For the past few days, my creativity has been at a bit of a low ebb.

Since I’m quite comfortable with the idea that things move in cycles and we can’t always be at peak performance, it doesn’t alarm me too much.

However, I don’t like wallowing in this state for too long.

Something I enjoy doing to help myself snap out of it is leaving the confines of my flat and heading out into the city for a walkabout. Cape Town’s streets always have something interesting, thought-provoking, humorous and beautiful on offer to get those creative juices flowing again.

Today, was an especially good day to seek out the Mother City’s streets, as earth warriors from across the peninsula gathered to participate in the Global Climate Strike.

In all honesty, I hadn’t intended to join the march – not because I don’t love mama earth, just because taking to the streets in protest isn’t really something I do.

But, when I found myself falling deeper into the creative funk, I thought being part of something bigger might just offer me some much-needed perspective.

Also, I’ve always loved protest photographs, so this was the perfect opportunity to try my hand at taking some too. (I do, of course, also realise that my camera, notebook and observation skills often serve as a safety blanket in situations like these).

Anyway, so here are some images snapped at the Global Climate Strike in Cape Town:

Continue Reading "Snaps: Global Climate Strike – Cape Town"

I recently had the opportunity to cover an event at the University of Cape Town, where Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng (aka Fab Academic on Twitter and Instagram) shared some career advice with postgraduate students.

While I long ago closed the chapter on pursuing any kind of academic career, I found a wealth of wisdom in the VC’s address, which can be applied to any professional path you choose to follow.

Here are my top five takeaways:

Continue Reading "Career advice from a Fab Academic"

‘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’s Wild Woman is Saray Khumalo and actually needs no introduction. Earlier this year, Saray became the first black African woman to summit Mount Everest. She is an award-winning mountaineer and a business executive with over 15 years’ experience in industry-leading blue-chip companies which drive innovation and change both locally and internationally. I chatted to her about her love for mountaineering, her passion for inspiring other African women and also about ‘Summits with a Purpose’, her initiative to help educate South Africa’s youth. 

Continue Reading "Wild Woman Interview: Seven Summits and Breaking Stereotypes with Saray Khumalo"

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"

Earlier this month, I had the privilege of taking a whirlwind trip around the Overberg as part of #OverbergFam2019 – a familiarisation trip supported by Wesgro and SATSA – to explore this special region in a little more depth.

Veering off the beaten track (i.e. the N2) as far as possible, our itinerary took us from Elgin to Barrydale to Swellendam to Malgas and finally De Hoop. Along the way, we enjoyed an incredible array of experiences – from a chilly morning game drive at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve to an exquisite overnight stay at Schoone Oordt Country House and all manner of treats in between.

While I’m no stranger to the Overberg, this trip introduced me to a few quirky new experiences. Here are five I’d highly recommend to anyone who might be craving a leisurely spring road trip:

Continue Reading "Roadtripping: 5 Quirky & Cool Overberg Experiences"

It’s slightly terrifying how fast this year is going, isn’t it?

And also how it’s becoming increasingly difficult to connect and enjoy quality time with the people who matter most. Unless you actually pin down a date, time and venue for getting together, it’s definitely not going to happen spontaneously. (I’m sure the world was different at some point not too very long ago.)

So, when my mom recently managed to round us all up for a quick two-night break at Duinepos Eco Cottages in the West Coast National Park, it felt like nothing short of a miracle!

Continue Reading "Snaps: A Quick Break in the West Coast National Park"

‘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 Fatima Sait. At the end of 2018, she quit her job and – within the space of two months – completed all the necessary courses to become a certified mountain guide. I came across her profile on Instagram recently, while scrolling through #fishrivercanyonhike pics and found her exuberant love for nature and exploration both inspiring and infectious. 

Continue Reading "Wild Woman Interview: Fatima Sait on Mountain Guiding & Exploration"

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"

I can’t believe it’s almost been a month since we set off on the Fish River Canyon hiking trail in mid-June!

It feels like yesterday we were still gathering our gear and sorting out snack packs.

After Ryno and Chantel invited us to join them at the end of December, we had a good six months to get everything in place, do some training and prepare ourselves mentally for the challenge up ahead.

Despite the wealth of articles and guides available online, there were a couple of questions that I couldn’t really find a satisfactory answer to prior to embarking on the journey.

So, I thought I’d answer a few of them here.

Continue Reading "5 Fish River Canyon Questions Answered"