Goodbye 2016- A Year in Review

So it’s that time of the year where things come to an end and we reflect on what life has been in 2016! Globally it’s been an interesting year politics world wide going crazy and so many influential people dying! To me it’s just a reminder that we not in control and that there is a bigger things happening in this world and we all put here to play our parts!!

Personally this year my last year in my twenties has been one crazy adventure!! It feels like just yesterday I was celebrating  2016 on a beach in Thailand with my family and best friend I took off and returned home feeling extremely anxious and excited.Celebrated my first birthday with my family in ages with a traditional SA Braai and then partied the night away with my best girlfriends it felt like a world wind dream!

Then reality set in and my crazy adventures came crashing down, I was 29 unemployed, no plans, feeling really depressed, moved back in with the parents and a house full of people. It was tough but the time I needed to use to make plans, do I stay or do I go again!

Fast forward 6 months at home and an overweight Thalea because I indulged in all moms cooking lol! I found myself setting up shop in Korea it quickly became my new home! I haven’t been happier I mean I have my ups and downs but being here had never felt so right!! I have traveled to about 10 different Korean cities that I absolutely love and my appreciation for the underrated beauty of this place has filled me with so much joy!

The people I have met have just made this journey even better I have learned to love myself more and truly love others. I have opened my closed self up to a new world and its only because I took that giant step to return to the unknown. I have laughed until I have cried and cried until I couldn’t cry anymore.I have learnt that in this fast moving world you have to put yourself first and that you can’t depend on others for anything. Those that want to be in your life will be and you don’t have to force anything!! I have made real friends that are like my family and this is the best part of travelling and living abroad for me.

I have no clue what 2017 holds I don’t know where I will be but I do know I am ready, ready to be older a tad more responsible and to start this new chapter! They say life gets better in your thirties right!

So Happy New Year to all I hope that this year has taught you many things and that you are ready for new things in 2017!!

Peace love & Happiness

Cherry ♥

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When God Sends you Unicorns!

I never openly write about Christianity you will find reference to God in my writing because I believe in God I was brought up in the church as I went to Sunday school had the perfect grandma who read me bible stories, so God was never foreign to me my entire life!

I went astray from the church as I got older life happens things change but by the glory of God I am here today!  Just because I strayed from the church didn’t mean God left me! I was a church seat filler for s few years or the few times I would go to church words falling on deaf ears mostly. Until I went to a different church, and slowly my ears opened and things started to make more sense to me and worship music was good things were good God started planting seeds in my life, I still wasn’t fully there yet, but he never gave up on me like he never gives up you!

He led me to China the place that I never wanted to go to do a job I didn’t think I could do but he led me there it’s only by his mercies it worked out for the best! I then I said lead me where you need me, and I ended up here South Korea 6 months after my 15-month adventure around South East Asia!

Now I sit and think what’s my purpose here am I doing a good job since he led me here! I have changed for the better because of him something is going right. I am by no means a good Christian I don’t think you get one because you can’t be perfect only God can be perfect.I sin daily I say words I should not, I eat too much, sometimes drink too much I find myself gossiping and be judgmental which I hate but do these bad things make me a bad person? NO

No, it doesn’t because I sin and pray and talk to God to help me in these areas doesn’t take away that I am kind loyal honest friendly forgiving happy awesome and beautiful the way he made me! So I can’t deny for one minute I am not a daughter of a mighty God I can’t doubt he made me a queen, a strong independent women it’s not me its all him. I will never try to make you a believer or bible bash you into believing in my King but if you spend some time with me and you like me know that I am not this great on my own I am this great because God made me this way and finally saying it out loud and proudly,I am daughter a queen of God!!’

Sometimes God blesses you with unicorn moments or unicorns just to show you his alive and watching over you . I don’t strive to be perfect because I will never be but the day I decided to eliminate my life from the BS and be 100% me,myself life changed and even if you don’t believe in a God or you believe in your version of God through me I can make you believe in something!!

Peace love & Happiness

Cherry ♥

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The One that made me Believe in Love Again!

For the longest time, I was afraid to completely open myself up to even the possibility of loving someone in a romantic way allowing my past to scar my future and that’s not ok.

It had taken me two failed long term relationships I had at a very young age and six years to leave me, so heartbroken I was afraid to love again actually! I mean love in all ways 100% love myself and 100% love all the relationships I have made old and new from friendships to strangers or the potential love interest.

There is a part of me so locked up I don’t  even have the key to unlocking it.Until I went on this journey of self-discovery.

I had to push myself to be more uncomfortable with my surroundings to fully understand the magnitude of what I am capable of doing; I had to push myself to be vulnerable and be ok before I could truly be ok with my flaws and accept that, that makes me who I am!

Today I love myself and believe in me so much so that I bring happiness to others because I am happy with who I am becoming!

I feel as if that section of my heart is slowly unlocking itself. I still have lots of work to do, but I am starting now to love freely openly and kindly because I allowed myself to be me 100% me and I am not afraid anymore (ok I am a little scared but I guess doing something that scares you is what life is about right.)

There was one unique individual soul who recently came into my life and gave me a glimpse of hope that not all people want to rob me of my happiness and steal my love but add to it and that made me believe in love again! My deep friendships and connections with people changed right away I felt this unleash of love for everything as if the floodgates has just been opened.

I have that I can’t eat can’t sleep kinda feeling for I am in love with life, and you may not know it, but I thank you, for you are the one that made me love again!

People  definitely come into your life for a reason some stay forever and some come to show you things you never knew existed or just to  make you a better version of yourself.

I haven’t had the urge to write recently until last week when I shared how my life abroad changed me so I  hope this writing phase comes back for good again! I hope you all reading this are enjoying my  deeper life journey more so than my travel journey which will be returning soon. I have been to so many beautiful places since I  have entered South Korea so please stay tuned for that.

Check out my Instagram  Thals01 and my Snapchat Iamthalea to see more regular daily updates if that’s your thing. Lastly thanks for those that read follow and comment it makes my day!!

Peace love & Happiness

Cherry ♥

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How My life has changed after two years living abroad!

When I decided to leave home about two years ago, it wasn’t an easy decision but one I am euphoric I made. I don’t think I would have experienced or become the person I am today if I had not have left home in September of 2014.

Now one year out of China and 5 Asian countries explored I am extremely grateful and do not regret my decision for one minute.

I remember the person I was two years ago heading into the unknown afraid but masking it by putting on a brave face.Heaven forbid I let my parents and family see my fear as I head into China a country we do not know very much about other than the fact it is extremely far from anything we are used to. Fast forward one year, I learnt to teach, I grew in confidence with being around children.( something I was not confident in), I managed to communicate in a new language, travel around China speak to many different people and make amazing real relationships with the best people.

As eager as I was to leave and try something new I was not prepared to leave a place so unfamiliar but an area that had served as home and the friends I had made my new family. Filled with tears of sadness but tears of excitement it was a strange time.

China was just stepping stone in my bigger picture I had no idea how China had prepared me for life outside of China until that day I packed up all my belongings and left for the greater unknown.

China taught me never to give up especially when the going gets tough.

China taught me to be confident.

China taught me to be strong.

China taught me to be brave.

China taught me to stop hiding.

China taught me patience.

Slowly as the year manifested and did its thing full of ups and downs I left with my head held high and the confidence knowing I hacked China for a year one of the hardest places to live.

I remember leaving for Hong Kong feeling like I was superwomen like I had some magical power. As if I was in prison for a year and finally saw the sunshine (ok not that dramatic but you catch my drift) I was sole alone just me against the world needing to figure out how I was going to travel around Asia for three months, and I wasn’t afraid of anything. I would not be able to do this if it wasn’t for the lessons I had learnt in China.

I ventured through Asia for three months came out with a few scrapes and bruises a few hospital visits but alive living the best version of myself. I had appreciated everything the beauty I saw was indescribable the joy I felt was magical. The saying hard work pays off became real I was so proud of myself for reaching this point. The best part was that my true happiness I was feeling on the inside showed on my face in my confidence to strike up conversations with random people. The law of attraction to bring the best people into my life at the right time made me believe more and more in the mighty God I serve.

I believe now more than ever that God has a plan for my life I don’t know my end destination, but I love that this journey has brought me to now South Korea. It wasn’t an easy task after having the beast journey and going home seeing all my loved ones. Getting to eat everything I missed and do all the things I told all the travellers I met to do when they visit Cape Town. It was good. The high I was on quickly subsided and felt depressed again. 28 with no job living at home with mum and dad it did depress me but also it motivated me not to give up on the dream I just lived.

It has lead me here to this very apartment where I live by myself still living an incredible adventure all while giving back to the kids I teach every day.

China has prepared me so much for South Korea I am a confident teacher, teaching and talking to kids is easy for me now and the job is easy compared to how I struggled back in China. Travelling around a country where I don’t speak the language is a piece of cake it is still frustrating from time to time, but I am so used to it it’s normal for me now. I am just more confident in myself and the people I have met have been special blessings in my life.

I am only 3months in, and I feel I have done and seen so much. Not for one second have I doubted my decision to be exactly where I am.  I thank you, China for leading me here and I thank God for keeping me safe and showing me I am on the right path.

Let’s see where this journey shall take me!!

Peace love & Happiness

Cherry ♥

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The Journey to the Beach was Worth it!

12249932_907436159305428_4727735287978012251_nSo if you know me at all you know I love the beach the soft sand between your toes and the crashing sound of waves, people frolicking around and sun tanners sprawled out along the coast. If you have not guessed, I am from Cape Town the city by the sea!
So being in China a million miles away from the beach it pained me so much. Not that I frequent the beach often I just like to know that the beach is nearby so I can go if that even makes sense.

Well, I was heading to the beach in Cambodia, and I could not have been happier not without a bumpy ride first, of course, it’s travelling. I had my first sleeper bus experience in Cambodia and what a strange experience it was.

So you get a double bed, and you share with someone. It is very comfortable but very strange they just assign you a number that entitles you to half a bed. So if you are travelling by yourself, you will be sharing a bed with a complete stranger just for your information. Luckily for me, I was with a friend, so I was in the clear lol. Siem Reap to Sihanoukville took about 10 hours and I hustled a ticket for eight dollars at one of the travel agents in pub street.

We arrived at the crack of dawn in a town called Sihanoukville an interesting place. Being the casual traveller as I am we didn’t book any accommodation, so sleep deprived and not knowing where we were going, looking for a place to stay was not the most fun experience.

After being taken to a few much-overpriced places, we found one and we were happy to call it home for the night. For the life of me, I don’t even know its name.
We then had some breakfast, and it poured down with rain I thought it would never stop, and all I wanted to do was go to the beach that I had been desperately seeking for months.

We made it down to the beach not the prettiest of places, but it was a beach. The area called serendipity is the cheap backpacker party area with stacks of beach bars along the beach and chairs all over the beach. The nicer side is called Otres Beach and apparently it’s beautiful. Since I was only staying one night, we didn’t venture down to that side. We booked a speedboat to Koh Rong the island of Cambodia, and I was so excited to head out for some island adventures.

That evening we went for a drink and watched live music which quickly escalated and I ended up at a beach bar covered in lumo green paint with some new mates we made. Randomly ran into the British girls I had been travelling with and we danced the night away! It just so happened that we had booked the same boat to head to Koh Rong the following day.

I ended up spending four days in Koh Rong it was a magical dream come true. Bungalow living which worked out to five dollars a night sharing with three others. All day tanning and swimming in the bluest of ocean waters at the perfect temperature to cool down. Watching mesmerising sunsets at Long Beach which is on the other side of the Island. Snorkelling, fishing and the best part swimming with glowing plankton at night in the open sea. The experience was unbelievable I felt like I was in avatar or something. As soon as you splashed or ran your fingers in the water the ocean would light up defiantly one of my best experiences of this trip.

Travel Tips
Go to Koh Rong its twenty dollars for a return boat trip and if you have more time go to the other Island. Koh Rong Samloem is quieter and not very developed if you want that natural tropical island feeling.
Visit Long Beach there is a hiking trail through the middle of the island or hire a taxi boat remember to nogatiate a price and the more people you can rally together the cheaper it is.
Swim with the glowing plankton at night.
Have crazy dance party at night at any of the beach bars and hangout with the locals.

You can also stay longer and work at any of these places on the beach for free accomodation, as they are always looking for western staff who speak English. You can also volunteer with the locals teaching English or with the children.

The best thing is expecting the unexpected. I often think back to when I was travelling and how easy things worked out even when you least expect it. I guess when you open yourself up to the world of opportunity things can change your life.

To stay up to date with what’s happening with me right now, Check out my Instagram Thals01, and my snapchat IamThalea. I post regularly. I hope you are still enjoying my travel posts and will be better at uploading posts more frequently and hope these tips are useful.

Hope all is well with all you thanks for reading!

Peace love and Happiness

Cherry ♥

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Stop the search and just be 2016!

This post is about 20 days late and I do apologise life has been busy but finally finding time to recollect my thoughts. I wrote this on the First of January 2016 to put it into context I just haven’t had time to post it so here it goes!

Stop the search just be as I enter into the new year I never make resolutions because I never keep them, so I rather prefer to set a motto of sorts a theme for the year.

I started this tradition three years ago! 2013 was get busy living, and I lived large went to every concert and music festival I lived and had fun. In 2014, my motto was Make it happen and boy did I! I got my TEFL to teach English abroad moved to China which was the hardest most rewarding adventure of my life! I even managed not to live abroad but to achieve another goal of mine long term travel. In 2015, my motto was Expect the unexpected and I could not have chosen a better theme for that year as to what I have experienced I could never have expected in a million years.

So that brings me to 2016 the first day the eve of my last day in Thailand which will be a travel day back to South Africa and my home Cape Town! I don’t know how to describe how I feel about this, my life as I know it changes again and I don’t know what will happen and I am ok with this!

This brings me to my motto for 2016 stop the search and just be! The reason I left home 15 months ago was to find myself go on a eat pray love mission of sorts.

By doing exactly that this is what I have come to learn from people from all walks of life; everyone is always searching for something, love, money, success, fame you name it they searching for it. They never truly invested in just being present in the moment taking it all in! I fall victim to this too always distracted by the background noise.

Put the phone down go off the grid and be and through that I believe the answers we so desperately searching for will just come we will be more open to taking risks and live than constantly on a search, aimlessly looking for something you not even sure you want or need!

I say Thank  You 2015 for teaching me all these valuable life lessons some of them extremely painful and pricey, but I wouldn’t change a thing!

Happy New year to all! Remember to stop searching and be grateful for how far you have come, remember to celebrate small victories and stay invested in the now. It’s the only time we truly have tomorrow isn’t guaranteed!

I am back on track now adjusting to life as I know it before the next big life changing event. Stay posted for next post all about my Cambodian Adventures!

Peace love and Happiness

Cherry ♥

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Motivational Monday- What’s Your Purpose?

My purpose is to inspire, whether it be talking to a congregation of people (not that I have done that), to writing a blog post where 1 to 5 people may read it or a simple conversation to the stranger on a bus, in a bar, on a plane or anywhere really!

I am living my story and I love hearing other’s too! Everyone has a story to tell, and if you just listen and open up to the universe, you will be a much better person. I have never felt more alive than when I am traveling, meeting people and having a good time!

I sat down and thought about it for a second… what is it about travel that makes me so happy? It’s the thought of discovering a new gem, a new friend, a new smell, a new smile! It’s to see things with my wide open eyes for the first time! It’s the excitement I feel when I wake up in a new city, it’s the lives I can touch with a simple hello or thank you!

I have learnt to let go of the person I thought I was and embrace the person I am. I am a single 28-year-old woman with a faith-filled life ahead of me. Stepping out of my comfort zone was the best thing I have ever done and I am so proud of myself for doing it! The road’s never easy, but the person you become is the greatest story you will ever tell!!

I encourage you to find your purpose, it’s tough especially when you don’t know how, who or what but try different things. Do something you’re afraid of, speak to a stranger, live now because the only way you can harness your full potential is to discover who you truly are!

I for sure don’t have my ducks all in a row and the truth is I probably never will but it is nice knowing who I am and the person I strive to be! Don’t let society cloud your judgement. I am a marketing girl by vocation.I studied consumer behavior, The media is selling you lies and things you don’t need so don’t buy into things you think you need rather do something crazy if you will. For me, it’s travel and exploring life through others and in so doing I have found ME. find the thing that makes you happy and just take it from there.

So step outside and you will be so surprised with yourself!
Peace love and Happiness

Cherry ♥