How is this my second blog post all year?

How is this my second blog post all year?

I don’t even know where to start and of course when I finally put pen to paper my pen doesn’t work properly. (Not taking it as a sign, gets new pen)

Last year I got into the habit of writing regularly and I didn’t delay capturing my thoughts for very long. I really loved it. It was a way I could look back and see what was on my mind at that time. I wish I had forced myself to set aside time to sit, gather my thoughts and just write more often this year.

Before my Eurotrip I had planned on making an amazing GoPro video as well as writing a post for each country we went to. We ended up being so busy that when we weren’t busy – we were sleeping. It was the most incredible three weeks, but the late nights led to nocturnal sleeping habits as we pretty much just slept on the bus while we travelled to the next place in the day (No regrets). I definitely wish I wrote more throughout the trip but I did take tons of photos and will always have the memories. Eventually I will finish the video and post about my European adventure but for now I’m just glad I’m actually writing so I’m just going to keep going.

The trip flew by and I headed back to NYC to visit family and friends in NJ before getting back to reality with my life in Georgia. I started putting the videos together and sorting out my photos but it honestly made me miss my best friend and my family so much that it led to a lot of procrastination.

The weeks after getting back went so quickly and July had become August, August became September, September became October, and all of a sudden it is the bloody 20th of October. It is kind of scary when you think about how quickly the months go by without even realizing it. I mean come on, by the end of December I would have lived in America for TWO YEARS. *Mind blown*

For the first time in my life I have an amazing, stable and intriguing job. I am so grateful for it everyday even though it’s just a job. It makes me feel productive and significant, and it has given me the opportunity to really settle into real life in Atlanta. Before my trip I was comfortable not doing anything serious for work and just wanted to save up and be able to travel. Then afterwards I went through a strange place trying to understand what I want, how I’m going to get it, and what need to be my priorities. So having a steady salary paid 9-5 job might not seem ideal to many 23 year olds but it is exactly what I needed.

Other than that it hasn’t been an easy four months. I moved in with a friend of a friend who opened up her home to me when I basically had nowhere to live. I am so grateful for her kindness. After a few weeks I moved in with some awesome friends who let me crash in their spare room. They are such genuine and kind people, and they helped me to get my head in the right space just by giving me a room to call my own. I never realized how much I had taken things like a bed for granted my whole life. This year has been a hell of a ride for my messed up back living life as a nomad couch surfing.

When I moved to Brookhaven I had no real job (just waitressing) and had no idea what I was going to do. I spent weeks looking for jobs online and after spending a day handing out my resumes to wherever I possibly could, I got a call from my family friend that night. He explained his friend is an Attorney and their firm was looking for a new Administrative Assistant/ Receptionist. I emailed him my resume immediately, went for an interview the next day, and had an offer emailed to me later that night 🙂

However when it comes to taking care of myself and staying productive personally, it has been a struggle and I’ve definitely lacked ‘me-time’. All the moving back and fourth (I am now back in Sandy Springs, long irrelevant story) really impacted my mental state and motivation towards fitness; which prior to my trip was a huge part of my mental and physical wellbeing.

After a much needed candle-lit bubble bath, I’ve realized that I really need to start taking my own advice and also work on not feeling guilty putting my myself and my happiness first. It hit me that yes I can keep procrastinating but it is literally only detrimental to my life if I don’t start making an effort to work on my own happiness. When I am happy, I am excited to get shit done and cross things off my list, but I tend to stay busy and distracted to avoid thinking about everything that stresses me out and it is a problem I am aware of.

I know I should feel proud of my accomplishments but it is hard to see the bigger picture when there is still so much to be done. Primarily being a car, apartment and my post-graduate studies; which are all way easier said than done when you are pretty much doing it alone.

Looking forward to camping tomorrow night. There is just something about being in nature that makes me happy and free from the stresses of life. Rant over – I don’t even know where I am getting at anymore but I’m glad I picked up my Van Gogh notebook and just started writing tonight. I clearly needed it.

 

 

There’s just something about Miami

There’s just something about Miami

“Currently sitting in the restaurant at Freehand Miami, next to Ami James (famous tattoo artist, Miami Ink) and his friends”. 😀

That is all I managed to write down before I convinced myself they would all think I was some kind of weirdo reporter writing down their every move. I mean I did literally start this post with writing those exact words in my journal so maybe they were right to hypothetically be concerned. Okay, losing focus here let’s get back to the post.

“After a long day of travelling I finally arrived at Freehand Miami to stay for the night. I had to come to Miami for my Visa appointment tomorrow morning – wait let me phrase that better – I got another awesome opportunity to visit Miami even though it was just for my Visa appointment 😉

I took myself out for dinner and a glass of wine. It is so amazing being back here. I forgot how much I love this place.

Discovering that I’d have to fly to Florida just for the application on top of the mission to sort out everything for the Visa was very stressful and it was a huge ordeal getting it all together. Now that I’m here it all seems like it happened for a reason though. I needed this mini trip to Miami.

Living in Georgia has been amazing so far but these last few weeks have been exhausting and overwhelming at times. I’ve been an anxious mess. But now I’m sitting on this bus back to Miami Beach (my appointment was in Downtown Miami) and I don’t remember the last time I felt this calm and genuinely happy.

With the help (a lot of help) from my incredible Momsy, my Visa appointment and application is all done and sorted, now all that’s left is excitement for my Eurotrip with my bestie Moooky ♥

There is just something about Miami. Something about the way the sun feels on my skin, the wind in my hair, the clear blue skies (until it pours with rain), the amazing beaches, the streets, the palm trees, the people, the vibe. I wish I could stay here for longer and just relax on the beach. But this was just a trip for my real trip, and I’m so appreciative I still got to visit!

After feeling very overwhelmed before I got to the airport yesterday, I felt like everything kept going wrong, I’d mess something up, I wouldn’t be able to afford to get anywhere, etc etc. I went and chilled outside in the park and spoke to my late Bobba.

I asked her for a sign that she is with me and that she knows how much I miss her every single day. I didn’t feel anything, but had to started missioning to the airport. It felt like one thing went wrong after the other, be it the public transport or the airport security lines. Yet, without fail, it all seemed to work out just perfectly in the end.

I managed to be on one of the last flights out that night to Miami due to crazy storms. I made it to the hostel from the airport and everything worked out perfectly fine for my Visa interview, all without a phone I could depend on for maps or uber or ANYTHING BECAUSE THE BATTERY LASTS SHORTER THAN okay I’m sorry it just drives me absolutely crazy.

My darling Bobs was watching out for me and I know it 🙂 I miss you and love you and I know you’re loving getting to see Miami today, because you’re here with me in my heart.

So right now I’m still on the bus back to Miami beach and I plan to tan and chill out by the pool for a little bit before I make my way back to the airport.

Sometimes you need to truly be on your own to remind yourself you are perfectly capable of anything you set your mind to.” ❤

X

 

AFRICA.

AFRICA.

I thought I had heard all the ignorance one person could possibly hear, until I wore this necklace my mom just brought me from home (South Africa). It’s Africa, clearly.

You know Africa, the massive continent in the middle of the map of the world? You know, the six other continents on Earth besides North America?

“Cool necklace. What is it?”

“Is that a dolphin?”

“It must be South Africa!”

No, I am not kidding.

So I thought it would be interesting to ask people throughout the day, ‘What is this?’ while showing my necklace. I probably asked about thirty people and ONE person was like Africa? Everyone else was completely clueless. Not even like ‘hmm, it looks familiar, maybe I’ve seen it around WHILST LOOKING AT A MAP OF THE WORLD.’

This is Africa people. Please stop being so ignorant. Learn about the world, outside of America.

No hate on Americans. I’m just trying to make people aware of their ignorance, so they do go educate themselves about the world we all live in. And if you didn’t know what Africa looked like, now you do 🙂

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It’s Friday and tomorrow is August.

It’s Friday and tomorrow is August.

Fridays are not only great because IT’S THE WEEKEND, but because I get off at 5pm 😀

I cannot believe that tomorrow is August. I feel like every end of the month I’m in shock that another month has past already. I have now been here for 7 months! Absolutely crazy to think about.

What’s exciting about August is that my mom is coming to visit me :’) I miss her so much and cannot wait to get to see her again ❤ I’m really lucky that we live in a time where I’m just a Whatsapp or Skype call away from my family. It kind of made it easier to do this big move being away from home for University. I got used to staying in contact over my phone or computer, and then getting to see everyone in the holidays. As much as it sucks being away from them, whether you’re in another city studying or you’re on the other side of the world – the distance doesn’t make a difference as long as you’re still making the effort. So I guess being at Rhodes made it a liiiittle easier for me to be away from home.

The day has gone pretty quickly at work today. Not too crazy. Anyways, I wanted to keep it short and sweet. I hope everyone reading this has a beautiful weekend 🙂

HAPPY FRIYAY ❤

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15 Questions I have genuinely been asked about living in South Africa, with sarcastic responses.

15 Questions I have genuinely been asked about living in South Africa, with sarcastic responses.

1) How are you white?

– I’m albino.

2) There are Jews there?

– No we are all just one religion of impoverished African children.

3) Did you ride zebra?

– Yes how else would we get to each other’s shacks?

4) Did you have giraffe and elephants as pets?

– As well as warthogs, leopard and rock pythons.

5) Have you been attacked by a lion before?

– Yes and I lived to tell the tale.

6) Ah shame, did you not have a house?

– No. I lived in trees. Be jealous.

7) Did you have to get water and food sent to your country?

– Totally.

8) Do you know Charlize Theron?

– Yes we all know Charlize Theron personally.

9) Why do you speak ‘Brittish’?

– The English tutor for my tribe raised me.

10) What country in South Africa?

– No comment.

11) Did you wear animal skins and live in huts?

– Precisely.

12) When did you become ‘Americanized’?

– When I left the tribe in search of water I was rescued.

13) What’s your real name?

– Nthombiqiqiwethathe Mkhize of tribe flower.

14) Did you survive on bugs and wildlife?

– Yes, great source of protein.

15) How did you get to America?

– In a canoe.

THIS IS SOUTH AFRICA PEOPLE.

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Don’t get me wrong, we have our spectacular wildlife, and we do have traditional cultures. But people need to realize the whole of Africa isn’t what you see on the TV ads, with starving African children standing with celebrities asking to donate food and water. Yes, unfortunately a massive part of Africa, and South Africa deals with those hardships everyday. But people really need to educate themselves, and stop being so ignorant.

South Africa has a loooott of issues. But it really is such a magnificent place ❤

 

Malcolm & Tom

Malcolm & Tom

I’ve been trying to think of how to write a thank you letter to my uncles recently, and I don’t even know where to start. I’m busy a lot and I don’t get the chance to say this all enough, but I think about it all the time. So here it goes:

Thank you Mal & Tom.

Thank you for allowing me to make your home my own.

Thank you for being my family.

Thank you for being so kind and sweet.

Thank you for not complaining when I get home at 2am or when I leave for work early in the mornings.

Thank you for having such fantastic and adorable dogs who give me so much love.

Thank you for giving me somewhere to come home to.

Thank you for giving me family to come home to.

Thank you for not making me pay for rent.

Thank you for not making me pay for a lot of other stuff.

Thank you for the meal surprises when I get home from a long day of work.

Thank you for being so special over the years of my life, and especially now.

I would not have been able to manage this all without you. I love and appreciate you both so much.

Thank you guys for being YOU ❤

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I’ve got a lot more blog ideas and a lot less time.

I’ve got a lot more blog ideas and a lot less time.

A couple months back my uncle Tom saw I used dove soap, and bought me a pack of three big liquid soap bottles. At the time I was all like ‘omg it’s going to take all year to finish these’, and now I’m almost finished the second one. The relevance of this soap story is how crazy fast this year is going. Winter has passed, Spring is basically done, and Summer is here – come back to me tan I beg of you. I’ve had my first year of actual seasons. At the end of June, I would have been here for six months already.

I’ve been so busy that it is hard to believe how quickly 2015 is going. I’m always thinking about things to write about in my next blog, but I’ve got barely any time to sit and get them done. I’m currently working 8am-8pm with a one hour lunch break, Mon-Fri, with weekends off. Which basically means I have weekends to have a life. It’s not as bad as it sounds though, I quite like it actually. Staying busy and working hard, and then in the times I am free; socializing, working out or just chilling out keep me distracted from how gosh darn scary this all actually is.

I’ve gotten used to not being around my girls and my family. I miss them and I know they miss me but they have their own lives to deal with, and if I wanna be happy I’ve got to have my own to deal with too. We all stay in contact as much as possible, but sometimes I wish I had more free time to be able to Skype everyone back home more. Yet at the same time if I had more free time to sit and Skype everyone I love at home, it would only make it harder to be happy here. Staying busy is my way of distracting myself. If I’m busy working a lot, when I do have time then I make an effort to go out, or see friends and do cool things. When I have too much alone time, I think about home too much.

It’s hectic but I am working towards my goal of travelling, so it’s all going to be worth it when I’m sipping Sangria in my bikini on a beach in Greece, riding a bike around Amsterdam, taking touristy photos by the Eiffel Tower, getting gondola selfies in Venice, ETC ETC ❤

So what else can I tell you. It has been awhile. I visited family in Long Island last weekend and it was amazing. I had never met them before! Overall I had a wonderful weekend of memories with them, ranging from going to Splish Splash Water-park (which was life changing), experiencing true New York City traffic, Le Miserables on Broadway (Wow) and lots of great conversation getting to know each other.

What’s ironic is how neither Alyson or her daughter Marielle are actually blood related to me. But they didn’t feel any less like family. I think Alyson’s grandfather, and my step-dad’s grandfather were brothers. Marielle was adopted. But nonetheless, I was visiting family. Family is family. They opened their house to me, made such an effort to do cool things and it was really special getting to know them. I’m so lucky to have them, and now I have an excuse to get to visit more cool places in New York!

On an ending note, I have a desk in my room now which automatically means it should increase my organization and magically make more time for me to sit down and look at how cool it is while I blog right?

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Apple pie, May, New job, Identity theft & Canada

Apple pie, May, New job, Identity theft & Canada

Probably the most random blog post title ever but that pretty much sums up my life right now.

I had apple pie for the first time a couple weeks ago and now I realize why Americans love apple pie so much. Dear g-d it is fantastic. Yum.

I cannot believe it’s May already. I feel like I just got used to the fact that it’s April, and now it’s May. This year really needs to slow down it is freaking me out. It’s crazy how it feels like I just had my 21st, and now I’m almost TWENTY TWO. Wow. I do not feel ready for this all haha

Two days ago I woke up to a notification saying I have less than $50 in my account. Which was strange considering I had literally deposited my check the night before. I freeeaakkkeddd out, checked my transaction history and it turns out that some scumbag had gotten my card details (from an ATM- I still had my card with me) and had stolen close to $300 from my account. I hadn’t even paid all my bills for the month and I was left with basically nothing in my account. So Saturday was an awful morning for me. Eventually I sorted it out with the bank and they blocked my card, but I’m still waiting for the money to be transferred back into my account.

Boo. Not even 5 months in America and someone’s already stolen my identity. So ironic that I come from South Africa, and this happens to me here. There really are screwed up people everywhere in the world.

On a happier note, I get to go to Canada soon! I’m visiting family in Toronto (and hopefully Ottawa). I cannot wait. Not only am I ridiculously excited to see them and spend time with them, but I can’t wait for a little break. A week away from work just sounds like perfection right now.

Life has been pretty crazy in the past couple weeks. I started a new job, so in the process of finishing off shifts at my old work I was training over here. I’m meant to have weekends off with this new job but ended up working all weekend to try make up for the shifts I’ll be missing when I’m in Canada for a week, on top of just having $300 stolen from me. ‘I need the money’ is putting it lightly.

What’s kinda awesome about my new job is that it’s a 25/20 (depending on how lazy I am) minute bike ride to work and back home everyday, so it’s forcing me to get a lot of cardio in each day. Seen as summer is coming that’s a good thing right? I’m slowly getting used to not having my car to depend on, and considering how expensive it is to taxi all the time I’m really enjoying being able to ride my bike. It’s muuuuch quicker than walking, it costs nothing, and it’s healthy!

Still taking each day as it comes and trying to get into a new routine now that I’m working basically 8am-8pm Monday-Friday (with a lunch break don’t worry). I’m excited to have weekends off once I’m back from Canada!

It’s true what they say, “Life happens when you’re busy making other plans”.

🙂

Appreciate the beauty in the little things in life

Appreciate the beauty in the little things in life

Today I woke up and took the dogs for a jog.

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It was a magnificent morning:

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Then I rode a bike for the first time in like 7 years probably. It was fantastic! I used to always ride my bike growing up in the Drakensberg (for those who aren’t from SA let’s just say the mountains lol) but it’s been years since I got on one.

It’s true what they say, you never forget how to ride a bike! I was genuinely surprised I didn’t fall off and break something.

Now that the summer is approaching, I can start riding to work and back instead of walking; which will be lovely.

I am loving seeing Spring in New Jersey, it really is beautiful. The flowers blooming, the leaves on the trees, the birds, the blue skies (besides for the storm yesterday lol), everything! I just love actually having seasons here. As opposed to summer and slightly colder summer back home.

We live in such a beautiful world, and getting caught up in our lives leads us to not appreciating the beauty in the little things in life.

Train rides are a good time to catch up on blogging.

Train rides are a good time to catch up on blogging.

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Life never works out the way you think it will. Yet somehow it all works out.

When I knew that I was coming here and chose to take a gap year to work and travel, I did a speciality coffee barista course so that it would be easier to find a job at first. I met someone who had connections around the states in high-end coffee shops who assured me he could connect me with people around the country.

So I came here thinking I was going to be making speciality coffee around the country this year. But when you have family in New Jersey it changes a lot.

I don’t have a clue how I’d afford to live anywhere and have to pay rent at this point, but I’ll get there. If you told me a year ago that I’d be working as an assistant manager at an independent theater in Asbury Park, have already left a part-time job because it was too overwhelming,  and am now trying to pick up extra work just to get by between paychecks; no ways in hell would I believe you.

Living in America isn’t easy. It’s very expensive. But hopefully it will all be worth it one day ♡