Here’s a little confession I bet many of you might find surprising: I’m a perfectionist.

I know it doesn’t seem that way. By all accounts, I’m pretty laid-back and quick to let things go when they don’t work out according to plan.

But I have a sneaky suspicion that these are the methods I’ve developed over time to protect myself from disappointment and constantly feeling like a failure. That’s a post for another day, however.

The point is: I think there are two kinds of perfectionists in this world.

Continue Reading "Learning to appreciate the process"

‘The Wild Woman Interviews’ is a series of Q&As with women who do interesting, brave and inspiring things. The name hints at how nature, the outdoors, travel, the natural cycles of life etc. motivate and influence their passions and pursuits.

This month, I’d like you to meet Melanie van Zyl. She is a travel writer and photographer whose work just seems to capture the wondrous essence of every place she visits. 

Continue Reading "Wild Woman Interview: Melanie van Zyl on Travel Writing and Photography"

Last month marked my seventh year of living in Sea Point, Cape Town. That’s a damn long time and, to be quite honest, I think a move is probably a little overdue.

Not because I don’t like it here. Quite to the contrary. I like it so much, I’ve gotten quite comfortable indeed. It’s just that I feel an old restlessness returning. The need to expand, explore and try something new. Living and working in a 43m² space does, I suppose, take its toll – no matter how cosy and cute and reminiscent of home.

Although I’m not quite sure about the logistics just yet, there’s no question about it: the next big step looms and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.

In the meantime, I’m soaking up Sea Point, making sure I remember every inch just as it is right now. What can I say? I’m a sucker for nostalgia and this place has got me real good.

Over the course of the past year or so, I’ve snapped a few shots on 35mm film that seem to capture this sense of longing while still very much living in the midst of it. In most cases, these were the last few ‘throwaway’ exposures taken on spools filled with pictures of exotic elsewheres.

Looking through them, though, I feel inspired to dedicate a whole project to Sea Point and the complex intersection of life it holds. Maybe I will. Let’s see.

Until then… a few throwaway shots on 35mm film.

Continue Reading "Snaps: Sea Point on 35mm film"

This past Monday (22 April), we celebrated Earth Day. While it may have slipped by unnoticed for some, it offered a moment of reflection for many.

While I certainly didn’t dedicate the entire day to thinking about the ways in which I’ve harmed – or, in fact, tried my best to help repair – our planet, I did spend a few minutes taking stock of my behaviour. As proud as I am of the reusable straws I whip out of my handbag every time I sip a smoothie in a coffee shop or the artillery of shopping bags I’ve built up in my war on plastic waste, I still have a long, long, long way to go.

Fortunately, there certainly is no lack of inspiration out there: men and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting our natural resources and encouraging others to do the same.

In this past week, I happened to come across interviews with two women who have not only had a major impact on environmental policy around the globe but also inspired those around them to rethink their way in the world.

I wanted to share snippets of their stories with you… and then thought, what the heck, in for a penny, in for a pound: I might as well throw in two more inspiring environmental women warrior stories! So, here you go:

Continue Reading "Earth Day: Meet These Badass Women Environmentalists"

When it comes to dreams of travel, there’s an outright war being waged within my soul.

While one side yearns to explore places unknown – inhale their strange air, indulge in their exotic cuisine, listen to the unfamiliar song of the languages the locals speak – the other side desperately longs for a grand return to so many I’ve been before. To retrace the footsteps of the woman I was back then, to see what she saw and maybe even point out a few of the things she missed; to sink my teeth into the delicacies I’ve never been able to find back home; to stake my claim for some sort of familiarity; but mostly just to be there again.

Portugal is one of the places I wish to return to most poignantly. Porto, in particular.

Continue Reading "Take me back: Porto"

‘The Wild Woman Interviews’ is a series of Q&As with women who do interesting, brave and inspiring things. The name is inspired by the fact that the focus is largely on how nature, the outdoors, travel, the natural cycles of life etc. inspire and influence women in their passions and pursuits.

This month, I’d like you to meet Lara Moses. She is a writer, traveller and digital nomad who feels at home in many places, but has mostly found it in two: Cape Town, South Africa and Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Continue Reading "Wild Woman Interview: Lara Moses on Living Life as a Digital Nomad"

I recently read a luminous travelogue/memoir/work of philosophical genius called My First Summer in the Sierra that really struck an almost uncanny chord with me.

Penned by Scottish-American naturalist, John Muir in 1869, the book is basically a personal diary of his experience joining a crew of shepherds on their humble search for good grazing in the foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains.

He was a young man of 31 at the time and intent on finding meaning beyond the mundanities of daily life. And, well, (spoiler alert): he found loads of it in the wilds of North America.

It’s been quite a while since a book resonated as deeply with me. Its pages are properly dog-eared now, stuck full of place-holder post-its and almost entirely covered in pencil marginalia and underlined paragraphs.

So, I decided to jot down some of my favourite quotes right here:

Continue Reading "Wise Words: A Collection of Quotes from John Muir"

Looking back into the Peregrina playlist archives, it’s evident that – for me – any change of season calls for a soundtrack.

So, it’s hardly surprising that I found myself collecting songs again recently to match the mellow golden glow of Autumn. A season after my own heart.

I guess the reason I love it so much is simply because of its subtlety. The way it inhabits the in-between with such splendour. How it arrives without fanfare and leaves without wasting time on goodbyes.

I love it for its romance – the soft twirling of leaves and the dramatic sunrise pink streaks, special gifts for anyone with eyes to see.

It’s also the season that lends itself best to soothing melodies, sultry love songs and slow jams… and who doesn’t love those?

Continue Reading "Playlist: Hazy Autumn Days"

I’ve always envied people who have a clear-cut purpose in life. Those blessed souls who know their calling and always have; who wistfully recall the moment of childhood enlightenment – how, at three-years-old, they swooshed a flimsy paintbrush around the watercolour pallet and instantly *knew* they’d be an artist.

Those who set about pursuing their life’s purpose by achieving one quantifiable goal after another, well dang, I envy them even more.

I, on the other hand, have always been somewhat erratic in my pursuits.

Continue Reading "The Curiosity Curse"