What Should A Princess See And Do In Vietnam?

In 2002 I stopped in Thailand on my way to live in Australia for a year. I was so excited to be starting my independent travels with such an awesome destination. However, after 10 days, most of which were spent being ill or made to feel very uncomfortable by Thai women about not being ‘little’, I changed my flights and left for Sydney earlier than planned. That experience led me to me spend the next ‘few’ years traveling elsewhere in the world. I pushed Asia down on my bucket list, knowing one day I would get there (it counts to have whole continents as one item on a bucket list right?) I have spent hours engrossed in blog posts and articles about Asia as a whole but specifically about Vietnam. I have enviously scrolled through hundreds and hundreds of images of beaches, temples, bays, mountains, rice fields and boats.

So when faced with the reality of having to leave South Africa for visa reasons and deciding where to go, Vietnam was a no brainer. Seeing as this is a pretty spontaneous trip, it helps that flights and expenses once there, are cheaper than other destinations.

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Ways to make your time in beautiful South Africa absolutely wonderful!

Ways to make your time in beautiful South Africa absolutely awesome!

South Africa is a large, beautiful and, in many places unspoiled country. It offers visitors world heritage sites, mountains, beaches, cities, adventure and wildlife in abundance while also sharing its unique traditions and customs. Visiting Africa can seem daunting to many people and it has been said that South Africa is a perfect destination for ‘first timers’ As much as the country is more similar to the western world than elsewhere in Africa, there are still huge cultural differences. It is these that make South Africa the magnificent place that it is.

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Liebster Award

Liebster Award!

A few weeks ago I stumbled across Globetrotter Joe’s blog and was instantly impressed by his determination to build a library in Tanzania. Having spent a great deal of time in Uganda and, after my first visit, returning home and setting up a social enterprise (Global Handprints) I felt like we had several things in common. I reached out to him to make a connection and offer, what I hope, was some support in his endeavor – just a simple ‘what you’re doing is great!’

What I didn’t expect was, a few weeks later, to receive a nomination from him for a Liebster Award! If you’re not from the blogging world, or are new to it, it’s ok if you have never heard of this before. I know I hadn’t until I started blogging. It’s an online award that gets passed on between bloggers, with bloggers nominating their favourite bloggers who go on to nominate their favourite and so on. The purpose is to recongnise the hard work and dedication that goes in to a travel blog and to highlight and credit new blogs, helping them get found and discovered.

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Mumford and Sons

Mumford and Sons: Gentlemen Of The Road.

I like Mumford and Sons. A lot. I have seen them perform in 3 of the 4 continents I have lived in. I once drove 510 miles in -5 degrees, to a sold out show in Philly in the hopes that the ticket scouts would be kind. Their $250 / ticket ‘price’ wasn’t kind so I had to drink wine instead. However, Mumford and Sons made up for it the next month in Montreal (and Philly is a pretty cool city anyway!)

This past weekend I saw Mumford and Sons during their first ever stint in South Africa. Apparently they have been wanting to come here for a while but haven’t been able to manage it logistically. Originally their tour dates consisted of just 3 dates across the 3 main cities. These shows sold out in less than a minute forcing them to add more dates to keep fans who have ‘been waiting 7 years’ to see them, happy!  Continue reading

Clarens Drive, voted the most scenic of coastal drives in 2014

Where am I? What am I doing?

To start from the beginning and find out what this adventure is all about, click here.

I can’t believe I haven’t written a diary style post since last year (crikey that sounds bad). I left you all hanging with the impression we would be in Pringle Bay for a few weeks and I am sure you’ve been wondering where in the world (well, South Africa at least) we are now. So before I get started with an update, let me get the excuses out of the way; there have been some very exciting developments, including a new website coming soon that have been keeping me busy with Global Handprints (follow out the GH blog to find out more!) I have been approached by an education consultancy asking me to start working for them (which would not only be great experience but also solve the never-ending visa issue however it does require commitment and a temporary end to ‘life on the road…’ so involves lots of thinking) Also to be honest, I have been embracing the Pringle way of life which is to not really do a lot and to not do it in any hurry!

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Love

2015: A Musical Reflection

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything”

There are a lot of posts reminiscing on what has been learned through travel in 2015, the top photos from social media and how travel has changed people over the year. As for many people, 2015 was an interesting year, little did I know on 1st January that I would end the year living in a caravan on the opposite side of South Africa having traveled across and down it. Little did I know I would have become what is now known as a ‘Digital Nomad.’ There have been plenty of challenges and I am sure I am not the same person I was at the start of the year; fundamentally yes but I definitely don’t wash my hair as often (it’s the little things right?) Instead of dwelling on what changes have happened, I have decided to ponder music.

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Vines

Learning how to sip and savour in The Winelands

When I am not wearing my Princess tiara I wear my Global Handprints hat meaning I am very lucky and get to try new experiences that I would like to include in the Volunteer Road Trip itineraries I put together. While in the Western Cape we are putting together road trip routes here that will compliment the routes currently on offer in KwaZulu-Natal. This region is known not only for a large mountain and a (more) effective government than oner provinces, but also for the wine tasting, therefore no itinerary will be complete without spending time at a vineyard or two!

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An Upside Down Christmas

Because I am lucky enough to be able to ‘work from the road’ today I am working from a wine estate in beautiful Stellenbosch. Yes, I am working despite being surrounded by stunning gardens and endless bottles of wine!

It’s 30 degree, tourists are coming and going; wine tasting, having lunch and enjoying the heat. On the rest of the estate, the social enterprises that are based here (go-karting, dirt road biking, potteries and an education centre) are hustling with activity.

And there’s Christmas music in the background. Continue reading

The rise of the ‘Voluntourism’ package

There is a lot of controversy around volunteering; whether its beneficial to both parties, why it is so expensive, whether short term placements have any benefit over long term ones…the list of negatives go on.

Despite the ongoing arguments, volunteering is a part of modern day life that isn’t going away. With more and more people wanting to explore the ever more accessible world yet also wanting to leave their mark on the world, there comes a difficult decision. Should we choose to be selfless and spend our hard earned vacation in one place, volunteering our time and skills? Or should we spend our time being selfish, traveling, exploring and discovering several new places in one trip? The voluntourism package enable us to avoid making that decision.

Read on to hear more about this in an article I was asked to write for one of my favourite blogs…

Above And Beyond Travel

Today, people around the world are looking for ways to make their travel and holidays more meaningful. Gone are the days where people want to return home with a suntan, local crafts and the need to up their exercise regime to burn off the results of an all-inclusive resort.

We want to return home knowing we have seen and experienced somewhere new to us, to it’s fullest extent; that we have infiltrated somewhere as more than a tourist and also left our mark on a little piece of the world.

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The idea of combining travel with volunteering has been well established over the years with the concept of ‘voluntourism’ taking on a life of it’s own. A hybrid of ‘tourism’ and ‘volunteer’, the term refers to travellers taking part in voluntary work to help a community in which they are holidaying.

With people choosing to do more with their time…

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Home is where the caravan legs stay down

To start from the beginning and find out what this adventure is all about, click here.

If we have stayed anywhere longer than a night or two, our habit so far seems to have been two weeks maximum. Despite promises of low crime rates, a friendly community, development initiatives and beautiful landscapes we were skeptical about Pringle Bay. We knew we needed somewhere to call home for a while longer so we can we find our feet (and patch the holes in the caravan). A few days into our time in Pringle Bay it feels like this is it. We have set up camp next to a family friend of the boy’s and already feel like one of the locals.
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