Story Time

My Top 5 Dream Places That I Want To Visit | Wanderlust

I’m feeling some withdrawals from lack of traveling so why not imagine and dream about my top five places I want to see before you know, bye-bye?

  1. Japan

I fell in love with Japan through watching anime. I’ve seen parts of what it has to offer through said anime and not only fell in love with the country, language but culture as well. Everything fascinates me and it would be a dream come true to experience that in person. I want to feel the cherry blossoms on my skin and touch their bright colors. I want to eat ramen and fry meat on a little fryer inside the table. I want to drink sake on a porch. I want to go to a natural hot spring. I want to wear a kimono and go to a festival. I want to pray at a temple. I want to make a lucky charm. I want to stay in the traditional house. I want to meet the locals and experience the country side. It’s a beautiful country and I can’t wait to make many great memories there with my husband.

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  1. London, England

Ever since I read and watched Harry Potter I’ve been interested in the cold rainy country. I want to tick of everything on a typical tourist agenda but add seeing the country side and visit family. The Big Ben, the London Eye, Stonehenge, something Harry Potter related for sure, Buckingham Palace, the bridge and so much more.

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  1. Rome, Italy

Another movie sparked my interest in this country although I have a special need to see Rome. I’m very interested in the Italian culture, the food looks delicious and overall the country looks beautiful. I have a thing for old architecture. Also I can visit family so it’s important place on this list for sure.

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  1. Northern Lights, Norway/Sweden

To see the northern lights is on my bucket list and definitely a perfect candidate for my top five. Another movie sparked this interested if I’m honest. Disney’s cute movie, Brother Bear. After watching the film as a young child the lights in the sky was something so beautiful and exotic I knew I would see it one day.

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  1. France

I’ve been to Paris before and it was truly one of the best experiences in my life and I would like nothing more to see France as Paris is only a hint of the beautiful country.

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My favorite and most memorable travel story is Paris. I ventured into the city with my best friend and locals. They truly made the weekend one of my favorite memories. Previously my best friend’s parents met this lovely family and they kept in touch. So when the time came for the two of us to make the trip out to Paris they welcomed us with open arms. They picked us up at the bus stop with our country flag and took us to meet their family and ordered us the best pizza I’ve ever tasted. They had potatoes on top of a pizza. Heaven! The next day we had our first full day in Paris. They took us to the palace where we explored the royal grounds and also went for a boat ride which I attempted to row but yeah…Let’s just say we never moved away from the wall and we basically staid put. My friend nearly passed out from laughing. It’s a memory that always makes me smile. The next day we took the tourist bus and saw so much of Paris that it was breathtaking. The Eiffel tower was like a dream, the boat ride, the views, the churches…everything about it was truly so wonderful. I took over a 1000 pictures that day. I’m not even kidding. I just wanted to capture everything so I could never forget it. Our third full day in Paris we went to outer parts of it, saw the vineyards and explored the narrow streets. I would go back in a heartbeat.

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I love to travel and although Onno and I explored only a few towns outside the Netherlands I can already tell that traveling with my loved one is truly amazing. I can’t wait to see the world with him.

 

Fitness Tips

Bicycle Tour Update | Mini-Tour

So I’ve been mentioning the change in plans all over my previous post which is bicycle training week 9 – 10 in case you were wondering without much explanation. I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to lay it out for you all but I’m going to try my very best. First I should probably explain the entire tour briefly for those who are new here. The link will be below for all the finer details but to sum it up: The plan is to cycle the Netherlands in May 2018. Approximately 3235,4km. 100km in 31 days. 145 towns. The first original plan was to cycle 180km everyday in two weeks which is absolutely ridiculous and far from reality. Okay so now that you know what the current plan is I can explain why things have changed.

First I’m going to go into detail with what’s wrong with my plan. I didn’t take any rest days into account. Which is a big problem on my part. So I brainstormed on how we can adapt our current plan to where we can take a few rest days but still stay in our 4 week time limit. As Onno can only take 4 weeks off from work we really had our hands tied. Now the most obvious solution was to just simply rack up the daily maximum kilometers. This however pushed it into the impossible realm. So I had to come up with a different solution. I spend days trying to figure this one out but nothing came to mind. How can I do the entire trip, take rest days and still do and see everything I want to do and see. I then asked myself how long would it take me to do this tour correctly? If I had all the time in the world; how long would it take me to complete the tour? I worked it out. It would take us 8 weeks easy with a decent amount of kilometers per day everywhere from 100km to 50km with rest days and time to explore and enjoy the towns we cycle to. There is no way Onno can take a straight 8 weeks off from work so my next idea was to split it up. To do one half so 4 weeks in May and the other half somewhere later in the year, when that would be I haven’t figured out yet. You see this is when we encounter another problem. In September my studies start and then my schedule will be in the hands of my university. Another problem we face is the winter season. We want to avoid doing the tour when it’s absolutely miserable outside. We also want to avoid the busy season of the summer. Our problem just wasn’t being solved. It threw me for a loop.

So I asked myself why did I want to do this in the first place? Was it the big goal of the challenge? Or is it a little more than that? Originally the idea behind it was I wanted to see and experience the Netherlands. My new country and why not do it in a different way than what could be expected? The Netherlands is all about their bicycles so the steps my brain took was understandable. Plus like I mentioned before. I love challenging myself. I firmly believe that the best things that happens to us is when we challenge ourselves. I brainstormed for another few days. How can I solve my problem? Eventually it clicked. I don’t want to just race trough the route, spend two minutes in a town before getting a move on. I want to hear nature. I want to smell nature. I want to hear my tyres on the road. I want to drive my husband crazy with my singing and nonsense. I want to stop in every town and take my photos, move in the town and get a feel for it. I want to take a moment and just enjoy. I want to stop aside of the road in the middle of the country and just enjoy the scenery for thirty minutes. I want to slow the entire tour down because in the end it’s not a competition or a challenge that needs to be completed immediately. I can take my time.

When this year started one of my new year’s resolutions was to move a total of a 1000km  for the year. This included walking, running, dancing, swimming, cycling anything that can be considered LISS. By the first of August I completed my goal. I still challenged myself. I still got up and moved. I still crossed that finish line. I had a few good months were my average kilometers was sky high and then I had a few months where I averaged with 2km a day. I still got the job done. I still completed my goal. So I’m going to incorporate that exact same mindset because as we all know…

Rome wasn’t build in a day.

So if you’re still with me here is my new plan. We’re going to cycle only a third of the Netherlands next year in May. 35 towns (we crossed out 4 to make the route smoother). Approximately 835,5km with a wide range of kilometers per day. Our maximum will be a 100km and so far our minimum will be 50km. Without any rest days so every day on the move we will complete this mini tour in 10 days. Onno will still take 3 weeks off from work and we will have all the control in the world. We can decide when and where we will stop for the day and how long we want to stay in that town. We go out and experience new things and these different parts. We can do so much more now. We can even add a few towns and go up to a 1000km and make it the near perfect third. This way when the mini tour ends we will have the room to have Onno rest a few days before he goes back to work. It’s brilliant and the ideal situation. If I could do the big tour like this I would do it in a heartbeat but a third is still a tour, just a mini tour.

You might still see a problem with my perfect solution or well not a problem just a hole. What about the other two thirds of the tour? When will you get that done? Honestly I have no idea yet. This entire tour has been a learning curve. I think we will try for late summer before school starts for the second part of the third but otherwise we still have next year. It might end up taking us a little longer to complete but again, in the end of the day if I still cross the finish line and I still honored my promise. Tour the Netherlands.

bicycle route website

Links to connective post:

Bicycle training week 9 – 10: https://fitcouchpotato.com/2017/09/19/bicycle-training-week-9-10/

Challenge: 3000km bicycle tour: https://fitcouchpotato.com/2017/08/10/challenge-3000km-bicycle-tour/

 

 

 

Story Time

The Airplane Flight Straight From My Nightmares

I can’t be the only one that despises anything related to the oh so famous metal bird. The idea of flying sends a little chill down my spine and not for the reason you might think. I’m perfectly okay with the actual flying part and in these last two years I’ve racked up quite a large amount of hours in the air. If only my experience in the machine was pleasant.

I was 19 years old when I flew for the very first time. The experience was new and aside from the fact that the gentleman seated in front of me took a bunch of pills which set a panic throughout the flight attendants. I must say it sure beat the entertainment system, I mean someone was being slapped through the face by a bunch of people. This was also the time I learned the hard way that taking the window seat doesn’t go well.

My fourth flight is the one that takes the candle as my worst airplane flight to date. It was my flight back to South Africa (from the Netherlands) after my tourist VISA (90 days) expired. I was emotional about leaving so that didn’t help. Two connecting flights. The first one took an entire hour to leave the damn airport. The air felt so stuffy. I was trying my best to stay patient and ignore the frustrating co-flyers but my patience level dropped steadily. Not enough to take it out on poor mothers and fathers trying their utmost best to entertain their children but enough to grow a fierce headache. All good so far right? A hour delay? That’s nothing. Oh I’m getting to the good part.

I’ve already mentioned the hour delay so I will jump right to the part that makes my teeth clench from actual physical pain. There was two hours in between my flights and not a lot of time to spare. If you’re a frequent flyer the chance that you’ve been to this airport is very high. Doha. Dubai. If you have yet to experience the luxury that is this airport to break it down its massive. Think of the biggest shopping mall or theme park you’ve ever seen and then triple that size. My two flights were literally at the opposite ends. I was so close to my boarding gate when it happened. Sorry I got to add some mystery here and really build the entire thing up. It’s a big deal to me.

Someone called: “Cassandra!” Cassandra being my name and the chance that there was another Cassandra in the airport, in the exact location I was at 2am in the morning is so small I responded to my name in a panic. Now you got to know I was mid run (trying to find and get to my gate in time) and carrying a shit ton of weight on my one side. The beloved laptop that I’m using to write this very blog. With all my important documents in the mix my laptop bag weights over 10kg. The weight is not that important but just the action I took when I heard my name. I turned to the voice so quick, I got whiplash. Whiplash alone is nothing pleasant but the weight threw things off even more. A horrible snap sound followed and a blaring pain shot through my entire body. The pain so intense I nearly screamed like a little girl and dropped my laptop. The searing pain made it unbearable to even lift my arms or move a inch. The last thing I wanted to do was fly for 9 hours.

Believe it or not, it gets worse. I got the middle seat. It doesn’t sound so bad right? I was in between two very large men that filled up my seat two and because I honestly didn’t want to share my personal space with these two strangers I tried my very best to make myself a thin as possible. This might come across as rude, but I want you to know I don’t mean it like that. I’ve been seated next to a little girl that barely filled her seat but was constantly in my seat with her toys. I also didn’t enjoy that experience. Okay now that we got that behind us let’s get to the part that actually made my entire trip worse.

These two men fell asleep on me. This could happen to the best of us I’m sure but it didn’t make my flight better to put it nicely. I tensed up which didn’t do my shoulder and neck any wonders after the injury. I had to fight the urge to cry from the pain shooting through my system. Oh but wait. It gets worse. Like seriously, how could it get worse? I mean just how much can a girl take before she cracks? I will answer that question at the end.

So I’ve mentioned the two men next to me and their complete disregard of my personal bubble. They also felt the great desire to strike up a conversation. Something I’m surprisingly not okay with. I love meeting new people but please don’t try to share your entire life story while I’m fighting the urge to throw up. My mother didn’t raise a twat so I friendly replied but kept the conversation brief. Again, these men disregarded my wishes. Before I could stop them, they whipped out their phones and proceeded to take pictures of me without my permission. At this point, I nearly lost it.

I can’t tell you why I never complained. To be honest I didn’t think I could. It was my fourth flight. I genuinely didn’t want to step on any toes. The flight however did manage to come to an end. Now, to answer the question: How much can a girl take before she cracks? It was landing. It dawned on me that it will be months before I see my loved one. It just made everything oh so much worse.