gypsified, bangkok, mermaid castle siam

Bangkok has – what I guess we’d call – a reputation.

Mention the city to almost anyone and images of saucy Khao San road and The Hangover 2-esque ‘big nights out’ come to mind.

While this experience of the sprawling city is perpetuated by the young and reckless tourists who flock there from all corners of the globe, I was happy to find that there’s actually SO much more to it.

During a far-too-short visit with my cousin, Nikola – who’s been living there for just more than a year now – I caught some serious feelings for Bangkok.

Getting to see the city from her and bestie, Kelly’s more settled perspective was really special, serving up all sorts of surprises I would have missed out on entirely, had I been left to my own devices.

One of the most exciting things I found during my four days in Bangkok was evidence of a vibrant creative community, using its diverse talents to add value and breathe new life into this ancient city.

As with Taipei, my time there was jam-packed with all sorts of experiences, so I’ve decided to focus on a few of our off-beat adventures in this post and then a few more tourist-y things (that everyone should do when they go) in the next one.

So, here are five Bangkok favourites to start off with:

Continue Reading "Bangkok favourites: Moomin, Mermaids and Mega Markets"

If you’ve spent any time on the internet at all over the past few years, you’re probably quite familiar with those motivational travel quotes sprawled across majestic landscapes.

“Not all those who wander are lost.” – JRR Tolkien

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

Well, this post is not like that.

My aim is not to motivate anyone to travel, to ‘find themselves’ or to see the world. Some of us have that desire and will act upon it in one way or another. Others don’t, and will live perfectly fulfilled lives without ever setting foot outside of their home town. It’s really none of anyone else’s business.

Instead, this post is just a collection of things I found useful, clever, heart-warming and enriching in the various elsewheres I’ve found myself recently.

So, here you go:

Continue Reading "Life lessons my recent travels taught me"

The blues have a funny way of creeping up on us, don’t they?

Waking up with a knot in your stomach after so many days of feeling all energised and amazed. It’s the worst.

October is mental health awareness month here in South Africa and over the past 30 days I’ve really loved reading people’s thoughts on various aspects of this too-often neglected subject.

It’s been empowering to see friends, acquaintances and strangers opening up about their battles – everything from commonplace insecurities to crippling burnouts – and finding strength in that vulnerability.

More encouraging, even, has been the opportunity to learn about ways in which people choose to take care of themselves during dark days and how these (mostly) simple rituals speak of hope beyond measure.

In the light of this, I recently decided to take a closer look at the things I choose to do when I hit a low, trying to differentiate those that drag me into a downward spiral from the ones that eventually help to send me soaring again.

And so, with the simple act of paying attention to my body, I’ve started discovering self-care methods of my own that form the building blocks of feeling better.

Here are just a few basics to start off with:

Continue Reading "A few notes on self-care"

We’d been toying with the idea of getting a dog for some time, Guillaume and I.

Maybe it started with the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Border Collie we met during our first weekend away together in Tulbagh almost three years ago. For those two days, he was a constant companion – chilling on the stoep while we braaied and even joining us for a hike up the mountain in search of an elusive waterfall. We dubbed him Wouter for some reason and soon ‘Wouter’ became a central figure in our future dreams.

Our far-in-the-future dreams, that is. Because, let’s be honest – first, a long distance relationship and now, living several suburbs apart – our situation has been far from ideal for co-parenting a canine.

But, then, we stumbled upon the sweetest soul who somehow decided he had to be ours. And who were we to turn him down?

Continue Reading "World, meet Jasper"

It’s not every day a girl manages to gather a combination of skin- and hair-care products that just work… simultaneously.

You know how it goes – you get a face wash that makes your skin feel all dewy and fresh, but every shampoo you try keeps leaving your hair limp and sad. Or the moisturiser a friend swears by has you breaking out in zits, but at least that conditioner you started using makes your hair bounce and shine.

Yup, if you aren’t blessed with great hair and skin naturally, finding products that help you feel (and hopefully also look) good can be a real drag. Doubly so, if you’re an utter beauty product noob, like me!

Miracles do happen, however, as I recently hit the jackpot with a couple of good buys that have seriously given me hope for a more sustainable ‘feel-good’ future. Some are surprising new finds, while others are old faithfuls that keep proving their worth.

Continue Reading "4 beauty products that make me happy"