TOP TEN FUN THINGS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY TO DO AT THE V&A WATERFRONT CAPE TOWN.

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CaptainKidsnMe’s GUIDE TO :

THE TOP TEN FUN THINGS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY TO DO AT THE V&A WATERFRONT CAPE TOWN.

This is arguably the most “touristy” place in Cape Town. We have a pretty huge age range in our family 3,13,20 & us fogies too, so it’s quite something to please everyone. But the Waterfront is one of those places that do not dissapoint no matter the weather or season.

1. THE AQUARIUM

Obviously for our family this is number 1. My husband J is a ship Captain in the Merchant Navy with a special interest in Oceanic research. My 13 year old son is genuinely obsessed with everything to do with animals especially marine life, and more specifically sharks and wants to be a marine biologist. The rest of us just love the great blue and being able to glimpse at the secret life of marine creatures. I mean who doesn’t like aquariums, right?

The best thing about the Two Oceans Aquarium is that they are a rescue, recuperate and release facility. No life term jail sentence for all the exhibits which makes my heart happy.

Grab a family day pass or better yet get a membership for just the price of less than an extra ticket, then you can go whenever you want as many times as you want throughout the year. Definetly value for money for Capetonian’s.

Click here to visit Two Oceans Aquarium – you can buy your discounted tickets online too.

https://www.aquarium.co.za

 

2. BOATRIP

There are sooooo many boat trip operators. Each offering unique experiences from harbour cruises to see seals, jellies and hopefully dolphins or sharks, to the family fun Pirate ship adventure. There’s also the thrill seeking speedboats or the luxurious sunset chasing, champagne sipping catamaran and the beautifully appointed comfortable Robben Island ferries.

My husband is super critical of maritime experiences being in the industry and gives most of it a great big thumbs up. All of these are surprisingly affordable, professionally operated and a great experience.

There’s no need to book way in advance, just take a walk along the quay and you will find one that’s just right for you, book – pay – and play the same day.

Jolly Roger Pirate Boat

http://www.yacoobyachts.co.za

info@tigresse.co.za

+27 21 421 0909

 

3. THE BIG WHEEL

Is a big nope from me (claustrophobia) & all those movies where it comes loose and goes rolling through the city comes to mind. But everyone else thinks it’s fab. Honestly I know my reasons are silly, but you cant really rationalise irattional fears now can you?! The ferris wheel is very well maintained, fairly new, structurally sound, luxurious, airconditioned and I’ve heard the views from the top are just amazing. So go give it a try and message me pics.

http://www.capewheel.co.za

+27 21 418 2502

 

4. DINING

Breakfast will turn to Brunch, Lunch then Dinner here, because there are just sooooo many really good restaurants, cafe’s and takeouts. We love that it will suit any budget too, from fish & chips on a paper plate to 5 course meals served under a silver closh, depending on your wallets time of month you could have either (or both, I’m not judging) and be totally satisfied because the impressive views don’t change no matter where you go.

 

5. SHOPPING

Most retail stores will have a flagship store at the V&A waterfront. You will also find the high end lines of most brands are only found here so if you are in the market for a treat then this is the place to shop. They have recently been upgrading the whole look of all the stores so there is this modern  sophisticated, cohesive, African Luxe vibe that really makes you feel like you have travelled to a far off land – even for us Saffa’s not just the tourists

 

6. STREET PERFORMERS & LIVE ENTERTAINMENT

This one is completely free which we love. The waterfront hires performer’s to put on live shows around the venue so there could be a dance talent show an actual celebrity musician or comedian. You usually find the marimba band (my favourite) at the big wheel, a golden statue man that only moves if you put a coin in his hat (kids think this is hilarious) at the quay and around another corner could be an electronic keyboard player doing yoga while playing trance. Or you could sit down for a cooldrink or cocktail at the Ferryman’ s restaurant and be entertained by one of the brilliant livebands they have playing for the day.

7. SIGHTSEE

Take a walk along the quay, and you will probably spot a cruise liner in season. A little further along and the familiar gentle clanging of yacht moorings cast your eyes upon some of the world most exclusive, luxurious and extravagant yachts around – you could be forgiven for thinking you were in the South of France but the beautiful backdrop of table mountain will remind you of your current exotic location. Kids and adults alike will enjoy crossing the moveable bridge to get to the Art display houses, Clock Tower and Diamond museums all steeped in rich cultural history. One of the most awesome things for us at least is that you will also find a landing for seals to safely bask in the African sun while you view them from behind the safety of a glass wall.

8. DIVING TOURS

There are a number of private dive charters that can take you out to do anything from Great White shark diving, snorkelling with seals and dolphins to shipwreck dives. I’ve not ever done this but it’s definetly on the bucketlist for when I pluck up the courage.

9. *SCRATCH PATCH *4D CINEMA *RED SHED *FERRYMANS or MITCHELLS PUB

This is more than one thing but it is a little something for all ages & stages. The scratch patch is a treat for the younger ones while the media stores, gadget shops and amazing state of the art 4D cinema’s with gourmet food will be a winner with the teens. A visit to the Red Shed indoor craft market will definetly fill up your souvenir shopping quota from budget friendy to high end or you could just browse all the spectacularly creative items people make which is a feast for the eyes. Unwinding after a day on your feet at either Mitchell’s or the Ferryman’s pub is ideal, they have a fantastic vibe and if you are like us and aren’t drinkers then sit back and enjoy a delicious pub meal with a contemporary flair while doing a bit of people watching and the kids can be entertained,under your supervision at the nearby kids play area with face painters, magicians & performers.

10. ACCOMODATION AND HIGH TEA

The ultra stylish and modern hotels around the V&A are totally worth the stay. But if you aren’t in the market for that and rather fancy a quick pop in – try joining any of the hotels for High Tea that will be the envy of all your Insta followers.  If theres one thing that South African’s do exceptionally well – its food. It’s especially festive around holidays like Easter and mothers day with specials running regularly so book early. There’s also fabulous swimming pool and outdoor areas that you could absolutely have a little look see around and bask in some of the mother city’s beauty, hospitality and sunshine.

xoxo

DONNA

 

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DIGITAL DETOXING

DIGITAL DETOX 

noun

INFORMAL
  1. a period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers, regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world.
    “break free of your devices and go on a digital detox”

 

It’s a term coined for taking a break from social media and technology that is an inevitably necessary method of self preservation and introspection if you are living in the Ista/Fb/blog world.

I’m sure anyone actually reading this blogpost would be not only familiar with this term but as acutely aware of the crushing feeling of being overwhelmed by the pressure that we place on ourselves by being involved in a world that is so huge – like literally there is a whole other world in our devices. A world where people can become famous, make fortunes, inspire, motivate, share knowledge and sometimes just make you feel like you just cannot live enough life to be “living your best life”.  A world that anyone not ‘in it’ doesn’t even know exists.

For me it was a gradual introduction, a good friend moved to Texas and convinced me to join Facebook to keep in touch. It was awesome, like those family updates we would send out with Christmas cards each year, but now I could post all of that cuteness of raising my tribe in the digital world daily, for all 40 of my friends to see.

But then I found Pinterest and was hooked. I had been saving images on PC for years – everything from parties, to decor, recipes, fun stuff to do with the family, how to’s on everything and much to my husbands amusement could never find anything because it was usually just saved as ‘hgausgdfuyweaghlkjh’ or something equally unhelpfully absurd. So Pinterest was my jam and I thought that was the highlight of my life and the pinnacle of social media possibilities.

But hold on… I found that if I clicked on some of these super awesome Pinterest ideas that I was so feverishly saving to my bazillionth board, I would find it was sourced from a ****blog**** which was usually run by a perfectly groomed woman, with pictures of the cutest most polished kids and a too die for home decorated with all the current fancies while managing to pull off every concievable holiday party/travel/lifestyle experience in the most cost effective yet stylish way possible, loads of well written informative blog posts and still have those couple shots that looked magazine worthy.

And so the pressure began… Not to be like them… but the feeling that I wasn’t able to just naturally pull all of that off and still find time to blog about it. That I wasn’t good enough at this to be able to put my stuff out there, I felt out of my league. I felt like I couldn’t bottle up all the possibility out there and turn it into an image equal or post that was worthy enough. It was exciting but scary.

There is already a sea of beautiful images out there, which means it’s no longer enough to just post a pretty picture, and expect the likes to come flying in, while you sit back and sip your coffee. If you want to stand out, you have to be creative.  You have to have, the wow factor.

Sure I had a great life, and was fortunate enough to have really special activities with my family that I could possibly blog about, and you better believe I had opinions on eeerryythang from the universe, to academics, politics, home improvement and lifestyle that I would have loved put to paper. And I kept telling myself that I would get to it…at some stage.

Then ENTER INSTAGRAM! I’m red faced to admit that my introduction to Instagram only happened in 2018 – YES you read that right – 2018! Sure I had the app lying dormant on my phone since 2014 but i only actually really, really looked at it in 2018. And there it was, account after account of more and more interesting, exciting, brilliantly talented, well travelled, well read, perfectly photographed life in squares of well seasoned social media personalities that belonged to real people living BIG lives. Yes sure, everyone only posts the highlights, but those highlights were spectacularly epic.

Families that travel the world funded solely by other people being interested in them. Others that spent their days exploring the depths of the oceans or the heavens and sharing those experiences with all of us that would never ever otherwise see that. Moms and Dads that were managing to raise their kiddos and live normal life but having the outlet of sharing that life in an artist way, making it seem absolutely perfect and like they knew exactly what they were doing in every aspect of life.

I was hooked – I spent hours every weekend just devouring all these experiences vicariously through the beautifully curated posts of others. I was spoiled for choice, soaking up all the inspiration my creative spirit yearned for.

It was amazing. These people were amazing. The things they were doing were amazing. This was what I had been looking for, I wanted to do the same, I wanted to share, I wanted to create, I wanted to add “me” to the Insta world & blogosphere but I felt overwhelmed, nothing about me was perfect, themed, fabulous or could measure up to the “hugeness” of the collective lives of millions of very interesting people. Honestly who could?

I felt myself getting anxious when I saw how easily others shared their lives, I’m no Kardashian, it doesn’t come easy to let it all hang out there. What if the people that didn’t like me in real life were following me and snooping around my business? What if people were mean? What if I embarrass my children? What if I’m too boring? What if I’m not popular? What if I annoy my family with all the propping and posing? What if I don’t get followers? What if I’m spending too much time trying to be someone I’m not or portray the best instaworthy version of me? What if I’m getting self conscious comparing myself to others? What if my pictures aren’t good enough quality? What if my theme is not co-hesive? what if?… what if?…  Man, that’s alot of pressure before I’ve even started.

So I took a break – a digital detox – and figured out what I actually wanted out of my social media life and why. It helped. I’m not seeking fame, fortune, discovery or free stuff.

I do it because I believe in the quote:

We take photo’s as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone.

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I’m just looking for a place to put things that I find beautiful, interesting, inspiring or special enough to not forget. A place to express who I am, and be creative with the things that interest me. And if that’s in a collection of pretty squares or a paragraph or ten then that’s where it will be . It’s a place to collect my thoughts, a slice of what I think is nice.

There’s no point in sharing arbitrary things, I can be real, I can share enough of what is important in the life of “me” to make me feel like I’m doing life my way, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of that.

And I can do it without comparing myself or my content to others. I can just enjoy their content without trying to compete, this is not my business or the way I make my living. It will never be as good as the top celebrity bloggers or encompass exactly who I am, and that’s fine.

It doesn’t have to be perfect, curated,themed or fabulously huge and over the top exciting. I don’t need to have 10 000 followers to validate my presence, I don’t need a swipe up function to enjoy my own feed and what I’ve created. I don’t need the likes of strangers to make me feel worthy. I don’t need to be popular enough to be invited to blog meetups and featured by any of the established bloggers. Yeah that would be cool, but only if I happen to get there because people relate to the real me, not because I’ve forced a fake persona into the digital world.

So if you are thinking of building your own life in squares or paragraphs, not for a business (because thats a whole other topic – and its tough – so much respect for those that achieve that) but because you want to do it for you, then do it – just start, do it the way you want, only you have to like it. It doesn’t have to be perfect or the same as everyone else’s or better than so and so’s. It just has to be authentic to you, to spark joy in your soul when you look through it.

And it’s important to show some love to others that are doing the same, this is an awesome community to belong to.

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Donna.png

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! 😘

Our Re-MARK-able Port Wine Stain Birthmark

OUR RE-MARK-ABLE PORT WINE STAIN BIRTHMARK STORY

This is a long post with plenty of relevant medical experience for any expectant parent so please don’t leave…    

This May 15 is International Vascular Birthmark Awareness Day, which is celebrated by posting a pic in solidarity on social media with a little red heart on your cheek in support of a worldwide movement to spread awareness, acceptance and inclusion for the 1 in 10 people with a vascular malformations or syndrome.

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This is a cause close to my heart, my son Ronan was born with a light Port wine stain on his left upper lip and temple.

Most people to my surprise, don’t know what a port wine stain birthmark is, and that includes doctors and nurses, which I found weird because I had read about it in one of the baby books for expectant mothers like almost twenty years ago. It’s fairly common happening to almost 3 in 1000 people born. So yeah, you would think they’d know but most don’t.

Our sweet little boy started his first round of laser treatment at 6 months old and although we don’t know how many he will need it throughout his life, we got really great results with just four laser treatments. He was really fortunate as his Port wine stain was not too dark, did not cross the midline, and is not in a sensitive or untreatable area. The results were so good that those that don’t know he has one don’t even see it.

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So what is it? And how is it caused? 

port-wine stain (nevus flammeus) birthmark is a discoloration of the human skin caused by a vascular anomaly (a capillary malformation in the skin). They are so named for their coloration, which is similar in color to port wine, a fortified red wine from Portugal.

It is caused by a mutation in gene GNAQ during the early stages of inutero developement. It is not hereditary, environmental or preventable, it’s just one of those micro oopsies. Scientists have not yet pinpointed the exact cause for the mutation of the gene.

Basically what happens is that the nerves that are supposed to tell the blood vessels to contract are not coded correctly and remain in the “open and on” position, fully dilated. As if that area was permanently blushing.

Port-wine stains persist throughout life and occur most often on the face but can appear anywhere on the body, particularly on the neck, upper trunk, arms and legs. Early stains are usually flat and pink in appearance. As the child matures, the color may deepen to a dark red or purplish color. In adulthood, thickening of the lesion or the development of small lumps may occur.

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It’s just a birthmark?… not always…

In some cases it can be a sign of Sturge–Weber syndrome or Klippel–Trénaunay–Weber syndrome. 

In those cases it’s not just a birthmark – it can have stems that spread from the stain into the brain which is serious and in some cases debilitating, disfiguring and life threatening. These syndromes can cause hardening of the brain, glaucoma, seizures, blindness, respiratory problems and ultimately the possibility of a short difficult life expectancy.

Luckily Ronan does not have that – his is just a birthmark.

Although that being said, I do follow some remarkable people on social media like “Reeve’s Journey” and through all these obstacles he is still living an amazing full life with all the joy of childhood because of his devoted parents getting him the best possible medical care. It can be done.

Treatment and support

Immediately after birth our little boy was whisked away for brain scans and sonars, those few hours without knowing what was happening were absolutely frightening, but thankfully all the tests came back completely normal.

We now had to face the task of getting treatment for the Port Wine Stain. This was not just for aesthetic reasons as untreated it can cause disfigurement later in life due to the increased blood flow to the area making it grow disproportionately to the surrounding skin. And getting treatment as soon as possible, as young as possible, will give the best long term outcome.

One of the best things about living in Cape Town South Africa is our access to world class pioneering medical services and institutions. Our doctors and nurses at the private Milnerton Medi Clinic were so knowlegable about Port Wine stains and their treatment that they immediately were in contact with Dr.Ean Smit from the Cosmetic Dermatology Centre.

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He arrived the following morning to do an assesment and set our minds at ease that our son was in capable hands. I believe that The Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town also offers this service to those without medical aid. We then we started treatments at 6 months old, every six weeks until until 12 months old.

The preferred and most effective treatment for Port Wine Stains is a Pulsed Dye Laser (PDL). The PDL uses a concentrated beam of light that targets blood vessels in the skin. The light is converted into heat, destroying the blood vessel while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged.

The PDL delivers an intense, yet gentle, burst of light into targeted areas of the skin, and the light is absorbed by specific blood vessels or pigmented areas in the dermis.  This causes damage to the lining of the target blood vessel without damaging the surrounding tissues and skin. The body absorbs the damaged blood vessels, and the flow of blood is re-directed into deeper vessels.  The length and number of treatments needed will depend on the size of the area being treated and the severity of the condition.

The laser leaves these deep but bright red circle dots on the area that has been treated and when they fade in a few days, the original pre-treated redness is far less obvious. The online community post pics of themselves “embracing the dots” to help all the kids around the world see that there are others out there just like them. Some parents have had books published explaining the stains and dots which also helps with self confidence and establishes a supportive community

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It is possible that in the future gene therapy will be used as a cure but until then it’s the Pulse Dye Laser. We had the foresight to bank Ronan’s umbilical cord blood and tissue with @Netcells so when the science gets to that point, we can hopefully use it.

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I hope that if there’s a frightened parent out there looking for answers, that they happen upon my page and it helps arm them with just a little more information and peace of mind.

xoxo

Donna

 

 

 

 

The Circus is good fun, right? Because I’m really not sure anymore.

“The circus is the only fun that you can buy that is good for you” – Ernest Hemingway

This was a quote that my parents and grandparents grew up believing. But I’m not so sure anymore.

My youngest is three years old and the circus has just come to town. The excitement is real when he see’s the posters on streetlights advertising the splendour of a ringmaster controlling mighty beasts like some sort of magical travelling Merlin of Cape Town.

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And there in lies my moral dilemma. I want to take him to the circus but I don’t want to see wild animals in the circus. I don’t think it’s right – not at all. If an animal is naturally a wild animal, as in undomesticated – it simply does not belong in a situation where it has to perform tricks for our entertainment. There is no way to train a wild animal to do these unnatural performances without using incaseration, fear, force, dominance and cruelty to make them do it. That is the truth.

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Why would we want to see a lion facing an animals worst fear – which is fire – and clap and cheer for it to be forced to jump through it? And if that lion is too scared, we watch a man in a sparkly suit crack a whip behind him that he has obviously been sufficiently hurt with in the past – otherwise why on earth would the King of the beasts be motivated to choose to jump towards an animals absolute worst fear rather than face the whip? It sounds a bit sicko when you think of it like that. And I feel a responsibility not to perpetuate that kind of mindless heartless consumerism of entertainment. How we think of things matters… it influences and changes hearts and mind around us… and ultimately the way the world behaves… our thoughts and words and deeds are that powerful, and it starts in our own homes.

But now where do you draw the line without being a hypocrite? Because somehow I don’t mind seeing poodles, horses and monkeys dancing, playing and doing tricks.

Is it because I have been desensitised by the hype and grandeour around horse racing events and dog shows or the fact that monkeys seek out human interaction? Perhaps its because those animals have been domesticated over hundreds of thousands of years and have a willingness to please in exchange for a treat? It’s kind of a barter system that they are willing participants in, for lack of a better way to explain my reasoning.

You don’t have to use force and fear to motivate or train them like you do with a wild animal, as far as I know. They want that yummy morsel and head scratch and have no problemo with doing a quick trick for it. I also feel like I know enough about dogs, horses, goats and monkeys to know that they show their happiness and I have enough knowledge and confidence that I can read those body language cues, and that eases my conscience. But does that make me a hypocrite? It’s a tough question that I haven’t quite figured out the answer to yet. I am still learning. I might be completely and utterly delusionally flawed in my thinking.

So being the last night the circus was in town, we went. And I wasn’t horrified. Yes I was sad to see that they still had animals which did not belong there in my opinion. I’m no animal behaviour expert but at least the lions and tiger genuinely seemed to have affection for their handler. My son actually took a video of them, doing what looked like happily playing together backstage while waiting for the show to start.  Welfare societies were in attendance and the animals looked physically healthy even though we know they arent in an ideal environment.

I was glad we had the opportunity to watch YouTube videos and have conversations leading up to the night. We have had a chance to take seriously the necessity to shape our children’s views and understanding on animals rights, and to their responsibility to not condone and perpetuate the practice of using fear and punishment to tame wild animals for entertainment. 

They left the circus far more entertained and impressed by the physical prowess and awesome abilities of the acrobat, jugglers, daredevils and artists as well as all the pageantry of the costumes and performance choreaography than anything the animals did.

Because they understood now what performance with consent meant. Circ du Soleil and Madam Zingara have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that we can have a successful traditional setting circus experience without the use of animals, and in fact it’s what the people prefer.

Sure there is a nostalgia attached to a traditional PT Barnum style, travelling circus of times gone by, with the smell of elephants, camels, lions and tigers. The sparkly outfits, twinkly lights, hay bales, candyfloss and popcorn, glowsticks and iconic music all create such a atmosphere of tangible excitement of incredible showmanship.

But circus’s were born from a time before local access to nature reserves, rehabilitation centres, people-only circus’s and YouTube were a feasable alternative.

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It’s no longer necessary as a way for people to experience seeing real animals, certainly not in Cape Town where I live.

Captainkidsnme – Day Safari at Aquila Game Reserve just outside Cape Town

We have so many beautiful affordable places to visit and see animals in a natural setting. But even if I lived in a place where I couldn’t just take a 40 minute drive to see Giraffes and zebra’s roaming freely, the truth is we have evolved, we are more socially aware and sensitive of our responsibilities to the earth, animals and each other than our forefathers were. And so I have a new quote to pass on to our children: 

“When you know better, You do better”

xoxo

The best YouTube travel blogs

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure.

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!