Looking back on 2017

Wow 2017, you have come and gone in a New York Minute. How did that happen? I didn’t even get a chance to get one blog post out in 2017. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, however, getting back to blogging is something I am hoping to do in 2018.

I may not have done any blogging, but that doesn’t mean I was lazing about on my couch all year. I was fortunate to have quite a few amazing adventures last year, and even added 6 new country stamps to my passport.

A couple of years ago, I did a blog post about where I traveled each month. I thought it was a fun way to look back remember the past year, so I have decided to do the same for 2017. Here we go:

January 2017
My first work trip of the year was to Dubai, UAE. As I had never been before, I was quite excited for this visit. I did manage to sneak in a bit of sight-seeing after my work meetings. I visited the souks in old town Dubai, took an Abra (boat) ride (in the rain), saw the famous fountains at Dubai Mall, went to the top of Burj Khalifa and made a quick stop at Jumeirah Beach to photograph the Burj al Arab from the outside.

Dubai seemed a bit over-the-top to me (ok, way over) but I am glad I saw it. It is a very safe and squeaky clean place (I even saw a guy polishing the door knobs at my hotel) but seems to be lacking in more “traditional” Arab culture.

Burj KhalifaDubai, looking down from Burj Khalifa

Spice SoukThe colorful Spice Souk

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Globetrotting: Nice to Zanzibar to Kruger National Park

The past 6 weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind of travel for me so I thought I would do a quick update to let you know I am still around and looking forward to sharing my recent adventures with you soon.

The beginning of November had me back in Nice, France for a work trip. Incidentally I left for this trip exactly one year and one day from the date we moved to Joburg. It felt a bit strange to be back in Nice (or more precisely Sophia Antipolis where our offices are located) and I really feel Joburg is home to me now. It was a hectic week of conferences but a great experience to meet fellow¬†colleagues from all over the globe. We didn’t have much free time at all and I didn’t even get a chance to see old friends but we did manage a few hours for a nice Sunday afternoon around Antibes, much needed after the long, hellish flight from South Africa.

Flying into NiceFlying into Nice

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A Long Birthday Weekend in Swaziland Part 2-Mlilwane

In my previous post I wrote about the first part of our trip to Swaziland and our stay at Hlane. Our last 2 nights were spent at a different park, Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary located a little more than an hour from Hlane. In part 1 I mentioned that the original plan was to spend all 3 nights at Mlilwane however when we called to finalize our booking, we were told that the camp was booked out for the first night for a private function. When we arrived at Mlilwane we discovered that this private function was in fact a celebration of 50 years of conservation in Swaziland with the King of Swaziland in attendance to unveil a commemorative statue. I wonder how many people can say they got bumped because of a King and on their birthday no less, haha.

ImpalaImpala grazing in Mlilwane Camp

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A Long Birthday Weekend in Swaziland Part 1-Hlane

It is somewhat of a tradition for my birthday (July 11th if anyone is taking notes) that instead of lavish gifts, we try and celebrate by taking a trip somewhere, long or short, whatever we can manage that year. When we lived in Europe, as my birthday was smack in the middle of summer, this usually meant some time spent on a beach. Greece, the Amalfi Coast, Croatia… just some of the fabulous places I have spent my birthday. This being the very first year I would be spending my birthday in Africa (and in winter now to boot!) I absolutely wanted to keep with our tradition and sneak in a little birthday excursion.

Hlane ReceptionHlane National Park Reception

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A Long Weekend at Malealea Lodge in Lesotho

In my prior post about Lesotho (pronounced Le-SOO-too), I showed you just a preview of this magnificient country and now I want to tell you more about the place where we stayed, Malealea Lodge. The lodge is located in a remote part of western Lesotho and when arriving, you will feel like you have been transported back in time, way back. The people live mostly as they always have here. They grow their own food, raise their own livestock and live in traditional Basotho huts without running water or electricity. These people are do not have much in terms of material possessions however the smiles and greetings you receive from everyone you pass are bountiful.

View from Malealea LodgeView from Malealea Lodge

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