I realised with a great shock the other day that I’ve never posted anything about my Camino experience here on Peregrina.

Soon after returning, I wrote a piece for Slow Drive; then, about a year later, shared a few thoughts about it in Juice (Mango’s in-flight magazine); and finally put together a comprehensive guide for Traveller24.

But I never brought it back home to where it truly belongs – on Peregrina! Which makes me a little sad, really, because it was – after all – those two weeks as a pilgrim that sparked the renaming of my blog

Continue Reading "Snaps: The Camino Portugues on 35mm film (and a few thoughts on walking 240km with my mom)"

Ever since Rob Bell started his RobCast back in January 2015, I’ve been the most avid fan.

Whether he’s delivering a sermon or welcoming a super interesting guest into ‘the backhouse’, it’s always packed with insight, good vibes and positivity.

Rob kicked this year’s podcast schedule off with two episodes dedicated to a live, on-stage conversation/performance between/by him and Elizabeth Gilbert and in true Robcast form, it contained a wealth of refreshing nuggets of wisdom, comfort and inspiration.

I couldn’t resist sharing, so here are three of my most profound takeaways:

Continue Reading "Good advice: Permission slips, endings and embodiment"

There’s a widely held belief that when it comes to houseplants, succulents are by far the easiest to maintain.

Well, I beg to differ. Despite my very best efforts, I have never been able to create a healthy and happy home for them. (You can read all about my struggles in this old blog post.)

While I can’t be sure about the reasons, I think it may have something to do with the fact that they just don’t enjoy being indoors and since my flat has the surface area of a chia seed and no balcony, there’s really not much I can do to fix this. Plus, I may have a tendency to be a little too generous in my watering habits, which is really hard to shake.

Whatever the case may be, the fact is succulents are a no-go for me.

But you know what? That’s totally fine, because who needs succulents when you can fall head over heels in love with lush, leafy plants and experience the unparalleled joy of having them love you right back?

Over the past three or so years, I’ve managed to cultivate a thriving little indoor jungle that just seems to be going from strength to strength. And can I tell you a little secret? It hasn’t been due to any efforts on my part – these plants just seem super eager to grow

So, if you’ve been struggling to get an indoor garden of your own going, here are a few plants – tried and tested by me – that will definitely ease the process:

Continue Reading "4 houseplants even you can keep alive"

Welcome to the new Things I Learned this Week feature on my blog. I’m very lucky to be in a line of work where reading, listening, interviewing and doing research is key. More often than not, I come across all sorts of interesting ideas, trivia and philosophies while wading through the reams of data I gather. But the thing is… I don’t always know what to do with it!

So, inspired by the newsletter of Austin Kleon, I thought this would be a good place to share some of them with you.

Here are a few of the most interesting things I learned this week:

Continue Reading "Things I Learned This Week: Of Wolf Moons and Honeybees"

Taking time out to admire the natural beauty all around you while hiking a particularly tough trail can be pretty hard.

When your backpack straps are cutting into your shoulders (still tender from the previous day’s abuse), your legs are burning and all wobbly, and you can’t quite seem to catch your breath, the last thing you want to do is veer off course in pursuit of an even rarer view.

Most hiking trails, of course, discourage – nay, flat out forbid – you to leave the main trail for your own safety, as well as the conservation of the fauna and flora that would suffer underfoot.

However, when setting out on the five-day Otter Trail between Tsitsikamma and Nature’s Valley, you will have a couple of opportunities to take legal – and highly recommended – detours to some pretty damn magical spots. Because most of them come at that time of day when your energy levels have reached a real low, you may be tempted to skip them and just forge ahead.

But let me tell you: they’re totally worth it! Shrug off your backpack and leave it on the path – with no one else on the trail except your group, they’re 100% safe – and go have some fun. You’ll feel refreshed and inspired when you return, ready to take on the road ahead with more vigour.

Here are three of the Otter Trail’s most noteworthy detours you simply can’t miss out on:

Continue Reading "3 Otter Trail detours worth taking"

“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable” – Mary Oliver

When I first read this line of poetry a couple of years ago, it rang so pure and true in my soul, it became my life’s motto in an instant.

Not that I’ve always been super successful at this – sometimes the slog of daily life becomes so all-encompassing, it’s all too easy to lose that sense of wide-eyed wonder.

That’s kind of where I found myself at the end of 2018: looking back on a year of incredible opportunities and fulfilling projects but just completely exhausted to the bone. I felt an overwhelming longing for simplicity and the need to immerse myself in nature.

So, when a spot opened up in the group my cousins had organised for the Otter Trail, I grabbed the opportunity without a second thought.

Sure, I only had ONE week to get my gear together (fortunately I’m kitted out with most of the basics).

And no, I wasn’t fit at all (in fact, I think this is the least fit I’ve been in about 10 years).

But, let’s face it – when you get the chance to piggyback on another group’s booking for this trail with its notorious 1-year waiting period, you take it!

This also, of course, put me in the advantageous position of having absolutely no time to burden myself with too much reading and research; conjure up any unrealistic expectations or think too much about the dangers (like the Bloukrans River Crossing) lying ahead.

Fortunately, I still had a roll of expired Kodak Gold and decided to put it to good use snapping some of the spectacular scenery that surrounded us for the five days we were on the trail.

While I love the mood and grain of these images, no camera can capture the true magic of these pristine spaces. In a world where truly wild places no longer seem to exist, the Otter Trail offers an unforgettable taste of somewhere almost ‘untouched’.

Continue Reading "Snaps: The Otter Trail on 35mm film"

Way back, when we used to live in Pretoria, my parents would ever so often pack us all up into the combi and head to the Kruger National – or Marloth Park for the weekend.

I loved it. And a big part of my heart still resides there, in the bushveld.

Living in Cape Town now, weekend trips are obviously no longer an option, so when I get the opportunity to set out in that direction, I jumped at it!

At the end of July, I was lucky enough to be part of Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency’s brand new #myMpumalanga campaign (working behind the scenes mostly), which included a quick sho’t left to Jaci’s Sabi House in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve and made me super happy.

However, the trip also gave me an opportunity to explore a whole lot more of the ‘place where the sun rises’. Mpumalanga is really an amazing province, offering a range of diverse experiences – from fly-fishing and horse-riding in the chilly highveld town of Dullstroom to glamping along the Sabie River with Africamps at Mackers.

Instead of writing about each of the experiences, I thought I’d just share a couple of pics of the most memorable.

Continue Reading "Snaps: #myMpumalanga road trip"