Kissed by a Jellyfish….in China.

Theres always been this crazy saying that says something like: we should never swim in the ocean if you cannot see your hands below the surface of the water…. you never know what might be lurking in those murky waters.

Well I fully agree now with this crazy saying, after the adventure I had.

You see, it started off with a simple vacation to one of the beaches here in China. From the pictures the beach looked amazing and O.M.G, the water looked so inviting….but there’s also a thing called the great PHOTOSHOP. Yep, the beach looked nothing like the photo’s…SURPRISE!!! But anyway, we still had to make the best out of it though, that being said it was a perfect day for the beach, the sun was out, it was a bit hazy but none the less, that is the norm in China, and the water was cool.

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There were people swimming, and jumping off those man-made floatable dock thingy’s and laughing, and riding jet ski’s and on floaty’s, they were doing the water-bound obstacle course, and in general having fun in the water, so not much convincing was needed for me to assume the water was safe to swim in. We were in a group of friends, so half of us were already in the water, while the other half were taking selfies of course and wondering the beach. Firstly, I dangled my feet off the docks just testing the water, okay fine, seemed cool which would totally be fit for this summer heat. Later after a few minutes and a brave encounter, I decided to take the leap, and boom, dived straight into that ocean which was all good. The ocean was a lot saltier than other oceans, and not too sure if it’s the color of the actual ocean itself or from the pollution but it was like a dark green/ black color.

Everyone else was swimming, so it must have been okay and safe to swim right? Oh boy if only that was true, a few minutes later I swam into a huge white Jellyfish that was hovering near the rope, now if I had been able to see my hand below the surface of the water I would have been able to spot the jellyfish sooner and would have avoided it completely. But that was not the case, I practically hugged it as I came up for air, not knowing I had swam into it, until I got up to the surface and realized I had squishy like gooey stuff on me. Not thinking much of it, I stood up and began to take the white stuff off…. and then it hit me….. Oh shit this stuff that looks like and feels like bookies (snot like) was actually a part of a jellyfish. Now the first reaction was to stay calm and move away from it, but me being a dramatic goofball turned around right back into it instead of moving away, I still blame the visibility for that one, and so the jellyfish took its opportunity again and stung me on my ass too. Only after the second sting did it show itself and its true colors…. it was huge and white……and by this point my mind was like….” holy shit, you’ve just been stung by a fucking Jellyfish ahhhh time to bring in symptoms and irritate your skin with redness and a burning like stinging sensation”.

The first thing was to remove every piece of it off of me, I tell you it was a mission. It stuck to me more than once and latched onto some places like a madman, by this point it had a weird stinging sensation. Now after removing all of it….I stayed for a few minutes after that in the salty water washing myself off for the millionth time only thinking that it had just grazed my arm. Soon I hurried back to the hotel to take a proper shower and then did I only realize the aftermath that it had left. On my arm and lower back it left like little red bumps, almost looking like a rash and well on my ass it looked like I had been beaten with a whip. It left deep like lashes that almost looked like I had been attacked by some wild animal with claws, and man oh man did it sting and burn like hell. So after getting checked out and thanking my lucky stars that it was not a poisonous jellyfish and that it wasn’t too serious I saw my other friends and the panic state they were in, only to realize that they too had been “kissed by that same Jellyfish”. And you know how they say that if you google your symptoms you land up going to be dying in the next four hours ect or something silly like that, so they were in panic mode deluxe. At this point I had to laugh at their reactions.

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And that is the story of how I was “kissed” by a huge-ass Jellyfish in China. Lesson learnt for sure.

XOXO

C.v.T

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Embrace the process. Honor the Journey.

There are times in life when you fall down, you keep getting up but you fall back down constantly and the struggles are real to get back up. But the fact that you get back up should be enough.

“Fall Down 7 times – Stand up 8.” – Japanese Proverb 

Change is NEVER easy. People can make it look easy, but we don’t know the struggles they face, we call them the BRAVE but deep down they chasing their hearts, their dreams their future with passion, tears, laughter, stress, fear, judgements, willingness and perseverance to create a future they crave and a life they love.

“Who you spend time with is who you become.”

We have goals, desires and so on. But what stops us from beginning that journey? one word, four letters: FEAR! We fear rejection, we fear change, we fear faith and many more things, we tend to give up before we even start. Time after time we hear the same bullshit excuses as to why we cannot accomplish our dreams, we become confined to our comfort zones but long for freedom.

We become volunteer victims to our own blind side, we get knocked down and that’s it, we fear getting back up.We throw our destiny into someone else hands and let them take control of our lives. We let them own us and control us, why ? because we are the ones who fear to stand back up. And I am not saying that it is not okay to quit or to give up at some point, because we all do it, but it is not okay to keep on quitting, to keep on giving up. NOPE, in order to succeed we need to learn the hard way, we need to realize that fear is an illusion, we need to remember that fear breaks us but also creates a beast, it makes you stronger and you might not realize it right away, but it does. The more we fall and stand up the stronger we become, the more we pursue our destiny and create a life we want, the more we start to enjoy the process. Yes, there will be tough times, sometimes more tough times than good times, and yes we will become fragile, we will lose hope and think why me? But the one question we should keep on asking ourselves:

WHY DID WE BEGIN IN THE FIRST PLACE? 

Are we ready to let go of it all, and start again at some point from the start? Are we ready to give it all up? Just to start all over again….

Sometimes it happens, we tend to lose sight of our goals and go completely off course. I for one know how it feels to fail, to give up and to be lazy. I have been through the stage where I done it over and over again. I lost my motivation, I lost the meaning of the process, I rejected my journey and let myself fall into the path of destruction. I thought in life we needed to party constantly to have fun, my healthy lifestyle, ppphhhffftttt why keep it up? when I had already achieved half of my goal, my first blog I created, I gave up because I became lazy, pursuing my career… nope, I rather spent that money on partying and shopping. Until one day it hit me. Is this what I wanted to make of my one life? is this what I desired the most? Is this what I am ? My answer was NO and it changed me completly, I needed that alone time, that pressure from my self, that mirror talk, I needed me to realize what I was doing. I took “ME” time to process my life. The peer pressure, the negative vibes, the party animals, the thought of having all the time in the world … was my mind shift. I was killing time, wasting it on nothing. Becoming the person who I was not, cracking under pressure and falling into a confined bubble. Sure I can save all the money, I can party all I want, I can live a habit that wastes time but does it buy back the time? No, time is not recyclable and that changed everything. My mindset shifted. I knew this time round I was bound to create the life I want…. MY LIFE.

PRESSURE BUILDS DIAMONDS BABY!!! 

You have got to push yourself today, you have got to realize that at some point you need to set your mind set  for yourself, you need to become you in ways that you scare yourself and scare your haters even more, that you become the person who inspires you and other people. You need to push yourself, to fall in love with your progress, it is the key to your happiness and greatness, to honor your journey and most importantly to become the person you want to become. Stop bitching and whining about why you are stuck in the same place, when you are doing nothing about it, stop falling down and not getting back up, stop assuming challenges are too difficult and start achieving your goals. Get rid of the negative vibes, the bullshit excuses the extra weight as to why you cannot achieve your goals, get rid of the thought that only the rich will succeed or the perfect people will make it. Just say FUCK IT, and achieve your dreams, live the one life you are given to your custom.   DREAM IT, CREATE IT and LIVE IT. You will thank yourself oneday.

BE A LEGEND. LEAVE A LEGACY. 

 

What will your legacy be?

XOXO

C.v.T

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While I’m still young…

Moments come and go in the blink of an eye, some memories last and others fade, people come and go in a flash, life begins and ends constantly…yet some people still choose to live there lives being unhappy. 

Now I get asked 1000 times or more what my plans are for life, and honestly I can’t tell you. I realized that plans don’t always go to plan, anything can happen and why spend all your life missing the little moments that make life: Life itself. 

I learnt to love myself the most, because in the end you the only person who truly has you and under all that confidence and bravery I portray is a demon fighting other wars. 

I discovered peace with the past is necessary, money can buy me happiness like a plane ticket but it can also buy the less fortunate food and clothes. Now, I won’t change for people who have tried to change me, being someone’s else’s doormat is not okay and give people what they want to see but be authentic about it, your hater will follow you like it’s there religion. 

So while I’m still young I’m choosing to live in the moment, I don’t have a 5 year plan, I’m trusting God with my journey and winging it and so far it’s been an amazing one. Labeling people is bullshit, let a person be who they want to be or love who they want to… we all bleed the same and smile the same, so for goodness sake loose the fucking labels. I’m choosing to let people go who want to leave my life, I’m still happy for them tho. I’m taking a lesson as a blessing and learning with mistakes, even if I make them 100 times. I choose to travel and see it all, to find inspiration in people’s daily lives and to simply smile at strangers. I choose to say NO and mean it, to live for the truth, gain knowledge in different parts of the world, listen to people’s stories and live a simple life. I choose to be broke when I have to be but also to hustle for the beautiful life helping the less fortunate along the way. I’m choosing to be happy, some people won’t agree with my choices or whatever they want to be, but that’s okay because I choose ME. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it, I’ve learnt to sacrifice a lot to get where I am today, but my mom deserves the world so I’m hustling to make her proud and myself proud. I’m choosing to love even the ones who are too scared to be loved, I was once in that place too, but I chose to let that person go, and I pray that they find someone whose strong enough to love them the way they deserved to be loved and fill in the missing pieces. I choose to follow my dreams and play by my rules and to challenge myself like never before, and I’m not the only one whose going through the ups and mostly downs of life, but I choose to lift my head and smile at the world. 

Lastly I choose to make a change for myself and by myself, I choose pray, hustle and slay above all. I choose ME. 

Xoxo 

CvT 

JET-LAGGED , China and Chopsticks…

Well as many of you know that jet-lag can be a real pain in the ass when it wants to be. Sometimes it hits you six love and other times it’s a walk in the park, no matter how many international trips you have traveled sometimes jet-lag just has no chill.

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About two months ago I traveled from Bangkok to South Africa back home and it was a pleasant flight might I add, little to no turbulence, the food was great and the staff very friendly and accommodating. Skip 5 hours back in time and I arrived in South Africa perfectly fine, hardly no jet-lag and carried on as normal. Now fast forward two months and I’m on a flight to China, a 13 hour flight to Hong Kong (in which I had the whole row of seats open next to me, so I slept pretty well) which is super beautiful, a day layover there in which I explored the city a bit and another late and delayed flight to China. Well I tell you that didn’t go so well. There was turbulence almost the entire way and jet-lagged snatched me right up in its destructive path.

It was a whole 4 days of tiredness, moodiness, loss of appetite, waves of nausea and I felt as if I was on an emotional rollercoaster. This has yet, been by far the worst jet lag that I have experienced so far. They say there is no cure, but to just get some rest and stay dehydrated, well that didn’t seem to work. I honestly questioned myself on how stupid I was to make this decision, but I don’t regret it.

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Well the famous China ladies and gents, is not at all a walk in the park. In my opinion I thought Thailand and South Africa had the crazy drivers but I might just be a tad bit wrong on that opinion. Forget that thing where a pedestrian has the right of way on a designated zebra crossing. Nope that does not exist here. Here in China it doesn’t matter if it’s your turn to cross the street or if you are at a pedestrian crossing, it will always be the cars, the funny scooter things and the bicycles right of way first and ALWAYS. Trust me I learnt the hard way trying to cross the street, I waited for the arrow to show me that it was my time to cross, little did I know that you have to look 360 degrees at all angles, because you see there’s a smaller lane in which I assume the yellow famous bicycles use and the scooters and then there’s the other 4 lanes in which the cars use in both directions and then there’s that smaller lane again. And boy oh boy if you don’t look all the ways for turning cars or whatever they are up to you will get hit. You can be half way across the street already and if a car is going to turn it will turn in front of you no matter what. In general they don’t speed too much except at an intersection and going around a corner, I noticed that they love doing the whole speed thing then. The funny thing is it looks totally like the drivers are all in sync with each other, a few honking here and there but not too much, if you are turning just ride straight onto head-on traffic, no worries you will be able to push your way into your desired lane. Don’t feel like waiting in line then just make a new one. It’s that simple apparently. All in all, I have survived most heart attacks from the roads, the food is great and the people are amazing, the foggy air is here and I have already fallen in love with this place, no matter how much bullshit and struggles it already put me through in my first week of being here.

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A haze lingers in the air constantly. 

The language has been a major issue regarding communication but I have met such amazing people who just constantly try to help me all the time. They have been such blessings. The biggest struggle with eating here have been those lovely chopsticks that are used everywhere. Yup, I suck completely at using chopsticks and of course I cannot just have a knife and fork anytime I want mainly because there are only chopsticks available. Well like Alli says,”it’s as hard as learning how to speak English and learning how to swim”.Right now I cannot agree more. It has been a huge struggle and of course all the chinese people think its adorable and cute, well I know I need to find a fork somewhere at some point with these chopsticks stories. The food is really delicious, I have tried some traditional Chinese food and it has been amazingly delicious. Those famous dumplings are so yummy. I am super excited to try more dishes, and you haven’t eaten real Chinese food until you’ve eaten it from real Chinese people I’d say.

Xoxo

C.v.T

These people
So amazing to meet these wonderful people. 

 

Goodbyes, Airports, 13 hour flight and layovers…. my kind of happiness.

Some say that money cannot buy happiness, I have a totally different view on that. You see the thing is we live in a world where we have been spoilt, we grew up wanting unnecessary things and we got it. We never grew up where we had to catch our own food, or make toys out of old wires and tins (now I know that there are still some traditions where they are happy with very little, but I am speaking in terms of the majority of the world), nope we grew up with money and credit cards of debt accumulating to be able to afford the life of luxury. And it all comes down to the one thing we all love and cannot live without: MONEY.

And I fall into that category completely, do I love money? Yes I do, that’s why I work to travel and repeat. Would I have been able to afford to travel without it? I doubt it. So yes money does make me happy, because it can buy me a plane ticket and that’s what makes me even more happier. Now the saying goodbye part is the worse, they say it should get easier but I think it gets harder each time I leave. Maby it’s the fact that you reconnect on a whole different level with people again, or it’s the meeting of new people, but some how saying goodbye all over again gets harder to do. Its harder to regret not taking the perfect opportunity though. And as for the best 13 hour flight I just had from South Africa to Hong Kong, it was totally worth the 8 hour layover to follow.

So today as I sit at Hong Kong International Airport waiting for my last flight (the amazing long layovers I truly adore), I realized we all have this perfect idea in our heads about perceiving money to be evil. Now on some levels as greed and jealously comes into play it can be, but for simple people like myself and many other travellers, it’s the route to all happiness in its glory. It’s that feeling that makes you excited, nervous, happy and sad all at once, the feeling of knowing you are about to explore new territory.

Where did I get this topic, well I overheard a couple fighting over money here at the airport and at some point the one said that they are happy because they bought the plane ticket and then boom it hit me that so much of us are alike, where people cannot accept the fact that we want to travel, we want to explore and to wander, we want to be able to say we have seen it all, and for me that’s exactly what I am doing.

I am going after what sets my soul on fire, the one thing my heart desires the most, the travel life.

xoxo

A C.v.T blogging from Hong Kong International Airport.

 

 

 

These packing stories… the struggles and the story of my life

Well some of us know that with the love for traveling comes the familiar packing and unpacking stories of our lives. Yup, the great big move is upon me and so is the packing again.

For some of us it takes 10 minutes or even maybe a day or three to unpack after a trip, but for others like me, sometimes it takes packing for another trip to unpack from the previous trip. I am absolutely guilty of being lazy when it comes to packing and unpacking I must admit. The first time I traveled internationally, I was super excited to pack, and when I came home I was even more excited to unpack because I had gifts for every one from my travels. Now after a few more times, packing gets to a point where it becomes a struggle and a pain in my ass.

Now I am super excited for my next move and rolling my semi unpacked suitcase out today, totally inspired me to start unpacking and repacking…..pfffhhhhtttt who was I kidding? That inspiration lasted a full 10 minutes of throwing out all my clothes and creating a mess around me. Then obviously  I decided that a nap was a good idea and promised myself I would start packing when I got up, nope that wasn’t the case either. After doing some other activities that were just stalling the process of packing I decided at 09:07 pm that I actually needed to start packing. By this point I had my poor Mom stressing even more about me not packing. So I decided to create a hurricane aftermath and pull out all my clothes from my closet, well it got as far as half on my bed but mostly on my floor, nothing in the suitcase though and one big choatic mess. By this time I have a bunch of stress – balls (a.ka. my people) stressing at the fact that I am not stressing about packing. I find this super hilarious and they are not amused at all, which makes it even more funnier, but I still love them.

At some point from now on reality started kicking in and soon I have to say my goodbyes again. Some say it gets easy, but I think it gets harder each time. I realize that its only one more full day to spend with the people I love, one more day to see their smiles and give them hugs, one more day with Charlie for nap time cuddles (Charlie is the family dog by the way) and one more day to pack my damn bags LOL. But the craziest of all, its one more day before I board a 14 hour flight + an 8 hour layover and a third flight to my destination, walking through customs worrying if I have thoroughly not packed anything “illegal”, not that I have anything illegal to pack, and one more day to walk the beautiful grounds of South Africa. But like they say if you don’t go after what you want, then you’ll never have it and I’m doing exactly that, I am chasing the exact thing that I wanted. After all, we all have the choice to create our own destiny and some of ours include a lot of packing and unpacking.

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And lastly dare to live the life you’ve always wanted, even if it does mean that you have to unpack and re-pack 152 0000 times, it makes funny stories when you’re older. Remember you have this one life to choose how you live and to leave a legacy that will continue for generations after.

So what legacy will you want to leave behind? The one question that sparks my soul every time.

xoxo

C.v.T

 

272 STAIRS to a majestic Limestone Cave and the statue of Lord Murugan – Exploring The Batu Caves.

IMG_3129Situated just outside Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia lies a mystery, a well sought after adventure, The Batu Caves.

First it’s getting there. Now there are so many options like taking a taxi or train or by car obviously, but they know how to screw foreigners over big time with the taxis, so the best advise I would give is: travel like a local, see like a local and eat like a local. Best adventures ever.

Taking the train is about 40 minutes ride and it drops you right off at the caves, it was efficient and a ticket costs us 2 MYR one way. The trains are forever changing the departure times, and are never on time to head to the caves, still cheaper than a cab though and super clean. You can take the train literally everywhere, to central downtown, to the tourist attractions and big shopping malls and many other places.

Entrance into the one cave area is free, the one where the Munugan Statue resides. There are plenty of places to explore around there, you can go up to the prayer room where a Buddha is present, but you have to leave your shoes at the bottom. It is an amazing experience, you can see how the Hindu Culture is portrayed, and how similar but different their beliefs are. Many people give merit and donations, to be blessed by the Monk or the Priests. Some an exquisite view to witness. The pictures below show the people giving out merits to the Monks.

After the temple you can walk around different stalls, I would describe it as kind of like a market vibe, but a little on the expensive side, this is on the way to the caves. Once you reach the caves you will see Lord Munugan standing gold and tall, he sure is a magnificent view and of course the famous stairs to the top.

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The Munugan Statue and the famous stairs leading up to the caves.

It is a popular tourist destination, so it is hard to get pictures without the crowds. The stairs are pretty steep, and a long way up. But all worth it at the top. If you aren’t wearing anything that covers your shoulder and knees, then before you enter you are given a wrap around as shown in the pictures above. They look very traditional and smart and you are allowed to wear your shoes. There is a prayer vicinity up at the top, in the cave so that is why we were given those wrap around.

Now if you are not fit, like me then getting to the top can totally be a mission, but all worth it for the splendid view on top.

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View from the top as you are about to enter the caves.

Once inside, it is indescribable at how gorgeous the creation of the caves are. They are such a beauty of nature that its mesmerizing. And to top it all off this part of the cave is free to enter. It is massive inside lined with limestone and natural formations. There is plenty of monkey’s to see and feed and a lot of roosters confused at the times. You can explore the caves all you want, and head deeper in where a Buddha is situated at the top. It is simply beautiful to see.

The formation of the caves are unique and amazing.

The monkey’s and the birds waiting for snacks.

The prayer room.

When you exist this cave, going down the stairs again to your right you will see another entrance leading you to another cave, there you can take guided tours deeper into the caves for a fee though. After you have finished exploring the caves and reach back down to the bottom of the stairs, you have to hand your skirt back in and you can continue exploring around. There are quite a few places to see.

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Exploring the caves was majestic and magical, it is definitely worth climbing those 272 stairs to the top and back down again.

xoxo

C.v.t