The Wandering Wine Lover

I adore wine. I love the sound the cork makes when it is released from the bottle, I love watching the crimson (or golden/blush) liquid splash into the glass, I love taking that first sip – like a tentative first kiss – and curling up in the evening with a good book and a good glass of red.

I’m fortunate enough to come from a country that is known for its wines – and for around 3 years now, I’ve been sampling what wines South Africa has to offer by going for tastings at local wine farms and trying different wines when out to dinner.

Travelling has opened up a whole new world of wines, and I hope to review many of them in the coming months.

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East African Adventure: Mombasa, Kenya

In December 2012, my fiance and I embarked on a mini adventure of a lifetime. We had been invited to stay with his family in Mombasa, Kenya for two weeks over New Year’s Eve, and I was beyond excited. I couldn’t wait to see the city where he had grown up – I’d heard so much about the all-embracing humidity, the thick groves of palm trees, the monkeys that would visit the garden, and the pristine white sands of Diani Beach.

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A Wintry Weekend in Paris

The first time I visited Paris was in July 2003, in the middle of summer. I was 13 years old, in Europe for the first time with my family, and everything seemed impossibly magical. All the wonderful things I had only read about or seen in movies came to life in vivid colour that summer – the huge, imposing Eiffel Tower, the delightfully colourful and symmetrical flowerbeds and hedges of the Jardins de Tuileries, the sophisticated sidewalk cafés, the delicious pastries, and the famous artworks I had only ever seen in musty old textbooks in my art class back home.

I fell in love with Paris swiftly and deeply. As we sat on the steps below Sacré Cœur on Bastille Day (July 14th), I watched the fireworks over the city and felt incredibly blessed to be in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, and to have the opportunity to soak up the sights and culture.

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On Being An Expat and a Wanderer

I have very mixed feelings about being a South African expat.

I was born in Cape Town as a third generation South African. I lived in the same house for 24 years of my life, attended school and university in Cape Town, and the majority of my extended family live in Cape Town and surrounds. My roots are firmly South African, with my not-so-distant ancestry leading back to Europe in a confusing and mysterious trail of immigration and repatriation.

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Weekend Woodland Getaway in Northern Germany

I have always loved forests. There’s something undeniably magical about them – the eerie stillness, the soft, dappled patterns of shade and sun, the rustling leaves – something magical, and something mysterious. I used to imagine that, like Bessie and her siblings in The Enchanted Wood, I need only wrap my arms around the trunks of great big trees in the woods, press my little ear to the bark, and that they would then whisper to me through the rustling of their leaves, telling me their secrets.

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Paleokastritsa – A Slice of Paradise

Greece holds a special place in my heart. I have visited three times, and each time I have fallen deeper in love with the dry, rocky, cyprus-tree-covered mountains, the sea that shimmers in so many shades of blue, the all-embracing sunshine, and the leisurely pace of life. This summer, my fiancé and I visited Paleokastritsa in Corfu. I’d been to Corfu before on a Contiki tour, but never to the west side of the island, so we were set to explore a new place together.

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5 Tips for Learning the Basics of a New Language

Learning a new language isn’t easy, especially when you want to learn as much as you can in a short space of time. In my time spent teaching English as a foreign language (as well as being a student myself learning basic Italian, French, and German!) I have picked up a few useful tips for learning the basics of a new language. So, if you’re travelling to a different country soon and you’re keen to learn some of the local language before you go, take note of the 5 helpful tips below.

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German Food – Vegetarian Options

It’s no secret that Germany is a country of meat enthusiasts. Meat specialities include sausages like bratwurst, frankfurters, currywurst, and weisswurst; then there’s pork or chicken schnitzel, horse (yes, really – it’s a delicacy up north), goulash – the list goes on. Germans eat meat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – truly the carnivore’s dream.

If the above list made you feel queasy instead of ravenous, then this article is for you! Vegetarian food does exist in Germany – you just need to know what the options are, and how to find them.

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An incurable case of wanderlust

The desire to travel lives deep within me – I feel it in my blood. I want to travel the world, and breathe the air of new places.

Some call this intense desire wanderlust or fernweh (German, literally “far-sickness”), others call it the “travel bug”, but I prefer to call it by another foreign word that fully captures my deep love, and desperate need, for travel.

I prefer to think of my bittersweet affliction as resfeber – Swedish, literal translation “travel fever”. Resfeber is a kind of restlessness, an anxious discontentment that builds up within you if you haven’t travelled in a while. It can literally feel like a sickness, burning away inside you like a fever. The more you travel, the worse the fever becomes. At first, you feel sated, but upon returning home, it burns brighter than ever. Therein lies the beauty of resfeber – you can feed your fever, but it never truly goes away. For those of us who have resfeber, travel isn’t just about “ticking boxes”, buying souvenirs, or taking selfies in front of famous sights. It is about those things, and so very much more.

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