Monday, September 8, 2014

Addo Elephant National Park


I had the most wonderful weekend out in the wild, going on game drives where there was little to no signal. Every so often it is so good for you to deviate from the beaten track and get lost in the roads less traveled. 

Day One was scorching hot, I arrived mid-afternoon and ventured out on a game drive where I spotted beautiful and majestic elephants, eagles, tortoise, zebra, warthog and lots of buck. 



This is a photo of me introducing my nephew, Jenson (9 months old), to Pumba!
He was such a gem all weekend, laughing, smiling and giggling in between his adorably chaotic crawling EVERYWHERE!! Nothing is safe anymore now that he is officially mobile! Ahhh!


The elephants and the eagles really did steal the show for me this weekend. Both are creatures that I am absolutely fascinated by. 
Unfortunately we saw no wild cats; but on day two we did manage to spot black-backed jackal and hyena munching on stolen prey. 

I called shot gun with my mum while my brother, his wife and Jenson went in their own car... and boy did mum and I party it up in our vehicle. We're as bad as each other really!! Mischief I tell you. 

In the evenings once the gates to the park had been shut and everyone else had gone to bed, mum and I ordered bottles of wine, stole glasses and hopped down to the watering hole hoping to see animals drinking but alas, it was dead. 

It was really wonderful to bond with her again though. 
Our family has been through a lot lately and so it was lovely to forget everything and just let our hair down together.  


In the mornings we'd head over to the local grill and bistro and fuel up with some breakfast - Jenson having his mushed up carrots and butternut baby foods. I couldn't help but feel bad! 
I had to share this photo of Auntie Jade and her stunning nephew though - how freaking cute is he in his little stripey shirt and Happy Chappy cap!? 
My heart melts. 


Overall, it was just wonderful to break routine and escape out into nature for a while. 
I'm not the kind of girl that likes to be in big cities, in clubs and shopping malls and wearing bloody makeup and high-fashion all day, every day. 
I don't like sitting on a computer day in and day out - surrounded by drama and developing a seriously bad case of small-town syndrome. 

Escaping this past weekend really just fuelled me up in wanting to head back out there into the world again. 
I've been stuck in South Africa for a year now, which is the longest I've been without traveling in an incredibly long time and it is starting to eat away at my spirit. 
I've got a few ideas in mind - mainly being to save, save, save while working my butt off and keeping out of trouble and then heading over to India for a little trip next year for the Holi One Colour Festival (tick another thing from my bucket list!) in March. 
From there I'd come back and continue working and saving like mad until I have made a firm decision on where I want to move to for a few months and work overseas. That's been an idea of mine for a while now and the main countries that really appeal to me are Canada (one of the things on my bucket list is to learn to snow-board at a ski-resort there and work there while I'm at it! Lets face it, Canadian accents are beautiful, the country itself is beautiful and the people are renowned for being friendly, quirky and fun!), then there's Bali... my biggest dream in life (barring being a famous novelist!) is to go there and surf - be a beach bum for a while. Here I could teach surfing or English, work in a back-packers. I was thinking about it all yesterday and the thing is that in Canada, I know loads of people from really close friends I met while traveling through Europe last year, old school friends that have moved there since university to pursue musical careers, to amazing 'pen-pals' and blogging friends. Bali, I know no one that actually lives there but I know many friends of mine that go there often to surf and get away (lucky right???). This inevitably makes Bali slightly more scary for me as I'd be 100% alone - but it's awesome to have options. 
Lastly there is Australia. Again, I have not only friends from school and friends that I met while traveling through Europe that live there but I also have family. Family who have been so kind as to offer me FREE accommodation while finding my feet there. 
I don't want to choose a country purely based on accommodation reasons though - and to be honest, Australia, as wonderful as it is, wouldn't be number one on my list. 
My cousin that lives there has been giving me some amazing advice though... drilling into my head that if I don't get out of this small town and branch out, experience what the world has to offer while I am young and have nothing holding me back - then I will regret it... and you know what? He's right. I will. So I know I need to go. 
I was looking at my savings account as some sort of a security blanket and thinking how great it is to have all this cash saved up for if and when I need it but I could die tomorrow. Any of us could - and if I don't go and live my dreams of travel while I can, with the money I have saved, I'll always regret it. 
Someone very cynical told me that I won't have a chance to regret it, because I'll be dead (thanks for that.....) but I see it completely differently. 

So I can confidently say that I have made my decision. 
I will be going traveling again A LOT as of next year. A few more months of saving up to achieve this and then poof... I am off on a new adventure. Where to, I don't know yet - and that is half of the excitement. 


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32 comments:

  1. i saw these pics on instagram and so wanted to go to a place like that
    true, its such a relaxing break
    Moving abroad, i have been thinking of doing that too but for education
    keep in touch
    www.beingbeautifulandpretty.com
    www.indianbeautydiary.com

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    1. Love it when I see you've liked my instagram pics! You always knows which posts are coming up :)

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  2. Looks like you had a lot of fun!!! Pumba looks sooooo cute <3

    http://www.thestylishbipolar.com

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    1. hehe thank you Kylie, it really was a wonderful trip away into nature x

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  3. Love your relaxed look and perfect weekend! Amazing pictures and loved the cute kid muwaaah!

    Kisses
    Ritcha
    http://www.myfashionfootprints.com/
    http://www.myglossyaffair.com/

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    1. Thanks so much - haha that cute kid is my everything <3

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  4. Loved the pictures, of course mostly the Ele ones! They must be so breathtaking to see in person... Ahhh envious! Looks like you had a great time love! xo

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  5. What's your instagram lovely? Would love to follow you on there and see more pics of your life and daily adventures!

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  6. I can sense your excitement in each word, I can't wait to join you on your next adventure Jade!

    Silvia

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    1. :D so happy and excited indeed. Looking forward to sharing it with you! x

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  7. I think I have been to the Addo Elephant National Park. The pictures look the same like mine and I just googled for it… I can't remember if it's the place where you can have an elephant ride as well? It was maybe eight years ago when I went there, so I can't remember all very well now, but it's a beautiful place. South Africa is amazing!
    www.minsbeautyequipment.com

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    1. Wow I wonder if it has changed at all since you were last there - I stayed in a little cabin and I stayed in one a number of years ago too and nothing had changed! It was so familiar! x

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  8. Such lovely pics. Hope you had great time at the park, all the animals look great. Your nephew is so cute. Hope all your dreams come true. :)
    Fashion Happenss

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    1. Thank you Lia, he's so amazing - my heart melts

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  9. The elephants completely stole the show for me throughout this entire post. I mean, that one picture Jade.. it's incredible.. (Elephant and the baby) Also it's an elephant in it's natural habitat rather than an elephant at the zoo like you see over here. Seriously, what a wonderful way to spend the day.
    I just introduced Alina to The Lion King. She stinkin' loooooves the intro. When Jenson's old enough you should throw it on for him and see his reaction to the opening song. Alina goes berserk..!

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    1. I know, the one where you can see the baby just walking behind the mum between her legs. So adorable.
      Ahh cannot WAIT until Jenson's old enough. I will love watching cartoons and animation movies with him.... eeeep x

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  10. OMG looks and sounds like you had a blast Jade! I had a fun weekend too (though I don't remember much because it was 3 days of nonstop alcohol and partying! Two friends had their birthdays consecutively for 2 days and I din't go home for 2 days so you can imagine how bad or how good it was haha. I didn't want to touch alcohol on monday and tuesday for that haha! And BTW sounds so great that you and your mum take a trip every year for her bday so yes, please come to India! Pooja and I will join you for sure!!! I'm pretty serious about it so let me know when you're tickets are booked :D
    Keep in touch
    xx
    www.JuneWantsItAll.com

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    1. hahaha sounds like you had an amazing time! :)
      I will keep in touch with you about India.. I am so excited to meet you guys and attend the Holi One!! xxxxxxx

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  11. What awesome pics and what beautiful memories you made this last weekend! I love animals! Little Jenson is adorable!!! T. http://tickledpinkwoman.blogspot.com

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  12. Jaaaade! I'm sorry its been far too long. I hope you're doing well, from this post I see you have a cute new addition to your clan! He is TOTES adorable! Loving this little getaway, I've always wanted to go on a safari of some kind, crazy how that is right in your backyard and all. At least, driving distance. Ok, you're going to India, the colour festival you mention, does that happen to be the one where they through powdered colours onto each other? If so, CAN YOU PLEASE RECORD EVERY MOMENT, EVERY BREATHING SECOND FOR ME! This also happens to be on my bucketlist!

    Sxx
    www.daringcoco.com

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  13. Jade go to Bali!!! I know it may be crazy idea as you would be there totally alone, but trust me Bali is place on earth where you would not feel lonely. I have lived on Java- Island next to it- for couple of months couple of years ago, and since I came back i am just thinking how to make things work in a way in which I would be able to move back there! Really, truly! Plus you will have one of the best surfing spots on earth!... I think I got over excited... hahaha... but I always gets over excited if it is about Bali, Indonesia, South east Asia or actually whole Asia Pacific region.... :)))
    have a good weekend!
    anjage.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Bali, Bali, Bali... on my mind all day long <3

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  14. some lovely photos, Jenson is so cute. I am so jelous of your figure!
    I would love to travel to Australia, it's meant to be an amazing and beautiful country!
    x
    LauraThinksAbout

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    1. You have an amazing figure!!! Haha and I'm riddled in stretchies and stuff so it's really not amazing haha
      Let's do Aus together!!!
      Travel buddies :D

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  15. This trip looks absolutely amazing, I love animals so this would be perfect for me :)

    vvnightingale.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Perfect way to spend your time if you ever visit South Africa, Victoria x

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Jade