Planning a Holiday: From Start to Finish

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Planning a holiday is one of my favourite pass times, but if you don’t know where to start it can all feel very overwhelming- after all the world is our oyster! As I work in the travel industry and love travelling (lets forget for a moment that I don’t get to travel nearly as much as I would like too!) I thought I’d help you map out the holiday planning process. Obviously depending on which destination you end up choosing, you might cut this planning part short as there isn’t much to plan and do besides unwind in a beach destination like Mauritius. But if you find yourself overwhelmed with options, here is how I usually narrow it down and get shiz done.

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A Garden Route Sho’tleft

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I want to preface this post by saying that I am incredibly devastated at the damage that Knysna and the greater Garden Route has experienced. I can’t personally imagine what it must be like to loose all your personal belongings, everything that has sentimental value to you. On top of that residents had to do a dangerous and uncomfortable evacuation not just of their home, but the general area.

What I do know is that Knysna needs our help to rebuild. Whilst donations help, ultimately a large part of the area relies on tourism for an income. And they need that income now more than ever. Please don’t let the destruction keep you away as the incredibly beautiful area still has so much to offer. There are so many amazing properties available to book in areas largely untouched by the flames. There is no excuse for not visiting. If you need further motivation, please scroll down.

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Life Update

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I feel slightly guilty writing this post, as I have been absent for longer than I intended to be. To be honest, I have completely failed in the blogging department. I haven’t even uploaded some of the beautiful pictures I have to share on Instagram!

I have been busier than usual at work, having taken on extra responsibilities including creating and launching a new website. It has been rewarding, but has also meant that when I finally step into my home I don’t want to see a computer screen! 

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Back in Black in Babylonstoren

DSC_3638 This past weekend was a long one for some and for the rest of us, well we had to work on Friday. That does not mean that we didn’t make the best of Thursday’s public holiday! Ryno and I decided to head out to Stellenbosch for lunch as I hadn’t been there in quite a while. After finding a few of our favourite spots were closed for the holiday, we headed to an old favourite, Java for their chai lattes (a.k.a. liquid pancakes) and pizza.

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Weekend Traditions

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One of our favourite weekend haunts is Ou Meul coffee shop which also happens to be just around the corner from us. As it is always busy, we decided to head over early one morning and grabbed something fresh from the bakery and a delicious coffee. Although the coffee is what keeps us coming back, I was initially drawn in by their decor. The on-trend gold lights really make a statement against white walls with the occasional ceiling rose used in a unique way. My photos don’t do it justice as sadly it was a little dark inside, but it is great for catching up with friends on a rainy day and the croissants and sticky cinnamon buns are our favourite for good reason.

I planned on doing a full outfit post, but as the photos weren’t the best I decided not to share them. I was feeling a little daring and wore denim-on-denim, but to avoid it looking circa Britney-Justin-VMA’s I wore this mid-blue denim shirt with an almost black-blue jean. I kept the rest of the outfit slick with black suede pumps and delicate gold jewellery. For a more dressed up look, I think a red lip would compliment this perfectly!

Make sure to head over early and you might also get fresh-from-the-oven croissant, a must-have for every carb-lover! I think I know what I’ll be doing post-parkrun tomorrow!

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Italy 2014: Travel Journal

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This film documents our visit to Rome, Florence and Siena in Italy during October 2014. This includes some popular tourist sites, features some shoddy camera work from yours truly and a cameo by some of the best travel companions. Italy you were the best!

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Yzerfontein Break

Yzerfontein house 15As you might have gathered from my previous post, Ryno and I took a short beach break just before Christmas. It was the perfect start to my to the holidays and really set the tone for a relaxing week spent with family and friends.

Yzerfontein is a small town along the West Coast, although in recent years it has really picked up and now even sports a local grocery store! My family owns a beach house in the area, so I’m no stranger to the icy sea, but this time around we decided to take along a few friends along and stayed in a cute rental overlooking the ocean (more information here). I think ‘cute’ pretty much sums it up! It is white and wood panelled from the outside and bright and airy from the inside. We scored the top bedroom with a magnificent view of the waves thundering outside. It is the perfect little beach house, with an oceanview braai outside and cast iron fireplace

inside for those cooler evenings. The owner has really done a great job of setting up the place with everything you could possibly need from wood for late-night marshmallow toasting sessions to matching beach towels and everything inbetween. I also appreciated all the festive touches, with at least one in every room!

The West Coast is famously windy, but on the rare occasion that it does quiet down Yzerfontein reveals its real charm. Less tourists means more time to rest and relax with the possibility of having whole stretches of the beach to yourself. If you’re a waterbaby and can brave the cold, then you can’t miss the main beach.Yzerfontein house 4

When you do tire of endless walks along beach, the West Coast National Park (a mere 30 minutes away) is also a must visit. You need to book in advance during flower season, but a small entrance fee will allow you to explore the vast park during the rest of the year. We made a day trip to Preekstoel for a swim in the warm, turquoise waters and now I can’t wait to return with something to float on. It is the closest thing to a tropical islandYzerfontein beach 1

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Merry Christmas

DSC_2325Better late than never, I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas with all their loved ones! In South Africa Christmas means beach breaks and braais (Google it!), so I’ll leave you with this peaceful image from our West Coast break. South Africa is amazing…

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Franschhoek Huguenot Monument

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On a rare sunny day a few weeks ago, Ryno and I decided to head to the beautiful town of Franschhoek. This was before summer arrived and we were both keen to spend some time relaxing outdoors. So picnic basket packed (ready to be filled there) and books in hand we undertook the 40 minute drive to wine country.

 

Franschhoek is famous for their wine, but being the sweettooth that I am I can’t visit without a stop at Huguenot Fine Chocolates. Their store is located on the main streat and they give tours showing how they make chocolate on most days. I always find some exciting new flavours to try, but when in doubt their Strawberry Cream and Cherry Kirsch never disappoints. Along with some chocolates we also picked up some buttery croissants and parma ham for lunch before we headed to the Huguenot Monument gardens for some lounging. 

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Rhodes Memorial Outing

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I consider myself incredibly lucky to be living in Cape Town, as it is one of the most beautiful and diverse cities in the world. Cape Town also happens to be incredibly rich in history.

Rhodes Memorial has become somewhat of a controversial monument and unfortunately part of it has been damaged by vandals. Perched on the side of the mountain, the views are spectacular and Sir Herbert Baker designs never disappoint.

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