioned before but I cannot stress this enough. The Thai culture pays respect in a hierarchical fashion which means that respect is first paid to the elders. The higher the social status of someone, the more respected they are.

Cover Up: As a sign of respect, always cover yourself when going to holy places. This includes covering the legs and shoulders. No cleavage.

Feet: Your feet are considered to be the lowest part of your body and the least clean. You should never point with your feet or have your feet higher than someones head. It is therefore extremely common in the Thai culture to remove your shoes before entering someones home. I went to a nail salon and was asked to leave my shoes outside as well as in the temples

Photography: Always ask before taking photos of someone.

Table Manners: Fork to be held in the left hand and spoon in the right. Only pour drinks when the cup is less than half full.

Monks: Never touch a monk or sit next to him.

I still have my hotel reviews which should go up. Would you like a blog posts with things to do in Thailand?

 

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Avalon Springs Montagu Travel Diary & Review

First post of 2017 and I’d like to take you on a little South African adventure!

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I was fortunate enough to go with my family to the Avalon Springs hotel for the holidays in December 2016. I just want to add a little disclaimer that I am in no way trying to brag, this is my first travel diary and I personally enjoy watching these and I hope you enjoy watching mine. It would mean the world if you would subscribe to my YouTube channel and leave me a like if you enjoyed it!

I have no pictures of the room, unfortunately. But it was stunning and spacious. The only fault was in the bathroom because there is no lock on the doors. However there is a little chair which you can put in front of the door. I loved the facilities and the resort itself, but there were a few cons which I will mention later in the post.

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There is a shower and a bath which is great for people who don’t particularly like the 2-in-1. I loved the mirrors and the white and brown interior.

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Upon arrival at the hotel, you’re greeted by the warm and friendly staff who give you an armband with a specific colour on it. This distinguishes the guests from the day visitors which will allow access to the Private Island Pool if you’re a guest in the hotel/mountain chalet. The pool is cut off by a wooden fence which separates the guest pools from the visitors.

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The Avolon Springs is a hot water springs resort so the water is always warm however there are pools that are cold for those hot days.

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There is a bar which serves non-alcoholic drinks as well as the usual. In my video I am drinking a smoothie, not a cocktail. Poolside drinks for the win! There is an entertainment area as well as a huge supertube if you’re feeling adventurous.

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Overall, I cannot fault the hotel for amazing service, excellent activities and facilities and friendly staff but there was only one thing that I had a problem with. On the Saturday night we were there (we stayed for the weekend) my brother injured himself by cutting his finger against the rocks in the pool. When I went down to reception for a first aid kit, they did not have one. As a panicking sister I was very disappointed and shocked that a resort wouldn’t have a first aid kit. Luckily I had one in the car which I had forgotten about and the crisis was averted.

Do you like travel posts? Let me know in the comments!

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