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My life during the Coronavirus Pandemic/ COVID-19( for documentary purposes)

How I feel about this situation

Those who follow my blog or instagram would know that at the end of last year I decided to take a gap year and see the world while working in diffrent career categories. So from February this year I was in Australia busy doing accounting jobs at 2 different companies. In my month and a half in Aus die Coronavirus began appearing in all the news.

At first I thought it would be something that went away after a couple of months without getting dangerous. But soon after Panic began world wide. Toiletpaper and other necessities began selling out globally because of people stocking up. Me and my family began talking about it more, my colleagues talked about it. It was the main topic for small talk wherever you go.

Fast forward to 19 March a week before South African borders closed(we didn’tknow at that point). I woke up and saw a message from my parents telling me which ticket to buy to fly out of Australia on 20 March. Imagine waking up feeling fresh, picking up your phone and realizing that your whole year’s plans are down the drain and you have less than 24 hours to pack your bags and be on your flight.

A week before this day I began checking the news hourly for updates on closing borders and flight ticket prices. At first any flight ticket was shockingly cheap and everyone was excited but in a matter of days that ended. I ended up paying tripple the amount that I initially paid to come to Australia. That was by far the most Bizarre situation I have ever been. From the day before my flight until after my 14 hour flight and upto ths day, I still can’t believe how quickly things escalated to me having to rush home.

I feel extrmely blessed and grateful to be home. A week after I arrived The president of SA announced a national lockdown of 21 days(later it was extended) and that the borders are closing. I am glad to be spending these months of a global pandemic safe at home with my family.

I contemplated staying in Australia for a longer period and to see what happens. My visa would probably have been extended and I would be with what I call “my Australian family” for a couple of months.

I think I’ve made the right decision to come home. A lot of people are speculating that international borders and traveling will only start until minimum a year from today( 11 May 2020) . Being away from my family for that long would’ve broken my heart in these uncertain times.

How I’ve been affected

I feel like I have done good with a bad situation. I’m currently at home, Sourh Africa is now in stage 4 of lockdown after 35 days of stage 5. I’ve started courses, read a whole bunch of books, created some new daily habits( meditation, journaling, reading, yoga along with a couple of others). I’ve had days where I feel really negative thoughts about our current situation where I want to do nothing all day( which is easy to do now that nobody needs or can go anywhere). But there has also been days where I’ve amazed myself by how much I’m learning and accomplishing in a matter of hours.

I’ve been blessed by having and at home gym with enough equipment to continue normally( I know this isn’t the case for everyone and that I’m lucky to have this)

I think that I’ve adapted to these restricting times really fast. I am starting to be more greatful and see the positives. We get to have a family movie night every night. We are spending more time together as a family than ever before. Braai-ing isn’t limited to only weekends and we all get to relax.

During the lockdown I’ve been on shopping duty. I go to the shops alone 1x a week with a grocery list. Mask attached, 2m away from anybody, constant sanitiser use from myself and from store emplyees before I go in. I can’t believe it almost feels normal to me to wait in a line outside the store for someone to exit and another peron to enter( to limit the amount of people in the store). I can’t believe its becoming a habit to put your mask on before stepping outside of the car.

Things that changed in the world

In the beginning of the pandemic hand sanitiser sales where out of control. There were signs next to the sanitisers stating the maximum number of products one customer can buy.

Signs began poping up everywhere giving tips on how to wash your hands. Like sing the happy birthday song a couple of times.

People began stocking up while I was in Australia, Grocery stores began opening earlier for the elderly because they are vulnerable and people started becoming aggresive with panic.

More and more people started walking with face masks(Its compulsory now) which initially everyone thought was ridiculous.

Any conversation you join would be about covid 19.

News everynight was mosly about the virus.

When I arrived in SA I had to stay far from my family.

I went to the hospital with my face mask(because I was in 2 international airports and wasn’t sure if i was infected) to get tested. People were scared to walk near me. ( the tests came back negative fyi, but better safe than sorry i guess).

You couldn’t buy “non-essential” items like clothes, decor, electronics etc.

During lockdown no online shops could ship their items until after lockdown.

South – african meme accounts are booming with funny covid 19 related content.

When you went to grocery stores you had to stand on marks or stickers on the ground 2 m away from the person in front and behind you.

When lockdown started you could only go to hospitals for emergency and to the grocery stores for your food. No de tours were allowed. When 2 people are in the car together 1 person must sit at the back far from the driver.

The souh african goverment began recruiting soldiers to scout streets for people taking de tours or roaming the streets illegally.

Working from home tips and how to’s are everywhere. People globally are starting to realize that they could work from home and be productive. Will this change what most jobs intail in the future?

Fitness influencers are posting all their at home body weight workouts and tips. At home guys are starting to be a big deal.

My mental health and dealing with uncertain times

After 2 weeks of arriving in SA I hit a low time. I was negative, unsure and burnt out by all the high expectations I had of myself and what I would accomplish in this year. It took a couple of days to recover from this burnt out unmotivated feeling.

Things that helped me get throught that rough patch was: Meditation( I use the pp called insight timer). Journaling( I use an app called Divethru that gives you specific themes and questions to focus on depending on your goal). Yoga( yoga with adrienne on youtube is amazing). A morning routine( I read the book Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod and it shifted my everyday mood and productivity when I started implementing it. Game changing!) Reading( anything from fiction to Factual studies). Netflix( I started watching classic movies like the breakfast club, i don’t want to be uncultured you know. Along with documentaries about anything really). Walking( around the house, a million times. And now aeound the neighborhood in the mornings before 9am in stage 4 )

After implementing those small things into everyday I began feeling like myself again. I have set some new goals for me to achieve in the upcoming days,weeks, and months. It difficult to knwo what to plan for in these times.

I began researching what I’m passionate about and decide on a study path for my university. I am leaning towards enrolling as fast as I can.

My gap year was cut short but that doesn’t mean it was a waste of time. I learned so much in a couple of months, about myself, people how certain industries work etc.

As im writing this blog I can say that I am happy where I am. Being stuck at home was the perfect challenge for me to see that I don’t have excuses to not achieve what i want and to not work towards my goal. It also challenged me to learn to actually relax and turn off my mind sometimes. After a few changes and adapting I found what works for me.

What I’ve learned

I’ve learned to accept change. I went from exploring another country for a month and a half to being back home( where I had to isolate and had nothing to do) after a 24h window of deciding, packing and flying.

I’ve learned to adapt. When I accepted the situation I was in I stated to do and learn new things I’ve read almost 20 books since being back home, done a couple of online courses and started figuring out what I want in the furture.

I’ve learned that human beings are so resilient. This is such a bizarre time in the world, something that happens once in a lifetime. Yet we took drastic measures in less than a couple of weeks world wide to stop the virus from spreading. The whole world is stuck at home and trying this new at home way of living to save the world.

I’ve learned that some things are out of your control. If I had stayed in Australia me and my family there would’ve gone on a tropical roadtrip through Australia and I would’ve had the time of my life. But no amount of planning would’ve made it possible now. And I’m okay with that.

I’ve learned to appreciate all the things we took for granted. Like shopping without a suffocating mask, without being scared to go near other people, without having to stand 2m away from everybody and shopping with a family member( which seems really difficult now since a lot of stores has a rule that only 1 person from each family can go inside).

This blog is for me and anybody to look back on in a couple of years or months to remember these times we went through. I encourage you to keep a journal and take pictures of whats happening around us. I’ve realised that I began normalizing this sitiation and this is nothing normal.

I will be updating with more blogs. Thank you for reading my blog. Have a lovely day and stay safe!

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Last week in Australia: Leaving because of the Coronavirus?

This was one hectic week, my had is still spinning.

Monday, 16 March

I woke up ealry to fit in a breakfast and reading session before the start of the day. I went with Mags and Jakob to drop him off at school and I then went to the gym for a morning workout.

After that I got dressed and ready for a couple of hours in the office doing some new accounting tasks. I went back home for lunch where I decided to watch a couple of documentaries(my favourite thing to do in cold weather). I went to the gym for a relaxing yoga hot flow yoga session. When I finished I walked home and watched the sunset as well as talked to my mom for a while. When I got home I talked to my Dad.

We ate dinner and continued with our usual nightly ritualof a tv show. Tonight we watched Married at first sight.

I went to bed checked up on my family and meditated before going to sleep.

Tuesday, 17 March

I woke ip and talked to my dad first thing. He taljed to me and reminded me to use every opportunity to my advantage and to try everything and work hard. Thanks for the morning motivation Pappa!

I then continued to get a coffee, read my book and have breakfast before going with mags and her son again. After dropping Jakob off at school Mags treated me with a 3 pour tea ritual. This was definitely something I will always remember and recommend to anyone. The tea get boiled at 3 different temperatures and with every pour it has a new taste. I also went on a walk that morning before going to the office. I went home for lunch and watched my new guilty pleasure on youtube: secret eaters. Give it a go.

I walked back to the office and listened to the sound of the ocean before doing some work.

That evening I went to the gym and did an abs,butt and thight group workout class. Absolutely brutal. I was covered in sweat from head to toe. With the virus getting worse by the day a part of the class focused on sterilizing all the equipment we used and making sure everything we touched to wiped off.

I booked a bioscore testing for tomorrow morning, it’s a bunch of physical tests to tell you the age of your body based on your lifestyle. I’m actually really excited to find out what my score is.

I walked home after the gym and made sure to walk near the beach while watching the sunset and hearning all the birds in the surrounding trees.

When i got home I skyped my mom,borther and sister, prepared for the night and ate some dinner.

Then I had a dreaded but eye opening conversation with Mags. Whether I shoul go home before all the borders close of stay in Australia when everything shuts down internationally. The virus is so unpredictable as well as how people react to it. I talked to my mom and dad afterwards and no one knows what to do.

I pushed away the stressful thoughts and focused on getting a good nights sleep after meditating.

Wednesday, 18 March

I woke up early, skyped my Mom and Dad and went to the gym for my bioscore testing. After a quistionare, measured and physical tests including TRX rows, the rowing machine, jumping, core work, agility etc. I was totally tired. Who knew the test would be a nice workout. I then went home got dressed for my 9 to 5 had breakfast, read and prepared my lunch.

At work all everybody was talking about was the travel bans and international borders shutting. I took this as a sign to think more about the decision I had to make. I would want to be with my family when the whole world decides to do quarantine.

For lunch I went and found a sunny spot(this was the first day the sun shone in a while) to eat at while I read my book about nutrition. I then went back to work and finished the day. Throughout the day I made sure to check the news frquwntly on more info about the Australian international borders.

I walked home and called my mom and we talked mire about my situation.

When I got home I grabbed my stuff and we all went down to the beach for dinner. It was really cold and windy but still enjoyable with an amazing view. After a while we all went home and everyone finished their dinners. I went to bed before 8 as I was absolutely exhausted.

Thursday, 19 March

I woke up and saw a flight ticket that my parents sent me on our family group chat. The ticket is for tomorrow. My heart started racing, everything happend so fast in this moment. I immediately skyped my dad to ask whats going on. He said that they thought it was the best thing to do. For me to get home safe and be sure of being with my family. I was relieved that a defision was made but I definitely wasn’t prepared for it to be this soon. I was happy to be with my family, but not happy to leave all the people I’ve met here. I talked to Mags for a while and also called the embassy for some advise, they also just said that changes where going to be made soon and advised me to go home as soon as I can.

I had a quick breakfast and then went for a last walk to take everything in for a last time. I’m flying tomorrow at 11am. Its crazy. My mind couldn’t understand the situation I’m in. When I got home I started packing all my things.

After lunch I went to see the beach I went to almost everyday. I had a last swim and layed in the beach for a while.

Later that day I went with Mags to the office. Payed for my ticket and scheduled cancellations for all my things. I walked to the gym to get my Bioscore results. The Trainrt that gave me my results said that she was really amazed with my results and that I should continue with my lifestyle as its working great for me. I then ended my membership and walked back to the office. Mags took me to my 9 to 5 job so that I can inform enveryone on whats going on. I’m going to miss the people there. Everyone was so welcoming and nice the whole time.

When we got home me and Mags went to the beach for a sundowner. We took some bubbles and pastries ( dankie vir die amper surprise Mags! Jys amazing! ) . We had another swim and enjoyed some time in the sun.

This is the most bizarre 24 hours of my life. I woke up and found out I’m flying back to South Africa tomorrow morning. My head is still spinning.

One of the hardest things for me was leaving my Australian family behind. Thank you for everything, you guys made me feel at home and part of the family from the very start. I really made some soul connections with you. I will definitely be back!

We had dinner and had a last nightly ritual. Jakob also gave me some presents which made my night so much better.

I went to bed after double checking if i had everything and making a list of everything I had to do tomorrow morning.

What a day. I’m absolutely shocked.

Friday, 20 March

We all woke up early because Mags wanted to take me to Bondi beach before the airport. We drove for a couple of hours. It was just before the sunrise when we parked next to Bondi beach . While watching the sun come up over this amazing view I skyped my parents and told them I’ll see them later. I can’t believe I’m going home after only a month and a half. Me mags and Jakob went for some breakfast and I had one amazing açai bowl! We watched the sun come up before walking back to the car. We took a route with an ocean view on our way to the airport in Sydney. I checked in my luggage. And then a hard moment came: greeting my family. My heart ached while saying goodbye and I definitely wished I didn’t have to. But I know I’ll see them again. I love you guys!

I went through security and waited to board at my gate. I was still dumbstruck because of everything that is happening.

I boarded the plane full of South Africans, I already flet like I was home. A 14 hour flight waited for me. A watched a couple of movies, slept a couple of hours had a couple of nice meals and checked the time remaining to SA a lot of times. I can’t wait to see my family. We landed in South Africa and I knew I was home as soon as I saw all the farms and beautiful land below me. I landed, had to fill in a form asking things of me to make sure I don’t have the Coronavirus. I went to grab mu luggage. My heart started racing, I’m so close to my family. I walked quickly and when I reced the arrivak gate I saw my dad and sister and my mom running to me with tears in her eyes.

I couldn’t believe I was with my family again. We jumped in the car and on our way home had the view of one amazing sunset. I talked about everything I experienced on the way home and felt so warm being in the presence of my people again. At home i had dinner and we all sat outside and talked for hours catching up.

Saturday and Sunday

Waking up at 4am and unpacking. Sleeping at 2pm and a Coronavirus testing followed in this weekend. My sleeping schedule was out and I had to self isolate in my room and wear gloves and a mask while roaming in the house. But I was just glad to be home before the borders closed.

How I’m feeling

This was a hard decision to make. I am really sad to have left Australia in such a hurry without proper greetings to everyone and with so much I still wanted to do and explore.

On the other side I’m glad to be home in a time with so much uncertainty and breaking news everyday. This pandemic is really scary and we all need to do our part so stay safe and stop the spread. #stayhome.

I believe I made the right decision to come home .

My plans for the rest of the year:

I have already done and am still doing a lot of online courses. Education is really important to me.

I also plan on starting online university through UniSa.

I don’t think I would be able to travel for the rest of the year. At this point there’s international travel bans and peronally i dont think this would change anytime soon.

While South Africa has its 21 day lockdown I plan on getting my life together, learning more about myself and finding what I want to do with my life.

Thank you so much for reading my blog. I hope this was a source of entertainment for you during this quarantine time.

We will get through this rough time if we stick together.

Thanks to Mags, Anthony, Jakob, Sofia , Lukas and of course Guss for treating me like another addition to the family. My time spent with you will always warm my heart and be remembered. I love you guys!

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What my 5th week in Australia looked like

Another amazing week spent with amazing people and trying new things. I’m getting used to living here and learning new things everyday. I lived every moment of this week.

Monday, 9 March

A cold start to the week. I woke up and read to start my day off. I then went to work with Mags for the day. After that I walked home in the cold weather and decided to watch a documentary. I got ready and went to the local Jungle gym workout. Its like hiit based workouts outside. Today we did glute and ab focused workouts with sprints on the beach. When we finished I walked along the beach and took a mini hike to a point where I could see the sunset. I sat and waited and watched. I love sunsets and sunrises. Every minute it changes into another form or colour. Its totally mesmerizing. I walked home after that. We ate soup for dinner and watched some Tv shows. I skyped my parents and went to bed. A gloomy day ended off on the best way possible.

Tuesday, 10 March

I woke up a bit earlier today. I skyped my parents and got ready for the day. Me and Mags went to the doctor after taking her son to school. She has been feeling sick for a couple of days. The most bizarre thing happend. Because she had flu like symptoms she had to stay outside the building and they did the check up on her outside. When she walked back to me she wore a medical face mask. She didn’t have Coronavirus but while wearing the mask people looked pretty scared. We went to grab some things in a shop and there was signs with the maximum amount of handsanitiser per customer. What a weird time for the world. I feel like where going to make history with this. In a couple of years people are going to study what we went through( my mind is obviously blown). We went home and i walked to the office for a couple of hours of work. I’m learning new things everyday, It really excites me. I then went to the gym for an evening leg day workout and practised my flexibility afterwards. I decided to walk to the beach. I layed down on the sand and just listened and tried to be mindful. This is the most amazing way to end off your day. When I got home I read a little more. I’m reading a book about nutrition and I’m totally fascinated. Jakob, Mags’ son said he had a surprise for me and gave me his stikeez.(Picture below) It’s heartwarming to know that in a couple of weeks he he managed to become a brother to me. Me and the family did our usual ritual. Dinner , Married at first sight, Schitts creek and bed time. I skyped my parents and went to bed after some meditation( i highly recommend this if you struggle to stop thinking while trying to sleep)

Wednesday, 11 March

I woke up to the sound of rain outside. I started my day relaxed and slowly with some coffee breakfast and reading. We went to drop of Jakob after some shopping. The grocery store shelves are starting to become more and more empty. People are starting to stock up on stuff because there are a lot of rumors of a potential lockdown. I walked to my 9 to 5 job and jumped right into work. For my lunch break i went to a cafe, Three doors down and had some banana bread. I went back to work afterward. I’m so fortunate to be working alongside such amazing and kind people. They managed to make me feel so welcome here. After work I walked to the gym and had a Push day workout. I walked home and did a quick shower and got dressed. Me, Mags and her daughter are going to a nice restaurant this evening as a girls night outing. It was one of the nicest places I’ve been to. To quote Mags:” It feels like your at the bahamas”. We sat and watched the sun go down while enjoying our time together. I ate some new foods and tried some new drinks. That was one of my goals for this year. New things every week! Thank you so much Mags for this awesome treat, it’s definitely a night to remember.

Since I’ve arrived in Australia I’ve been attracting pineapples. It’s the weirdest thing but here are some examples.

Thursday, 12 March

I woke up had by coffee and breakfast and read for a while beafore going to the office. Another day full of learning how to do new things. After the day in the office. I got dressed in lighter clothes and went on a 5km walk along the beach. This was so relaxing. I forgot about everything and focused on the sand between my toes, the sun against my skin and the sound of the ocean right beside me. I went back to the office just to be in Mags’ aura and cozy space and read some more. I googled the meaning of a pineapple. Heres what I found.

Pineapples are also considered an expression of “welcome” throughout the South and symbolizes assets we appreciate in our home – friendship, hospitality and warmth.

How crazy is that! I definitely feel welcome here. I feel like I found my family away form home! Me and mags went to the Basin to end of the day with a refreshing swim and sunset. We ate dinner ate home and watched one of our favourite shows: Gogglebox. To end off the night I talked to my parents, meditated and fell asleep.

Friday, 13 March

Friday the 13th! But nobody realized because all the rave is around the Coronavirus recently. I woke up had a coffee and went to the beach to watch the sunrise. Its the first day with nice weather in the morning. I walked past some locals and talked to them. Australia really has some of the nicest people. After watching one of the most beautiful sunrises i went back home to start my day and get ready for my 9 to 5. I had breakfast, read a bit and skyped with my dad. I went to the office and worked for a couple of hours. For lunch I decided to pick a new cafe and went to the Black board cafe. I had a nut cookie, black coffee and read my book about nutrition. I went back and finished all my work. After work I went to the gym for a Pull day and abs workout. I walked home and had a nice evening. We tried to order pizza but it couldn’t get delivered. Reason: Coronavirus. I skyped my parents( Ek mis julle baie vandag!) And went to bed excited to sleep in tomorrow.

Saturday, 14 March

I woke up earlier than expected.( Thanks to a really irritating moth😂). Its stroming outide and freezing. I love this weather, it always feels cozy and like you could just sit and watch movies all day. We had some errands to do and we explored another part of Sydney. When i got home i got dressed and me Mags and Sofia jumped in the car on our way to Warringha Mall. This is the first time I went to intentionally buy something in Australia. The mall was massive and it was interesting to compare it to what we have in South Africa. We went home and had a cozy evening with some really nice fried rice for dinner. The rest of the night was spent together with Pirates of the Caribbean in front of the tv. I talked to my parents before going to bed.

Sunday, 15 March

A uneventful day. Perfect for the end of a busy week. I woke up and got dressed in cozy,warm clothes and spent the morning reading and drinking coffee. We went to go look at granny flats and spent the rest of this cold day meal prepping for the rest of the week. I wrote my blog that evening( shameless plug: go read my other weekly blogs about Australia if you haven’t yet. I committo post each week and love hearing feedback from you!) We watched tv and had dinner. I talked to my Parents and prepared myself for the upcoming week by doing some planning and setting up my goals.

My favourite moments of the week:

  1. Our Girls Night: a boujee experience that i will never forget. Thank you Mags!
  2. Getting to know the people I work with: once again, people in Australia are so nice and welcoming. I loved having some interesting conversations with the people.
  3. Having some mindful moments: sunsets, sunrises or trips to the beach mixed with some meditation. I always make time to free my mind of negative thoughts and just try to focus on the moment.
  4. Contacting my Family. Its nice to know whats going on at home. Whether its through skype, whatsapp of just a call hearing from them makes me feel closer to home.

Thank you so much for reading my blog! I really hope you enjoyed this one. I would love to hear from you. If you have any suggestions please comment down below.

Have a lovely day!

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This marks 1 Month in Australia! Week 4 in my Australian life.

Another memorable week in my gap year! This week marks a month in Australia. I am absolutely shocked that times passes this fast. But I’ll be making sure to enjoy every moment while it lasts. I sure did that this week. It was full of adventures and trying new things! I am still so grateful for getting the opportunity to take a gap year and explore all that I can.

Monday, 2 March

This was a really chilled day for me. I woke up and talked to my dad for a while before going on a long walk through the local shops etc. My mission was to show gratitude today. I bought Mags some flowers to show her how much she means to me. She made this whole experience for me possible and has showed me nothing but love since I’ve arrived in Australia. I then went to the office as that is my main reason for being here: work and life experience. I learned a couple of new things on Xero, the accounting software and later that day did some of my own research. I wanted to end the day on a stress free note as I was feeling a bit anxious and home sick and went for my first hot yoga class. And let me tell you, I’ve never sweat that much in my entire life! But I would love to go again. It’s a different type of challenge than my usual weight training. I then talked to my mom. A popular topic of course is the Corona virus(lol). We talked about the possibilities of me not being able to travel later on if they decide to start closing international borders. Hopefully I would be able to make it home by then. We had a nice dinner and watched Married at first sight Au. My recent guilty pleasure.

Tuesday, 3 March

I woke up at 5 and talked to my family for a while. I got dressed, grabbed me a coffee and went to the beach for a sunrise. As the weather was really bad this week I was a bit dissapointed when I didn’t get a colourful sunrise and was met with dark grey clouds everywhere. I decided to stay for a while and admire my view still. A walk to the beach to start off the day is the best feeling ever. We walked around a bit that morning after taking Mags’ son to school( as we do most mornings). And then I did some work. Went home quickly and then off to the gym for a nice sweaty session. I ended off by practicing my splits again( got to do something to achieve those goals). I got picked up because of the stormy weather. We had a cozy evening enjoying Married at first sight and Shitts Creek.

Wednesday, 4 March

I woke up, talked to my family and then had a morning gym session before my 9 to 5 job. At home I had breakfast and read , packed my lunch before heading out. I had a take away coffee, my favourite thing in cold weather. I arrived at work and jumped right into job-y stuff( I’m not gonna elaborate, I think that would be nice if I wanted you to fall asleep). I decided to explore bit in my lunch break and I then sat and read a book I’m loving recently all about nutrition. I jumped right into work after that. Throughut the day I really try to focus on getting in 3 liters of water and 10k steps. Afte work we went to a nice restaurant for dinner. The rest of the evening was enjoyed at home.

Thursday, 5 March

I woke up and had a cozy coffee and reading hour as I started work later the day. I then went for a walk with my umbrella and went to watch a nice view from a viewing point. I saw a lady planting and gardening in the rain on public grounds. I’m assuming she did it because she wanted to, if that’s the case I’m so impressed and amazed by her. I then went to work . The news today was all about Australia running out of toilet paper. Thank you Corona virus. I can’t wait to tell my kids one day that I lived through these times. Its bizarre. When I greeted Mags at home she gave me a Pineapple teddy. Fun fact: my favourite colour is yellow and we’ve been talking about pineapples for so long. The teddy was so fiiting and I love it. The tag inside also pretty much summed up my gap year . I skyped with my family that afternoon. We watched Goggle box: a first for my but such a fun show. I then talked to my parents one laste time before going to bed. Communication makes missing them a whole lot easier.

Friday, 6 March

I woke up and had a early Gym session again before work. I had breakfast and prepared for the rest of my day after reading a bit. I went to work, for lunch I decided to go to a cool retro coffee shop that was hidden between a bunch of shops. I walked home after my day of working. I arrived at home and we made plans to go to friends of Mags’. It was so nice to sit in a hot tub for a couple of hours and talk about anything under the sun. They also had a dress up party. I walked home and had a nice uneventful rest of my evening. I talked to my Mom and she showed me notes she made when I was a toddler talking about my future self.

Saturday, 7 March

Heads up this was a really fun day! I made plans with my moms university friend, Kaya. I met her that morning at Mona Vale beach and we had a coffee. We went to Manly beach and walked through the markets there while talking about traveling etc. She treated me to some frozen yogurt and I absolutely loved it! We walked around and saw all the sculptural pieces and wonderful views. We jumped into the car again looking for our next adventure. We went to Middle head and took a hike to a awesome restaurant: Burnt Orange. after a lovely lunch we jumped into the car again and continued exploring. We headed to Sydney central where we browsed though the rock markets. Such a lovely vibe! Think chatting people in cafe’s and music accoustic music playing while having a view of the Habor bridge. After an impulsive decision we ended up crossing the bridge, the views! Next stop: The Museum of contemporary art. I wished my mom could see this( She’s a professional artist in South Africa) I knew she would’ve loved being here. To end the day off we ate at a chocolate shop. Yes, it was as nice as it sounds. I had one of those chocolate domes that melts when you pour the chocolate over it.( Yup, like all those videos you’ve seen ). Kaya dropped me off and I don’t think I could ever explain to her how fun this day with her was for me! She also gave me books as a gift and that was really the cherry on the cake for me, so thoughtful! I would remember this until I’m grey one day. I then got my tennis clothes on and played a couple of games with the neighbours before heading home. What a day!

Sunday, 8 March

I woke up and jumped in the car immediately off to my first surfing lessons! This was deffinitely one of my favourite experiences. Thanks Mags for making this possible for me! I got a wet suit on, listened to a couple of things the coach said and went into the water. When it was my turn he showed me which wave I should take and I went for it. AND GOT UP! My first wave was successful. I caught 2 more after that but I was asolutely exhausted by the end. It’s not all fun and games. The waves really smash into you when the can. But I guess thats what make it fun. When I got home I took a nap that turned into a 3 hour resting period. When I woke up Mags treated me to a Manicure and Pedicure, in massaging chairs! I know! Shes an angel! I don’t deserve this! Thank you so much Mags! I love you! Wow, thats a lot of exclamation points. We went home and did my favourite South African thing: BRAAI!

Favourite moments of this week

  1. Being able to show Mags how much she means to me with some flowers, its not a lot but its the thought that counts. I would never be able to repay her for this, but I’ll try my absolute best.
  2. Talking to my family. Things can get really lonely when you’re so far away. Just hearing their voices always cheers me up. It’s my favorite prat of any day.
  3. Kaya! The whole day with you was just so amazing, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
  4. I can surf! Yup, A pro( if I’m allowed to lie).
  5. Playing tennis
  6. Spending time with Mags and her family
  7. Experiencing new things at wok and in general life.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog. I appreciate all the support. If you have any suggestions as to what you want me to write about feel free to leave a comment.

Have a lovely day!

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Life in Australia: Week 3. New Jobs and people, Mardi Gras 2020 and spontaneous adventures!

A week featurning sunrises, rainbow rewards, accounting, work experience, spontaneous adventure, art exhibitions , new people and new places.This was yet another amazing week that I will remember for years to come.

Monday 24 February

I woke up, had a coffee and went to watch the sunrise. I then skyped my family after planning out my day. We went to see two clients ( I’m doing work experience 3 days a week with Mags, Accounting stuff). Later the day I started prepping food for the night. I went to the Jungle gym/ rowing practice. Absolutely brutal of course. As soon as we finished we were rewarded with a rainbow in the sky. I met Mags at the basin and we went for a swim to end of the day while watching the sunset. When we got home she taught me how to make her famous spaghetti and bolognese. We ate salmon and veggies, watched Schitts creek and relaxed. I talked to my family before going to sleep.

Tuesday 25 February

Started the day by walking to the beach and watching the sunrise. We got cold brew afterwards and I went to meet the other accountant I will be working with on Wednesdays and Fridays. She was such a nice person and I can’t wait to start tomorrow. I went to the office afterward and did some courses on Xero (accounting software). I did a quick pull session at the gym and also practiced my splits( one of y recent goals that I’m trying to achieve). At home I skyped my Mom and then had dinner. I went with Mags, Sofia and Jakob( her children) and we went for a quick swim in the ocean as the sun was setting. When I got home I went on a spontaneous adventure with some of the guys I’ve met here. Special mention to Finley, Sid, Lachlan, Sizo and Ben. They took me to “Macca’s” ( thats what mcdonalds is called to all the confused South Africans), a look out and then just drove around when other plans fell through. I watced Schitts creek with the fam and went to sleep after an exciting day.

Wednesday 26 February

Woke up. Sunrise at the beach. Breakfast. Book. And then went off to my first 9 to 5 job. I was surprised with a welcoming morning tea for me. We all talked and the employees got to know me better. The people were so nice and I am really happy to have this opportunity to work alongside them. I went to the gym when I was finished and skyped my mom on the way there. I walked home with a view of the ocean. As soon as I got settled in for the night I walked to my family again, watched netflix, had dinner , meditated and went to bed.

Thursday 27 February

I woke up later today ( sleep is very important to me so I make sure I get 8h+). I talked to my dad first thing in the morning. I went to the gym after breakfast and had a lovely leg day. I did a bit of cardio to cool off and walked home to get ready for work. I was really missing my family this day. It gets hard being away for long especially since I’m so used to spending time with them. I loved working that day because I learned about a lot of new processes and functions that I wasn’t aware of before. I then went for a swim to complete my day. I went to bed a bit earlier after talking to my family.

Friday 28 February

I woke up before the sun to get my gym session in. I then went to my 9 to 5. After that I got picked up and went to Manly beach’s art museum for Lachlan’s( previosly mentioned) art exhibition. When that was finished I went with their group of friends for some Margaritas at El Caminos and we were right on time for a lovely sunset as well. We had dinner at Daniel San , a really interesting place to be. There was a lovely moon for us to admire on our way home. We watched friends for a late night treat and a great end to a great day.

Saturday 29 February

A beachy day: I woke up and we immediately got ready for a couple of hours at the beach. I got to meet some of Mags’ friends and had a wonderful time swimming. I made myself a veggie packed smoothy before heading to the gym for a quick workout. The gym is definitely a way of clearing my mind and just relaxing so I love going. 5 pm we had tennis with a couple of neighbours on their grass court it was a bit rushed because we had to get ready for the Mardi Gras afterwards but still a nice social gathering. We got ready and took the bus into the city. Everybody on the bus had a exciting look on their face and was definitely dressed for the Mardi Gras. We got off and evrywhere you looked was people in colourful outfits. In crowds everybody started walking to Oxford st. We got a nice secluded area where we could watch the floars and dancers without beging squished by a massive crowd, plus we where right by the big screen. Great music, clourful floats, talented dancers, flashing lights , fireworks , excitedness. Thats me trying to descibe this wonderful night. At 10pm things started getting wild and we decided to leave this amazing event. I cant believe I attended Mardi Gras 2020! We ate mcDonalds in the train station before heading home on the bus.

Sunday 1 March

At the beginning of the year I decided that my Sundays should be a relaxing day. I got myself some coffee and started planning out for next week. This really clears my ind as I’m someone that gets super overwhelmed when I dont feel organized. We went to Jakob’s dance concert. All the proceeds will go to what the fires destroyed and to repairing it. We had home made Burgers for dinner, whached Schitts creek, I skyped my family( hulle was besig om te braai, ons tradisie op Sondae by die huis, a very South African thing to do). Ek mis julle! The rest of the night was uneventful but relaxing. What a nice day to end of this busy week.

Another wonderful week in Australia. It just keeps getting better. I absolutely love it here. I feel like I learn or experience something new everyday and I feel so blessed to be able to experience it.

Thank you yet again to my amazing, supportive parents that encouraged me to do this gap year and also made it possible for me.

Thank you so much to Mags and her family for letting me stay with them and also planning wonderful things for me to do.

And last but no least thank you to YOU, for taking the time to read about my life. I love documenting it and your support means the world to me.

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Week 2 in Australia. A WEEK IN MY LIFE

A week of settling in, meeting new people, gaining job experience, sunset dinners, getting my CPR certification, first yin yoga class and volunteering to feed the animals affected by the bush fires. A.K.A a week I’ll be holding near and dear to my heart.

Monday, 17 February 2020

We went to a Catholic church in the morning for a ceremony for my 2nd cousins daughter. afterward it was my first day in the office gaining insight into the accounting and finance field. I went to a Jungle gym workout session that all the local rowers go to. I usually would never set myself up to do HIIT or cardio training. This was all of it in one and super intense and fast paced. This was definitely a challenge for me and I can’t wait to do it again. I took a walk on the beach right after and I can’t even explain how good my post workout high was. at home I jumped into the swimming pool and for the rest of the night we just ate dinner and watched my favorite show Schitts Creek. I also received a drawing form Mags’s son. It was a Christmas tree with presents underneath. Anyone that knows e knows I’m crazy about Christmas and start celebrating it on the 1st of November. It was so crazy that he gave me this drawing not even knowing how I feel about Xmas.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Woke up at 5 am, read Atomic habits written by James Clear( a must read in my eyes), I skyped my Parents and the walked down to the beach to go watch the sunrise( I’m very intentional with this and made it a goals at the beginning of the year to watch a sunrise or sunset everyday). I went to work again and I’m so excited to learn new things. I went home a couple of hours later and took a nap. I was still struggling with Jet lag a lot this week and felt exhausted most of the time. When I woke up I got dressed and walked to the gym for a refreshing session. I took a walk back and walked to the beach of course. We had the most delicious Greek lamb for dinner and ended the night of with some Netflix( this quickly became a ritual). I fell asleep with a storm outside in my ears.

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Woke up super early because me and Mags( my 2nd Cousin) are going to Wollongong’s uni for the Xero roadshow( accounting software) . First thing: Skype my family. I watched the sunrise form the car and we were lucky to have a wonderful view. When we arrived we had breakfast and the roadshow started. The food was amazing and having more insight into the software was interesting. We drove home with a view of the ocean for a while, I don’t think I will ever get used to this. For dinner we went to the beach to end of our day with a refreshing swim and food while watching the sunset( It looked like one of those ancient paintings with vivid pink and peach colors). We watched Schitts Creek to end off an amazing day.

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Woke up and my mission for the day was to get Certified in CPR. I learned a lot of useful information, met new people and got to do the typical CPR testing on those dummies you all know. I traveled back home on a public bus alone for the first time( sounds minor to most but in South Africa that isn’t our way of getting from place to place and this was definitely the first time I could’ve experienced it). The rest of the day was relaxing and I definitely felt drained so I gave myself a break and just talked to my parents and family the rest of the day and we ended it off with our usual ritual.

Friday, 21 February

Woke up and went t a Yin Yoga class after breakfast. I’m not lying when I say that This was the most relaxing thing I’ve done in my entire life, I swear I’m going to get addicted. I went home and packed my bag because we’re going away this weekend to the Robertson area. We went on a road trip for a couple of hours and I met the close fiends of Mags we’re staying with at The Farm Beach. We sat and picnicked while the others were surfing. We went to our guest house to unpack and spent the rest of the evening with the friends. We prepared the food that we’ll be giving to the animals in a close area that was badly affected by the bush fires and still have no food and shelter. It made me so happy to know we’re contributing to something bigger than us.

Saturday, 22 February

Woke up, ate breakfast and got in the car to achieve our main goal of the day: feed the animals . We had an hours drive to where the feeding stations was. It was heartbreaking to see all the houses and nature that was destroyed. We had 9 feeding stations where we layed out the fruits and veggies, made paths with pellets for the animals and put up the watering systems for the kangaroos etc. between trees that were pitch black from the fire and not greenery except for the regrowth( which was amazing to see) This was such a liberating experience and doing something good for something other than yourself really makes you feel warm. When we finished we went to a farmers market and had lunch at Burrawang Pub. the best views for a lunch I swear. We went home got our swimsuits and jumoed right ack into the car on our way to Carrington falls to swim in the waterfall. We jumped into the freezing water without a second thought and swam and dnaced in the waterfall. Yet again such a refreshing experience. At home we all took a warm shower and sat by the fire while having dinner the rest of the night. Such a wholesome day. This is definitely a day I will be sharing with everyone for the rest of my life.

Sunday, 23 February 2020

The end of our get away weekend has come. We ate breakfast and got on the road back home. We arrived, I got dressed for gym. Before the gym we made a quick stop at the local farmers market got some fruits and veggies and went straight for a nice exercise. We had Fuh(soup) for dinner. it was my first time eating it and it is definitely something to try. The rest of the day was chill and we ended with our ritual.

This week was full of new experiences, people and events. I am learning something new everyday and excited for what’s to come.

I end up pincing myself everyday to make sure im not in a dream. Im so thankful to my parenst, mags and her family that is making this whole experience possible for me.
I dont know how i will ever be able to repay them for how much they mean to me. I love you guys so much!

Thank you so much for reading my blog, it means the world. I want to document my new experiences and love sharing them. Thanks for ypur support!

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My first week in Australia

My first week, meeting new people, overcoming jet lag, new environments, trying new foods and all the experiences.

My first week in Australia was really exciting. It only made me more excited for the rest of the 3 months that I’ll be here.

Let’s start from the beginning.

On Sunday 9 Feb 2020 greeted my family with tears flowing and a sore but excited heart. This is the beginning of my independence. I flew from O.R Tambo to Dubai. On my flight I met a guy that was n student teacher in my preschool, we knew each other from a distance so we had time to get to know each other better. We talked a lot on the flight and grabbed a coffee as soon as we landed. A magical moment: I fell asleep on the plane and started to get cold but wasn’t able to wake up and get myself a blanket, he notuced and put a blanket iver me without wanting anything in return. Its so lovely to know that there are (half) strangers out there that would do such nice things for the people around them. As this is my first solo travel he felt like a reassuring person/ sign and helped me get through the airport and took me to my next gate. We parted ways and I talked to my family quickly before boarding my next flight( 14 hours fyi)

I slept most of the time on the flight. I landed in Australia 7pm. I got my bags at baggage claim and immediately skyped my mom and dad. I walked to the gate end and met Magdaleen Kelly(my mom’s cousin) one of the most loving souls I’ve met thus far, where I will be staying with her and her family for the next 3 months.

Why I’m in Australia?

It’s my first stop in my gap year. I’m here for some working experience in the accounting field and will be working with Mags(Magdaleen) and other accountants. Im doing this because my plan for university was to go into accounting and I want to be 100% sure before committing. And I obviously want that touristy part so that I can explore and experience.

Mags and her youngest son welcomed me and I knew that that moment was the start of a new chapter in my life.

I unpacked everything, talked to my family, ate dinner and got to know the Kellys a bit more.

I woke up Tuesday, 11 February, and could finally see everything in day light. I still couldn’t believe that I’m finally in the place ive been planning on going for the last couple of months. I’m so excited and can’t wait to do and experience everything and anything. Mags took me to the beach and I came in contact with the locals for the first time. The culture here is totally opposite from where I come from. People where everywhere on the beach surfing, walking, rowing, chatting and drink coffee at a coffee shop right on the beach and all of this at 11am on a Tuesday. I couldn’t understand how they could have jobs but be on the beach ar this time of day. After a couple of conversations I found out that they schedule their meetings, work hours, lunch breaks etc. so that they could do what excites them the most. Its absolutely wonderful to see people living the lives that makes them the most happy.

On Wednesday the 11th I woke up 4am( jet lag messed up my sleep schedule pretty badly) and after I Skyped my parents I went to go watch the sunris eon this foggy day. I also went on a short hike back home. I walked with mags to take her youngest to his school. It was such a wholesome experience to see the goodbye-ritual they do everymorning. Later I walked to the gym I was recommended and went to get a membership. Priorities ya know. That evening all of us went out and ate at a cozy restaurant. I already feel at home with this family and couldn’t have asked for people to make me feel more at home. We ate ice cream for dessert and watched Schitts creek (a series me and my famiky watched together each night) which was the start of a new tradition for us.

Thursday 12 Feb: i slept until 12pm( yup, jet lag was here to stay for longer than i thought)my eyes felt droopy for hours on end. I went to the gym and felt so rejuvenated afterwards. I can’t wait to be back in my routine. I took the long way home and walked to the beach. In my hometown we are really far away from any sea side so I’m super excited to stay like 200m from the beach. I took that hike again and went home feeling great! Of course after dinner I skyped my parents and we watched schitts creek and it made me feel close to my family even though I’m 1000’s of kilometers away.

Friday: 14 February, Valentine’s day! I woke up walked with mags to drop of her son. And we went to the local farmers market where you can literally buy anything you can think of. At home I received a poem my mom wrote for me and it had me in tears instantly. I went to the gym and felt like a new person again( at this point jet lag was still super prominent). Me and mags went to pick up her son and spontaneously decided to go eat gelato in a bequtiful area a couple of minutes away. We ended up driving past all the nearest beaches to give me a general idea of where we are. At home I booked a CPR certification for next week. That has been on my bucket list for the longest time. I just want to be sure I would know how to save someone in case of emergency. We also spent the evening conversing with people that also live in the area. Its always nice to meet new exciting people.

Saturday, 15 Feb. One of my favourite days.I woke up and talked to my family. We had a beach day. We went down swam for a bit and enjoyed the sun. Afterwards I got ready and went to the gym and took a walk along the beach. When i got home I got ready for tennis. Thats right a bunch of neighbors in the area come together every Saturday and just play tennis and catch up. I met new interesting people and played tennis until the sun went down. This was the first time that I’ve played tennis on a grass court and I love it! This feels like a dream. Everybody is so nice, social and interesting. I feel like I always learn something from new people. We watched Schitts creek and afterwards I talked to my family before I went to bed.

16 Feb, Sunday: Exploring Sydney. Me mags and her 3 children went by car, bus and then a ferry to make our way to the Sydney Harbor bridge and also the Opera house. Thia was such an amazing time and I felt like an excited tourist. I ate oysters for the first time at a newrby restaurant and wasn’t totally repulsed. We walked around in a couple of shops and then took the B-line bus back home. Me and the youngest watched a movie together. I told him about our sunday tradition back home and how me and my household always braai and watch movies on sundays. With that story I convinced mags to make braai broodjies( lekker!) and it felt like home. After dinner me and Mags went down to the beach and ended the day off with a swim. She showed me all the stardish families and we watched the sunset before waliing back home. What an amazing way to end off the week.

This was the first week of my gap year in action. I can’t help but feel so blessed to have this opportunity. I’ve met so many people and had so many meaningful conversations with new people. It makes my heart feel warm. So far Australia is truly amazing and I haven’t even experienced half of it.

I’m so thankful to Mags and her family for treating me like a member of their household. This feels like my home away from home. And I feel like I belong.

Of course there’s been tears and sadness. Its never eady to leave people behind. But I try to focus on being in the moment and staying in contact. I skype my family 2 times a day and sometimes more. I miss being around them but I know that I’m here learn and work.

Next week is the start of me working here and gaining perspective of the fields I’m interested in. I’m trying to experience or do something new every day.

I can’t wait to see what the rest of my stay here has for me.

Thank you so much for taking the time and reading my blog. I truly appreciate it and can’t explain how happy it makes me to know people are interested in what I’m doing. Have a great rest of your day❤

goals, lifestyle, planning, resolutions

My goals for 2020

One of my favorite things to do is to listen to or read about peoples goals.

With it being a new year(and decade) most people set themselves some goals to achieve in the next couple of months. It really motives me to also set goals and try to better myself in some way everyday.

I want to share some goals that I’ve set for this year and reasoning behind it. I’m also going to do a January review on what I’ve achieved thus far.

What I’m going to discuss:

  • My goals for 2020 (16)
  • Habits I want to adapt
  • Skills I want to learn
  • My January review

My goals for 2020:

  1. Read at least one book per month.

I know, I know. This is the most common resolution out there. But I recently heard someone say that a book is all of someones knowledge(gathered over years and years with tons of research and effort) put into the form of a book for you to read in a couple of days. Why wouldn’t you want to learn everything a expert knows in his field much quicker than they did?

2. Try to watch a sunset or sunrise everyday.

Sunsets and sunrises are the most magical time of the day. Its a time where you see the world begin to settle down or wake up. Plus they look pretty amazing and I think its important to realize that its a gift from nature.

3. Be able to do 10 body weight pull ups.

I mean no explanation. I just want to gain strength and challenge myself (and feel like a badass)

4. Run 2 km as fast as I can.

I saw that running 2 km was part of a U.S. navy fitness test and I want to challenge myself.

5. Do 50 push ups.

Also part of the fitness test.

6. Invest in educational courses.

I never want to stop learning. The world is full of information and opportunities and I don’t want to waste time not gaining some wisdom. “You can never be over educated”

7. Better my photography skills.

I want to document my life in more creative and quality ways.

8. Take care of my skin.

I want to be that aunt/ grandma /stranger that still looks youthful in their older age.

9. Become more flexible.

According to the Human Performance Resource Center, which is affiliated with a health-sciences university, if your joints are tight, that might affect your form when exercising. As a result, you could be more likely to get hurt.

10. Limit my plastic and paper use (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)

Helps sustain the environment for future generations.

11. Do volunteer work.

I can’t think of anything that will make me feel more fulfilled other than helping others.

12.Learn a new language.

Benefits: better decision making skills, improved memory, increased attention span, improved ability to multitask, increased perceptual sensitivity, better cognitive abilities, delayed onset of dementia. The list goes on.

13. Have Sunday as my rest/planning day.

I want a day for my body and mind to relax and prepare for the upcoming week.

14. Try to write with my left hand(i’m right dominant and thought this could be a nice challenge).

Using your opposite hand will strengthen neural connections in your brain, and even grow new ones. It’s similar to how physical exercise improves your body’s functioning and grows muscles. via https://www.goodfinancialcents.com/benefits-of-using-your-opposite-hand-grow-brain-cells-while-brushing-your-teeth/ialcents.com

15. Become qualified to do CPR.

Only reason is that I want to be able to save someone’s life if there’s an emergency.

16. Go for drumming lessons.

I’ve been dreaming of playing drums since I was a little girl and I want to start practicing this year.

My daily habits:

  1. Try to have 45 min of exercise everyday.
  2. Listen to a podcast while I exercise.
  3. Hydrate before I caffeinate.
  4. Drink 3 liters of water everyday.
  5. 10 000 steps everyday.
  6. Be more mindful and in the moment.
  7. Read .
  8. Choose a skill to work on everyday.
  9. Practice my flexibility.
  10. Family time: Talk to or call family
  11. Plan my finances
  12. Journal about my day and thoughts before I sleep.
  13. Plan the next day the night before.
  14. NB: plan for one new,strange, challenging of exciting experience each week.

Skills I want to learn

  1. Learn a new language.
  2. Learn how to surf.
  3. Improve my cooking skills
  4. Blog (yup I’m doing it).
  5. Learn about investing.
  6. CPR
  7. Play the drums
  8. Do a lot of accredited courses and learn about all aspects of life.

My January Review

I would say that January was a successful month. I definitely made progress on most of my goals. I’ve put action plans in place for the rest of the months on what goals I will focus on or practice.

My habits are coming along. There’s a couple that I’m still struggling with but I go over the list of habits often and try to be as committed to them as I can.

I know that I won’t be able to master all of my goals or goal habits in this year. But that’s the thing: they are goals, I put them there to motivate me to achieve them. and if I only achieve them in a couple of years that’s still okay! As long as I know I want to better myself and learn I know my year will be a success.

What are your goals for this year? How did you progress with them in January?
Don’t give up! See what happens if you stick to your goals this year.

Thank you so much for reading my blog and about my life. I hope to better my blogging skills as well so just bear with me. Have a nice day 🙂

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Why I’m taking a gap year

The most dangerous risk of all- the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.

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The beginning of my journey

The day I decided to make 2020 my gap year: it was a Saturday and I was between study sessions for my prelim exams. I went to my mom beacause I wanted to express how tired, stressed and frustrated I was.

Before that day I talked alot to my parents about these feelings. The sentence I repeated over and over was ,”I dont want to graduate high school, go to university, get a job, get married and have children and then when I’m 70 realize that I didnt do anything extraordinary with my life”. How could anyone think this when they’re given this amazing gift to live?

I’m usually the positive person in any group. The one that encourages others to look past the problem and see the potential. My positive side is also mixed with my type A personality. While I we were busy with prelims I obviously studied hard. When I got home or woke up I basically sat in my room and studied until the sun went down (sometimes I watched the occasional tv show when I had a break). And often with my study breaks I felt guilty throughout the whole resting time because “I wasn’t busy studying”.

No one was pushing me to do this, I am fortunate to have parents that give us freedom to decide almost everything for ourselves. So if I don’t want to study for a test its my choice, if i want to have a distinction its also my choice.

So back to the day i decided to take a gap year. I went to my mom and told her jokingly that I would love to take a gap year. And that I don’t know how I will be able to go back to studying again after a short matric vacation. Even though I was that person a couple of months previous to this that couldn’t understand why anyone would waste their time on taking a gap year. She said something along the lines of ,” so doen dit dan”.

Its safe to say that I burned myself out. I felt like all you have to do your whole life is work. High school, university then your job. I realize now how this was out of the ordinary for me to think like this, I also realize how worn out I was.

In that moment (as cliche as it sounds) it felt like a weight was lifted of my shoulders. So we began thinking of all our family members around the world that I could go visit. Once we had a list we bagan contacting them.

My dad loved the idea and I’m truly blessed that he can make these visits possible for me. He told me that I should make the most of this year. Because later in my life a year off isn’t going to be this easy. He encouraged me to talk to everyone I met and to try to learn something from each person.

I’m excited for this journey. My first stop is Australia. Because I think I want to become a chartered accountant one day (but I still have a little doubt) I’m going to work as an intern at an accounting company. By doing this I’ll be able to see if this is truly the career I want to have.

I want to end my first blog by saying that this is my way to document my journey for myself and for anyone that wants to follow along. I am so grateful for this opportunity and still can’t believe this is happening. I’m flying to Sydney at the beginning of February 2020.