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The 5 Month Vacation my Suitcase Took

 The 5 Month Vacation my Suitcase Took

June 2007

I bought my first suit at Macy’s. It cost about $500. I also bought my first blazer, $300. They were really nice, and I looked really good in them, if I do say so myself.

September 2007 – JNB

I took said suit and blazer with me on the 2nd of 3 trips to South Africa I was taking that year. On the return trip home, I packed the suit and blazer, dress shoes, assorted shirts, client gift (a fleece jacket), assorted African masks and Amarula into the suitcase and said farewell to them. Last seen: Johannesburg International Airport.

Spotting Victoria Falls by Helicopter: What’s it Like?

 Spotting Victoria Falls by Helicopter: Whats it Like?

I’ve always wanted to fly in a helicopter. It’s been on my adventure list for a long time. But to shell out $130 for 15-minutes of airtime… well it better be for something spectacular. Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, has dozens of lookout points that offer breathtaking views. But to truly complete your experience, you need to see it from above.

A Full-Feathered Photo of a Peacock

 A Full Feathered Photo of a Peacock

I was staying at the Cedar Lodge in Krugersdorp in South Africa for 3 months. It’s a delightful bed and breakfast and was the perfect home away from home. The Cedar Lodge happens to have a giant aviary and peacocks roaming the property. Every once in a while, the peacocks would fan their feathers. Of course, I never had my camera… until this day.

It’s so rare to see a peacock with full feathers. It’s even rarer to have so many of the feathers in near-perfect condition. Many times they are missing a feather or two. Nonetheless, I thought I would share this moment with you.

8 Photography Tips on a Game Drive

 8 Photography Tips on a Game Drive

If you could only visit one country in the world, South Africa should be it, for a lot of reasons. But chief among them, is the opportunity to encounter wild animals. Take one look at my Lion Encounter at Pilanesberg National Park and you’ll see why. A trip to South Africa is not complete without a visit to a game reserve (golf cart safaris don’t count). Of course, you’ll want to document your experience with pictures, so here are 8 tips for taking envy-worthy photographs for your next game drive.

Sign Spotting: No Smoking by Skeletons

 Sign Spotting: No Smoking by Skeletons

I found this sign in South Africa in the same place where tampons weren’t allowed. Translated literally, this sign reads in Afrikaans, “Smoking Smokers Have Your Lungs Cooked”. We all know that literal translations never work. Our cultures use so many idiomatic expression that you just can’t translate like that.

Which is why, I think the sign reads, “Skeletons are not allowed to smoke”.

Has South Africa taken the no-smoking thing too far? Do you think skeletons should be allowed to smoke? Why or why not?  Share by commenting.

I’ll see you out there…!

Eating at Moyo in South Africa

 Eating at Moyo in South Africa

Hey Adventurers,

There’s nothing wrong with being a tourist and doing the touristy attractions. My primary purpose in traveling is to have fun, and there are some awesome, fun things around the world that are on the beaten path. Today’s adventure takes you to one such place near Cape Town, South Africa: Moyo.

Moyo is a restaurant chain located throughout South Africa. It combines traditional, African cuisine with African entertainment. After wine tasting at Spier, we decided to dine at Moyo’s location in Stellenbosch. Take a look in this YouTube video.

8 Months Waiting for My South African VAT Refund

 8 Months Waiting for My South African VAT Refund

What is VAT?

VAT is short for Value Added Tax. It’s a tax that’s added onto goods in other countries – in it’s simplest explanation. The United States doesn’t charge VAT, but lots of other countries around the world do? Why does this matter?

Because International Travelers can receive a refund on the VAT they pay when they depart the country. That’s money in your pocket! I like to think of it as a parting gift, a “Thank You for Visiting!”

My Happy Place is… South Africa

 My Happy Place is... South Africa

Last year at this time I was preparing to board a plane to travel to South Africa for 6 weeks of business before the 2010 FIFA World Cup. I’ve been traveling to South Africa every year since 2007. It’s my happy place. And while 2011 is still only an adolescent, I don’t anticipate returning to SA anytime soon. If all works out, I’ll be taking my mom, dad and brother in 2012. Until then, I can only dream.

In the spirit of returning to my happy place, here’s a few of my favorite South African-inspired posts. Check them out and discover why South Africa is my happy place:

Pick ‘n Pay vs. Old Navy

 Pick n Pay vs. Old Navy

South Africa always surprises me. Between having hippos as pets, the thrill of searching for lions, baboons trashing my room, eating bunnies, drinking amarula and the vuvuzela, there’s always something that makes me smile. There’s something to delight you around every corner. It’s like discovering a whole new world.

Such was the case on a trip to the shopping mall. I walked past a store called Pick ‘n Pay… and then I turned around and said, “was that Old Navy I just walked past?”