Life, Writing

When blogging just isn’t enough anymore

These days it’s not good enough for us bloggers to merely write about our lives. No it seems we need be experts on whichever topic we write about, we need to be able to take Steve McCurry calibre photographs, cooking tutorials that would put Gordon Ramsay to shame, create Pinterest worthy DIY projects and products (all available for sale on Etsy of course) and have a decent Twitter and Facebook following.

Can I not just write for the sake of writing? Or for the pure enjoyment it brings me, to be able to share my thoughts and maybe just maybe connect with one like-minded soul who can relate to what I am going through. There seems to be more pressure on bloggers, all competing for more views, shares, likes and followers. We can’t just be a fashion blogger, We need to be able score free clothes and front row seats at Paris fashion week. Yes, dahlings, I’m sitting next to Anna Wintour this season, didn’t you know? We can’t just be a travel blogger, we need to be able to have all our trips sponsored by hotels or tour companies and give them all glowing reviews. All the while telling our readers how, when and why they must travel to said destination.

If that wasn’t enough we also need to entice our readers with monthly newsletters and promote our self-published upcoming e-book. Blogging is no longer merely about self-expression and sharing. It has evolved into a commercialised and capitalistic beast. Are our words, thoughts and opinions no longer our own? I wonder when I will fall victim to this trend or maybe I already have. But wait let me get back to working on my e-book, hopefully it will be available for sale by the end of this year.

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adventures, travel

Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn

Perhaps not as famous as Wat Phra Kaew with its emerald Buddha or Wat Pho with its giant reclining Buddha but it is no less imposing. Situated along the Chao Praya river, from afar it looks like an old water stained temple but close up you can see thousands of pieces of mosaic set into stonework of the temple. Two flights of stairs takes you to the top of the temple which gives you a few of the river and the Grand Palace on the other side of the river. Only on my way back down did I realise how high I climbed and how steep the stairs, and for someone not usually afraid of heights it was a dizzy descent.

DSCF6055 How to get there: From Saphan Taksin BTS skytrain station you can walk over to Sathorn Pier, take the Chao Praya Express boat which costs about 15 baht, get off at Tha Tien Pier and from there you need to take another ferry to get to the other side of the river which costs 3 baht. Entrance fee 100 Baht.

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adventures, travel

Phuket town and Patong beach

So when I needed to extend my visa by another 30 days I could not think of  better place than Phuket but after the 5 hour bus ride I was starting to wonder if it was worth all the trouble. At the Phuket bus station I caught a songtaew to Phuket town and found a place to stay for my 3 days in Phuket.

There is this great street in Phuket Town, Talang Road, filled with amazing little restaurants and coffee shops that offers both Thai and western food. Off Talang Road is a little road called Soi Rommanee (soi literally means side street) has a distinctly European feel to it.  A short walk from Talang Road brings you to the buses that takes one to the nearby beaches. Unfortunately I did not have enough time to see more than one and only managed to make it to Patong beach. Once upon a time, a long time ago Patong beach resembled Thailand, now it is a tourist town on steroids and you have to get there super early to get a decent picture of the beach. By the time I got there it was over run with umbrellas and roasted tanned flesh in speedos. There were longtail boats offering tours to surrounding islands, which is what I probably should have done.

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Also isn’t it great when you run into people from your own country when travelling. These lovely ladies below heard me say something in Afrikaans and a friendly chat ensued all the way to the beach.

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travel

An oasis in a bustling city

A lot has happened since I last blogged, my time was up at the school where I was volunteering and it was an amazing experience. Even though I was not there for long the teachers and students I have met made an impact on my life. The school threw a farewell party with lots of food, gifts and karaoke. I was forced to sing and dance like a performing circus monkey. I loved it. I will never forget the kindness and generosity of the people in the Phanom District in the south of Thailand.

The other thing that happened down south in Thailand was that my laptop crashed and I picked up the flu on my last night there. I flew out to Bangkok over the weekend and have been fighting off this virus and recovering slowly. Finally managed to find a place to live for the next 6 months and I am almost fully recovered. I have been exploring Bangkok like a woman possessed. There was not much to do in Phanom and I am making up for lost time and where better to go than a beautiful park to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Lumphini Park is situated in the business district of Silom and Sathorn and is used by people for exercising such as running or cycling or just relaxing on the grass with a cold drink. Watch out for lizards though, they are everywhere and roam freely.

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