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 🙂

Zanzibar Enchanting Archipelago

Zanzibar consists of small clusters of islands about 40km from the mainland, Tanzania. Nestled in turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, the archipelago comprises of two main islands called Unguja and Pemba as well as a number of smaller islets and atolls. One can describe Zanzibar as an exotic island paradise blessed with palm fringed shores, timeless fishing villages and lush spice plantations.

Unguja, known as Zanzibar is the largest island measuring around 85km from north to south and 30km east to west. Unique African identity, Zanzibar is shaped by a turbulent history with a colourful cast of characters, from slave traders and sultans to pirates and princesses. Today Zanzibar is a blend of modern and ancient charm with a historic quarter called Stone Town. You will find an exotic blend of Arabic, Indian, European and African architecture of imposing palaces and fascinating maze of narrow streets and alleyways which lead past many old house and mosques, ornate places, shops and bazaars.

Zanzibar is packed with activities that will keep you smiling throughout your stay. From cultural and historical tours to pristine reefs and magical forests, Zanzibar provides it all.

ZANZIBAR ACTIVITIES 

1. Spice and Slave Tours – exploring the country side around Stone Town and meeting the rural communities.

2. Jozani Forest – A narrow belt of land linking east and west coast and home to the island’s most photographed resident, the Zanzibar red colobus monkey.

3. Dolphin and Whale Tours – Swim with dolphins in the Kizimkazi waters and spot whales at the most southerly point of Zanzibar.

4. Diving and Snorkeling – Zanzibar is surrounded by impressive array of coral reefs and marine life.

5. Deep fishing and Blue Safari – A fisherman’s paradise where you can experience spectacular deep-sea fishing and record-breaking catches. Sail away on one of the local carved Swahili dhow and go snorkeling, enjoy a fresh seafood grill with lazy sunbathing on white sandy beaches of the lagoons where dreams are made of.

6. Various Excursions: Prison island trips, sunset and sunrise cruises and sandbank picnics are  only a few of many other mouth-watering experiences waiting for you.

7. Watersports: waterskiing, windsurfing sailing, kitesurfing and kayaking are all available for your pleasure including equipment rental and training.

8. Conferencing and weddings – the perfect setting for large functions, conferences and weddings.

ZANZIBAR ACCOMMODATION

Budget traveller: Baby Bush Lodge and for the discerning traveller: Upendo Villas   (all amazing, I tried it out myself!) 🙂

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Bucket List

*thebusycoconut.com

We are all familiar with the phrase ‘life is a journey, not a destination.’ Do we actually walk this talk?  Do we stop to smell the innocent, sweet flowers and hug the powerful, majestic trees when we race to the next achievement. Are we so rigidly focussed on our life path where our awareness is pulled towards either being faster or better than others, resulting in an overstressed, lonely, unhealthy and unhappy us? Sometimes we feel lost and we give up. Don’t! Life is there to live. So start getting involved in your own life (for you) by listening to your needs and ignite self-love. Having a bucket list can do just that!

When we die, we kick the bucket. This is where the expression “Bucket List” comes from. Listing things that you will do before you “kick the bucket”. You can write anything you want to do before you die, almost like a checklist and as you do the things, you tick it off. We live in a wonderful world of technology that makes life not just interesting but also easy. This website Bucket List and add your bucket list are great tools where you can join the bucket list communities.

Check it out and join the tribe of living life to the fullest!

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My Big Fat Dream

I am a dreamer ever since I can remember. My mom used to call me her day-dreamer walking on Cloud 9! Sometimes my dreams are beautiful, colorful, flowing into all sorts of adventures. Sometimes they make no sense, and have strange or hectic imagery as I ride the waves of my subconscious.

How often do I have the same dream? A few times a year I have a vivid, intense dream of running away from a huge wave. I noticed that every time I have this dream, my day-to-day reality is either shifting or I am emotionally charged with change, stress, etc. I have learned to swim into this wave to become one with it. It it takes a lot of inner strength and awareness and most times I fail!

I have one good dream though, that’s strong in my subconscious. My life wouldn’t be the same without it. It is the source of my inspiration and being alive: It’s called my Big Fat Dream!

What is this Big Fat Dream? It is simple: A dream of Pure Happiness!  This dream forms part of the foundation of my perception of reality here on earth:

Living everyday like it would be my last day and seeing everyone as beautiful and allowing others to live their full potential, whatever it is and without judging. Seeing the challenges as opportunities to grow and surrounding myself with the beauty I deserve. Hugging my daughter, at the same time hugging my mom and saying how much I love them and how grateful I am they are in my life. Living a full life with my extended family whilst experiencing true love,  a gift to any human being to enjoy and share! Realizing in the middle of a breakdown how fortunate I am compared to others and that my life is perfect just the way it is.

That I am perfect just the way I am and so is everyone else. 🙂

Why Am I So Stressed Out!

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Stress affects us all. Today I was victim of this uncomfortable emotion that drove me totally insane! All I wanted to do was to finish my work but unfortunately stress found its way into my system and confronted me with a tough lesson. At the end, I was so unproductive except for writing this post! 😉

Why do we stress? Stress is a small word that causes a lot of problems for so many. After my experience with stress (so far my entire postgraduate year!) I have to share with you that I am not managing stress very well. What is stress and why do we have it?

Apparently stress is necessary to survive in this life.  It can be a positive, negative or neutral experience. I found out that the key to handle stress lies in how we manage it when the feeling of stress comes our way.

Here are some interesting facts about stress: 

  • When you’re overwhelmed with too many things in your life or experiencing something out of the ordinary, stress is what you feel. 
  • Your body responds naturally as though you would be in danger (survival)
  • Your body experiences a release of hormones that makes your heart beats faster, you breathe faster and you get a boost of energy.  
  • The body’s response to stress is called the fight-or-flight mode. 

When it happens, this is what you can do:  (between brackets are my own examples) 

  • Acknowledge that you have stress (yes, about 8 out of 10!) 
  • Find out where it comes from (university and personal) 
  • Write it down and get a clear picture of your situation (thesis and assignment deadlines and my housework) 
  • Prioritize your situation and manage your time by using a time-table for that specific period (weekly timetable done for August with checklists) 
  • Find better ways to cope with situations like to call on support if you need to. (asked my mom and friend to support me with my housework and lighter projects)  
  • Learn from your past and make positive changes for your future. (saying no to social commitments!)
  • Go for a massage, meditate or have a relaxing weekend away in the country. (celebrate my achievements and make time for the most important person in my life…me!) 

I already booked that massage for next week and I am feeling better already! I hope you do too 😉

The Weekend: TGIF

Waking up this morning to the sound of my little baby girl’s cooing and aaah-ing, I quickly left the warm covers for yet another day of duty-calling. I jumped up and then stopped…’hey, thank god it’s Friday!’ I displayed a huge smile of satisfaction and made my way into the ‘last’ day of slavery, responsibility and check lists!

 The weekend is simply two wonderful days filled with possibility! 

During the week, we chat about our weekend plans and arrange it accordingly. Finally it arrives and we dive into the freedom: we get ourselves all busy at home, we scurry to our pretty malls, finding ourselves in long queued banks, we enjoy our noisy restaurants and we join the locals at the latest event in town. We must not miss anything! We’ll enjoy Saturday brunch at our favorite Cafe’s with our dearest friends and we feel that life is such a blessing on lazy Saturday afternoons. Evenings we either make our way to the dance floor, we laugh and watch movies till late until its time for those ‘explicit shows’ on telly which normally upsets us or not.

We have that second cup of coffee in bed on Sunday mornings, chatting on our smartphones whilst being oh so conscious of distant church bells ringing and wondering who is in church and wearing what. We make our way to meet family and friends for the usual and may I add, delicious Sunday lunch…..And then reality checks in…that little voice usually around 4 to 6pm: a subtle reminder of our Monday morning preparation. Obliviously we get our formal act together and diligently return to our ‘good-old’ routine of responsibilities and deadlines! Yayyy!!

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Ok, I exaggerated a little in my story, but I hope you get my picture. Personally I believe it’s not a matter of the amount of days within a weekend, but what I do with those days. I see it as a gift from the ‘universe’ where I live, share, enjoy and express myself in every moment of this wonderful freedom called Weekend End…bearing always in mind that it could’ve been worse…;-)

Why Traveling is a Must!

source* hmenterprises.co.in

Traveling has many benefits and I’m sure we all know that. Are you familiar with the phrase: ‘‘The tunnel view on life, normally seen and experienced in our so-called suburbs?’’ Anyway, we conclude with the answer to this question.

Traveling offers a broad scope and view on life and its experiences. You meet amazing people and travellers on the way, expand your knowledge on various cultures and gain new perspectives on the lives of many. Exploring spectacular architecture and magnificent geographical formations with pure adrenalin adventures of all sorts and snorkeling in the wide open seas are all added bonuses.

gala-hotels.blogspot.com

You’ll learn native languages as you learn the niche of bargaining when buying creative arts and crafts from enthusiastic locals while you simultaneously experience immense gratitude for the comfort and safety of your own country. Traveling guarantees a stress-free experience, unless you’re the anxious type that wants everything to go your way. Traveling will knock you off your feet and teach you real life lessons. Not to mention when your stuff gets stolen or you are left with nothing but your clothes on. Yes, life lessons are part of traveling you should acknowledge and be prepared for.

Traveling offers more than just a collection of beautiful impressions and experiences. It completes you. It offers closure. It can map out your life and your future. It liberates you and your inner being. The secret to an amazing, fulfilling trip is to trust yourself and to let go of any expectations, whatsoever. To be in the moment and to allow your travels to sweep you off your feet.

source*travmonkey.com

Or do you want to end up like those ‘tunnel view’ folks in the suburbs, with their perfect homes surrounded by white picket fences and double garages who only see themselves as perfect and everyone else as failures? The choice is yours. Go on, book that flight and set your mind free, before it’s too late!