Rocherpan Nature Reserve

Recently, I spent a calm weekend at the Rocherpan Nature Reserve near Velddrif. Even although the pan isn’t completely full, there is an abundance of birds, beautiful vegetation and serenity. As far as I know, there is one main hiking trail within the reserve, and a picnic spot. There are also a few bird hides that allow you to observe the birds peacefully in their habitats.

We stayed at the eco cabins (Cape Nature) which are nestled in the reserve with beautiful views of the pan and the surrounding reserve – a lovely place to wake up in. I spent most of my time reading my book and just appreciating the beautiful surroundings and breathing fresh, clean air.

If you’re looking for a place to decompress and leave the stress of city life behind, this might just be it.

Nabeela x

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

Mauritius Photo Diary

I recently visited the beautiful island of Mauritius with my family and it was a welcome break from the extreme cold we’ve been experiencing here in South Africa. We spent our time at a resort on the north-west side of the island, and although it was a bit chilly and wet sometimes (it’s winter there too), it was bliss. I thoroughly enjoyed some timeout to just read on the beach, swim and relax. Anyhow, here is my photo diary of the trip. Enjoy!

 

 

Nabeela x

 

 

Mountain Musings

There’s nothing that changes one’s perspective quite like spending a few days in the mountains sans cellphone signal and civilization. It’s a breathe of fresh air – literally. Drinking river water and falling asleep to the under the watchful eyes of shooting stars can be more beneficial than one might think going into it.

I learned a few things on my trip to the mountains. The first thing being, after a day of hiking, anything tastes good. And white flip flops and dust? Not a good idea.

But more than that, I learnt that once we lose connection with our phones (which seem to be an appendage nowadays), we gain connection with people. With nature. With ourselves. Without the constant distraction of push notifications and Instagram feeds, I found myself lost in long, deep, meaningful conversation with people, something that’s hard to come by in the busy city.

I learned that simply just spending time in nature is meditation in itself. It’s so healing and relaxing to live in harmony with the natural world for once, and not try to fight against it.

Lastly, I learned to appreciate the comforts of home. I certainly take basic things like toilets and my bed for granted far too often.

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It’s true what they say. Sometimes, the best way to find yourself is to get lost. Preferably in nature.

Nabeela x

Seaside Snapshots / Struisbaai

As a lover of the ocean, any time spent frolicking around in the waves and basking in the sun is an absolute treat. Imagine my felicity when I found myself in a beautiful beach house with my lovely family for just a little less than a week. Queue early morning runs, long walks on the beach, riding the waves, and taking some time to do good old nothing. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity to take some photos, the quaint fisherman’s village being my subject.

When we weren’t on the beach, we ventured to Cape Agulhas (the southern most tip of Africa) and De Mond Nature Reserve.

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Nabeela x

 

Oudebosch Eco Cabins

A little while ago, my family and I went to stay in the beautiful Kogelberg Nature Reserve for a quick getaway. It was utter bliss. I had just returned from my Europe trip, and it was lovely to have a chance just to lie in the winter sun, and read a book, without the constant noise of the internet (there’s no cellphone reception) and city. The Oudebosch Eco Cabins are beautiful, wooden houses on the foot of the mountains in the Kogelberg Nature Reserve. There are mountain bike and hiking trails all within the area too, which is lovely too. As a design student and a person who has a deep appreciation for aesthetics and innovation, I was taken aback by the incredible design of these sustainable, eco-friendly structures. They’re beautiful and functional and staying there was such a treat. Nothing quite like some peace and quiet, fresh air and time offline…

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Nabeela x

Green Musings / Babylonstoren

Babylonstoren is one of my favourite places. I could spend all day sipping their deliciously fresh  juices and eating popsicles made from fresh fruits and herbs straight off the farm. I adore the many gardens, each with their own unique beauty. Its such a treat to have a good old stroll through this lovely, peaceful place. I have been to Babylonstoren before, but the novelty never wears off.  It’s a visual feast and an all around sensory delight. If you’re in Cape Town, this is a place you need to visit…

Here are some snaps from my recent visit…

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Nabeela x

{All photographs are my own. Be nice, don’t steal.} 

 

Krakow / Kraków

I never thought I’d end up in Poland. Am I glad I did? You bet. The city of Kraków stole my heart. What a charming, unassuming place. Its not a place that is really hyped up about in magazines and on travel blogs – I’d consider it underrated in the least. It has a vibe like no other, holds so much historical importance and the architecture is so very beautiful. We did a walking tour of Kraków, explored in the little tourist shops and all in all had a ball. Its safe to saw that Kraków was one of my favourite places that we visited (although I did love them all)!

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One of the most picturesque streets in Krakow
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Wawel Cathedral

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Nabeela x

Salzburg

Ah, Salzburg. I’ve watched the Sound of Music a few times too many when I was little (every week for a few months), so you can imagine my excitement to be in the very place it was made! The beautiful gardens with rolling lawns was a treat to visit (especially since a scene from The Sound of Music was shot there). As I’ve played the piano for most of my life, I thoroughly enjoyed the Mozart Geburtshaus, (Mozart’s birth house) which is now a wonderful museum. We only spent a few hours in Salzburg, but I enjoyed every second!

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Nabeela x