The Philippines an Enlightening Trip

The Philippines an enlightening trip; I saw glimpses of the person I was and the person I am while seeing who I was becoming. I have traveled near and far for a long time now I have opened myself to the full experience of travel. I let people in, I make fast friends with people I will never see again sometimes not even catching a name as we pass by as strangers in the night!

But this trip was a fast one I didn’t have loads of time to do as I please but I didn’t do too much either. I spent more time with me truly with me even when I was with others I just wanted to be with me. This is why this trip was so different, I needed this break more than I knew I did!

 Last year was a hard year 6 months questioning life and 6 months living life in fast forward! This trip was the universe telling me to slow down take stock of where you have come and where you going and truly start loving you and be present! Being so busy for the last  7 months I experienced every emotion in this whirlwind of life in Korea I started lacking true motivation life was starting to be lived for me and I was just in for the ride!

I had one of those deep connections with someone by a chance call it the universe sending the right person in at the right time.

I didn’t know my Soul craved a deep connection someone that knew what I was thinking before I uttered the words and vice versa that unexplainable connection that’s so real and so deep it’s scary! How can two people with very different stories but be so much the same just connect in such a profound way thats the beauty of travel.

I remember staring at the night sky and it was as if the sky was performing for me never have I seen the twinkling stars shine so bright. I was awestruck lost in the beauty of the world I felt so big and small all at once!! As the wind blew through my hair as I sat at the back of a friends motorcycle I watched the stars dance for me filling the sky with its beauty!

As the night progressed first we were strangers but in the end, we were so much more! We spoke about life, love, happiness, sadness and everything in between fuelling each other’s tanks that needed motivation and inspiration!And that was just one serendipitous day.

Like I said I only had one week in this beautiful country and I spent one night in Manila then flew to  Palawan. I took a bus up to El Nido a delayed flight and my van to El Nido knocking a couple on a motorcycle delayed my arrival by at least 3 hours. Standing on the side of the street in the middle of nowhere waiting for the police to get to the scene.Luckily I wasn’t alone I was with a group of great Irish guys also on vacation heading to the same spot.So we were all confused luckily nobody was badly injured and eventually headed to our destination. So a casual 5-hour journey turned into 10.(welcome to my travel life.)

I stayed at the best hostel I have ever stayed at called Outpost Beach Hostel recently opened the sad part was they were still busy with renovations so I will have to go back when it’s completed. This place is right on the beach they serve a killer breakfast and the staff are a bunch of eclectic nomads made up of some good looking guys with great stories to tell from all over the world. They also give you a free shot of the famous Filipino rum at sunset so make sure to stay for that. I stayed here for 3 nights spent one day island hopping booked through the hostel another at Nacpan Beach and the third day chilling about and then missioned off to Port Barton for 2 nights.

Port Barton is your quintessential small beach town. luckily I was told about the no electricity during the day and I was used to the cold showers by now and really bad wifi. It was just great to unplug and soak up the beauty and quiet. Going to sleep listening to the waves, waking up and watching the sun kiss the beach was great. Here I also did another island hopping tour snorkeled and sunbathed ate an awesome meal on the beach saw the biggest starfish ever it was great day making new friends too.

I finally got time to relax, read, take pictures, go for walks and be alone with no noise around me no crazy nights out and hardly any drinks. Just the escape I needed from the freezing snowy Korea. and just like that my time was up I flew back to Manila for one night before heading back to Korea and jumping into my year.

Peace love & Happiness

Cherry ♥




My festive season hopscotching through Korea!

Where have I been? (good question) I have been living life in the fast lane but its time to get back to this sharing some tid bits from my life abroad and other travel and inspirations that inspire me to write. I promise to be better at updating I have big hopes and dreams for this blog I best get the started no more excuses. So here we go first of many posts I have lined up. To set the scene let’s go back in time to about  Late December early January.

My festive season, it was such a crazy month of hop scotch through Korea as if I was the KTX going at high speed!

Started off with a 12 pubs of Christmas bar crawl singing Christmas carols in the streets of Downtown Daegu a week before Christmas and then my Christmas spent in Cheongju with my girls we dubbed it “Queensmas”it was a fun weekend we even had a proper Christmas meal from turkey to roast beef and all the trimmings.

 My first Christmas in years that felt like Christmas from gifts to the food and the friends that felt like family!! 

Then my best friend from home came for a visit it was great to have a piece of home with me and show her around! We celebrated New Years in Busan lit lanterns on the beach (clearly a new tradition of mine) and danced the night away making new friends and great memories! Needless to say, a very hungover New Year’s Day was filled with tons of greasy food and laughs about the night before.

The next week I had to work but it was nice coming home and taking my friend for walks and listening to her tell me about new discoveries she found wandering the streets of my new home she even got a cheeky tattoo from the infamous Daegu Tattoo from Artist K who speaks no English and has a side guy who does all the speaking this place is very well known especially around the expat community.

I was so proud to see her get lost and dive into a very foreign country nothing like South Africa or the touristy stops that everyone is used to. She got to truly experience my new life and made really good memories.

We spent our last weekend in Seoul shopping eating way too much and buying all the crazy Korean socks! As soon as she arrived she left again but we had great fun!

One of the highlights was having her here for my birthday too she really did spoil me from breakfast to gifts and it really made me feel special. The last thing anyone wants on their birthday is to be alone and even better I had my best friend from home. I am not a big Birthday person but it was nice to have a low-key Korean BBQ and drinks with my close friends.

And just like that the year was kicked off at record breaking fast speed I didn’t even know what was happening all while working our extended hours because my hogwan (korean after-school academy) does a winter camp program while the kids are on their winter break.

While I was truly happy and living life I was burning out quick trying to burn the candle on both ends of the stick in my social and work life. I needed to pause take stock and get out of the depressing cold so what did I do I hopped on a plane to the Phillippines for a week of rejuvenation more about that soon.

Peace love & Happiness

Cherry ♥


That time my family came to visit & we ended up in the Sex Capital of the World.

I haven’t seen my family in  13 months, and I was so excited to see them. My sister who was 16 when I left her now fully legal 18 years old I was overjoyed and nervous to show them a glimpse of my travel life. I had changed so much too, and I was scared, would we get along being a solo traveller for so long and so used to doing my own thing will I get on with them.

While anxiously awaiting their arrival all these thoughts were popping into my head, and I was nervous to see them. They made the long haul flight, and I saw them hugged each of them overjoyed with happiness. My sister’s first words to me were,”why are you so thin it looks like you walking on your arms” hahaha my fondest memory.

A few minutes went by, and we could not find the person who was meant to pick us up family argument number 1. In those very stressful 10 minutes I knew I was in for a bumpy but fun family vacation. I have mastered the art of patience, but this was a new ball game I was about to start playing. Thankfully before I tried to navigate Bangkok with my family and truckload of luggage, we found the transfer and we were off to our hotel.

We chilled for the rest of the day making plans for the next few days in Bangkok. We ended up doing the floating market visited a temple. The evening I took my sister to Kho San Road (if you have never been read my Kho San Road post here) I showed her how the backpackers/travellers do things. The night was so fun filled with street dancing scorpion eating and plenty of the famous Thai bucket drinks. I was so happy to share my life with my sister and just give her a taste of what my life has looked like for the past three months roaming around South East Asia.

After many hours shopping with mother dearest and sister, Dad could not be asked to join so he let us go while he sipped beers in the pool making friends we were all happy this was good.

We headed off to our next destination Pattaya we had been previously warned not to go to this part of Thailand due to its seediness and it being the Sex Capital of the World but no let’s spend Christmas in this seedy place. The key to a good family trip is to do one thing that each person wants to do even if it’s not what you want to do compromise is key.

My sister had friends staying here from home, so we planned to meet up with them and go to the Cartoon Network waterpark that’s how we ended up in the sex capital of the world, haha

Our days here were interesting; the hotel was lovely but right in the middle of all the bars and clubs, so it was loud. I had not seen so many Thai women, ladyboys and old white guys together it was shocking. We never felt comfortable going to beach or taking our clothes off without men staring in that pervy way it was just a shit show to say it politely as possible. There is a walking street where all the clubs and bars are and people luring you in its insane to see, but so sad at the same time. Filled with Russians and Thai prostitutes let’s put it this way even though myself and my sister are adults it’s still not a place for a family vacation. This is just the best, the tagline for Pattaya is “Good guys go to Heaven bad goes go to Pattaya” so you know I am not making any of this up.

We made it to the Cartoon Network waterpark it was fun, and we found a foam party at the hard rock café which was great, and it was nice to be around faces I knew too. So we made the most of a very dodgy situation but were happy to get out of there.

We headed to Krabi for the last leg of the holiday it was so fantastic we stayed in a beautiful hotel in Ao Nang, This felt like a vacation so chill with the most epic sunsets. We all immediately felt relaxed. We booked an island hopping trip visited the beautiful Maya Bay and Phi Phi islands. My mom suffers from severe motion sickness the poor thing didn’t have a great time, but she’s a trooper for sticking it out.

Our days consisted of beach days, the best street food, beach dancing by night it was a good time. New year’s eve we spent on the beach lighting lanterns and watching fireworks it was incredible. The best part was my sister on the mic shouting Happy New Year 2016 to hundreds of party goers because obviously, she made friends with the DJ a few nights back.

It was a great night and the first new year and Christmas I had spent with my family in over two years so it was not traditional at all but it was magical because we were together. As quickly as the trip came, it ended, and we were on a flight back to Cape Town. I never felt more nervous to go home in my life.

I know we more than halfway through the year, and this post is like eight months late but rather late than never they said, right.  I promise to be more consistent with my posts and so much more travel bits to fill you all in on.

Peace love & Happiness

Cherry ♥








5 Tips to make it out of Khao San Road Bangkok Alive!

My love-hate relationship with Bangkok still continues as you can read from previous posts you can find here and here.

The first time I visited Bangkok in 2013, I never visited Koh San road the 2nd time I visited Bangkok I did for a very brief moment. I was alone and felt incredibly overwhelmed by everything.

If you have never been to Khao San road, you won’t know what I am talking about. Give me a second to paint you a picture. Koh San Road is the main backpacking touristy area. It is one street that stems off to many other streets equally as busy but not as crazy as the main Khao San Road.

Khao San Road is lined with hotels, hostels, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, ping pong shows, clothing or anything you can imagine markets. It is incredibly overwhelming as I have mentioned before, with people trying to lure you into their bars and individuals selling you things you don’t need. I remember the first time the taxi dropped me off I was afraid holding onto my bag but as you keep wandering and getting to grips with the area it’s not as bad as what I thought it was. Don’t get me wrong it’ still pretty crazy to say the least.

This time, around I got to experience Koh San Road in all its crazy glory with some of my friends I have been travelling with from Pai. We arrived at 6 am from a 12-hour bus journey that completely messed my neck up, delirious and confused we hopped into a very overpriced taxi to Full Hostel about a 5-minute walk away from Koh San Road.

Follow these tips below and you will be just fine 😉

  1.  If you plan to stay in this area try to find a hostel nearby to Khao San road because if you find a place on the actual street you will never get any sleep with loud music going all night.
  2. If you planning on drinking pre-drink hit 7/11 as the drink prices can get crazy in this area due to the fact it’s one of the main tourists hot spots.
  3.  Remember where your hostel/hotel is or stick with a friend the last thing you want is to get lost on your drunken walk home or not being able to tell a taxi or tuk-tuk driver where you are staying.
  4. Take only the essentials with you, money, phone and keep it in a safe place. The area is reasonably safe but it does get very busy, and it can make pickpocketing very easy.
  5. You will be proportioned to go to a ping pong show or any seedy strip shows. If this is your thing have fun but just be careful. They will often say the show is free you just have to buy a drink or two they make these drinks expensive and challenging if you cannot pay. So keep an eye out for this.

Needless to say, Khao San is a fun place you will make heaps of friends dancing on tables drinking one too many buckets than you should but as long as you keep my handy tips at the back of your mind I am sure you will have a blast of a time. Until you wake up the next morning with a deadly hangover and wander down Khao San road again and think to yourself: was I seriously having the time of my life in this mess of a place lol. It’s one of those things you have to experience at least once in your life.

We had so much; we were all safe and have good blurry memories of that night lol.
The rest of the weekend was bittersweet spending the last days with my friends that have become a family saying my Goodbyes as we all dispersed back to our own parts of the world.

While I was still hanging about in Bangkok for another week and then off to Pattaya and Krabi with my family who came to join me.
More about my family adventure in my next post. Hope you all are still enjoying these travel posts and welcome to all the new followers that have come to join my travel journey.

Let me know if any of you have any crazy Khao San Road stories in the comments below.

Peace love & Happiness

Cherry ♥



My slice of Pai

I was excited to head to Pai now having a few friends there too it was good to keep moving my last stop before returning to Bangkok. I had no idea how long I would stay in Pai but was making up my mind as I went.( which may I add was working out pretty well.)

I remember being picked up at my hostel and taken to the bus stop we picked up another guy before we headed out and we started talking about our travels. I miss how easy it is to strike up conversations with strangers in a strange place.

We were then awkwardly moved from bus to bus with no one speaking English thankfully we were together laughing and hoping we were on the right bus going to Pai.
I sat next to an old Thai lady, and we communicated in broken English, and I managed to confirm that we were going to Pai. She then kept feeding me random fruit, and I managed to sleep. I will say this journey is a winding one and can make you feel a little sick. A little tip if you suffer from motion sickness make sure to take something.

We finally arrived it was dark, and we stopped in the middle of the town on a very busy street. I loved Pai at that very instant I call it love at first sight. I felt so free and at ease it was so strange I had not felt that feeling ever before. I said goodbye to my new friend as he was off to his hostel and me mine.

I arrived at Spicy Pai. It was awesome, and it was night time. Sometimes it’s the best to come at night to a new destination, so you get a nice surprise in the morning. Spicy Pai is no ordinary hostel it’s up on a hill in a field of open land with wooden bunk beds draped with mosquito nets and a fire pit, outside toilet and showers. I loved it. I put my bags down and went to grab a beer before trying to find my friend who was also staying at this place.
He found me, and I joined the rest of guys playing drinking games and met some new people, we ended up heading to the town. It was a fun night, but I had no clue what the next few days had in store and I was excited to explore.

The next few days were filled with scooter rides up mountains, hot springs, waterfalls,photography missions, (nearly getting arrested to get a good shot of the airport runway lol), elephant feeding, rice field meditation, body massages, fishing with locals, random puppies, sunrise missions and many friends good laughs and good food this was by far the best way to spend five days.

I loved being carefree, feeling like the gypsy I am. I remember sitting on the sidewalk one evening and a random guy was walking by and just stared at me I smiled at him, and my friends asked him if he wanted the girl or the dog who was sitting next me. He laughed and said, she just has such a good energy and a beautiful smile. I will never forget that moment; I radiated pure happiness, and everyone could see it.

This leg of the trip I reconnected with old friends and made plenty new friends, but I was never this happy in all my life.
Today I still talk to some of my friends from this trip, and they are my reminder of a good time in my life a moment when I was truly happy.

I was happy not because of anyone or anything, so much beauty surrounded me that only God could create, and I was around real people only God placed on my path. I was happy because I wasn’t thinking about what is, and what’s yet to come, I was truly happy in every moment I was experiencing.  Every morning I woke up with no idea of what my day was going to look like, but I trusted that it would turn out great because I was confident, happy, and the energy of everything around me was amazing.

I remember just sitting around a campfire and watching a guy play guitar and singing and feeling so content in that moment, not a single worry.

The final night a group of us stayed up to watch the sunrise, we didn’t see the sunrise that morning it was a cold misty morning. I remember all of us being tired but fighting the sleep so we could all spend the last moments with each other before departing on our journeys and share one last extraordinary adventure together.

That morning looking back now was somewhat metaphorical in a sense. We always search for blue skies and happy smiles, but that’s not life sometimes we do get the cold, cloudy days, but it’s how we deal with the cold, cloudy days that help us appreciate the blue skies and sunny smiles. We will always have that misty morning even though it wasn’t the perfect sunrise we had hoped for it was a magical ending in the end.

Peace love & Happiness

Cherry ♥

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Back to Thailand I go.

Thailand has always held a special place in my heart it’s one of the catalysts that led me to this nomadic lifestyle I lead now.

You can read all about my very first trip to Thailand here.  The second time I had planned on visiting I fall into a love-hate relationship with Bangkok because I spent most of days in and out of the hospital.

This time was exciting I had gotten my zest for life back spent a week soaking up the sun and with my thoughts ready for the next adventure. I was excited to explore the North of Thailand for the first time as I had only visited Bangkok and Phuket before.

I left early on the second of December 2015. Me not being the smartest smartie in the box when I arrived in Chang Mai they stamped my passport and as a South African we get 30 days one month visa free entry into Thailand, I miss calculated the dates and my final day in Thailand according to my stamp was the 1 January 2016 and my flight back to Cape town was on the second. Luckily it was only one day and the fine is 500 Baht a day, each day you in the country after the day you’re valid to be in the country. Don’t make the same mistake I did people.

I arrived hoped into a taxi and made it to my first place I was staying called Mojito Garden. A random hostel world search the price was right and the reviews were good. It has that log cabin outside cubical shower and toilet vibe to it. No bunk beds thank goodness it was great. I was alone again and needed to get used to hostel life.

The next day during breakfast I made friends with a girl and we went to the Ma se waterfalls it was a beautiful walk in the forest it was great to be back in nature out of the mental city life.

That afternoon on my way back I packed up and moved to another hostel called spicy Thai. A recommendation from a fellow traveller. It’s a good place to meet people. I met heaps of crazy travellers and got roped into going to a lady boy cabaret that evening.Not before sharing my wisdom about Cambodia to my new friends who were planiing on heading out there in the coming days. It was great to make friends and connect again.

The show was such a laugh we sat right in the front and the guyts that were with us got a few kisses and lap dances we we could not contain ourselves with laughter. I suggest that whenever you are in Chang Mai to check this place out its in the main night market area. After that the squad rolled out to another popular watering hole called Zoe yellow. It was packed we danced until the lights came on it was great.

The next day I didn’t do anything really said goodbye to a few people. Hung out in the common room watched a movie. Planned to meet up with my English friends I had met in Cambodia who were now in Chang Mai. Tow of my new American friends were headed to Pai a place I was going to in a day or two and planned to hook up with them while I was out there. That evening I went out for dinner with my girls we caught up got some beers and headed back to the place they were staying and drank wit the rest of the guys everyone was so friendly and fun. It was also the kings birthday so many bars and clubs were closed.

The next day I booked a  bus to Pai and met up with a friend of mine I had met when I was ending my time in Vietnam. She is really a special soul we got our nails done and she was heading to an Island for her last few days before heading back home after travelling for 8 months while I was headed to Pai. I will end there as Pai deserves a post entirely dedicated to itself as its just such a special place to me.

Peace love & Happiness

Cherry ♥

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The Last Leg of my Cambodian Adventure – Phonm Phenh

After leaving my new favourite place Arcadia, it was a heaven sent that I found it so much so that the book I was reading was about travellers finding Arcadia. ( The age of Magic by Ben Okri) and the book was given to me by my first traveller friend Henry in Hong Kong  you can check out my Hong Kong post.

I headed off on the 20th of November to the capital city of Cambodia Phnom Penh I had heard mixed reviews about this town some people like it other people hate it. I also heard that you must be careful with your belongings I wasn’t going to take a chance with anything or listen too much to naysayers but rather experience it for myself each to your right!
I arrived and again being very lucky and blessed my uncle owns a hotel here. As I asked the tuk-tuk driver to take me to Hilary’s Boutique Hotel, he said oh Hillary Clinton and gave off a chuckle and he continued to tell me that people ask for Hilary Clintons hotel lol. I made my way in the tuk-tuk to the hotel.
I was so surprised I didn’t know what to expect but it was so charming and quaint a little slice of peace and tranquillity in the heart of the bustling city. I met up with my two Swedish friends for a drink and then I heard the sad news of my friends phone been taken straight out of her hand when she was looking for directions! So with that in mind, I was going to be more cautious!
The managers at the hotel were lovely treated me like royalty as soon as I walked in. It was so strange living in a hotel now; it’s so quiet and no bunk beds, but it was nice!

The next day we went to the Tusol Genocide Museum and it was heartbreaking to hear the history of what happened a good twenty or so years ago killing innocent people and children is never ok.
I later went to the killing fields the emotions I felt that day was unreal! I remember coming back and feeling so sad and shared my experience on Facebook.

This is what I wrote:
The feeling after seeing the killing fields: How do you put your feelings to paper or even make sense of it out loud it’s crazy! I didn’t know anyone who died but yet I feel as if I do. I watched people as they walked around and the look on their faces as if they were at a friend or family member’s funeral this is history and was people’s reality for many years! I sit here with a lump in my throat knowing now what I didn’t an hour ago yes this feeling of helplessness and sadness will pass but the harsh reality of the past will never! Every single Cambodian I pass by in the street has had a family member killed. What pains me Is it was unfair and there is nothing we can do about it now but pray that it will not happen again!! The killing fields a place of calmness and peace now; ironically it was a place of brutality and hate!
This is something I wish everyone to experience if you have the chance to visit this city.

I spent about a week in Phnom Phen it was great to unwind after the crazy three weeks I had just had. It was also boiling so spent most days in the pool watching movies, reading and when I needed some human contact I would wander down to Mad Monkey hostel get a beer, and people watch for hours.

I visited the Royal Palace too, it’s beautiful, and my tour guides the managers of the hotel were so kind explaining their culture and history to me. I am very grateful to them for taking me to exciting, authentic restaurants. I feel I got to experience the real city side of Cambodia also the Russian market is not bad for trinkets and clothes! I also got the chance to visit the Cambodian Children’s Fund to see the great work taking place here. An NGO that’s transforming lives of many children giving them a place to stay and education and something critical health care to many people in a small village in the city. I left feeling inspired and call to do more where I can.

I didn’t hate Phnom Penh I guess because it all depended on your experience with a place and I was very blessed to be treated to a real relaxing time in a beautiful place in a great location and highly recommend Hilary’s Boutique Hotel ( not being biased because I know the owner.) It’s a great place for families, solo travellers and people on business trips. They make yummy food too so defiantly check out the restaurant, and the staff is fantastic.

I entered Cambodia unexpectant, not knowing anything about the country but I truly left enriched and with many excellent friends.
Peace love and Happiness

Cherry ♥


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