Every so often, when my schedule allows and deadlines aren’t coming at me as thick and fast as they normally do, I spend an hour or two volunteering at an urban farm close to my home in Cape Town.

Sometimes, I help place tiny seeds in polystyrene planting trays and other times I clear weeds from the veggie beds. It’s nothing fancy and I love it precisely because of this. A couple of hours away from my laptop, feeling the sun on my shoulders and inhaling the scent of earth and soil.

Continue Reading "Random Thought: Of Our National Anthem and the Ones Who Love It Most"

Since I first started listening to podcasts in – I don’t know – probably 2015, they’ve become an integral part of my daily life.

Need to relax after a long, stressful day? Switch on an episode of Modern Love or The Moth and let the ‘stranger-than-fiction’ real-life stories soothe my soul.

Know I have a long solo drive/trip lying ahead? Save up the latest episodes of all my favourite podcasts to savour word for word as the road ahead unfurls.

Bored and need some inspiration? Re-listen to some of the stories that made an impression on me before.

Basically, podcasts are my go-to form of entertainment.

They have also become one of the ways in which I practice self-care on a daily basis, as they feed my mind, uplift my spirits and inspire me to become a better interviewer/storyteller/writer.

In recent weeks, I have found much solace, food-for-thought and amusement in the following four podcasts:

Continue Reading "Podcasts I’ve been enjoying lately"

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"

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"