Are you happy?

If you have ever wondered what genuine happiness is, follow your dreams.  Since the beginning of high school I’ve wanted to travel.  Since 11th grade year, I’ve wanted to teach abroad and since 12th grade I’ve wanted to start a non profit which would allow me to help others abroad.  Each year the dream became a little more concrete.  I won’t lie to you and say the journey has been easy. I won’t lie and say I haven’t called off the dream and chased the party life or money. But now living and breathing my dream, I know it’s something that I want more than anything.

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This weekend I went to Muzinburg, with two Germans and an a fellow American.  I had a amazing time falling even more in love with Cape Town.  We went surfing for two days and it was such an amazing experience.  Surfing truly teaches you perseverance as the waves and wind will knock you down many times, but all you have to do is keep trying.  This weekend I found out my long lost hidden talent isn’t surfing. My goal is to still learn to surf while I am here, and I’ll keep trying until I accomplish that.

Also in Muzinburg I have an uncle who lives there. (Distant family, long story). Visiting him was really fun. I met a lot of people and everyone was very welcoming. We had a big braia (barbecue) for his birthday. There was a lot of singing and everyone is very talented in his family.  It was a little difficult for both of us to understand each other  but we persevered and figured it out.  I enjoyed being welcomed with open arms into his family and definitively will be back again.  Life is what you make it.  If you don’t like where you are in life, then change it.  There is not a single person stuck in a predicament that they can not change. I am glad to say this was the best decision I have made so far in my almost 21 years.

Until next time Jill

But you might die..

Here is my insight on solo female traveling. My number one pet peeve is when someone only has negative things to say about me traveling abroad or alone. I understand there are many risks of being a female traveler, but it doesn’t make it impossible. Safety is a big factor to why people discourage solo female traveling, but i encourage it. I encourage traveling alone whether female or male because it allows you to follow the wind, you can go where ever you like and do not have to debate it with anyone else. You can see the culture of the town and go where the locals go, or go where the tourist, or whatever catches your eye. Today was my first solo outing and here are the stories that go with my time alone.

My methods of traveling are not conventional and actually pretty crazy, but they work for me. I came initially to downtown Cape Town with no plan, and didn’t plan on taking local transportation. I decided throughout the day where I wanted to be and what I wanted to eat. I walked all through the street markets, it was interesting talking to the different vendors, all of them were from different places in Africa. They love to argue the price and forth, I love the different art, jewelry, clothing and cooking utensils, it intrigues me. Because I look like I’m a colored girl from Cape Town until I speak I tried not to talk in the less tourist areas. One moment I didn’t realize that I was in the market for locals and it got extremely unsafe very fast. I ended up getting lost majority of the time, but I eventually found my way.

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For lunch I went to a locals favorite eastern food Bazaar, it a similar to street food vendors in a long sketchy hall way. The first booth I went to I saw a giant rat crawling near the food so I politely went to the other side of the ally way. I have no idea the name of what I ordered, but essentially it was chicken in a semi spicy red sauced stew with long grained rice and this yellow pea curry stew on the side. It was amazing, I got all that food for about 3 dollars. I continued my journey back to the local street market where three men were playing instruments and a homeless guy was dancing, that was entertaining til I got kick out where I was sitting because I wasn’t eating.

Later I stumbled upon a street with different color houses, I’m not sure why they were different colors but they were so pretty. In route to meeting up with my friend My phone died so now I was walking around lost trying to find a Internet cafe. I graciously stumbled into R cafe, it’s a little hole in the wall with a very unique vibe, the staff was amazing and extremely friendly. I definitely recommend to stop by just to speak to the staff. The day consisted of me walking around and finding whatever pleased me. I probably walked 30 blocks in total, I’m exhausted. That’s all solo traveling is about, other than the one time of walking down the wrong street I didn’t fear for my safety. I definitely was carrying a knife in case anything broke out but luckily I didn’t have to use it.

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Until next time, stay awesome

Jill Bundy

What no one tells you

Those small details that are important when traveling abroad that no one tells you. They do not tell you that coming to a foreign country is difficult. I am extremely grateful to have family here to help adjust and to steer me in the right direction, here on my first couple days. Before coming I wanted to do things my way and on my own, but after being here for a few days it is better to have a friendly face around.

Here are some of the things I am having trouble adjusting to:

  1. Time Difference. There is a 6 to 7 hour time difference between Joburg, SA and Georgia, USA. The difficult part Is not being able to sleep when everyone else is sleeping. Jet lag is a real thing and is very difficult the first few days. I haven’t adjusted yet. Trying to contact family and friends becomes difficult because when I’m waking up (8:30 am ) they ae going to sleep (1:30 am) and when I am going to sleep they are coming home from work.
  2. Adjusting to cultural changes. When I say this I mean being able to go run, like I did back home. It is absolutely beautiful in the mornings and I just want to go run. But because I am still new to the country I want to adjust to my surroundings before I truly start exploring, at least for the first few days.
  3. Not knowing if when people cook if you will like it. I love to try new things, but there is one problem, I do not like curry. Do you know which country is the curry capital of the world? (not literally) South Africa. I bite into everything with extreme caution. Luckily my family has cooked some delicious alternates and I have not run into that problem yet. I am keeping a list of dishes I like.
  4. Getting use to house help. One night everyone was sitting at the dinner table and I heard a noise in the kitchen. Now if I was back home, and noise in the kitchen happened while everyone is in the same room that is a reason to go get a gun. Instead here no one was freaking out, I simply had forgotten the house help was cleaning the kitchen. It is very common for house help to stay with the family and become part of the family.
  5. Lastly, not understanding what anyone is saying and lots of staring. The accents are thick and because I look like a coloured girl (a mixed girl in South Africa) everyone speaks fast, not til I open my mouth do they realize I’m American. Many school age girls stared while I talked and wanted me to say more things. It is quite entertaining. Everyone speaks extremely fast when thy are in a large group and they use different English words which makes it difficult to understand.
    1. For example- Indicator = turning signal
      1. Boot(when referring to a car)= trunk
      2. Robot (WHILE DRIVING)= traffic lights
  • Matriculate (referring to school)= senior
  1. Napkin=diaper

And many other small words that aren’t used in America

Until Next Time,

Jill Bundy

The Time I Lost a Day

Warning there are a lot of random small events I will talk about in this post that contributed to the time I lost a whole day.

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The Flight

First it started with a 20 hour flight, which to my surprise wasn’t too bad to endure. I sat next to a Nigerian Pilot, he was extremely nice and ended up helping me with Wi-Fi when I landed in South Africa. So shout out to you, Nigerian Pilot, whose name I Don’t know! Before flying I was scared that I would not survive the flight because I could not sit still longer than 20 minutes. To my dismay I was able to sit, watch movies and color majority of the flight. The food tasted like a fast food restaurant that wanted to be higher class but failed miserably, my taste buds did not enjoy.

On the second leg of my flight we landed in Ghana. I found it interesting that while landing, all the giant houses and buildings were sitting on dirt roads. The main roads were paved with asphalt, but 75% of the roads off of the main road was not. The infrastructure of that country intrigues me. Ghana has definitely made it on to my long list of countries to go to.

Landing in South Africa.

The airport signs were extremely confusing; therefore I just followed my Nigerian Pilot to where I needed to go. Everyone had to go through immigration. In this line I met a couple from the United States, Andy and Ann, they were world travelers and was staying for 2 weeks. We talked for a long time and I realized they are definitely my traveling goals, Mr. Andy had travelled to 57 countries. Hopefully our paths will cross each other once again.

Meeting the Family.

I was gracious enough to have family that lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. Fun Fact: In South Africa they drive on the wrong side of the road, meaning the steering wheel is on RIGHT side. The kind of living in South Africa is different. My family lives in a gated community, that is still not safe for a single female to walk around in, along with gated fences around each individual houses. The windows are boarded up, but used as a design on the window. Along with after locking up all the doors there is a separate gate leading to the bedroom that also gets locked. My Aunt Tracy prepared a delicious African version of chicken and dumplings, it was prepared differently from the American version and I enjoyed it. The rest of the night, which felt like the day that never ended, I sat around and talked with my new family.

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Although in South Africa they speak English, Afrikan along with 9 other languages, I have to pay close attention to everything that is said because the dialect is very different. They use words in different contexts and it completely throws the sentence off. Side note, everyone has an awesome accent, although to them I’m the one with the accent.

That concludes the time I lost a day.

I Hate Packing

AHHHHHHHH! I hate packing. I wish I could just close my eyes and magically make the clothes I need appear. After being a habitual last minute packer for my enter life I tried to change that pattern and gain better habits. That failed miserably. I am sitting here one day away from leaving to go to South Africa and I don’t know what to pack.

The art of packing while on a volunteer trip is to not bring your entire life with you. I am going over to help others, not make a fashion statement. I have to be mindful of the countries customs and social preferences for women before I choose any thing. I will be packing everything I need for the next 6 months into my Osprey Aura 50 hiking pack. This Osprey pack is lightweight, comfortable and can easily fit exactly what is needed. I have packed, unpacked, and packed again before getting the right combination of clothes to take.IMG_0120

My philosophy while packing is, “If I don’t wear it in America I’m not going to wear it in a foreign country.” Different traveling blogs, such as NomadicMatt, and HerPackingList, gave helpful tips and guidelines for the ultimate packed bag.        The main thing is to pack for the weather.  In South Africa it is summer time, Thank God I am tired of the cold!

Here are the clothes I will be living with for 6 months:IMG_0121

Clothes and things

  • 5 light weight t-shirts for volunteering at the orphanages
  • 3 casual t-shirts for working out
  • 2 Columbia Omni-shade button down – easy for hiking
  • 2 long pants- 1 Columbia hiking pants that is light weight
  • 2 long length shorts (fingertip length)
  • Columbia rain jacket- light weight and comfortable
  • 3 work out shorts
  • 2 floor length skirts- for a casual event or church
  • 1 Track/ yoga pants – for travel days
  • 1 bathing suit
  • Chacos– outdoor sandals, great fro all occasions
  • Running shoes- Adidas, durable and light weight
  • Travel sized: lotion, deodorant, conditioner, and other medicines- I will pick up what I need in Cape Town.

With this packing list I am able to dress for any occasion, whether it is the orphanage, hiking, church or anything else that may happen. This is a very nerve wrecking experience and I am ready to embrace it. As my very first trip abroad I am ready for anything. The day to leave is finally almost here.

P.S. instead of packing I started coloring. here is my picture:IMG_0130

Stay Awesome,

Jill