A few weeks after arriving back in South Africa from living in South Korea (click here to ready more about our 4 years spent teaching English in Korea), Farmboy and I headed off on a 6 week road trip around South Africa. We started our trip in Johannesburg (where my family are) and ended on the farm in Kwazulu Natal (where Farmboy's family are).
During those 6 weeks we visited about 15 towns and cities, some of which I had never heard of before, and had wonderful adventures seeing more of South Africa than either of us had seen before. This is a very image heavy post, so you might want to go and make yourself a cup of tea while you wait for these images to load :)
Farmboy also vlogged our trip, which you can watch by heading over to his youtube channel (click here). There are lots of fun behind the scenes videos of our trip, which I think you'll really enjoy. I've linked them below so you can watch them right here in this post.
The aim of this trip was to see the famous Namaquland Daisies, as well as to explore more of Cape Town. When we got home from Korea, we wanted to spend time in the major cities in South Africa to see if we would like to settle and make home in any of them. This trip was the perfect opportunity to explore Cape Town and see if we could imagine ourselves making it our new home.Read More
Farmboy and I just got back from a whirlwind road trip around South Africa, starting in Johannesburg and making our way up close to the Botswana border, right down to Cape Town and finally ending up on the farm in Natal. We drove over 7 500 km (that's about 4500 miles for my American friends). We visited 15 towns/cities and stayed in 10 of them during our 6 week trip.
One of the highlights of this trip was our visit the Babylonstoren, a place I had seen mentioned by my favourite bloggers since it opened its doors in 2012.Read More
We have officially been back in South Africa for 3 weeks! In case you're new around here, my husband (Farmboy) and I were living in South Korea for the past 3 years where we were teaching English. It was a wonderful 3 years, but we are very happy to be back home. My husbands parents are dairy farmers in a small town called Creighton, about 2 hours inland from Pietermaritzburg and we have been here visiting them for the past week. It's been wonderful seeing family after such a long time of being away, and we plan to spend the rest of the year between the farm and my family in Joburg, until we decide where we want to settle.
Hopefully we will have figured that out by January!
Creighton Aloe Festival
We just missed the Creighton Aloe Festival which takes place once year here in Creighton. The aloes are absolutely beautiful, and this year there were four hot air balloons offering views of the gorgeous countryside.Read More
If you've been following this blog for any time at all, I'm sure you'll know have come across a post or two sharing my love for the Innisfree brand.
Innisfree is known as the first, original South Korean all-natural brand, and is one of the few Korean brands that use organic ingredients certified by France's ECOCERT organisation. All of it's packaging is recyclable, and the ingredients in it's products are natural and not filled with a million and one chemicals.
What I love most about Innisfree is the fact that their products are reasonably priced, and they WORK! There are so many amazing Korean skincare and makeup brands, but a lot of them look a lot better than they work. Korean packaging is incredibly cute and will have you buying all sorts of products just because they will look pretty on your dresser.
You can imagine my delight when I found out that Innisfree has it's own cafe! There are two locations, one on Jeju Island (the home of Innisfree) and on in Seoul.
During the last weekend we spent in Korea (in case you're new around here, my husband and I spent 3 years living in South Korea and have only just returned home to South Africa) I was able to pop into the cafe and experience the beauty of Innisfreein it's 'cafe' form.Read More
After a second visit to this delightful burger place in Gwangju, I am 100% convinced that this will be one of the best you'll eat while in Korea. I'm talking real, homemade, grilled patties with plenty of extra toppings that will leave you with a very full stomach and a happy heart.
Burger Bridge is a small restaurant located on the other end of downtown Gwangju, near Mudeung Mountain 무등산. It's in the Chosun University area, a place filed with the trendiest cafes, bars and restaurants. It's quite nearby to Florida Cafe and Hertz Guesthouse (one of our favorite dog-friendly places to stay).
The best part about this place (apart from how good their burgers are and what good value for money they are) is their opening times! Most restaurants open closer to midday in Gwangju, which is a real pain if you wake up early like us. Burger Bridge is open from 10 am! The restaurant itself is small, but oh-so-charming, and the guys who run it are super friendly. You can tell they are proud of their burger joint!Read More
I have been wanting to visit the Enrogel Teapot Cafe ever since reading about it on Seoul State of Mind. When my friend Sam from There She Goes Again (you might recognise Sam as the stylist behind a lot of my styled photo shoots) recently took a trip there and I saw her photographs, I knew I had to make a plan to get there. Most of the weird and wonderful places to see in Korea are in Seoul. As I live way down south in a tiny little town called Buan, getting to Seoul is only really possible on the weekends.
I was delighted to find out that the teapot cafe is a mere 40 minute drive from Buan, and so I was able to go visit it one afternoon afternoon after school.
The cafe itself is actually just outside Jeongeup, which makes getting there quite easy as you can catch a train to Jeongeup and then from there a local bus. I am not sure of the exact route to take via public transport as I have a car (having a car in Korea is a real game changer especially if you have a dog here like we do).
The cafe is located in just outside Jangseon village , which is between Jeongeup & Gwangju and is actually quite near the famous Baekyangsa Temple in Naejangsan National Park. Naejangsan is particularly famous for its display of Autumn leaves, and Baekyangsa temple is a very special place to visit during Autumn.
We visited the teapot cafe at the end of Spring, and must have just missed the cherry blossoms. We were able to catch a glimpse of the end of the blossoms, but from the little we could still see of the blossoms, it must have been magnificent during full bloom. The drive itself from Buan to Jangseon is beautiful, and well worth an afternoon drive if you have a car.Read More
Welcome to Part 3 of my Borneo Travel Guide. My husband and I spent two weeks exploring Malaysian Borneo in July 2015. We had a great time, and would definitely recommend it. We had a few ups and downs, mainly due to the environmental damage we saw pretty much everywhere, it was terribly sad to see so much deforestation. I probably wouldn't have noticed it if I was traveling with anyone else, but Farmboy was an environmental consultant is his former life and so was more aware than me (I thought there was a lot of green but what I thought was natural vegetation was 9 times out of 10 palm oil plantations). We also knew very little about Borneo (apart from the fact that it is one of the last places where you can see Orangutan in their natural habitat), and actually ended up deciding to go there because it had the cheapest flights and seemed like a very unique holiday destination.
You may be thinking of heading to Borneo soon (or sometime in the future) so to help you plan your trip, I have put together this travel guide, as well as some tips from our stay. Please keep in mind that my husband and I may travel very differently to you, and have different likes and preferences for things. I prefer the more luxurious path, while Farmboy would stay in a hammock for the entire trip if it was up to him. So we plan accordingly, and of course, try to stick to the budget.Read More
It only took us 3 years, but we finally found the perfect little wooden cabin in the mountains here in Korea. And the best part, they are dog friendly (not just in the cabin, but in the surrounding campsite too!). I am always looking for get away places here in Korea, and even before having a dog and needing to worry about places that would allow him, I hadn't found much in terms of 'western style' cabins that didn't cost the earth. Stumbling upon Art In Island was one of the highlights of our stay here in Korea, and the place itself exceeded all of our expectations.
Art In Island is a delightful little corner of the Korean countryside, surrounded by mountains and a river (great for fishing!) and great for hiking and exploring too. As you can see from the photos below, we headed to the cabin in winter (the snow made everything magical) but I can tell that this place would be just as wonderful in all seasons.
The cabin owned by the most friendly man, Hao, who was great to communicate with before and during our stay. He replied instantly to all my messages and both him and the local manager went out of their way to make sure we had a comfortable stay. Hao speaks perfect English and really was wonderful to communicate with, even though he lives in Seoul, he often visits the cabin and is a great guy to hang out with and get to know. And the fact that he was so friendly to our dog, Shadow, made us like him even more!
If you own a dog here in Korea, you'll know just how hard it is to find dog friendly accommodation, especially if you own a 'large' breed dog. This cabin was everything we hoped it would be and will definitely be going back before we leave Korea.Read More
This camping trip was a rather fun adventure as we met up with old & new friends alike. Stephanie & Ryan (the bloggers and youtubers behind the delightful travel blog The Hedgers Abroad) joined us from Yeosu. You might recognise Stephanie from some of my styled photo-shoots I've featured here on the blog...she has been my muse for a little while now (click here to see those styled shoots).
I was also excited to meet up with Megan & Scott from the awesome travel blog; Bobo & Chichi. Megan and I started up an online friendship a few months ago and it was wonderful to meet up in person. Scott creates the most amazing hyper-lapse videos of their adventures all over Korea, you should definitely head on over and take a look.
I also got to meet up with another fellow South African whom I have been connecting with via Facebook and it was great to share stories and laughs with her and her boyfriend around the fire. Even though it got terribly windy, this great group of people made the camping trip a real adventure. And of course my pup, Shadow, had a wonderful time being surrounded by dog-loving people (something he doesn't find too often here in Korea being a 'big, scary dog').
If you have a dog, this 'style' of camping is perfect for you. We do make sure to keep a long rope and clips in the car just in case we do come across issues with having him off lead, but this has yet to be a problem. I wouldn't advise letting your pup have free reign of an open space if they haven't had much experience being off lead before. As we live in a small town here in Korea and have a car, Shadow is off lead pretty much all the time. His recall is pretty good (not always!) and he generally stays near us. If you're looking for more posts on owning a dog here in Korea then click here, I've written some posts I think you might like.Read More
In January this year, Farmboy and I headed to India & Nepal with two friends for 18 days of backpacking adventures. We spent 15 days in India, and the last 3 days in Kathmandu, Nepal.
I will be writing travel guides for all of the places we visited, but it's going to take me a while as this was one of the most extensively planned trips we have ever done. Here is a breakdown of our 15 days:
Korea > Goa for 5 nights
Fly from Goa > Delhi 1 night
Delhi > Agra for an afternoon, then drive > Jaipur for 2 nights
Jaipur > Pushkar for 2 nights
Pushkar > Jodhpur for 2 nights
Jodhpur > Jaisalmar by overnight train for 3 nights (including a dessert safari stay)
Finally fly from Jaisalmar > Jodhpur > Delhi
It's going to take some time before the travel guides are up, so in the mean time, here are a few of the highlights of our trip. Make sure to scroll down to the end to watch the video too!Read More
If you're from the US, chances are you're not a big fan of these furry creatures. You probably have visions of your rubbish being riffled through and your pets being harassed. But to us South Africans, this funny little creature is a complete novelty.
We don't have racoons in South Africa, the only thing we can compare to the US 'racoon' in terms of how much havoc they wreck around your house is the vermit monkey. Most South Africans (at least those from Kwazulu-Natal) have at least 1 story of a monkey (or even a troop of monkeys) breaking into their house, causing complete chaos with the dogs and cats and stealing any food they can get their hands on.
I'm not a big fan of monkeys, so I can understand some of my American friends and their aversion to these so-called 'pests' but I was quite taken with these two racoons that we spent time with at Blind Alley Cafe near Sookmyung Women's University in Seoul. Obviously, these racoons are pets and so tame, I wouldn't advise anyone running up to a wild racoon and try and give it an affectionate scratch (ouch...you'll be in for a nasty surprise).
These two racoons were very entertaining (especially the white one who was the braver of the pair).Read More
This was our second camping trip to Wido Island, a small island on the west coast of Korea, accessible only by ferry from Gyeokpo.
Even though right now it's technically Winter here in Korea, I saw buds on the trees while working to work yesterday. So thought this post would be a good one to write now so that you can get planning your first Spring camping trip of the year.
Having a dog here in Korea (click here to read more about our rescue pooch #ShadowTheJindo & owning a dog in Korea) makes it hard to travel. We do have a car, which makes our lives 100 times easier, but the accommodation is always a problem. You see many Koreans are terrifies of 'big' dogs (even though our pup would only be considered a medium sized dog in most countries). Here in Korea, he is a great big, scary wolf. and so booking accommodation is always a problem. Even the places which allow dogs usually turn us away when they catch a glimpse of him. This is why we go camping so much. This post is all about Wido Island, and one of our favourite (usually deserted!) places to camp in Korea.Read More
Welcome to Part 2 of my Borneo Travel Guide. My husband and I spent two weeks exploring Malaysian Borneo.
We spent the first part of our holiday in Kuching (2 days), moving onto Bantang Ai lake (3 days), then Kota Kinabalu (2 days) and then onto Semporna (1 day) & Mabul Island (4 days). As there is so much to say about our trip I am breaking up these posts into different parts. In this part I will be talking about Bantang Ai Lake; Part 3 I will be talking about Kota Kinabalu and finally in Part 4 I will write about Semporna & the scuba diving we did on Mabul Island.Read More