Disappearing into the Dunes

To celebrate 365 days in each other’s company, my boyfriend and I decided to disappear for a long weekend. We road-tripped three hours out of Cape Town to the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town of Witsand. Here we spent leisurely days jumping from dune to dune and sipping wine as we watched the sun sleepily bid the earth adieu. I took this opportunity to play around with my latest love and obsession: my Canon EOS M3, my first ‘fancy’ camera. I also tested out my editing skills using the VSCO app. Here are the 🍓🍎🍍🍒🍊🍋🍐 of my labour.

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Cape Town to London – The Good, The Bad & The Sunny

I am at a pivotal point of my time as a Local Tourist – I have left the windy Mother City and returned home to the British Summer.

Let me take this moment to point out a few reasons why Captonians have it so good. We have a myth in England, every year it is the same – we worship the memory of her, anticipate her sweet return, we know that any hardships in our lives will be resolved if only she were with us again – her name is Summer and she is a cruel cruel mistress. She will give us a cheeky wink in the early morning, a promise if you will, that she is here to stay. Sadly, by the time you have your wits about you and have gotten ready for an outdoor pool adventure, a picnic or even a quick tanning session she has fled the scene only peeking through the clouds every so often to check that you are still missing her. Though this lady is elusive, sometimes she graces this small Island with her benevolent presence and when she does the British public are amazing at making hay while the sun shines! Yesterday it hit tropical temperatures of 26°C and Clapham Common in London was filled to the brim with opportunist tanners. They even have a paddling pool for the children of the City. I must confess that I got a little sun burnt, in the British sun! Who would have thought?!

600489_10151450668651879_1301255038_nThe people of London enjoying a blissfully sunny day on Clapham Common

945609_10151450668521879_2076322960_nThe children’s paddling pool on the common

1003277_10151450668566879_683740775_nMy friends and I enjoying a picnic in the tropical weather

Though I might sound like I am dramatizing our British Summer my point is that a day of pure sunshine in England is like gold dust, whereas in South Africa it is taken as a given. Don’t think for a moment though that I am suggesting that South Africans don’t appreciate the sun – far from it! Cape Town is the sun worshipping Capital of the World and I could not love it more. Think of sun downers at the top of Lion’s Head or a full day of fun and frolics on Llandudno beach, I can’t think of anything better. Rather, my point is that England spends three quarters of the year waiting for the sun to appear so even when it doesn’t we still need to act like Summer is in full swing. We will take any opportunity to sit outside and have our iced coffee; one ray of sun and we will all be wearing our sunglasses and those slightly-too-short shorts. Finally, I honestly believe that there are more convertible cars on the small Island of Britain that in the whole of California and South Africa combined and you will see people driving down the motorway, roof down trying to ignore the intermittent drizzle that characterizes this wonderful Country!

While we like to think that we have it bad in the Cape Town Winter, I’d like to point out that it is not dissimilar to the British Summer. So rather than anticipate how windy and rainy it’s going to be, lets not wait for the storm to pass but rather learn to dance in the rain.

Dream. Explore. Discover.

Introduction

Let me start by explaining the driving force behind this blog. I was born in South Africa but have spent the last thirteen years of my life living in England. Having been raised in a South African home in the heart of the United Kingdom and living and learning among Brits, I have always felt like a foreigner. The feeling of otherness was increased further when I spent a year of my University career studying in America at Iowa State University. While some may feel uncomfortable being foreign, I feel most alive when I am travelling. I also believe that the best way to get to know a Country is by living there. To live and study (or work) in a foreign setting and to get to know those who are most local to it  is to become part of the fabric of that place. Once again I have been given the exciting opportunity of leaving my comfort zone and living 5980 miles away in the beautiful City of Cape Town, South Africa. I will be spending a year studying a Post Graduate Marketing course at the Red and Yellow School of Magic and Logic.

The theme of this blog is both being foreign in a place that is local to you and being local in a foreign place. Most of us would have experienced this feeling at one time or another, whether it was moving out of home and going to University or taking a gap year and living and working somewhere like Australia or Europe. There is something so special about discovering somewhere new, you arrive not knowing what to expect, a possible adventure around every corner. And slowly but surely you add favourite places, fun activities and cultural quirks to your internal list of things to show your friends when they come to visit. I am my happiest when I have a friend come to visit me in a place I love. I get to show them all the awesome things and places I have found and I get to feel like a tourist again. That is what this blog is to me. An online portal to share my experiences, tips and list of wonderful places that as a tourist one might never discover. I will make it as visual as I can because photography is my main passion in life – I compulsively document every new experience I have through my photographs. I will also include guest blog post from my friends who have found themselves a local tourist at one time or another.

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Cape Town

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London

The Bean, Chicago

Chicago

I used this quote when I wrote my personal statement to get into The University of Exeter, I wanted to study English with A Year of Study in North America. This quote encapsulates both my desire to travel and the reason I am so passionate about it. I try to take every chance I can get to fully immerse myself wherever I am. Three years later I still live by this quote and will always strive to continue to. Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover – Mark Twain