Creatively Documenting Travels

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list…”

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always kept journals. Whether they’ve been to organize my life, unscramble my mind or document my memories, it’s just a part of who I am. I’ve always kept a written record of my travels, and over time, this process has evolved. I truly treasure my travel journals. There are so many tiny details that are easily forgotten if not documented.

I’m sharing my system of travel documentation with you. Firstly, I use two places to store my memories. I have a journal that I usually carry with me on travels and fill in daily (more on that later). Then, I also have a scrapbook album with photos that I print out after the trip. This album doesn’t travel with me and is usually completed (way) after I get home.

Travel Journal 

This little book stays in my backpack when I travel. What I usually do is write in it in pencil and collect all my memorabilia in a pouch in the back. When I get home, I re-write things in pen, add things in, and use my stamps, washi tapes and stickers to make it all pretty. I also stick in all my memorabilia and arrange everything nicely. My last few trips have been super jam-packed, so I haven’t had time to journal every day. What I’ve been doing is writing quick notes on my phone every night before bed and then writing them into my journal when I have some time to do so, or on the plane home. I’ve really been enjoying this system.

Scrapbook

I haven’t been very good with doing this, mainly because my previous scrapbook was a huge 12×12 inch book that took up a load of space and wasn’t very fun to work in. It required too much stuff to fill the pages. So, I recycled the left over paper and rings and made a smaller, cuter, more fun album. I’ve finally gotten around to scrapbooking my Europe photos and will move onto my Mauritius photos after that. I’m a very visual person, so I really enjoy haveing physical photographs to look through. Also, found things (shells/coins/rocks/etc.) are my favourite kind of souvenir. They are my treasures.

I hope this has given you some insight into my documenting process and that you’ve got some ideas for your next trip.

Nabeela x

On Journaling

In a digital world where we are always connected to others, it can be all too easy to become disconnected from ourselves. The world is full of noise, both literally and figuratively, and sometimes, it can be so loud that our own thoughts feel like too much to deal with. After all, we can only think about so many things at one time.

The thing is, with the information-overload that we face on a daily basis, it’s easy to feel as if our brains are simply overflowing. I know that personally, this usually sends me into a state of minor (read: sometimes, not-so-minor) panic. It gets a bit much.

Something I’ve been using on and off for the past year or so as a way to cope with my ever-busy brain is journaling. I’ve recently been taking some time on a more regular basis, to write things down and clear up some space in my head. It’s been really beneficial to me, so I thought I would share some practices you can use if it is a method you’re interested in.

01. / Start slow

Don’t put huge amounts of pressure on yourself to write pages and pages daily. Start slowly, and ease into it. Do whatever feels manageable and helpful to you. The minute it starts becoming stressful, and feels like a chore, it defeats the purpose of the exercise.

02. / Be flexible

Don’t try too hard to make it pretty or to always use your best handwriting (If that is something you enjoy, make that a separate journal). Make it feel low-effort and write in a way that feels comfortable, natural and easy for you.

03./ Set a time

I am aware that this slightly contradicts point 2, but hear me out. By introducing some journal time into your schedule a few times a week, it turns into a lovely, meditative and calming ritual to help you de-stress. You may find that you’ll look forward to the time you get to spend reboot your mind.

04. / Keep it safe

By keeping your journal in a place where you know no one will read it, you’re giving yourself peace of mind, and the freedom to just write and let your thoughts flow. Don’t worry too much if it doesn’t make sense or if it seems a bit messy. It is meant solely for your own benefit.

I hope you find these pointers helpful. Journaling truly is a lovely analogue way to deal with busy minds in a busy world.

Nabeela x

Make A Plan / Get To Work Book

I truly believe that one of the best ways to put your mind at ease and deal with stress is to have an efficient planning system that works for you. I am a lover of the new digital world, but my brain works best when using a physical planning system. Nothing beats putting pen to paper. Over the past month, I’ve been using my Get To Work Book. Today I’ll be chatting about what I love, what I don’t, and everything in between. (This is part two of the two-part blog post series on the Get To Work Book).

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As a student, its vital for me to have a place to clearly note down all my deadlines, assignment and important events throughout the school term. Having tried many planners over the years, GTWB is right up there.

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What I love

I love the simple, monochromatic design. As a person who is both a lover of colour and monochrome, if I feel like a colourful spread, I can just add washi tape, stickers and doodles. For other weeks, I can stick with the monochrome. It has just the right amount of structured goal-setting and reflecting spreads without it feeling as if it takes up the whole book. I also really enjoy the vertical design of the days in the weekly spreads -perfect for long lists of tasks. The monthly calendar is also a huge bonus – its so hard to find a planner with one nowadays. And the perforated monthly print/calendar is just an added bonus. I’m not usually a fan of ring-bound books, but this binding is super sturdy and strong.

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What I love less

The only criticism I have of the book is that it is a bit big and heavy to take to school every day. However, on days I really need it, it isn’t too bad, and I find a way to make a plan. (Seriously the only thing I don’t love about the planner).

If you want to invest in a high quality, effective and aesthetically pleasing planner, Get To Work Book is a goodie. As far as I know, their January – December 2018 planner is sold out, but the July 2018 – June 2019 planner drops in April.

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All in all, the Get To Work Book is the perfect addition to your organizing tools, and I’d highly recommend it!

Its almost February – have a good one!

Nabeela x

 

 

Curate / Light + Detail

Minutiae / the small, precise details that makes one unique; the finer points and subtleties

As a visual person, I am very much aware of the little things. I have a deep appreciation for details, and they make my heart sing. (I know that I’m definitely not alone on this).

I especially love beautiful light and intricate detail in architecture. Here is a photo essay of some of the light and detail I’ve snapped over the last little while…

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“To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail.” – Giorgio Armani 

Nabeela x

Venice / Venezia

I’ve always dreamed of going to Venice. I’ve seen people riding gondolas in the canals in movies and photos, and never thought I’d be lucky enough to visit this beautiful place.

Venice is made up of 120 small islands, and there are around 400 bridges going over the canals! The buildings are exceptionally beautiful, and the little restaurants and cafes on the water have such a lovely charm. Venice is just as beautiful as the photos. Its one of those places where you have to control yourself or else you’ll just take photos of everything.

A water taxi or gondola is a must. You can’t go to Venice and not go on the water! We also explored quite a bit on foot, then crossed the Rialto Bridge and explored the other side. Its such a beautiful place. It definitely stole a chunk of my heart too! I dream of going back some day.

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A typical Venetian water taxi

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Rialto Bridge

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A stunning art installation

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Campanile di San Marco

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Doge’s Palace

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Nabeela x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Florence / Firenze

Florence has a sort of slow, laid-back atmosphere, that contrasts the business that is Rome. Florence is simply lovely. We only spent one day there, so I don’t have too many photos, but this lovely place left its mark on my heart. The little market square selling every delightful leather product you could think of and the warming atmosphere are incredible. The streets have such a calm, quiet feel in the evenings and its the kind of place that you can’t help but fall in love with…

The Duomo in Florence blew me away. The intricacy of the marble detailing is just mind-boggling, and as a person who dapples in the arts, I felt a deep appreciation of the craftsmanship and time that was required to create something quite so exquisite. None of the detail on the facade is painted – it is all inset in marble.

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The Florence Catherdral (Duomo di Firenze)

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The remarkable Statue of David, at the Galleria dell’Accademia

Throughout my trip, I tried to not let taking photos dictate my every move. I took quick snaps of things I saw that inspired me, but I wanted to see and embed my travels into my memory, rather than my memory card…

Nabeela x

Offline

I’ve always admired people who have the will power to have “offline days”. As bad as it sounds, it can be extremely difficult to disconnect ourselves from the hustle and bustle that is constant online. We don’t want to miss out on a thing.

Social media gives us a rush that is described by some as a “runners high”.

That rush of joy we feel when someone retweets, follows or likes what we’ve posted is what some think is happiness, but to me, I think it can take away the ability to look for happiness in less materialistic and superficial places.

I’m not at all shooting down the internet. I’m so grateful for how much my blog and personal brand have grown thanks to the exposure I’ve received on Instagram.

All I’m saying is that we need to know where to draw the line.

We find ourselves starting to live for the media. We have this idea of what life should look like and find ourselves constantly comparing our own lives to the beautifully curated feeds we see on Instagram and Pinterest. I’m guilty of it and I’m sure I’m not alone on that one.  Its that constant, unrealistic benchmark that we have set for ourselves and that society has set for us. Emphasis on unrealistic.

I’ve heard people at school say things like “She has such a busy social life! Have you seen her Instagram?” or “Her Instagram has all these photos of her hiking up all these cool mountains. But she’s so clever. When does she study?” Hello? Earth to us all? Instagram is not real life!

I recently listened to a podcast where I heard something very interesting. The hosts were discussing how Instagram has been called ‘visual crack’. Its so easy to get sucked in and spend hours looking at curated photos and then feeling depressed about own, less perfect-looking lives in comparison.

We’ve become obsessed with likes, comments and follows.

Let’s try and change up our barometer for joy.

Let’s go back to the old days where we got joy from spending time in nature or with family, and not only from a retweet.

My personal challenge for 2017 is to have a ‘offline Sunday’ as far as possible. The email can wait.

I challenge you too, to see if you can stay offline for a bit. Even if its just for an hour or two a day where you unplug and connect with yourself and others in a different kind of way.

See how carefree and happy it’ll make you.

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I’ve seen these truth-filled words all over the web, so I created this illustration. All the elements were done by hand first.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nabeela x

 

 

 

 

Durban Diaries / Day 2 

Hello  

This morning, I woke up to sunny skies and gentle breezes along the beautiful Dolphin Coast. After 6am, it was already bright! After breakfast, I took a little stroll around the hotel and took a few planty photos. 


We then went to the beach for a little bit before heading out to Durban itself. 
We went to the Station Drive area that reminded me so much of Woodstock in Cape Town. We walked around in some of the stores, my favourite being the colourful and quirky Shoppe, then made our way to the Morning Trade market in The Plant and picked up some yummy treats. We crossed the road and went into the Warehouse next door. We picked up some juice from The Cold-Pressed Juice Co. 

Cold-pressed juices from the Cold-Pressed Juice Co. So good!
Yummy macaroons we had at The Morning Trade

We ventured in Umhlanga and after some driving around, decided to go to uShaka Marine World. We dropped in there for a few hours, walked around, got a henna tattoo and had some lunch at the beautiful Moyo restaurant which is at the end of the pier. The view was gorgeous.
Virign Strawberry Daquiri. My fave …
The beautiful views of Durban from the pier!

Long, summery days mean happy hearts and sleep heads. 
Nabeela x 

Made in SA / Deerly Studio

Hello

Today, I’m going to be writing about a few of the lovely products from Deerly Studio, which is owned by Monja Viljoen. Monja is the creative director and her passion is reflected into the ranges she produces. I love the mix of colours and modern typography that make up these interesting and fresh yet simple products!

 

 

Notebook

The cover is quite thick and made of a glossy cardboard. The colour combinations on this particular book are really striking and the print quality is excellent! The paper inside is lined and has a fun border made up of paint strokes. I was pleasantly surprised, because although the paper feels quite thin, it has minimal bleed-through when it comes to pen and even watercolour. (You know how important that is to me. I literally script everywhere with my watercolours!)

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Greeting Cards

The greeting cards are also printed on a lovely, glossy and thick cardboard. I love the bright colours and typography. They are simple and pretty, but still fun and modern. My favourite one is definitely the Good Luck card. That scripting is SO pretty!

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Gift Tags

These gift tags are simple and just the right size to pop in any gift bag or tie onto a ribbon. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you will know that I love art journaling and scrapbooking. These gift tags make perfect journaling cards too! The also come with a suede-y ribbon that feels almost leathery. It comes in a little roll, instead of in individual strips, so you can use it for anything! Such a good idea.

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List Pad

The list pad is really cool and thick too, and has a similar border to the one inside the notebook. It’s a bit more minimalist in comparison to the rest of the products, but I love the grey, black and white colour combination. It has lots of space for writing those long to-do lists and shopping lists, because the pages are nice and long. It can make grocery shopping or just general errands so much more fun!

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I really enjoyed writing about these products and photographing them was such fun too! What was your favourite item? You can find all of these products and more here.

Have a lovely week!

Miss Artsy-Crafty

{As usual, all opinions and photographs are my own. I wouldn’t write about products that I wouldn’t buy or use. Also, thanks Monja for sending me some of your lovely goodies! }

Riebeek-Casteel

Hello

After a cold, rainy and miserable week in Cape Town, we were treated to a beautiful, sunny and warm day today. We took a drive out to the quaint town of Riebeek-Casteel off the N7 (in the Western Cape, South Africa). The weather was marvellous, and I almost forgot that it wasn’t summer! We spent the afternoon looking around at all the gorgeous little shops that sold everything from beautiful vintage furniture, décor and books to handmade soaps, wonderful body products and handmade beanies. There were a few cafes and a pub too. I thoroughly enjoyed the laid-back, holiday-ish vibe that radiated through the small town. I love discovering new places that aren’t far from home.

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Cute little plants planted in farm-style rustic tea cups.
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The most beautiful vintage chests of drawers, books and other bits and bobs.
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Body products in another store.

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I tried a really yummy brewed iced-tea made locally by Uber Flavour. This honey and lemon combo was really interesting and and a real treat.

I love exploring and adventuring and then documenting my travels through photography and writing. I have a few more posts like these planned. I hope you’re enjoying them!

Miss Artsy-Crafty xxx