‘Blog’ Category

Get To Know: Bobo

Get To Know: Bobo

 

                           Photo courtesy of Mmaphuthi Morule

1.What is the best early morning experience you’ve had while traveling?

A champagne breakfast on the balcony of our hotel room at the Vista Palace Hotel when visiting Monaco back in 2009.

Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, from the Principality of Monaco to the Italian Riviera, the Vista Palace Hotel offers one of the most spectacular views of the French Riviera. That experience had me feeling like i was in paradise.

Vista Palace Hotel , 1551 Route de la Turbie – 06190 Roquebrune Cap-Martin – France

Tel. : +33 (0) 4 92 10 40 00

2. Have you experienced any disasters/crisis while traveling?

Well, I suppose missing a flight from New York to Johannesburg could be considered a crisis of sorts, but it worked out in the end. And besides, an extra night in New York  never hurt anyone! We were also lucky enough not to have to pay extra for our flight the next day. Thank God for that because we were super broke come the end of that holiday! Crisis averted.

3. What is your travel style?

I do a lot of research on the destination I am traveling to.  I will trawl the internet to find out about the best restaurants, best places to shop, must see attractions, where to party etc. I feel like when visiting a new place, I really don’t want to miss out on “the best of” that city. A well informed traveler is a happy traveler!

I also prefer to experience new destinations through the locals as opposed to doing the tourist thing. The best way to fall in love with a city is to experience it the way the people who love it most do.

4. Which songs best describes your travel experiences?

“Paris Nights & New York Mornings”- by Corinne Bailey Rae. I can testify to those beautiful, mind blowing Paris nights, as well as those early morning walks of shame back home after a big night out in New York…heels in hand, hailing a cab down…

Rihanna has also provided many soundtracks to many a crazy night out in my recent trips to New York and Accra.

5. Most profound lesson learned through travel?

That to travel, and see the world, is to truly live and learn. Travel feeds my soul in a way that touches me deeply. Every single time.

6. Favorite Town/ Village?  Why?

Ada, Ghana. A small coastal town about an hour outside of Accra. It is beautiful. So simple, yet so exquisite. Definitely one of the places I have to go back to.

7. Favorite City? Why?

New York remains a big love. So much to see, so much to do. The energy of the city, the spirit of the people is what I resonate the most with. There’s just something about millions of people from everywhere around the world, coming together in this one city, with the common goal of making their dreams come true.

Paris comes a close second. The beautiful architecture, the romance, the ridiculously beautiful and stylish people, the classic sidewalk bistros, the art, and the champagne of course!

8. Who is the most unforgettable person/people you’ve met or interacted with while traveling?

The people of Accra that I have met on my visits there. They are some of the most kind-hearted, caring, and accommodating people I have ever come across. Their spirit is amazing. They always give so much of themselves to others. Always eager to help and forever hospitable. We are always so spolit every time we visit Accra.

9. What are some of the things you don’t like about traveling?

The admin involved in getting visas. Looooong flights in economy class. Bleh. That’s about it!

10. What are the 3 top eating experiences you’ve had while traveling?

1. Home cooked traditional Ghanian food. Shout out to Rita and Aunty Fafa!

2. A seafood braai on the beach at Inhaca Island, Mozambique.

3. Dinner at the Ciel de Paris restaurant in Paris.The restaurant is situated on the on the 56th floor of the Tour Montparnasse, and has the most beautiful panoramic views of the city. A great dining experience!

11. What’s the craziest stereotype you’ve heard about South Africans while traveling?

The usual stuff. We cant walk the streets because there is crime everywhere. We have lions and elephants in our back yards. We all have AIDS.

12. If I had only 24 hours to live, I would spend it in:

I would spend it on an island with the loves of my life on a secluded island.

13. Best Cities to fall in love?

New York, Amsterdam, Paris, and I would love to fall in love all over again in Barcelona. Never been to Barcelona, but I imagine that Barcelona would be the perfect background to a beautiful love story. With that Spanish guitar providing a dreamy soundtrack to it all! lol.

14. Cities you want to see with a lover?

Barcelona, Venice, Paris (of course).

15. Places you want to see with the girls?

A girls trip to Mykonos, and maybe Hvar Island in Croatia would be awesome :-) Long lazy days spent on the beach, bottomless cocktails, good food, and long Summer nights.

16. Best Cities to travel on your own?

New York.  Amsterdam.

17. What city best suits your personality?

New York. A city with many layers. A city of dreamers.

18. About Yourself?

I am a lover of life, family, friends, food, wine, travel, fashion, film and music. I’m learning and growing every day.

 

Tips: Finding the best flights

Tips: Finding the best flights

 tumblr_mjcc5xImvV1r9nnsno1_500

Being a traveler, I have been fortunate to get great flight deals and have also been unfortunate to experience not so great flying experiences, so its safe to say I know the ins and outs of flying.  Accompanied with the fact that fuel prices keep fluctuating which impacts on the cost of a ticket and this year also being the year of people saving,  finding the right flight at the perfect cost is very important. So through my experiences I have put together some tips regarding the flight aspect of traveling, to help you when you plan your next trip.

Here goes!

Be flexible with your travel dates

Rather look at traveling during the week between Monday and Thursday as prices are cheaper during the week than over the weekend. And early morning or late flights are also cheaper as few people fly then.

Take advantage of Student flights

I’m on the database for STA Travel and use them to inquire about great deals as well as I get my insurance through STA Travel unless you don’t use your credit card to pay for your flight where you get free travel insurance. Using student flight centers guarantees you discounted rates.

Compare prices

Most people generally go for the airlines they are familiar with. With smart phones you have travel apps only just a click away. I have downloaded the following apps which helps to compare flights. I have the following apps downloaded, Kayak, Expedia, Easyjet and Travelocity to compare flights. Never just book a flight based on one site.

Take your time

I immerse myself in finding the right flight. Take about a week to search for flights. Flights fluctuate and you need to ensure that by the time you have booked, you have exhausted all possible options.

Go to travel agents

I generally start my search by calling or popping into different travel agents to compare prices. Once they have given me advice on what are the best options available, I go back and do the searches myself as travel agents charge a service fee. Travel agents take the stress out of finding a flight so if you do not have the energy to do the homework, they are your best bet.

Sign up for a Airline rewards programs

Most airlines have frequent flyer rewards programs. Even if you don’t use the same airline it doesn’t matter. Star Alliance has many airlines under their belt so you can sign up there and earn points when you fly which might come in handy the next time you are short.

You earn free miles if you signup when you are still on the flight and some airlines have a 3 month gap for free points after your flight.

Look for alternative routes

Some people generally book direct flights which are much more expensive than connecting flights. By changing your route you end bagging a good deal. This also gives you a chance to pop in for a day or two to see another country that isn’t part of your travels.

Connecting flights

After a stressful 6 hour flight delay from Joburg to Thailand, I learned to make sure that there is ample time between my connecting flights. Some of the people on our flight were unfortunately not using the same airline to connect and missed their flights.

 Travel insurance

This is not even a nice to have actually. You need this. Anything can happen, you could miss your flight because you were late for check in, your flight caught be delayed which affects all your connecting flights and not forgetting having your baggage lost. In peak season having to book another flight could be disastrous.

Be at the airport on time

I don’t know how many times I have had to run through the airport because I was late for check in, or I was too busy having a beer that I was late for the gate. It could also happen that you are not at fault, so make sure you have an hour contingency. The last thing you want is receiving a phone call saying they are off loading you because the gate is closed. That could be the most heartbreaking thing ever especially since you have been looking forward to that holiday.

Investigate the airline

This may seem dramatic, but it could be the thin line between a great flight and a pear shaped flight. Myself and Lera decided found the cheapest flight but it came with a price. There was NO ALCOHOL on the flight. Nothing, Zilch, nudda. After running through the airport all we were looking forward to was a glass of wine, and we were met with disappointment. Needless to say at the connecting airport looking for a bar was the first thing we did. So investigate what their dos and don’ts.

6938816073_825b6f0bcb_z

 

Stick to the luggage weight requirements

Make sure that you pack lightly, because its not the going where it matters, its the coming back. So leave atleast 10kg extra for all the shopping you will do. You don’t want to be stuck in a situation where you don’t have money to pay the penalty fee and have to leave some luggage behind. This experience could scar you for life.

 Have the card you booked ticket with, with you at check in

On my last trip I had forgotten my card at the atm which the atm swallowed. I completely forgot that I needed this at check in. I wasted a good 45 minutes running to the bank and then back to ticket counter to get a letter from the bank. You may think its not necessary, but that one time you lose your card, is when they will ask for it.

Let your family know your flight details

Leave your flight details with a family member so that they can track your flight. You can track your flight using the Skyscanner app that shows all flights arriving and departing and status of the flights. This comes in handy particularly if you are not roaming for whoever is picking you up to know.

 Check your flight information the day before you leave

Some flights change their flights at the last minute. Its your responsibility to check that everything is running according to schedule. You can choose the email option for flight updates as it doesn’t matter where in the world you are, you can get access to your personal email account.

Finally: BE EXCITED FOR YOUR FLIGHT

It usually only kicks in when you have checked in and boarding that flight that you are about to embark on the most epic trip of your life. Once you are on that flight, there is not turning back. Leave all your worries and stresses behind, because the ride is far more important. Your journey begins the minute you hop onto that flight. Give thanks that you are able to get the opportunity to go make memories, and pray for safe travels.

 

 

 

 

TBT: Nice, France 2011

TBT: Nice, France 2011

After being in Paris, I was quite excited to go to the South of France where so many people have raved about it and the pictures just told a beautiful story.

I was just looking forward to soaking up the sun on the beach and swimming in proper bikini gear and not my underwear like I did in Switzerland.

I spent the first day doing some shopping as well as looking for an outfit for Monaco as we were going there the next day for dinner and to party, so I needed to make sure I fit in with the money dripping folk of Monaco.

What was lovely about where our hotel was situated is that it was close to all amenities, well the important places such shopping district, bars and the beach. Everything was a walk away.

We had dinner at a place called Le Ligure where the food was just delicious. We then all went our separate ways to enjoy the rest of the evening. Going clubbing was our first option, but after we were denied entry into one club we quickly shutdown that idea and opted to go bar hoping instead.

weeh

Romain and I

p1

Topdeck troop

phg

Gorgeous girls of Topdeck

lp

hm

wa

The Cathedral

jj

Crazy and awesome couple, Joan and Romain

Crazy and awesome couple, Joan and Romain

After a hectic night of partying, we woke up had a delicious breakfast and decided to go to the beach and roam the streets of Nice.

We were lucky that our place is situated approximately 10 minutes walking distance from the beach and famous Promenade des Anglais. Its full of runners, people just taking a stroll, people on roller blades and cyclists. The atmosphere is just amazing. After enough walking, we then decided to find a spot on the beach and have a swim. The only eeky thing about the beach is that the beach is pebbles, so it makes your bum sore. Yip I spotted the odd three women walking around topless, aint no thang. They had nice boobs so for me it was ok, however I did not think it was smart for me to do the same. I just kept my African titties covered.

Promenade des Anglais

Promenade des Anglais

lk

Beach of Nice

yu

photo
View of Nice at top of Le Chatea

After the beach we headed off to Le Chateu where its quite a climb to get to the top, ok i’m being dramatic, I was just unfit. I was taking breaks just to get back into the idea of going up more steps. But trust me that once you get to the top, you are grateful you didn’t turn around. The top gives you a panoramic view of Nice. Its truly breath taking. I remember thinking when I was up there “This is where people take all these beautiful pictures of Nice”. We came across a guy playing his cordian. I tried to speak to him, but with a combination of my lack of French and his limited English vocab, it wasn’t much of a conversation because all he said was “You are beautiful” and I was like “Music is beautiful”.

bg

View of Nice

rty

Myself, Romain and Joan at top of Le Chatea

uo

French man playing his cordian

Feature

After the Le Chatea we took a walk to the famous  Cours Selaya Market which is not far from the beach. It was perfect timing beacuse we were in need of a mid day snack just before lunch. You need to contain yourself, other wise you might want to buy everything you come across. We ended buying some berries and croissants as our snack. We were in France, of course we had to have croissants even though we had them for breakfast, but these were sold at a market, very different. The market is surrounded with souvenir shops and cafes everywhere, so if you want to stop for a meal its not too far.

ev
Croissants sold at the Cours Selaya Market
ty

Delicious berries found at the market

er
Cheese, glorious cheese sold at the Cours Selaya market.

Wandering around a town and finding gems and hidden places is just one needs to do and Old Town seemed like the perfect place. There are so many small shops and cafes everywhere. While wondering the streets we came across a Durex machine. Yip, slap bam in the middle of the streets. Everyone does the deed, so why not make sure you doing have a disappointing evening because you don’t have the goods. So I just had to take a pic of it. Romain and Joan dared me to go and buy a pack and they will take a pic of me, I wasn’t going down like that. Taking the pic of it was enough.

dure

With these on the streets, you cant say “I have run out”. Sorry for you, no holiday babies should bepopping up.

ee

This shop was just so inviting and just so Frenchy.

rt

Streets of Old Town

we

Streets of Old Town

rr

I had an amazing time. Nice is nice, nice is beautiful and the views breathtaking. The French riviera definitely gets a high five from me. Whether I am back to find that French man, or just back because its a place to go back to, I’m excited to experience it from another angle.

Get to know: Sphume Sibeko

Get to know: Sphume Sibeko

What is the best early morning experience you’ve had while traveling?

It was a very early morning… we had heavy breakfast after a beautiful night out, cracking up with my girls as the sun came up. We then sat looking at the view of New York from the fire escape, and I remember thinking “ya ne, this is what this life thing is all about”

Have you experienced any disasters/crisis while traveling?

Well… except missing a critical flight from NYC to Jozi when we were literally dead broke? No

Have you ever “mysteriously” survived a critical situation?

Missed this flight and again, we were super broke so we weren’t even sure how we were going to figure this one out. When we ran into the airport and looked for where our airline’s section is, we asked the guy wrapping luggage and he immediately laughed so hard at us! Luckily, when we went to go find out if anything could be done to get us on this flight, we were given a flight the next day, an extra day to spend in NYC, and were charged absolutely nothing, not even an admin fee!

What is your travel style?

Down for whatever, relax and enjoy the ride!

Which songs best describe your travel experiences?

Slum Village – ‘Disco’

A Tribe Called Quest – ‘Like it like that’

Common – ‘Its your world’

Nas feat Lauryn Hill – ‘If I ruled the world’

Most profound lesson learned through travel?

Open your mind

Favorite Town/ Village?  Why?

Went to this awesome small town about an hour outside of Rio de Janeiro called Itacuruca. Beautiful quaint town embellished with the gorgeous ocean. From there we got on a boat and got to experience the surrounding islands, jump into the middle of the ocean, and then rest and eat up on Sepetiba Bay. One of the best experiences ever!

Favorite City? Why?

New York. Coolest place on earth. Ask me the same question in a few years though, still have a lot of world touring to do ;)

Who is the most unforgettable person you’ve met or interacted with while traveling?

Gorgeous little girl named Camilla in Brazil who was totally fascinated by black skin. Also met some amazing souls who’ve become like family

What are some of the things you don’t like about traveling?

Long layovers!

I had my best night’s sleep at:

Iguassu Falls, Brazil

What are the 3 top eating experiences you’ve had while traveling lately?

Waffles from Petite Abeille & cheesecake from Magnolia Bakery in New York; Seafood in Mozambique from Sagres Shellfish Restaurant; and the cheapest tastiest cheeseburgers from a corner store at Copacabana Beach, Rio.

Best place to get tipsy:

Standard Hotel, New York. I simply cannot get over that place.

What’s the craziest stereotype you’ve heard about South Africans while traveling?

That we wear animal skins so we bought clothes at the airport coming into America. Learnt English at the airport too.

If I had only 24 hours to live, I would spend it in:

New York! That way I could play hard, eat hard, listen to the best hip hop while checking out some super fly types

Best Cities to fall in love

Haven’t been to Paris or Hvar but those seem like the spots to catch a feeling.

Cities you want to see with a lover?

Barcelona, Paris, Prague, Hvar

Cities you want to see with the girls?

Montego Bay, Accra, London, Istanbul

Best Cities to travel on your own

Haven’t been to any of these either – but wouldn’t mind doing Milan, Mumbai, and Beijing as a lone ranger

What city best suits/ embodies your personality?

New York! Encapsulates the diversity and beauty of the world, even the flaws are cool.

About Yourself:

Excited; all in with this life thing; completely love my people, travelling, eating, basketball, music, and I have the biggest sweet tooth on earth.

IMG_5500