Sports Massage is not for sissies… it hurts…but it’s a good pain

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Ahhh the word ‘massage’ conjures up vague relaxing expectations such as fluffy gowns, aromatherapic smells, tea lights and pleasant music plucked out on a sitar with the sounds of calming ocean waves – this was NOT that!

Sports massage = let’s find your pain threshold and just keep you right there in the hell zone for a good 45 minutes.
Thereafter you may (*will) be totally wrecked for three to five days where your pain will be downgraded from from f***ing agony to bloody painful as the days pass – just in time for your next session 😫

Sports massage, otherwise known as Deep tissue massage is not a treat or a pampering experience. Not by a long shot – It’s more like a medical procedure that should actually be done at least every other month if you experience moderate stress, excercise or muscle tension. Because it helps the break down the adhesions and scar tissue caused from micro tears of your muscles from either stress or movement. So it’s obvs a good idea to do it. Or so I thought… You lie there on the massage table in nothing but your brookies while the therapist looks you over like a second hand race horse, pointing out all the muscular irregularities that you didn’t even know you had.

But the comforting part is that she was kinda spot on when as she mangled my Traps & Rhomboids announced that she knew I wasn’t taking my magnesium supplements (you caught me oh mistress of pain) because my muscles weren’t adhering properly & that I need to stop wearing flip flops as my tendons or something are shortening (again fully guilty – I don’t think I’ve worn heels in seven years) She was a fountain of knowledge and best of all was that she also follows a holistic approach and tries to avoid unnessary chemicals – old knowledge is the best knowledge. Remember those Epsom salt baths the fossils if your family always expounded the benefits of? Well apparently they were right, who knew.

My therapist (the one that nonchalantly, mid convo, unnervingly voluteered that she was into S&M. But seeing as she was giving Vin Diesel *true story I swear, a massage before me I’ll just ignore that part) says this next session we will get to the fasciatis within the deep muscles and release the adhesions & knots… (*really?! wtf?! weren’t we there already? 😲)

I feel like we are not so slowly working our way up from a unwitting “brutal first timer pummeling” to a “just got out of the bed and stepped on an upturned plug, slipping onto a pile of Lego smashing my gargantuan stressed out body onto a pile of hot glowing coals while Ruby Rose gives me beatdown, kinda situation.

Ah ha but this time it would be by choice with the full knowledge of the torture that lies in wait.

“It’s a good pain Donna” she says as I scream out in agony. And despite the way I’ve been wimpering and wincing around for the past two days now – I think she’s kinda right. Sport massage torture seems to embody the truism of “no pain – no gain” apparently.

So I will go back… and with desperate optimism look forward to all the wondrous therapeutic benefits they say will be coming my way eventually… 🤔

But for right now, Cape Town water restrictions & diet be damned, I’m spending the day in & out of a hot bath – eating comfort food, popping anti inflammatories & binge watching movies and vlogs with my heated beanbag.

Toodleloo loves – go get a professional sports massage – I dare you! 😘

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The best YouTube travel blogs

YouTube Travel Videos: 28 Best Vlogging Channels

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<img class="i-amphtml-intrinsic-sizer" src="data:;base64,” />Youtube Travel Videos

Great Travel Video Channels on YouTube

Check out these amazing YouTube travel videos from around the world. YouTube’s best travel channels will inspire you to explore new countries and cultures.

Travel videos are a wonderful diversion during a boring work week. Forget the typical stuff you always find on TV, and tune regularly to watch these funny & inspiring YouTube travel channels!

The following channels (listed in no particular order) are some of my favorites. They are run by individuals for the most part, not big brands. Although there are plenty of cool travel YouTube videos produced by large companies too.

Notably from Lonely PlanetTrip Films, and the Travel Film Archive.

I hope the short travel films you’ll find on these channels will encourage you to start planning your own crazy adventures around the world.

Don’t forget to subscribe for regular updates from these travel vloggers!

Best YouTube Travel Channels (2018)

Expert Vagabond

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YouTube.com/ExpertVagabond

Yeah, that’s me! Before I share my favorite YouTube travel vloggers, I wanted to introduce you to my channel first. Shameless self-promotion.

Do you love epic adventure travel from off the beaten path?

Well you’ll love my channel! I’ve been traveling full-time for the past 7 years — doing things like hitchhiking across the United States, scuba diving around the world, trekking in Afghanistan, photographing northern lights in Iceland, and more.

I want to show you how to travel the world, break out of your comfort zone, and open your mind to new possibilities.

Watch Expert Vagabond on YouTube »


Best Ever Food Review Show

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Sonny is traveling the world searching for crazy and weird foods to try while sharing the experience with others. He loves exposing viewers to new cultures, food and customs — and is great at making it very entertaining. Some of his most popular videos indlude, $662 50 POUND SEAFOOD BOAT CHALLENGE and the PHILIPPINES SCARIEST FOOD!

He also just got his own show on the Travel Channel! Congrats buddy!

Watch Sonny on YouTube »


Fun For Louis

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I was surprised I hadn’t stumbled upon Louis’ youtube travel videos earlier! He publishes DAILY vlog updates about his life as he explore many corners of the world on fun adventures.

One of his recent adventures took him on a 3 month round the world trip, in a four seater plane through 22 countries! He continued to create videos every step of the way to produce an independent feature-length documentary with footage from the flight, and the vision of driving influential change in the world.

Watch Fun For Louis on YouTube »


Sonia’s Travels

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Sonia has one of the most well-produced travel shows on the web. She searches for the “secret code” of a destination, and shares her discoveries with you in these fun & engaging videos from around the world. Her personality shines through in each one.

She uploads fantastic travel tips every other Thursday, from her pro packing advice to the best beaches to visit in Brazil. Sonia is a must-follow if you are dreaming of your next getaway.

Watch Sonia’s Travels on YouTube »


Vagabrothers

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Marko and Alex are a pair of travel addict brothers who film their experiences to share with others. Learning about the world through the people in it. Their personality and humor will have you tuning in on a regular basis.

Some of my favourite videos include How to survive long haul flights and Minimalist DIY Travel Essentials. These guys have an endless supply of travel knowledge.

Watch Vagabrothers on YouTube »


The Planet D

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Dave & Deb have been traveling the world for 8 years, getting into all kinds of crazy adventures. From cycling through Africa to camping in Antarctica, they record it all on video for us to see.

They live by the motto “Adventure is for Everyone” and their travel videos are filled with fun, humour, inspiration and information. Delve into the culture, and meet the people in 100+ countries on all 7 continents.

Watch The Planet D on YouTube »


Fearless & Far

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Another new find for me, Mike is probably putting together some of the best travel videos on YouTube. He’s got a creative eye for video work, and presents topics in a fun & personable way.

He is an extreme adventure travel YouTuber and filmmaker, highlighting the craziest places to go, and the wildest travel experiences out there. To give you a little taste, he has documented Exploding Hammers festivals, frog poison rituals, scuba diving graveyards… to name a few.

Watch Mike Corey on YouTube »


Hopscotch The Globe

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The videos you’ll find on Kristen’s channel help you experience a place through her eyes, and it’s often pretty damn funny. She also publishes interesting how-to videos. Like how women can pee standing up. You know you want to watch…

Kristen & Siya are about to embark on the biggest adventure of them all, as they prepare to welcome baby Hopscotch The Globe to their travel team! Congratulations guys!

Watch Hopscotch The Globe on YouTube »


Travel Yourself

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Cailin puts together entertaining video-diary pieces full of useful tips & information on different popular places & events around the world. She travels by herself, meeting plenty of friendly people along the way.

Once you step into her channel, there is no returning. You will be sucked in by her positive energy and love for new travel experiences. Start here, and prepare to spend the next few hours exploring her content!

Watch Travel Yourself on YouTube »


Tourist 2 Townie

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Gareth shares videos from his experiences living like a local in different countries for a few months at a time, as well as his charity projects. Plus the occasional absolutely hilarious international music video.

He believes in traveling deeper to truly understand foreign communities through the people and culture that define them. My favourite video of his has to be the Samurai Training in Kyoto, Japan.

Watch Tourist 2 Townie on YouTube »


Hey Nadine

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Nadine’s travel-related channel simply records her having fun exploring different parts of the world. Her energy is infectious, and the videos make you feel like you’re traveling with her.

Her travels have recently taken her to India, where she documented her entire experience to give you everything you need to know before you visit this colorful country. From her top tips on Jaipur, to the realities of traveling in Mumbai, her channel is packed with inspiration that will make you want to book a flight right now!

Watch Hey Nadine on YouTube »


Migrationology

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Mark loves to travel, and he loves to eat. But beware, he makes everything look so delicious, so be prepared for hunger to hit you pretty hard!

After graduating from university, he decided to travel for food (why not right?). Along the way, he met his wonderful wife, who now travels the world with him, finding the best food and documenting every delicious bite. The two are now based in Thailand so you can expect to drool over plenty of Thai food videos.

Watch Migrationology on YouTube »


Sam & Audrey TV

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Sam & Audrey are full time travelers who share their adventures in markets, eating street food, visiting temples, and much more. My personal favourites are their supermarket shopping videos from different countries.

They also create travel guides highlighting the best places to visit, local foods worth eating and tips on how you can save money on your trip. Their goal is to inspire you to travel and eat delicious local cuisine wherever you’re visiting – and it’s working! These guys have inspired my travels on many occasions.

Watch Sam & Audrey on YouTube »


Gabriel Traveler

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Gabriel Morris has been wandering around the world for almost three decades, visiting five continents and more than fifty countries. He posts videos regularly chronicling his adventurous travels and provides practical info and tips for travelers.

He recently celebrated 3 decades of travelover on his Youtube channel, where he showcased some of the wonderful photos he has taken along his journey.

Watch Gabriel on YouTube »

Wolters World

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Wolters World Gives Honest 1st Hand Travel Advice to Help Fellow Travelers Get the Most out of Their Travel Experience. He discusses the Best & Worst parts of traveling so that you can be better prepared for your vacation in a way that helps you know more about the culture & people of the city, country, or region you are going to visit.

From The Shocks of Traveling to a new country, to the Do’s & Don’ts of travel, you will love Wolter’s uploads every Wednesday & Saturday.

Watch Wolters World on YouTube »

GRRRLTRAVELER | Christine Kaaloa

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Christine is an American solo traveller, sharing video travel guides, foodie adventures, cultural shock and travel tips on how to travel alone and survive travel, one country at a time. Her video on how to use an Asian squat toilet has already brought in almost 400,000 views!

Many travellers have recommended Christine’s informative videos to me, making her one of my go-to Youtubers for travel advice and inspiration.

Watch Christine Kaaloa on YouTube »

Sailing La Vagabonde

 

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This Australian couple had a dream of circumnavigating the globe by sail boat. Now they have sailed over 50,000nm across many oceans!

Through their videos they hope to inspire others to explore alternative options of living and to spread ocean awareness. They make videos every single Monday, but if you don’t want to wait until then, I recommend starting with this video.

Watch Sailing La Vagabonde on YouTube »

Gone with the Wynns

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Jason and Nikki Wynn are perpetual travelers, Sailors, RV’ers and modern day documentarians. They traded in everyday life to satisfy their wear-out-your-shoes sense of adventure.

Their endless positivity will keep you coming back for more as they search, explore, discover, grow, learn out in the open waters. Their hope is to inspire you to find your next adventure; whether it’s a long weekend or a perpetual one like theirs!

Watch Gone with the Wynns on YouTube »

The Endless Adventure

 

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Eric & Allison are a travel couple on a journey to find the most interesting places and unique foods this planet has to offer! They’ve traded in their steady paycheques and permanent home for a life of travel and adventure.

Their most popular uploads include some of the tastiest food from around the world and their recent adventures will make you want to pack your bags for Japan immediately! Don’t say I didn’t warn you, hunger and wanderlust await you if you tune in to their content.

Watch The Endless Adventure on YouTube »

Rick Steves’ Europe

 

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Rick Steves advocates smart, affordable, perspective-broadening travel. He helps American travelers connect much more intimately and authentically with Europe — and Europeans — for a fraction of what mainstream tourists pay.

Rick is also a best-selling travel author and host of public television’s “Rick Steves’ Europe” and public radio’s “Travel with Rick Steves.”, so there is no end to the information you can get from his content. He dives deep to give you invaluable knowledge for your next trip.

Watch Rick Steves on YouTube »

What Doesn’t Suck?

 

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Half French, half American, this expat couple know a thing or two about travel. They create epic travel videos that highlight the best experiences around the world – or in their words, the experiences “that don’t suck.”

They are currently living in Dubai and highlighting the best this amazing city has to offer as well as the incredible and exotic places you can easily escape to from the UAE. Their love for travel is contagious and their “48 hours in…” series will give you some serious inspiration for new places to visit around the world.

Watch Rick Steves on YouTube »

Aileen Adalid

 

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Aileen Adalid quit her corporate job in the Philippines to pursue her dreams. Today, she’s a digital nomad living a sustainable travel lifestyle (entrepreneur + blogger + vlogger) and inspiring her community to do the same.

I’m not the only one who loves Aileen’s travel videos. She’s been featured in publications like BBC, National Geographic, Business Insider, Cosmopolitan, Lonely Planet and more. Nice work! One of my favourite videos of hers is the Fox Village in Miyagi Zao.

Watch Aileen Adalid on YouTube »

Lost LeBlanc

 

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After quitting his job to travel the world, Christian picked up his camera to tell the story of unconditionally pursuing his passion for filmmaking and travel.

His videography and editing skills are incredible and one look at his Youtube comments will show you just how much of an inspiration he is to his followers. The Lost LeBlanc community is growing rapidly for good reason.

Watch Lost LeBlanc on YouTube »

Kara & Nate

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I just stumbled upon Kara & Nate’s youtube travel videos recently and I have so much to catch up on! They share their adventures through daily vlogs on YouTube (making a whopping 6 videos every single week).

This husband and wife duo have been traveling full time for over 2 years and they have goal to travel to 100 countries by 2019 – they’re not far off!

Watch Kara and Nate on YouTube »


Romina

 

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Romina was born to travel and has been exploring the world with her parents since she could crawl. Those adventures instilled in her a passion for trotting the globe and learning about new cultures. Romina’s videos focus on her personal experience and the comedy of traveling while she films, stars and edits them herself.

Romina is a strong advocate in wildlife education and has a personal goal to show her audience that through travel, we can learn about these animals without taking them out of their homes in a fun and interactive way.

Watch Romina on YouTube »

Drew Binsky

 

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Drew first got the travel bug when he studied abroad in Prague and moved to South Korea to teach English, here he started his travel blog (drewbinsky.com). Since 2012, he’s been to 135+ countries and has a goal to visit every country before turning 30!

If that doesn’t convince you to watch his awesome travel videos, maybe the fact that he holds 2 Guinness World Records will! Intrigued? Me too!

Watch Drew Binsky on YouTube »

PsychoTraveller

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Originally from Birmingham, England, Aly has been discovering the world for over 4 years straight. She is a psychology graduate with a love for Pho and red wine. Whether she’s throwing herself into a novel or from 14,000ft out of a plane, she looks at adventure big and small and says “Let’s do this!”

PsychoTraveller is more than just travel, its a platform to inform and inspire people of all ages to live the life they want to live. PsychoTraveller showcases through weekly videos her life on the road, the people she meets, the food she tastes as well as the highs and lows behind living as a digital nomad.

Watch PsychoTraveller on YouTube »


The Bucket List Family

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The Gee family are just your average young family exploring the planet 😉

When they were faced with the decision on whether or not to take the typical next step in life and “grow up”, build a house and settle into careers, they chose the path less taken! They started their family Youtube channel simply because “We feel like we still have so much to learn about life and happiness before we can set up our future life and home.”

From breakfast with Giraffes in Kenya, to snorkeling with humpback whales in Tonga, this adventure loving family will make you think twice about settling down!

Watch The Bucket List Family on YouTube »


JOIN ME ON YOUTUBE!

I hope you enjoyed my choices for some of the best YouTube travel channels to follow! Feel free to share your favorites in the comments, and remember to check out my channel too: YouTube.com/expertvagabond

Thanks so much, and happy travels! ★

Do you have any favorite YouTube travel channels? Did I miss any? Drop me a message in the comments below!

Offshore Life and how I cope(ish)

My husband J is a ship captain, so he goes away for four weeks and is home for four weeks. There have been times where he has had to go for 8 months at a time because they are building a new ship and he needs to do sea trials etc or been home for less than a day or two and had to leave again but that thankfully doesn’t happen often.

This offshore lifestyle is all we have ever known so for us it’s normal.

Fast forward almost twenty years and we are a merchant marine family of 5. And full disclosure… you know that saying “don’t sweat the small stuff”? Well yeah I never could quite do that. So this is my system for making life a bit smoother, it may seem too “planned out” and “militarised” but maybe it’ll work for you too, whether you are also an offshore wife, single person or just trying to be more successully independent.

Ok, so how do I cope(ish)? It’s really not all that difficult – it sucks – yep for sure – it sucks but it’s the only life we have ever known. We met young (I was still a teenager and he was just barely not) and he was already at sea (insert mushy starcrossed kismet love story link here later). We knew from the first time we met (for the fourth time *yes more of the starcrossed kismet stuff*) that we wanted a future together so we had to make it work. This lifestyle is the only one we have ever lived together so I suppose that helps because we can’t compare it to anything else.

The thing about offshore life is this:

#1. Everything will break when he is away – virtually the second he leaves everything will fall apart. Its the  mariners curse. So make a list of all the service providers and their numbers for all the things you cannot fix yourself. Eg: pool, handyman stuff, car etc.  Make use of an insurance provider with benefits for the big items, if you have a Bond at the bank then you should have insurance for the big stuff (like a burst geyser).

I use Edgars club assistance for like R50 a month (that’s like for nothing, I know right?!) I get towing service, plumber, electrician, appliance repairs callout & one hour labour free – it’ so affordable and I don’t have to find the repairman, or get upset that I don’t have a “man of the house” or angry at myself for not being able to do it. All I have to do is make a phonecall & it’s sorted.

Have a look around at insurance suppliers,  like Outsurance, you can find something similar too for not too expensive. The peace of mind is so worth it!

#2 Medical emergencies & medical stuff in general is something you have to deal with alone most of the time, it just goes like that. So put on your big girl pants and deal with it. We have a good medical aid which is a blessing and a godsend. Get one if you can – even if you can only afford a hospital plan for the moment – do it!

We found a good doctor, pediatrician, dentist and have been going to the same people for decades. Building up a relationship with the people that handle your health issues helps you best in the long run because they know everything about your situation and you don’ have to keep giving histories – also they are more willing to squeeze you in quickly if need be.

If it’s an operation on myself then I try to schedule it for when my husbsnd is home. I haven’t yet made good enough friends that would be willing to take my kids for a few days (with the exception of my amazing friend Ilse that helped me when I had to go to AbuDhabi). I’m starting to think that those sort of friends don’t exist for most people so best we make alternative arrangements.

But having said that almost every.single.time I have scheduled an op for myself or the kids, something happens (fogged in on the ship, no fly weather window, relief doesn’t arrive, have to come to port, crew change delayed, you name it – it happens) and I end up doing it alone. That’s just the way offshore life works. Big girl panties on & just do it anyway, don’t postpone – make a plan and follow through with or without your spouse.

#3 Routine, Routine, Routine. Find a routine that works for you. And I’m not just talking about the day to day stuff like wake up, brush teeth, pack lunches blah blah blah. I’m talking about the small stuff, medium stuff & big stuff, your stuff, his stuff, our stuff, kids stuff – All the stuff must be on a routine.

Write it down & stick to it. That stops all the arguments and/or confusion about when what should be done by whom. Having life work on a routine makes me not turn on him like a cornered cougar when it all comes crashing down because he dropped his end. If he is meant to do the lawn and garden then it myst be on hus list and he must make alternative arrangements for when hes not here. This way he wont (ok shouldn’t) drop his end of the routine. And when I’m alone it’s this routine that keeps me from spinning out with the brunt of the workload.

#4 Stop the expectations

Yes, yes I know we all “expect” our spouse to do their part but as braindead as it may seem, sometimes they don’t know what you “expect” of them & vice versa.

Honest conversations about what you expect are great, but I find that pointing out things you expect and then putting them down as one of his responsibilities on our routine works for us. (* because he would otherwise probably only do it once every three years lol) ie: I expect my husband to be the one to check the water, oil, tyres and general maintenance of our vehicles – as well as cleaning the gutters & other manly jobs. You might be expecting him to call you every day or make the leap to buy a house or invest etc).

I can’t speak for him and his expectations of me but I at least don’t have to be annoyed over petty things that I “expected” him to “just do”.

If it’s something that is vital, important or somehow going to impact my life drastically if he doesn’t do it, then I rather put that on my responsibility/expectation list because at the end of the day I’m responsible for my own happiness, success and making sure my shits in order.

Expectation causes ALOT of frustration and resentment in ALOT of marriages and we don’t want that.

So on his first day back we go for a breakfast out and have a “meeting” where we write down all the goals and expectations for the month (We have a special book reserved for this). Halfway through the trip we re-evaluate & a few days before he leaves we do it again.

Like I said, some might find this unnessary & absurd, as their partner might just be the kind of awesome person that sees what needs to be done to run the household & does it without any communica. Maybe it’s a marine thing but mine doesn’t – we then argue – so this works better for us.

#5 (extended)Family.                    Bleghhhh this is a topic for another post. *sigh*

#6 Learn. Learn as much as you can about everything.

I know how to change a lightbulb, tyre, tap, fix a squeaky door, jumpstart my car, run my budget & household, raise boys etc these are all minors that I need to be competent at otherwise I will always need help. I’m disappointed to say that after almost 20 years of having to be a not-so-single-single-married-person I am still not yet at the “mastered powertools” stage (which come to think of it, as of just right now, it has just become my #1 personal growth goal for this year). Leave the big stuff for professionals and teach yourself how to do the small stuff. (Google is my BEST friend 😍!#truth)

#7 Safety

Know how to look after yourself physically, if you can’t afford the time or money to take self defence classes. Look out for the free women’ month offers – I know places like Gracie Jiu Jitsu in Table View do a women’s self defence class every year. Otherwise Youtube it – teach yourself from an online video (the power is right there at your fingertips -isn’t it just an amazing time to be alive?!).

Buy a taser and put it in your bedside table (just remember to charge it every other month). Buy a pepper spray and keep it in the side of your car door. Road rage is real. People are assholes.

If you can afford it put an alarm linked to armed response in your home. I don’t believe in guns in the home but I take comfort in the idea that they will arrive if necessary.

I’m sure there is so much more that we can all do to keep ourselves safe so if I think of any more I’ll update the post.

And before anyone from the great South African exodus uses my post as proof of South African fear, I promise you that I would be doing this no matter where I lived – any person – on their own – anywhere, is always identified as a potential target. Be aware. Be smart. Be prepared.

#8 Kids

Again routine. They have soooo much going on rugby, swimming, IT, OT, youth, scouts, modelling, playdates, gurlfriends, growing aghhhh it’s all so muuuuuch! I was smart (ish) or dumb (ish) depending on which day you ask me so my three boys are spaced out very far apart (7 year gap & 10 year gap *gasp*) the only way I survive is by having things as predictable as possible during the week. The kids have to do chores, it gives them a routine and sense of purpose and belonging too. I tend to coddle them too much and make life easy for them, life is rough as an adult so a blissful childhood is something I hope to give them BUUUUUUT I do recognise that these healthy good work ethics begin at home so whatever they do must be done as well as they can.

#9 Me, Myself & I

I am totally guilty of letting the “busyness” of life and allow me to let myself go and not make my health, grooming, spirituality, general well being a priority. I can’t be superwoman you know 😁. But seriously it is important, and I’m working on it. More to come in a later post…

#10 Loneliness

The reason being an offshore wife is difficult is because its lonely and you have to put your big girl panties on – A LOT!

I am by no means trying to compare my situation to a full time single/widowed parent because that is just the most respected bad ass woman in my books. But perhaps my cope(ish)ing strategies can help women in that situation too.

You have to be okay with your spouse travelling often & far. You have to ok with holding it all together for months while your spouse is away. You have to be okay with having no communication sometimes for days, you have to be okay with having no one to share your day with.  If something was funny, sad, upsetting there’s no one to share it with. If you have to make a decision there’s no one to bounce it off of. When the kids are going crazy there’s no one to tag in to take over for a bit. You have to be ok with the night time kids party pickups alone, or waiting and worrying for your newly driving teen to come home late. You have to be ok with your spouse missing all the special stuff, birthdays, graduations, holidays, anniversaries etc. You have to be ok with putting your own career on the back burner because someone has to pick up the slack. You’ve got to be ok with your spouse being distracted while they are away and never fully being present because they are living two separate lives. You’ve got to be ok with planning for death and the personal and legal dangers of offshore work.

You’ve got to be ok with making most of the big life decisions alone.
You’ve got to be ok with spending as much time in your marriage apart as you are together.
You’ve got to be ok with spending alot of time alone and not becoming lonely.

Right at the beginning of my journey into this offshore life I decided to put my big girl panties on and not just tough this thing out but rock this lifestyle! It’s a conscious decision to not be lonely or overwhelmed, its a conscious decision to be ok.

 

And that’s why being an offshore wife is so hard but also exactly how I cope (ish)…

You have to put on your big girl panties – A LOT! 

 

I am exhausted!

This Is Why Parents Are More Exhausted Than You Think They Should Be

I totally related to this so I had to repost it…

At first, people understand that bringing new life also brings exhaustion. People ask new parents if the baby is sleeping through the night as if that is the magical key to them feeling like a fully functional human being. But, every parent knows, it is not. I’m quite sure that it is a scientific fact that parents never feel like fully functional human beings again. Or maybe they just change the definition of what “fully functional” means, so that it no longer implies anything closely related to “rested.” Here’s why:

They never sleep through the night. Never. Again. Sleeping through the night initially means sleeping for longer than two- or three-hour stretches. Once your infant gets past that point, people seem to forget that doesn’t mean jack. At first, parents wake up in a panic when the infant doesn’t wake them up, and they check on them, adrenaline rushing, thinking they’re going to find something very wrong. They nudge the baby. Nudge. Nudge. Until they hear an audible sigh. Then they either can’t fall back asleep because of all that adrenaline or they can’t fall back asleep because they woke up their kid. As the child gets older, the parents wake up hearing phantom baby cries that exist only in their heads. When they accept that their kid can sleep through the night and think they’ve finally arrived, the toddler begins waking up in the middle of the night and coming in their bedroom, waking up and peeing the bed, waking up and screaming, “I need a tissue!” I hear it doesn’t get any better. I’m already dreading waking up in a panic thinking about my kids as teenagers, wondering if they have snuck out of the house, and as college students, wondering if they are OK or if they have been roofied and are lying in a ditch. By the time their kid has a job, parents have aged and their sleep cycles have changed and their old selves become biologically incapable of sleeping. The end.

There is no downtime. The other day I tried to program my cousin’s number into my phone — she had texted me and I wanted to add her name to my contact list. I tried about eight times before giving up completely because my children were all up in my space, bumping my arms and touching the screen. It’s hard to explain to someone that you don’t have time to put a number in a phone, but this is a very real thing. Unless you’re in the bathroom. Sometimes parents get excited about shitting so they can scroll through their newsfeed. Sometimes they pretend to shit so they can scroll through their newsfeed. Unless, of course, they’re the parent that the kids just barge into the bathroom with (there’s always one parent who’s the designated bargee). Then there’s really no sanctuary, even in shitting.

There are no days off. There are millions of ways people can fill their time and expend their energy without being parents. Everyone is exhausted, no doubt about that. However, there is usually a way to get some sick time. Take a day off to rest. Parenting, however? Being sick is the worst, because you can’t be sick. At least, you can’t act like it. Food still needs to be served, laundry still needs to be done, kids still need to be loved. Parents are basically on the verge of illness at all times, because they never get a chance to recover. We blame our kids for bringing home germs from school, but the reality is that we are stinking sacks of pathogenic meat ourselves.

Their brains are on overload. There is a never-ending stream of chatter. There are so many “Mama. Mama. Mama. Mamas,” and grabbing things or pointing while asking, “What’s this?” And no matter what response is given, there is an endless supply of, “Why? Why? Why? Why?” — and there are requests for songs and to “Tell me a story, Mama,” and loud, echoing whines about things like “I wannnnnntttt a red sippy cup,” even if they already have a red sippy cup. There is a lot of fake phone calling and talking to kids using a dirty sock as a puppet. It’s not so much that each individual question or statement is so bad (they’re not — they’re often quite amusing, actually); it’s more the fact that every second is packed with endless auditory assaults and required responses. As kids age, they might utter fewer words, but the ones they do say are usually not as cute, and the issues that arise are much more difficult to address. Brain overload doesn’t go away when the toddler years do.

Sometimes they have to stay up until 2 a.m. binge-watching Netflix with their spouse. Because sometimes they want to enjoy time with their spouse. And sitting like a sloth on a graham-cracker-crumb-littered couch while sipping on a glass of cheap wine next to the one you love, without having to make conversation, can be almost as beautiful as watching the sunset on a beach in Mexico while holding a margarita. Almost. It’s quiet (other than the occasional crumb crackle). It’s calming. It’s rejuvenating. And it is needed for marital stability. It’s worth paying the price of giving up a night’s sleep entirely now, so they don’t end up paying the high cost of divorce fees by the time the kids graduate from high school. They’ve already got college to pay for, don’t forget.

Stuff gets physical.
Don’t get me started on what pregnancy does to your body — I’m solely talking about parenting here. There is a constant worry about torn corneas. Little hands start flailing from Day 1 and continue indefinitely. For the first few years, parents are constantly carrying their kids around, lifting a 35-pound toddler on one hip, and a 20-pound toddler on the other. These aren’t like bags of flour here, they’re writhing, wrenching, bucking broncos. Parents on the living room floor trying to get a push-up in during a Caillou episode are subject to little monsters in superhero capes jumping off the couch and onto their backs. There is little to no chance of getting through parenting without tearing a cornea or herniating a disc.

All the mother-loving cleaning.
The other day I was running late for work and when I went to grab the infant from her crib I realized she had puked on herself in the middle of the night. Her hair stood up straight and smelled like sick. I tossed her in the tub and gave her a quick bath, before throwing some clothes on her and tossing her in the car. (There’s another example of physical exertion — lots of child-tossing going on). The amount of frenetic cleaning of bodies and houses that parents end up doing is mind-boggling. Of course, everyone needs to clean their house, but parents need to clean their house SO MUCH. Bending over, putting away, bending over, tidying up, putting away. Wiping. Wiping. Wiping. Picking up toys. Toys. Toys. Spooling reams of unrolled toilet paper. Dishes. Dishes. Dirty laundry. Bodily fluid-soaked laundry. Replacing grown-out-of laundry. Toys. Toys. Tiny pieces. Puke. Toys. Toys. Toys. Never-effing-ending bowls and bowls of Cheerios. As kids get bigger, so does their stuff. Teenagers have more surface area than toddlers, which means more dust, more circles around the tub. More bodily stench. And definitely more clothes on the floor.

Worries wear out their bodies. There are many mornings when new wrinkles and gray hairs suddenly pop up. Deep grooves. Thick, wiry hairs. I pretty much stopped getting carded the week after I became a mom. My daughter emerged from my body and I immediately developed a web of creases beneath my eyes, not just from the exhaustion but also from the worry. Anxieties tax the body, and parents have a never-ending stream of them running through their heads. Sudden infant death syndrome. Falling down the stairs. Ingesting cleaning products. Bumping heads on the corners of coffee tables. Witnessing the ALMOST bumping of heads on the corners of coffee tables. Thoughts of their kids being bullied, being out late at night, hanging out with the wrong crowd, marrying the right person… Our poor little cells explode from all the stress.

Parents are so tired they sometimes lie on the floor. Face smooshed right in the carpet. Now you know why.

P.S. Even when they’re on the floor, they’re still happy. They’re just too tired to smile.

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ChristineSkoutelasviaHuffpost

By captainkidsnme

Reading all the above I’m now going to add how crazy it is that we as species continue to exist with just how exhausting raising your tribe is. Love them, adore them, but man am I tired.

Quad Biking Adventure – GANTOUW PASS

BeautyPlus_20180515080525800_saveWe just love an adventure, especially if we can couple that with some learning and this adventure definetly had that.

We started off at the Elgin country club, which is gorgeous btw. It has all the things one would expect from a country club like swimmingpools, tennis courts, boating, restaurant with delish smells and ambient music, roaring fireplace, plush carpets, jovial bar with sports on the tv, sun loungers on emerald lawn and vistas of mountains, pine forests and dam that are just breath taking.

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We met up with our guide at the shed outside, choosing the right quad bikes for each of our sizes & my husband decided that with zero experience he was just going to quickly hop on a segway and take a spin and made it look super easy, then I tried – bwhahahahahaha not as easy as it looks! He is obviously a Jedi – no doubt!

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Once we were all kitted out and briefed by our awesome guide we headed for the pine forest – people this is something you HAVE to do! The freshness of those pine trees coupled with the views was just incredible.

We made our way through the forest on a well demarcated route which took us through some of the best messy fun ever – riding our quads at full speed through muddy water ditches. Needless to say these rookies got stuck & we had to learn how to tow each other out. Fortunately my man is big and strong and solidly built so can give us a healthy push but because of his size we had to keep the kids on the quads through the water bog because someone had to drive the bikes out. They felt like such badasses lol.

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Winding around the mountain for about 8km we had views of the dams which at that time were really full and clear, although I’m sure with the recent devastating drought in Cape Town the view won’t quite be the same.

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Finally we reached the start of the Gantouw Pass. Frozen cold from the wet muddy ditches, drizzling rain and howling wind – but really excited and enjoying our biking adventure. This is where the learning began. Gantouw means Eland (a type of buck) in San (an African language…more about our visit to this peaceful peoples’ heritage village coming in a later post).

The reason its called this is because the original settlers in the Cape would notice that the eland and other buck would “disappear ” through the mountain range during migration season and not being able to see a way over the seemingly impenetrable wall of mountains, they followed the eland and found this pass which allowed them to leave the Cape and move inland following the herds of antelope and buck.

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It’s one thing to read about history but quite another to live it, feel it, experience it. The story of the voortrekkers history is now an experience that my kids have seen for themselves. We travelled the same path they did and boy did we realise the bravery these people had. That pass is no joke & I certainly would not want to have taken it in a wooden ox drawn wagon for sure – but they did.  The boys were champions though and pushed through right to the top of the pass on their quads without any help.

 

Along the way we stopped and looked at the grooves that had been eroded into the rock from the wagons of those times. Some days as many as 4000 wagons a day passed over this mountain laden with real people and their hopes, dreams, ambitions and hopes for a better life. Families just like us, hoping for a fresh start in this beautiful land.  It’s sad that somewhere along the way it all got so ugly but that’s politics and a history that’s not what this blog post is about. We are all about finding the fun in life, the adventure, the beauty and love. So back to the adventure…

We reached the top of the pass where the view was now just beyond wow, we could still see the forests, dams, wagon tracks, proteas and fynbos in bloom. But now we could also see the full mountain range left to right and below us vineyards, farms and False bay with the ocean stretching all the way to the horizon.

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Keeping the Love Alive ~ Couple spa day spoils

Keeping the love alive ~ His & Hers spa day spoils
It may seem totally extravagant but one of the things we do the very next day after Jonathan arrives back home from his 4 week trip at sea is book a spa day.

We book it for first thing in the morning – as-they-open-kind-of-early, people… A yummy, heavenly pampering full body sports massage with a pedicure to top it off! All while the kids are at school none the wiser. It’s OUR time and we LOVE it!

Keeping the love alive when you are parents is difficult and often neglected, so we do special “date mornings” instead of date nights. It’s so much easier for us than finding a sitter & we are so freaking tired anyway that we never end up going anywhere if we have to wait for nightfall (nodding your head in agreement – you hear me – this gig is rough). Things like treating ourselves to a massage at a fab spa instead of going to a fancy dinner works so much better for burnt out tired parents like us.

I try to look out for spa day specials and then buy a few for the months ahead. We usually offset the savings by going for a light (read delish) *kid free* brunch & savoring every.single.second.of.it!

 

 

 

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

This is my very first blogpost! Yayness!

It’s only taken me about 15 years to actually do this but I’m here now! 😂

We are an average family of 5 living in the very beautiful city by the sea, Cape Town South Africa, living a not so average lifestyle. I am a stay at home mom, my hubby is a Ship Captain so he travels often, we have three sons 19,13 & 3. We travel around CT to see and do as much as we can & hope that one day our travels will take us further – maybe even far enough to complete our very own bucket list in life!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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