It was a cold November night and I was wandering through Times Square, having just sobbed my eyes out at a spectacular performance of the hit Broadway show Dear Evan Hansen…
I stopped, twirled around in a circle and took in my surroundings. Still feeling emotional after my sobfest and raw in a way I hadn’t been for years , I had a profound realization.
I was home. Home once again and I was impossibly, utterly, deeply in love with New York City.
For the third time.
This trip, my first one to New York shared with someone I loved, your godmom Leonie, was hands down my best. I loved solo travel, and I would soon venture off on another trip by myself, but a shared experience brought with it a sense of happiness, comedic moments of getting lost, frustation at losing each other at busy events, transcendent moments at a magical theatre show unlike any other we’d seen, discovering new places and showing each other our favourite spots.
Sharing New York with someone who adored it as much as I do, possibly even more so, made me love it on a deeper level.
Even if I never returned to the Big Apple in my life (Gods, I hope not! I still wanted to live my best upcoming writer and Brooklyn-living mom life there!), I was content to have loved this beautiful city and be a part of it at least thrice in my life.
It’s actually quite intoxicating. So much so, that when it is time to leave their beautiful city, one really does want to say “Don’t cry for me, Argentina!” :
Be in the pursuit of magic always:
I’ve seen jaw-dropping magic shows in Las Vegas and New York so I was quite keen to see one in South America. As my journey came to an end, time constraints were real and it didn’t seem like I was going to find my taste of magic in Buenos Aires.
During a night out at the Tango Porteno, in the middle of a tango extravaganza, female magician Inga Savitskaya appeared and dazzled us with her Invisible Partner act. Lesson learnt: always be in the pursuit of magic!
Embrace your sensuality:
From shamelessly indulging in dulce de leche, the sweet caramel treat Argentina is famous for , to giving into the erotic tension of a tango show, the Argentians are decadent, hungry and sensual beings.
After watching the intensity of dancers on a lunch time wander through La Bocca, a colourful downtown neighbourhood, I wandered down the cobbled streets of Galerías Pacífico .There, the most handsome, well-built men made a point of stopping what they were doing to openly stare and appreciate the sight of me.
Bearing in mind that I was in work travel mode and didn’t do anything fancy to my appearance, other than tie my hair up in a braid, I was equally flustered and flattered at the same time.
Far from being creepy, these men’s visible appreciation of me made me rediscover my sensuality. I made a promise to myself then that from that moment on I was going to embrace my inner sensual self by wearing sexy underwear and make-up and styling my hair everyday. Not for any guy but for myself – to celebrate the strong, independent, creative, free-spirited, beautiful, sensual, world traveller and woman I was.
To paraphrase your uncle Herman, I was in the prime of my life and I should be out in the world, swinging from the chandeliers ( or at least taking life by the horns!).
Kids, in the autumn of 2017, I was having a very bad week of adulting.
As in epic, end-of-the-world bad… not only did I get swindled out of A LOT of money by Gumtree scammers (the buggers ran off with the mobile phone I was selling after sending me a very real looking bank deposit sms) leaving me super broke, but I was battling a cold that wouldn’t go away and I had a massive fight with someone close to me that there seemed to be no way of coming back from.
Life sucked. Being single sucked.
And just when I started feeling like none of these things would have happened if I had had a boyfriend or a husband, I ran, and beat my personal best in my second Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon run:
I shaved more than 10 minutes off of my previous run and the act alone made me realise two things:
I am capable of doing some epic f***ing shit when I put my mind to it:
Sure, I’d lagged behind in training over the past few months before the the race but in just one year, I’d come so far. I was a runner: I got up early for races, I trained, I wrote about this physically challenging pursuit and I f***ing did it.
Running and the determination to do it well, the dedication to that pursuit had spilled over into other elements of my life.
Hadn’t I just returned from a solo trip to New York where all I’d had was my wits to see me through? Didn’t I just win a major magical career award for my love and dedication to the magical arts? I was more than capable of exceptional feats!
I am stronger than I know:
Yes, some crooks had done me wrong and my first instinct was to look for validation and comfort from someone else.
But, as I had proven over and over before, I was stronger than I gave myself credit for.
These terrible things could have happened to me even if I was in a relationship and all that the other person would have been able to do was dry my tears. It would still have been up to me to fix my shit.
Being single doesn’t mean being helpless. It takes courage to be alone ( but not lonely) and protect yourself, make the tough decisions and stand up for yourself, even if the people who should be supporting you, reject you.
On this insane road of life, there is you and the miles ahead of you. How you get to the end is up to you.
So it’s that time of year again and you find yourself Bridget Jonesing through life, do you stay at home and hide or do you celebrate?
As tempting as it is to stalk your crush’s profile for the umpteenth time…don’t do it for the love of your own sanity. You know that he knows that you’ve been watching. So put down the ice cream and step away from the computer or close the app on your phone. There is only one option for us single gals and that is to throw yourself a Big, Phat Party and celebrate! How? You ask. Here are my Top 10 survival tips for single gals on Valentine’s Day:
1. 50 Shades Darker – oh come on now let’s not be coy you’ve read all 3 books so go grab a group of your nearest and dearest gal pals and go watch the damn movie!
2. How about a good old fashion book club (*wink*wink*)? Discuss the 50 shades book with your girls whilst imbibing copious amounts of bubbly and discussing at great lengths why piercing blue eyed Ian Somerhalder was not cast as Mr Grey.
3. You know those 2 for one happy hour specials? Now you can have BOTH 🙂 Get your Carrie on! Yay you! (please don’t drive if you choose this option)
4. How about a Movie Marathon? Jacob and Edward vs Carrie Bradshaw ? Take your pick…or why not watch both…?
5. You know that ridiculous amount of money you would’ve blown on a romantic weekend away for two? How about that awesome pair of Manolos that you have been eyeing since well before christmas? Go BUY those damn HEELS!
6. Hop on to The Entertainer App and find a great spa deal for you and your BFF…or take the whole gaggle of girls. What could be more fun than being pampered with your friends?
7. Travelstart has some great domestic local flights for only R499 one way, so perhaps you should still take that weekend away for yourself! Enjoy the Dolce far niente….’the sweetness of doing nothing’ on your own weekend Eat, Pray, Love.
8. How about spending some time with your loved ones? Prepare a nice home cooked meal for your family, crack open that bottle you’ve been saving and share some good laughs.
9. Do something you’ve always wanted to do. That chocolate truffle making course? Abseiling off of Table Mountain (not me) ? Learning how to surf (maybe)… cute instructor included 😉 #Justsaying
10. Last but not least, most importantly, is make time for you. Don’t get so swept up in the day’s activities that you forget the greatest love of all is self love. Take time to nurture that with perhaps a quiet stroll on the beach to gather your thoughts. Or pen your thoughts in a journal. Create a Vision board of your goals, dreams and desires of where you see yourself in the next few years. Don’t be so hung up on not having a romantic partner that you lose sight of the most important person in your life……YOU!
There you have it ladies, whether you’re a Carrie or a Bridget wishing you a fantastic Valentine’s Day filled with Love!
I was absolutely mortified for a split second, thinking that I had now further endorsed Americans ‘views on African citizens being uncouth. Then I realised, well f*** it, at least one other person had seen my fabulous ass in the Big Apple, and that’s ok with me.
“Say you’ll share with me one love,one lifetime /Say the word and I will follow you”
Kids,as my solo trip to New York came to an end in early January 2017, I was no where near ready to say goodbye to the Big Apple.
More importantly, I wasn’t ready to take my leave of the person I was there – a confident, free-spirited traveller who wasn’t afraid to take on new and amazing adventures or experiences.
The girl you see in the picture above is radiant with satisifaction; has a lust for life and most importantly, she is happy …
Happy,guys, honest-to-the-gods happy – the black moods that sometimes dominated my Capetonian nights and days;the insecurities that overwhelmed me at home didn’t exist in New York.
And while I know I was living in a bubble because life isn’t all subway rides and walks in Central Park; I wasn’t in a hurry to get back to the Mother City to be the awkward singleton who doesn’t get invited to her godchildren’s birthday parties because her status makes the other guests uncomfortable.
In New York, I grabbed opportunities to be the centre of attention by the balls (including being the fake VIP guest on an NBC Tour show):
In Cape Town, I was so used to being second or last choice, I didn’t even bother volunteering for shit at all.
In New York, I rode the subway often and only got lost a few times -in Cape Town, the train was a last-minute,I’m fucked and I need transport resort:
I fit in New York – for the first time,it felt like I fit my surroundings.In Cape Town, I was always a beat or two behind everyone else -people who had their shit together; people who shared the same sense of humour and the same boring plan for life; people who effoetlessly met their spouses/co-parents/lovers/partners and lived the picket white fence lifestyle. I couldn’t catch-up and I was tired of trying.
I wanted to stay in New York where I belonged,Kids …
But all good things must come to an end and,though I had to leave , I made a promise to myself (and one that would set me on the path to meeting your father and finally having you!) : I’d live every day of 2017 as fearlessly and passionately as if I were in New York!
Kids,in December 2016, I travelled alone to New York City and people,who should have known better,kept asking why?
Them : “Why would you do that? And alone too? That’s crazy!”
Me (thinking it internally but I should have said it out loud): “I’m f***ing off to the other side of the world because I am sick to death of your narrow-mindedness; your gossiping about my sexuality; your assumptions that I must hate men and children because I have neither when it couldn’t be further from the f***ing truth and you don’t know how hard I have to work to keep my desire for having a baby under control; because you assholes talk about me maliciously on Facebook where the world AND I can see it and you don’t even think about my feelings,do you?!!”
Like I said, there were many reasons why I travelled solo to the Big Apple but ultimately only one really mattered …my happiness.
In the space of just one week, New York quickly made me feel at home by:
1) Making me feel like a local:
Sure,I got lost so many times but somehow I always ended up where I was intending on going later,like Central Park, so it worked out!
2) Inspiring me on the daily:
There were so many things to see and do in New York that inspiration was seeping into my pores all of the time.I felt re-energised and motivated for the first time in a long time and I wanted to write again.Not just about one attraction as I had been for the past two years but about a variety of topics!
Staring out at the city line from the Top of the Rock, I knew it was time for a career change.
3) Putting me at ease about difficult choices I’d made previously:
When I left a side project as a theater reviewer in 2015 because my family needed me emotionally, physically and financially to help with my dying grandfather; people didn’t understand and so many of them faded away from my life because I was no longer available to be frivolous and fun at a red carpet opening night three times a week.
It felt like a horrible thing at the time but I do not regret spending 2016 taking care of Pa ,our family or dedicating myself to my magic career that year either…both elements thrived because I was focused and I am eternally thankful for it.
As I took in a number of Broadway shows in December, I realised that things had come full circle and this,this opportunity right here, to see award-winning international shows was meant to be all along.I have always been a theatre lover -I didn’t need to be “famous” to prove it.
4) Seeding a sense of wonder for myself :
Thanks to the mind and emotional f***ery of He Who Must Not Be Named; being dumped by my travel buddy; warring family wanting Pa’s estate and all of the malicious gossipers; my sense of self-worth was f***ed royally.
Having my wits and determination to depend on to guide me and keep myself safe in the Big Apple rebirthed my self-belief.
I felt imbued with new-found confidence in the Wonder Woman I know I can be. I worked hard to get to New York again and I could do that and so much more if I just tried.
F*** the haters in my world, I am f***ing AWESOME!!
I loved New York,where I was free to be me SO much, I didn’t want to go home …
“Good Morning, Sleeping Beauty! Was that as good for you as it was for me?” he asked, with a smirk.
Kids, this was the line I woke up to on a plane in Istanbul in November 2010, from the gorgeous guy whose personal space I had totally invaded during the long haul flight from Johannesburg.
To say I was mortified is an understatement!
Not only had I acquired a seat mate I had NO recollection of meeting, but apparently I’d been drooling all night on his very hunky shoulder. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he was now staring into my flight seat bed head and wrinkled face… NOOOO!!!!
Definitely zero chance of me joining the mile high club then! Oh, just stop it with your “TMI, MOM!” nonsense!
As I prepared to jet off for my fourth international trip in 2016, I couldn’t help reflecting back on my guy on the plane and giggle. So many embarrassing but fun things happen when you have the courage to travel solo 😉
Kids, at times when the search for your father seemed to come to a complete stand still, it was good to get out of Cape Town and have some fun (and go where there was sure to be hot, single men …we hoped!). Luckily for your god mom Marisa and I, we were invited to the ultra-cool, must-do Darling Summer Beer Festival on Saturday 3 December, 2016.
Co-hosted by the local brewery Darling Brew and Darling Tourism , this fun day out in the gorgeous dorpie (little town) featured stalls by local cider, beer and foodie producers (Riot Brewery, Savage Brewery, Flagship Brewery, Mountain Brewing Company and Everson’s Cider& Decider) and live music from up and coming bands like Red Tape Riot, Jimm Harisson Project & Stone Jets.
I lost my foodie heart to the Flying Pig, who conjured up such a magical Cuban sandwich, I kept dreaming about it for days after the event.
Our eclectic mix of Igers was transported to the Festival in a super rad Nomad Tours truck and let me tell you, it’s a driving experience unlike any other I have ever had.
I’ll readily admit that I wasn’t much of a craft beer drinker before the Festival ( the last time I had chugged down some ale was when I was trying to impress Monroe on a night out …and we all know how well that turned out –NOT!) but I thoroughly enjoyed the Gypsy Mask and the Midnight Hawk brews.
One of the stalls at the market made a mean beer-infused ice cream that was easily my favourite item of the day!
These are some of our tasty memories of the Festival:
Kids, I am exceptionally good at flirting with anything that moves when it comes to getting something I really, really want – like chocolate, another helping of dessert and a discount on my travel bookings.
When it comes to chatting up the opposite sex, though, I have no game. As in nada, zero, NOTHING!
It was a hot, gorgeous day at the mountain and I was waiting for my 12pm appointment. I figured it would be a routine tour of my company’s operations and I would be done with it but man, alive, was I in for a nice, good-looking surprise!
The minute I laid eyes on Wes in the reception area my tummy did a funny somersault and I started having all kinds of inappropriate fantasies.
Blonde, blue-eyed with a slight Goth vibe and extremely cute dimples, Wes was my type to a damn T and I hadn’t had that kind of reaction to a guy in a LONG time.
I got so flustered by how hot Wes was, I managed to walk into a door, knock into an open gate, drop my phone and blush so profusely, I looked like a dragon had scorched me – all in the space of 10 minutes.
Earth, swallow me whole!
The fact that he seemed to be bemused by my blunderings did not alleviate my embarrassment. I finally let the poor guy off the hook by leading him to a cable car and agreeing to catch-up on email before our next visit, where I would hopefully be much more composed.