My First Solo Flight

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Ever since I can remember, I wanted to become a pilot. As the years passed my career steered me into the business world and engineering.

At the age of 35, I became seriously ill and it was then when I decided turning my dream of flying into reality.

I vividly recall studying in my hospital bed, sick of chemotherapy and how I never gave up. Today I am an airline pilot in business aviation and ambulance flying. I’m licensed to fly various airplanes in different continents and I’m enjoying every moment of my dream, now my reality.

What was the most thrilling experience during my first solo flight?

When my instructor informed me: “I think you are ready” (just like in Avatar, the movie when Neytiri told Jake he was ready to become a Matakaya). I replied: “Ready for what?” “Ready for take off!” he commanded.

The instructor never gave me a chance to answer as he was convinced I could do it. And so I took off and flew along the traffic pattern (a mere 5 minutes!)) around the airport. I went through my checklist, radio communication and just as I was about to downwind to the airport I realized (WTF!) now I have to land this thing alone! Within a second my adrenalin hit an all time high and blood pressure pumped to the maximum. I could hear my heart beating through my headphones as I was ticking off checklist for the approach, keeping track of procedures, proper radio communication and flew the plane in the requested speed and configuration.

As I was turning into final approach for landing and thank heavens I could see the runway in front of me, it was then that I kept my focus and confidence together and said NO to anxiety and uncertainty building up my head.


I can’t explain or describe how it felt that day. That feeling follows me till this very day as I’m flying around the world delivering either patients or high profiled guests to their destinations. The feeling of flying creates a beautiful balance in my life that is filled with gratification, exhilaration, gratitude and the mere fact that I know that I’m capable of living my dream!

 My message to you: “Don’t allow an illness or anything of that matter to make you realize you should reach for your dreams, you just never know… Go and do it now! 

The story of Rony Vogel 

If I Only Have One Year To Live, What Will I Do

This is what I would do if I only have one year to live:

  • I’ll sell most of my things and live lighter
  • I’ll go travel with my soul mate, daughter and my mom to visit the pyramids, travel across Canada, travel with my Buddhist teacher, visit Tibet, skydive with my Buddhist teacher, visit India again, hop over to New Zealand, spend a few weeks in Indonesia and Malaysia, visit central America
  • Tick off my 100 bucket list and do it all!
  • Blog about my experiences!
  • Do yoga, swim with dolphins, teach in spiritual courses and deeply connect to my soul mate…

So now for the real question: “What is stopping me from achieving all the above now?”  I could answer that it’s in fact…Life: I have too many responsibilities, money issues, my life is too settled and I don’t have much time right now.

Are my responsibilities keeping me away from living my dream because I think I’ll live long enough to experience my dreams anyway? Or do I have to wait for death to come knock on my door, make the change and then live my dream? Who am I kidding! 😉

Outdoor Festivals

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Open your mind and give rise to the light! Vortex organizers believe that commercialization of the trance scene worldwide diminished the message of what trance essentially teaches.

During summer, Cape Town offers many outdoor parties in beautiful, natural surroundings and sceneries. If you never had the opportunity to experience such bliss and unity, better make the effort and add it to your bucket list. Although there are several negativity on the topic, it is really up to the individual to make that choice of responsible partying and surrounding oneself with positivity.

My favorite is Vortex, one of the biggest outdoor organizers who follow these principles:


Is the core of energy found within ourselves when we let go of all or fears. We have a loss of interest in judging ourselves and those around us. We tend to think and act spontaneously, enjoying each moment as we appreciate everything and smile through the eyes, from the heart.


We all long for love, understanding and acceptance. We can only truly give and receive love once we have gained acceptance and peace within ourselves. Our actions of love towards others all stem from the love we have for ourselves.


Is what happens when a group of people, who have peace, experience their love for themselves and each other, creating a oneness within the group.


The attitude you reach because of Peace, Love and Unity. This allows an environment of freedom of choice. You allow yourself the freedom to be yourself as you allow others the freedom and space to be themselves.

See you on the dance floor 2012!

Check the Program:

Flights to South Africa:

Emirates, South African Airways, Turkish Airlines, British Airways, Lufthansa, KLM

South African Wine

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Cape Town is known as the gateway of the South African winelands. Cultures from Africa, Europe and the East all came together and took part in shaping this rich in colour and diverse in culture wine industry, for more than 350 years.

South African wines are one of the very best, not only for the wine itself but also for its tranquil, picturesque settings where the wine is produced. Most of the winelands are located in valleys between majestic mountains and greenery in a Mediterranean climate. These wine countries offer great wine tasting experiences, cellar tours, top restaurant facilities as well as luxury accommodation.

The wine countries have a rich culture and history. One can enjoy typical Dutch architecture dating way back to the 17th century, lushes gardens, museums, boutique shops and five-star services. Today South Africa can be experienced as a peaceful democracy, a vibrant country of enormous diversity and potential. All this variety reflect in our wines. The wine industry reflects classicism with influences from contemporary fruit-driven styles of the West. This unusual combination makes for wines which are complex yet accessible, sophisticated yet powerful, articulately expressing the unique terroir and people of the Cape.

  • The Winelands consist of several regions: Somerset West, Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, Constantia Valley, Coastal Routes, Little Karoo and Olifants River Wine Routes and much more.
  • Wines to be enjoyed: chenin blanc, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, method cap de’classique, colombard, riesling, merlot, shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and pinotage, South Africa’s very own cultivar.

The best decision to make is to get yourself a bottle of South African wine (wherever you live), then close your eyes and imagine sipping that fine wine on a luxury wine estate surrounded by nature, endless green valleys and blue skies. As you open your eyes from the blissful experience, you realize that you simply have to make the effort to visit the most beautiful country in the world: South Africa!


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I Love CT

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Put your hands up for Cape Town, I love this city! Imagine a beautiful city nestled at the foot of a continent, next to a blue ocean with deep blue skies and in the middle of it all, a range of majestic mountains hugs the city.

Cape Town alias ‘mother city of the Rainbow Nation’ is a vibrant city where people and life comes together. Cape Town is a place where people celebrate all the time and work is considered….well come and see experience for yourself, especially on a Monday 😉

Our culture is rich and diverse with many nationalities and a proud country of 13 official languages. We had a tough history that separated us for many years and this was completely unnecessary. Today we have this wonderful, bright future in front of us. Cape Town presents the most amazing festivals, concerts, sports events and international events. When this happens the city and mountain lights illuminate the entire peninsula and a sense of unity is felt throughout the entire country!

Cape Town offers so much, for each and everyone!

  1. Hike up Table Mountain
  2. Take a boat to see Robben Island (Nelson Mandela’s prison cell)
  3. Shop at the V&A Waterfront, Canal Walk, Cavendish Malls and indulge in high street fashion, culture, cuisine and entertainment
  4. Stroll in the Company Gardens and visit the Museums and Planetarium
  5. Have High Tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel
  6. Walk down Adderley Street and check out real Capetonians
  7. Visit the townships and Cape Town flats
  8. Check out the District Six Museum
  9. Take the red hop-on hop-off bus and take tours all over the peninsula
  10. Nightlife is amazing with hundreds of clubs!!
  11. Be part of the café society – we have the best, little and cute café’s ever!
  12. Check out colourful BoKaap and try traditional South African Cape Malay food
  13. De Waterkant Village is filled with Art and Lifestyle shops
  14. Jog or walk on the Sea Point promenade and savor the most beautiful sunsets – oh, and challenge the beach gym!
  15. Sunbathe at Clifton and swim in icy cold water!
  16. Enjoy sundowners in Caprice on Sunday evenings from 5pm
  17. Check out Long Street for a vibey night out or boutique shopping
  18. Shop at Green Market Square for Souvenirs and take pictures of the city’s rich culture and buildings
  19. Walk up Lion’s head mountain on full moon
  20. Paraglide off Lion’s Head or just be lazy on your hotel terrace overlooking the Atlantic Ocean
  21. Tip a parking guide from R2 and smile!
  22. Enjoy luxurious accommodation….everywhere!
  23. Bring enough money…you will want to spend it all!
  24. Hire a bicycle and be part of the Saturday morning cycling trend to enjoy a scrumptious breakfast afterwards! Mmmmm!!!
  25. Visit Cape Point and check out the currents and baboons! Don’t feed them please. Drive on the famous Chapman’s peak drive
  26. Swim with penguins! At Boulders beach – too cute!
  27. Visit the wine farms…we have plenty of the very best and do stay overnight!
  28. Date a South African!
  29. Visit the rest of the country, its like experiencing the whole world in one country – and it’s safe!
  30. Buy a property here, you’ll definitely want to stay!

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When Was the Last Time You Tried Something New?

The last time I tried something new was in February. I had to write my first post on my new blog page, instructed by my media lecturer.

I remember that day. I had no experience in writing except for a few press releases let alone working on a blog on wordpress. On top of that, my first title of the post was called “how hard is it to follow instructions.”

It took about 3 hours to write this short post and I became really nervous. How the heck am I going to write 100 posts?

So today, 2 November, academic year is almost over and I’ve reached 90 posts! It was hard, stretched my creativity, called for patience and strict discipline. The toughest part was that English is not my first language!

I want to continue blogging as I enter my career in communications. It added a beautiful, creative, inspiring and positive energy to my life and dreams. It showed me that I’m fully capable of achieving anything I put my mind to. Now only one question remains: “What am I going to do when I reach 100 posts? Will I challenge something again…mmm….I’ll publish the book: My Perception of Reality 🙂


Have You Done Anything Lately Worth Remembering?

 Last month I had the chance to visit Zanzibar, Tanzania. I remember approaching Daram Salaam on a 3-hour delayed flight from Johannesburg International. Our plane’s wing was faulty so we had to wait two hours in the plane, and then moved to the next available plane. At the airport in Daram Salaam people seemed busy. I remember an eager, young official taking my passport and telling me to pay U$50 for a visa and just to wait there. He disappeared in the crowd, I panicked as I realized he took my passport and I didn’t have any dollars.

I went on through the crowd, located the passport stand and to my surprise and relief, I found it in their possession. They instructed me how to get US dollars but unfortunately the ATM’s were outside the airport. We then had to arranged for officials to escort me to the ATM’s – I had no visa. This felt so embarrassing!

One and a half hours later including a missed flight to Zanzibar, I felt completely stuck, hungry and lost! Dusk was approaching and mosquitos normally come out this time. I had no repellant and no malaria injections. Boy oh boy, was I going to remember this day. I finally managed to reach the South African Airways manager and told him my story. He immediately arranged a seat on the next flight to Zanzibar. I couldn’t believe my luck and hastily caught the last flight out just in time for the mozzies! I gave the manager a big hug, which I’m sure he appreciated and then took off to enjoy two weeks of bliss!

I learned that my experiences and the people within those experiences play an important role in remembering an event. I noticed that I tend to specifically remember those days with uncomfortable experiences and those days with blissful experiences! The rest I guess is history and not worth the space in my mind 🙂

Cutting Corners

South Africa, I love my country. However there is one little thing I don’t understand and it’s not the crime rate, I feel safe in my country. It’s our drivers cutting corners and not staying in their own lanes on winding roads.

Ever experienced oncoming traffic that shortcuts into your lane on winding roads, resulting in you almost hitting the side curb or whatever is next to you as you make way for the oncoming, oblivious driver?

This is my route everyday and some days it’s really bad. Often I have to give way, slow down or even stop so that the oncoming driver can have my lane to shortcut in. Over the years, it became a natural instinct to recognize these drivers and give way automatically.

My message to those who cut corners and risk other people’s lives including their own: “If you do cut corners on the road, where else in your life do you cut corners to reach your destination and how many people have to suffer in the process?”




Being Mindful…

A few weeks ago I experienced a lot of busy-ness as I was preparing for my finals and sorting out my little daughter. My mind was full of calculations, strategies, assessments, thesis and reports. I had to make a change, and found this wonderful information that supported me:

  1. Stop multi-tasking: when you eat, you eat. When you walk, you walk.
  2. Take your time: make your actions deliberate
  3. Do less by prioritizing: it is all a matter of what is important and letting go of what is not.
  4. Plan your schedule and leave enough space between tasks: it takes away stress and gives you a break.
  5. Sit in silence: only 5 minutes of silence and breathing will do you, your thoughts and your body very good.
  6. Focus on the present: stop worrying about the future, or outcomes. Let it go and focus on what you do now.
  7. Be present: listen and talk to others by being completely in the now
  8. Eat to enjoy: savor your food and eat slowly. You deserve this break and take time to digest.
  9. Live your life: savor your life and slow down. Enjoy each and every moment even the stressful ones with deadlines and tasks.
  10. Meditating house chores: put cooking and cleaning into practice of mindfulness. Be present to every task you do and watch your thoughts then change your thought patterns consciously.

During this time I learned a lot about myself, my thought patterns and my insecurities especially on my incapabilities of what I’m currently doing. In fact, if I look at the events now, I am grateful for the challenges because I could locate these habitual patterns that kept me sort of ‘stuck’ in life. Practicing the above will not only support me in achieving that what I want but it will benefit me in the long run to living a mindful, stress-free and productive life. Try it 🙂

Being a Gemini…

Astrology played an insignificant role in my life, however I agree with most qualities of a Gemini:

We’re considered to have many personalities or faces. Gemini’s are charming, creative, humorous and quick both in mind and body. We have a lot of energy, fast metabolisms and are clever with words. People say we are spiritual, intelligent and adaptable to locations, situations and people. We are naturally proactive and with an inquisitive mind. We love interaction, getting involved and communication. Unfortunately we do get bored easily and we tend to move from one unfinished project/idea to the next. They say we are superficial, but I don’t agree. I think we want everyone to like us but it’s hard to keep our word, as we made so many promises without thinking of the consequences. It’s difficult to stay in routine, therefore we do everything in moderation or to the extreme. It keeps the boredom away and that’s exactly when the multiple personalities kick in…people don’t understand why Gemini’s are so airy and different all the time. We just hate routine! We are a little naïve, we avoid people invading or ruining our positive energy. We don’t like crowds, as we love our personal space. We love everything that’s powerful, different and most of all…beautiful.

Please add your comments especially if you are Gemini 🙂