AND ONWARDS TO WHERE ALL THE BED BUGS ARE -THE BUSHCAMP OF AFRICA

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Ever gone on a vacation and failed to sleep, well I didn’t sleep the night I stayed at the Big Cave… – all I could think about was the fact something was going to crawl over my face during my sleep. Yeah, I must have missed that part during my Instagram posts I was saving it for this post because I was too busy showing you how beautiful the place was. But behind the scenes I was actually having a major panic due to spotting a long tailed Dormouse (some people say its cute and furry) I’m not sure people + the sad part is the fact I thought its was a lizard at first because all I could see was the tail so it was a big surprise to see this mouse! I went as far as locking myself in the bathroom- anyway amongst us were all these other bugs & insects which didn’t bother me.
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I mean we were in the very caves were African Bushmen used to live, surrounded by nature and animals. We were in fact in their natural habitat and they were probably more afraid of us – we should have known what we signed up too right!? (what did we expect well I didn’t expect anything larger a spider that’s for sure) – but seriously this moment will always make me laugh and smile that’s why I’m actually happy it happened. These are some of the unexpected events of traveling that I appreciate the most – I will always look back to this experience not as a bad one, but the one that made me cry with laughter!

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Anyway lets talk about all the other magical things, like how peaceful and quiet the camp is and during the night when you look up to a sky full of glittering stars – The camp would beat the drums when dinner was ready and this was the perfect time for story telling. All the guests and those who worked at the camp would sit down at one table to eat. This was so special because here you got to share and listen to stories from people from different walks of life also interacting with others instead of interacting with those you traveled with & its also nice for those who travel solo.

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My favourite part was waking up to natural light and the sounds of the animals who live around the cave. The best way to do this was sleeping with the curtains open so you get the light coming in nice and early. After all we didn’t travel to the caves to sleep right hahaa! So at 6am we were up and ready to walk through Matopos rocks – which was a beautiful experience. During this walk I learnt the history Matopos Rocks the heritage of Cecil Rhodes where once upon a time cavemen and cavewomen lived. In fact there are Khoekhoe paintings which are still indented on the stone, these paintings are what they used to write and create memories for generations that followed on.

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Some of these experiences can’t be found anywhere other than Africa itself –  truly grateful

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That’s all from me this Sunday, time to enjoy a Sunday Dinner-

I hope Everyone has a lovely week –

P.s I have this new outlook on Monday’s I seem to get really excited about them because I know its a fresh week and it’s the start of the count down to the weekend.

Big Love, Taffy – xo

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LIVING THE WILDLIFE DREAM

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We all need vacations that make us forget about our daily routines, I did just that. As some of you may have already seen on my instagram I recently traveled to Zimbabwe (located in the South of Africa) and visited Antelope wildlife Park. If you love wildlife especially ‘Ellies’/Elephants then your on the right page- You may remember I previously wrote a post on  Hwange Safari Park aslo in Zimbabwe but didn’t quite meet Ellies so I have continued the search for Ellies.

Antelope Park is in Gweru a road trip of 120 miles from Bulawayo. The park is very special, all of its people are really connected to the park you can feel it. They protect the wildlife as if they are the parents themselves. They are very hospitable and try to make sure you see all of the wildlife. Not to mention they are extremely knowledgeable about the animals, I must have asked so many questions. The most exciting part of the day was meeting these gentle yet giant mammals that I have longed to touch for as long as I could remember. I wanted to cry with excitement it was such a beautiful feeling, when they were walking towards me I was a little hesitant. I couldn’t believe how big they were in comparison to us little humans. I wanted to know everything from its eyesight to how it scratches itself when it has an itch (with its skin being pretty rough and tough & all) but I will tell you this they roll in the mud and flap their ears to keep themselves cool from the heat.

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From this trip I felt so free and relaxed being in the wild, I think it could be down to the lack of internet connection, very little human interaction, no infrastructure and just being surrounded by the beautiful landscape and these gorgeous animals. I’d never really thought of Safari/wildlife parks as relaxing before but after this I can say it is very relaxing. I couldn’t stop smiling and we were lucky to see some of the ‘Big Five’ animals Giraffes, Zebras and Elephants, Lions as well as wildebeests.
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Even though Zimbabwe is my motherland, I was only there until 6 years of age and now I am 22 so I am still exploring, there is so much beauty in Zimbabwe and I am so excited to share more of my journey with you all. During this trip I truly gained a lot of knowledge and also gained much personal growth which I will be sharing in my following posts.

I didn’t manage to capture all the wildlife but it was truly an unforgettable magical experience and I would recommend this park to anyone who wants to see wildlife in its natural habitat!

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Right I will stop here before I burn my Sunday dinner – hope you enjoyed this post!

Big love,

Taffy x

FEMALES EMPOWERING ONE ANOTHER

Today I attended a female empowering event for the launch of the Bumble bizz app, which is the first female connection platform where over 23 million users come together for networking. The topic was ‘ The power of Resilience as a Young Working Woman’: Led by Maya Jama – and within the panels were successful women who have worked extremely hard to be were they are. It gave me such a wonderful insight and I had to share with everyone.
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Key things to remember through your journey:

Stay true to yourself
Be the change you want to see….
Don’t sleep on your dreams, if there is something you really want. We all suffer with self doubt but it’s important to push yourself and work towards your goals and don’t give up. In today’s world we live in with a high use of social media within the younger generation, apps such as Instagram have become one of the biggest anxiety inducing apps & key comparison tools it is so easy to want to be like someone else, but it’s also easy to take in parts of other people. More so, its easy to loose yourself whilst your reaching for your goals. Sometimes you can even become misled or lost in the process.  So its important to take a step back and see where your at and take baby steps I always say forward is forward no matter how slow.

“Comparison is the thief of your joy”

-Never stop being inspired
-Never stop learning
-Be humble on your way up
-Don’t put time limits on your journey
-Its okay not to be okay (don’t pressure yourself to always be strong)

“No matter how you feel get up, show up and never give up” 

Empowering your friends and those around you
If you can help those around you, if you see something special in someone or if you can help your friends in any way. Give a voice to others, by this I mean share your knowledge with your friends, if you have contacts within the field they want to be in share them.

An example I can give, I discovered that a friend of mine had a love and real talent for  illustration. She would always draw illustrations of me so after some time I created an Instagram page and an email for her and I helped to create some of the ideas and encouraged her to follow her love for illustrating and today she receives a number of commissions. This was to empower women through various types of illustrations, race, hair, size, culture and really inspiring women to be whatever they want to be regardless of what they look like.

Another example is my beautiful cousin Ginny (Nia The Light) this woman supports myself and her friends like no other. She supports those she see’s talent in and those who she see’s have passion for something specific. If you have a dream or a goal she will be there supporting and encouraging you at every step.

– Its important to support your friends through all walks of life
-Being successful on your own is not fun, but when you can share the success its magical
-You don’t have to elbow everyone on your way up

“Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody”

Saving money- 
This is so key when you are trying to set up a steady life, saving can be so hard. But Julie rightly said today saving 10% of your pay each month will help you long term. Because whilst trying to reach for your goals you will need to pay the rent etc and your landlord will not be okay with you missing any payments (like hold on Doris just chasing my dreams I can’t pay rent this month) like no, so having the back up money for when you need it is important. Besides emergencies saving money and manage your money well is a great skill to have.

“Its not your salary that makes you rich, its your spending habits”

On the panel 
Maya Jama- Presenter
Naomi Shimada- Model
Alice Liveing – Author & trainer in wellness & Fitness
Julie Adenuga – Radio Presenter

Side note : Maya Jama – “If you love someone tell them because more often hearts are left broken”. 

 


Biggest shout out to my girl Emma MacNay for inviting me to the event, she is someone special in my life she has supported my career and from her support I have grown!

You live once..follow your heart, enjoy the journey as much as possible, stay positive and support your friends .

* To all my amazing friends out there, I am grateful for you!

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Thank you for reading,

Big love,

Taffy xo’

BRUNCH AT NAC MAYFAIR

We are girls who love to brunch..

This time my girl Hanna picked out NAC Mayfair, and it did not disappoint. Pre-booking meant that we manged to get a table by the window which was lovely (the lighting was everything + people watching). The waiter came to take our order and we both asked if we could have the Ricotta pancakes with dulce de leche (basically caramel sauce) & banana. He quickly told us that we wouldn’t be able to finish the pancakes and suggested we order 1 set of pancakes and something else from the menu. So you can imagine myself and Hanna are feeling a little offended *pause* like dude we are foodies we eat a lot we can handle it + we secretly thinking he wanted us to spend more money by ordering something else. But he convinced us that the pancakes would be a large potion so we ordered an acai bowl.

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When the food arrived it looked glorious the acai bowl was the perfect type of sweet (not too sweet) and light. Then the pancakes stack was definitely enough, each pancake was thick & fluffy once cut in the centre the sauce falls into the middle how glorious! our eyes and smiles were huge. We shared both dishes & I recommend doing so or if your going to have the pancakes just don’t eat too much before so you can really dig in & finish them.
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Wondering were NAC Mayfair is.. its located near oxford circus you can hop off the central line or the bus and place NAC Mayfair into google maps its a 5 minute walk from the tube station.

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After NAC we decided to head to Shoreditch were we just had a walk about and tried to explore new photography scenes. But of course we still were thinking about food and when in Shoreditch your never far from discovering something tasty. On this day we found the Softservesociety ice cream shop at Boxpark this is a soft serve dessert bar specialising in creating and serving soft ice cream flavors. I tried the matcha and vanilla flavors together as I was worried the matcha could be too strong but plain vanilla could be boring & the result of the mix tasted so good it was light and refreshing which is different to some of the other ice creams which are heavy & take a little longer to melt. Also I felt as though this one didn’t leave a diary taste in the mouth which I like (not sure if anyone knows that after diary milk taste). But yas people, I think this ice cream shop is the place to be no matter the weather.  Since this day whenever I’m in the Brick Lane/ Shoreditch area I make it a priority to pop in. IMG_5462
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Me and Hanna are such foodies, we are consistently looking for the best spots to eat. We love places with fresh food where chefs cook with their hearts and London is one of the best places for Brunch, Lunch and Dinner with flavors from all around the world. We especially love a good brunch and I love food which reflects with vibrant colors surely that means more nutrition (I tell myself). We plan on trying as many places as we can overtime, Hanna always say only if we could be hungry more than times a day so we can eat more (real foodie words right there).
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You can find my foodie & travel girl Hanna on her social media platforms:
Instagram &  Blog 

I hope you enjoyed this food post,

Big love,

Taffy
X

SUNSETS AND BLUE SEAS IN MYKONOS (GREECE)

If you love sunsets and a fresh sea breeze this island is for you…

This has to be one of the most beautiful islands I have ever laid my eyes on, the moment I landed in Mykono’s Greece I was screaming wow. It was around 6.00pm in the evening just in time to see sunset, the colours were unreal oranges to pinks/lilacs the type you see painted to perfection on canvas. We got a taxi to the boutique hotel we were staying at … its location was great as it was about 15 minutes from the airport and it was just up the road from the town centre. I visited the island at the start of its summer season so it was around 20 degrees with high winds they call the island the windy island because there is always wind no matter how warm it is. I recommend carrying a small light scarf & a jumper.
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The smell of the fresh sea was incredible. I just felt so free, happy and light whilst on the island. I really fell in love with it and the fact that everything you look at is a clean white buildings or blue seas was surreal (they make sure there’s a fresh white paint on all their building and floors). I also loved that it got dark late so you could walk around and make most of the day until 9pm before you live the nightlife.

Whilst in Mykonos I stayed in a boutique hotel called harmony hotel, located in such an in the town centre but just far out enough away. It is a walking distance and on the plus it is a very cute hotel and its photo friendly (is it just me, sometimes you arrive at a hotel or a holiday accommodation and you think well I won’t be capturing this in any photos hahaa). Also I think because I visited in the month of April it meant the island wasn’t overcrowded meaning peace and quiet.

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What do you do on a small island like Mykonos- Eat, swim and explore.

I visited what they call little Venice as the streets wind into small alleys with cute little shops. I fell in love with the small bars with wooden chairs and benches outside. The atmosphere in little Venice was so lovely. Also if you like designer shops there are plenty of those.

I visited the windmills, these were not spectacular but still lovely to see and I feel as if you are on the island you have to see them. These are located on a corner of the island and you can walk or even get quad bikes to the windmills.
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Another option is to hire a car and drive around the island and visit some of the islands most beautiful beaches, unfortunately I didn’t have enough days to do so but I enquired and it would have cost 43 euros per day.

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The food in town just by the sea was amazing and really fresh. You really got the sense that they were cooking with all their hearts putting in so much effort. The food was definitely reasonably priced costing between 10-15 euros for a good sized meal and breakfast costing 10 euros or less. Overall I thought the local community were so lovely and really welcoming of tourists unlike some popular tourist places you tend to feel some bad energies but not here!

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Because it is a very small island you don’t need much time to see all of it and there aren’t many islands but it is so beautiful that you won’t be thinking about activities. It is an island to relax and leisure around slowly, it honestly felt like I had just been dropped off to a retreat I felt so connected to myself and at peace.

If you ever visit have fun and respect the locals because they really take care of the island and remember we are visitors in their home land.

I hope you enjoyed this posted,

Big love,

Taffy x

INSIDE ZIMBABWE TRAVELS

IMG_0831Zimbabwe is my motherland and it is so beautiful with all that it has been through politically. During my time here is when I felt the best as if I was living my best life, the carefree life. Bulawayo is were I spent most of my time with my family, skipping straight to my second week we made a 5 hour drive to Victoria Falls from Bulawayo going through towns Lupane, Gwayi River and Hwange. The most irritating thing were the police who had roadblocks every few miles in total there were about 7 roadblocks. This was such a beautiful drive were you would see many home steads were people live in the rural land it was so amazing to see that there are people who are happy to live here with limited electricity and shops surrounding them and herding cattle. These people were so beautiful and they looked so radiant in fact jealous at the fact that they don’t live amongst the modern world yet they enjoy life their lives out in the wilderness . If your going to make this drive I really recommend setting off early so you travel during the day as there are single lanes and cattle which pop out all the time.

Anyhow on arrival to Victoria falls we quickly went to a tour operator called Pamusha safaris  to book a sun set cruise along the Zambezi river. This was so surreal the sunset was so beautiful and the temperature was perfect warm with a light breeze. During the cruise there are unlimited drinks throughout soft drinks and alcoholic, you are also served a dinner whilst on board.
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During our stay at Victoria falls we stayed at the Elephant Hills hotel which was absolutely beautiful as soon as you step through the doors you are greeted by 5 star hospitality services, offering you a cold drink whilst your check in is being processed. The room was fabulous with a balcony where we would wake up birds singing and  monkeys and baboons eating any food that they found left by guests and many deers strolling across the grass. This was my favorite part of the day I would stand still and appreciate the worlds nature. This really made the hotel special more so as tourism graduate who has worked in hospitality I thought the service and staff were amazing they were so helpful and friendly.
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The falls themselves were about 20 minutes from the hotel and these were unbelievable, the first thing I wanted to know was weather the magical rainbow across the falls was always there! and the explanation behind it is known as ‘Musiya tunya’ the smoke that thunders. During my time in Victoria falls I also visited the crocodile sanctuary were a baby croc peed on my hand whilst I held it hahaa.
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During the rest of my time in Zimbabwe I attended two beautiful weddings, at one wedding I had to go up on the podium and read a verse from the bible little because someone dropped out and I happened to be at the right place at the wrong time haha. Little old me who doesn’t read the bible often was so terrified but I went up there in my ballgown and did my thang 2 minutes of unwanted fame ;). Besides weddings I visited both my grandmas where I could relax in both their yards and time would feel still until sunset. I have to say sunsets in Zimbabwe are so pretty and the sunsets feel slow which gives you time to really enjoy their beauty.
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Travel details:
Airline- South African Airways from the UK to Johannesburg, Joburg to Zimbabe.
Total flight time: 10 Hours

I hope you enjoyed this read,

Stay youthful and grateful-

Big love,

Taffy X

INSIDE VENICE ISLAND – ITALY (City break)

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We all love an inexpensive city break, I visited in the month of December which is winter in Venice so it was raining and it was cold the city was so beautiful during my time in Venice the places of boats, as soon as you land you hop onto a taxi boat which is so lovely and unique from other travel experiences.

Not all city breaks are perfect right sometimes there are negatives,  I stayed in a hotel in Lido di venezia this area was pretty and peaceful, stayed at hotel Grande Albergo Ausonia & Hungaria this was probably the worst hospitality service of my life after my hair oil was taken from the room. I booked the accommodation via booking.com however I think for future bookings it is a good idea to check booking.com to compare and then possibly book directly through to the hotel as many hotels lose a large amount of money when customers book via websites such as this one. As a tourism ambassador I believe that businesses should be able to retain as much profit as possible.

Most importantly my thoughts on the food does ice cream count as food hahaa, the best gelato ice cream I have ever eaten. Italy being the home of gelato I couldn’t have been happier I was like an excited kid (live a youthful life- right) and of course I ate pizza and pasta throughout the trip it was delicious and super cheap. I found that it was better and cheaper to eat in the area that I was staying in (Lido) than eating out in city centre of San Marco as prices are higher for us tourists but I found that eating outside the city centre it was more intimate and I could meet more locals and experience a little of the Italian lifestyle – through my travels I have found that I prefer to go where the locals eat as that’s were the real deal is its usually fresh and cooked with time, care and love.
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The highlight of this trip was taking a gondola ride around the grand canal after watching so many scenes through travel documentaries and travel magazines this was such a wonderful experience. You can hop on one of these from many of the canal street in San Marco, this is usually around 60 euros or more (prices vary) I managed to get it down to 40 euros but as I put my negotiation skills to the test here and on this day I got 20 euros off. What can I say, there’s no harm in trying.

I also loved the historical architecture in San Marco and all around Venice the colors of buildings and the how everyone in the small towns hang their clothes in a perfect line outside their windows , I was like how do they do this? But one thing the city floods and this was heartbreaking to see locals having to rack out water from their shop floors every few minutes, this is to do with the sea levels and the walls which surround and protect the city but also because of the rain.  So if you visit around this time take some good shoes or be prepared to purchase some waterproof plastic boots, these are sold all around the canals.

7EF81658-0CB4-4D73-9CD5-4DBC61CAEDF0 I also visited and fell in love with Burano, an island in the North of Venice this is filled with colorful homes and it is so quiet during April it is so pretty. The story behind the colorful homes is that the fishermen needed to see where the homes through thick fog. This was a 45 minute boat ride from San Zaccaria (the duration may vary depending on the season).
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Costs:
Accommodation and flights (EasyJet from London to Venice) was about £300 for 4 nights for 2 adults, this was because the off peak travel season and the weather.

I hope everyone enjoys this read, I would love to hear your experiences of Venice and what you loved the most,

Stay youthful,

Big love-

Taffy X