It is now just over a year that I have returned from living in Bangkok for a year. Time flies. Bangkok is now a fleeting memory and I yearn to go back. I also celebrate my one year anniversary at my current job. I never would have thought I would enjoy being a corporate drone again. I also however know that this is not something that I can do long term. I am always looking out for the next adventure or challenge.

For the past year I have been working as the home and appliances buyer at South African online retailer. For the first in a really long time I can say that I love my job. Obviously not everyday single day is all rainbows and unicorns but for the most part I enjoy what I do. I fell into a comfort zone of sorts and when they offered to make me permanent as I was on contract I gladly accepted. I even bought myself a car.

I still think about travelling all the time though and I do have an exit strategy all planned out or so I thought. Two weeks ago my company made a huge announcement that they will be merging with an up and coming online retailer. A deafening silence settled over our offices when the announcement was made. There is a good chance that of us will be retrenched and unemployed by the beginning of the new year. My carefully crafted 5 year plan went up in smoke. After the shock and panic wore off, I decided that it was best to remain positive, I work hard and there should be no reason for me to keep my job after the merger. I also thought that if I am let go that this could be an opportunity for me to study full time. With my degree out of the way I will be able to go work in Dubai and start travelling again. Which is what I want anyway – this way I might just get there sooner.

So I guess not all bad news is bad news it could end up being the best thing that happened me. Who knows. I will just have to wait and see what happens. Nothing in life is certain and change is the only constant.

fashion, Life

Too little, too late?

I’ve always been a hard worker. I worked full-time and studied part-time in order to achieve my goals. Working your way up the ladder in the fashion industry is not easy. You have to pay your dues. It is not the glamorous world that tv shows and films depict. Not only is it hard work but sucking up and socializing with the higher-ups will speed up the process. I am not the sucking kind so this has hampered my progress. I feel that working hard and believing in your self is what gets one ahead. A bit naive but there it is.

About a year ago however I made a surprising discovery. I started writing and realised that I loved it and would love to be able to pursue a career that allow me to do this. I always made a decision to travel as the bug bit me hard after my trip last year to Spain and Turkey. So I then made the decision to quit my job to travel and teach English in Thailand. This will be my base to visit the surrounding countries and friends who have invited me to visit them across Europe. I am excited and nervous at the same time. I have never done anything like this. I’m a homebody and prefer staying in and being around family and a few close friends. I am definitely stepping way out of my comfort zone but feel I need extra inspiration to kick-start my writing.

So life changing  decision made and plane ticket booked and then about a month ago I get a call from one of South Africa’s biggest fashion retailers based in Johannesburg asking me if I would be interested in a Shoe Buyer position. This was a position I have coveted for years and a few months ago I would have jumped at the opportunity. I declined and did not give it another thought. Then this week I received a phone call from another fashion retailer this one based in Durban wanting to know if I would be interested in a Sourcing Manager position. Again I had to decline but then I started wondering what does this mean? Should I take it as a sign to stay or should I ignore these distracting temptations? I feel it is a case of too little too late, where were these headhunters when I really needed them? I am following a completely different career path now and it feels right and at this stage I need to follow my gut instincts and go overseas as planned.

adventures, travel

30 inspirational travel quotes

Some inspiration that can keep us all going until we can travel again. The reason for 30 quotes , well because after turning 30 it is now my new number.

  1. Travel is glamorous only in retrospect – Paul Theroux
  2. You become a better writer by writing. You become a better travel writer by writing about travel – Tim Cahill
  3. The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page – St. Augustine
  4. There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign – Robert Louis Stevenson
  5. No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow – Lin Yutang
  6. All travel has its advantages. If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own. And if fortune carries him to worse, he may learn to enjoy it – Samuel Johnson
  7. Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going – Paul Theroux
  8. Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  9. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step – Lao Tzu
  10. A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles – Tim Cahill
  11. Not all those who wander are lost – J. R. R. Tolkien
  12. Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey – Pat Conroy
  13. To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries – Aldous Huxley
  14. When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.– Clifton Fadiman
  15. A wise traveler never despises his own country – Carlo Goldon
  16. I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train – Oscar Wilde
  17. Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  18. I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move – Robert Louis Stevenson
  19. Let me be a free man – free to travel, free to stop, free to work – Chief Joseph
  20. Know how to travel from your town to a nearby town without a car, either by bus or by rail. Marilyn vos Savant
  21. Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs -Susan Sontag
  22. You do not travel if you are afraid of the unknown, you travel for the unknown, that reveals you with yourself – Ella Maillart
  23. Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection – Lawrence Durrell
  24. Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  25. You can’t expect the entire world to come to New York to see you. You have to travel to them – Theodore Bikel
  26. To travel is to take a journey into yourself – Danny Kaye
  27. Airplane travel is nature’s way of making you look like your passport photo – Al Gore
  28. When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money.  Then take half the clothes and twice the money – Susan Heller
  29. We travel to learn; and I have never been in any country where they did not do something better than we do it, think some thoughts better than we think, catch some inspiration from heights above our own – Maria Mitchell
  30. We must travel in the direction of our fear – John Berryman
comedy, Humorous

Which blogger are you? A sort of parody

1. The personal blogger – they tend to drone on and on about the daily going ons in their lives and isn’t a blog just the perfect platform to force feed their readers another story about that horrible colleague with the halitosis? No one cares about that strange rash you have. Over-share much? It’s like sneaking a peek into someones diary, creepy.

2. The fashion blogger – Doting boyfriends who trail after their girlfriends taking pictures of their clothes. Everyday!?! Have you nothing better to do? I do so envy your fabulous life though – free clothes, international fashion shows, you even have give-aways and competitions (how neat) and thanks so much for those helpful make-up tutorials I don’t know how I would have applied my mascara otherwise.

3. The travel blogger – wait no this is the blogger I envy. Exotic far-flung places and free accommodation? What a great combination. Please let me stay at your establishment for free. I promise I’ll write you a stellar review for all 10 of my readers. Apparently it is possible, we can all live this life. Seriously, we can’t all be travel writers. It is not really possible for every Joe Blogg to sustain a lifestyle based purely on travel and writing. You make it sound so easy but the truly succesful travel bloggers has secondary means of income.

4. The amateur photographer blogger – oh see this lovely picture I took of a spoon in Rome. Look at how the angle of the light is reflecting off the spoon. Marvelous isn’t it? Who would have thought something so simple could be so beautiful? Now look at this blade of grass. See how I captured its essence. Anyone with an iPhone, SLR or even just a regular point and shoot can now go pro. Annie Leibovitz? I could teach her a thing or two.

5. The mommy blogger – the morning school runs, the nanny/maid issues, the paranoia, the non-existent sex life, your kids bowel movements. No topis is taboo. Motherhood is so hard but I make this s@#t look easy. Just stop trying to be superwoman, kids are more resilient than we give them credit for.

6. The serious writer blogger – no funny posts here. I’m trying to get published dammit.  I’m such a tortured artist. Nobody understands me. I’m going on a hunger strike. Buy my e-book in the meantime though – only $2.00, paypal accepted.

7. The foodie blogger – your grandmother whispered the secret family recipe to you on her deathbed? Well kudos for posting on your blog. I’m sure she’ll be so proud of you. Also stop enticing me with photos of perfectly prepared dishes. I know that if I try it will look nothing like yours. I do not have a direct link to Nigella like you. In fact I live on toast and cereal, this is all a bit much for me. Too much work and I ‘d rather just go to my favourite restaurant and order whatever I feel like eating. Much easier.

8. The self-help guru blogger – if your life is in shambles look no further. I’ll show you how to change your life and be the happy person you deserve to be in 12 easy steps. No this is not AA but follow this link if you do have a drinking problem.

9. The cat blogger – stories of your cat, pictures of your cat, guest post by your cat using its furry little paws. Catwoman was sexy. You? Not so much.

10. The financial adviser blogger – yes you too can have financial peace of mind.  Not only will I show you how to become debt free and save for that rainy day but I’ll show how I made millions by investing, playing with the stock market and even insider trading. No it’s not all illegal and in fact it’s all the rage these days.

Life, travel

The Reluctant Nomad

I moved around a lot as a child, by a lot I mean I’ve lived in over 20 different places . I must add that I have always hated it. I am someone who craves stability  and whilst growing up and all I wanted was to stay in one place long enough to put down some roots. As I was quiet and shy growing up I found it hard to make friends and the constant upheaval of packing up and moving on to the next place made this so much harder.

However as much as I hated moving all the time I have now done it so often that I have gotten used to it and for the first time in years I am seeing the positives that this taught me.

  • I have learnt that home is not a place where you have lived for over 20 years but the family and friends who are a part of your life. Home is a feeling.
  • I do not own a lot of material things nor do I attach value to it – the less things I have to cart around the better.
  • I do not get emotionally attached to any new place which makes moving onto the next one easy.
  • I am always appreciative of the roof over my head. Why complain about moving when I actually still have a place to live? There are people less fortunate than me.

I am hoping that these life lessons will stand me in good stead when I embark on my next travelling adventure.

Images courtesy of: weheartit.com

Humorous, Life

Scrooge vs Grinch

This post may or may not have anything to do with Christmas. The above picture was thrown in for good measure with the sole purpose of confusing and misleading you into thinking it’s about Christmas or Christmas spirit. So if you really want to know what this is all about well then keep reading. Kind of a moot point because you are already here reading this which also makes me wonder why you are still here reading this.

Let me get back what is going to turn into a 10 minute rant. So as you may or may not know I am saving every little hard-earned penny so that I can travel. I wrote a post about this a while back which you can read here (i.e. click on the word here, duh!). I must say I am doing rather well in this department, maybe not saving much as yet but definitely cutting down on unnecessary expenses. I buddied up with a colleague (it’s seems less sad and pathetic when you eat peanut butter and crackers with someone than doing it all by your lonesome).We do monthly ‘grocery’ shopping and instead of buying lunch everyday we make our own. This is all part of the year-long sacrifices I am prepared to make to achieve my goals.

So for all intents and purposes I have become a cheap-skate however this does not mean that I will sponge off others. You see you get those kind of people who are always claiming to be broke but whenever you talk to them they seem to have had the most fabulous weekends i.e. concerts, eating out, shopping etc. What pisses me off about these people is that they seldom pitch in with their own money when a group effort is required. They gladly take when things are offered to them but rarely share or reciprocate, in fact they won’t even replace something of yours that they have used. They buy themselves lunch everyday which we all know can become quite expensive. They will borrow money from you and ‘forget’ to pay you back which in turn will make you seem like a miser when you ask for your R20 back. They almost always conveniently forget to carry their wallets/purses with them, forcing you to pay for their purchases with promises that they will pay you back. In my personal opinion the Grinch and Scrooge pales in comparison to these selfish assholes. This is where being a real bitch comes in handy, you’ve got to be really firm when dealing with this type of person as they are notoriously thick-skinned.

Although they have taught me the power of the word NO. So I guess something good did come from all of this. Any of you know someone like this? A friend or colleague?