I read something very interesting today and I thought it was worth a share since it is so relevant in my life right now.

I have never agreed more…

The more knowledge you have the more doubtful you are.


Frustrated with visas and restrictions….

I live in a beautiful country but the sad truth is – the government is corrupt, the market in Asia just crashed which weakens the rand tremendously and no money is being pushed into the country because who wants to invest in a president that justifies a R250 million security upgrade.

The only jobs making money are professional careers and I didn’t study a professional career because that is not my passion. There is money in the hospitality industry and there is always work, but in South Africa the money is not even remotely enough to support a single person. So what do we do – we search for jobs internationally.

It is absolutely scary when you come to realise that you will never make enough money in your home country in the industry you work in and that no other country can offer you work because of visa restrictions.

Currently it is only America that offers the J1 program for a year traineeship/internship for people from all countries. Once the year is completed you have to return home and can only re-apply after 2 years and once again be a trainee.

I started doing some research before returning home about the possibility to work in another country (not forever but at least 5 years experience would be great) and it is practically impossible in the hospitality industry. You can easily get a skilled visa should you have a professional career such as Engineer, IT, Lawyer, Doctor etc. but not for hospitality.

I practically need a visa for almost every country to travel and work and it is frustrating that people from other countries don’t even realise that they have a golden ticket. Yes I can go to Ireland without a visa, but here is the catch you can only fly through the UK and for that you need a transit visa. There is never just a let’s buy a plane ticket and leave… no there is always some restriction. Not if you are American or a EU passport holder though…

Why do they have the right to just go and work for a couple of years in another country without restrictions? Not only is it easy to work in other countries for them but also for travelling.

I just want to travel the world and experience your culture, I don’t want to become a citizen…

I have many friends in this situation as well (like my best friend from Brazil) and it seems the options for us are very limited: work for and international company and ask to be transferred overseas (mostly skilled positions which does not help us at all), marry an American or EU citizen (I don’t want to marry just for a passport because truly there must be some other way I can do it myself), or have connections and someone willing to sponsor your visa (which I just don’t have).

Frustrated and upset about the realization that I won’t be able to travel for a while or get more International experience, I did the only thing I could think of and applied to work for an Airline as a flight attendant (maybe the benefits for me will outweigh the downfalls because at least I can freely travel).

Let’s see where my path leads me, but here is hoping it leads me to the Inca trail…

Lesson 6: the travel withdrawal

So my sister actually inspired me to write again. Yes – that means I am actually home! A lot has happened in these two months since I last posted and I am realizing now that perhaps the reason I haven’t written is because deep down inside I knew that meant the end of my adventure.

It’s strange how you can go through all these emotions in one year and how one moment I can feel like ‘I want nothing more to go home’ and the next ‘I don’t want to leave’!

The truth is I have experienced this before. In the end you really do not remember all the bad, but only the good and how you have grown. The hard part is being home and seeing that everyone else went on with life without you. Whether it is your best friend that now have a boyfriend or one of your school mates that got married… life went on.

And it is hard because you kind of feel left out and you have also grown and changed but you can quite put your growth into a nice little package like ‘marriage’ and show other people.

I think in the end it just comes down to attitude. Changing your perspective and also trying to push yourself to be comfortable again.

Weirdly enough I now see them all as strangers and try to get to know them from the start.  This way, I can get to know how they have changed and also adapt again to my surroundings.

The harder part is going to be living in my parents house again and finding a job with this economy (which I will maybe discuss in another post)… Because let’s be honest, who knows truly what they want to do!

Falling back into old habits

I am almost nearing the end of my year working abroad and I am very afraid of going back home. Not really afraid of being there but more afraid about all the unknown choices and the possibilities of falling into the same old habits.

I have finally decided that the ultimate downfall of wanderlust is being afraid of being stuck in one place. No change or challenge scares me.

This all came about when I received an email from my old boss offering my old job back to me. Of course I had to weigh all the pros and cons before I actually agreed to what my heart was telling me. It is easy to go back and go work for someone who I am already familiar with, for a property that I know and also a job that I know I can do well. But my fear is I will get trapped again, it is hard to walk away from something that has a special place in your heart and I have already done that twice.

What if I do go back and work for him again? Will I stay there for another year and force myself to leave because I am not being challenged?

I am afraid to say no, but I know that if I do accept this position again I will easily fall back into old habits. I have changed, I need challenges and new faces (but I like my old habits – the struggle…).

At the end of the day, I guess we all face these choices or similar little changes everyday. I am going to try and stick to the belief that the universe has a plan for me – and it is certainly taking a step forward, and not back into old habits.

If the only challenges we face are those that life has thrown at us, then we are merely living life in reaction only – we are not pushing ourselves and directing our own destiny. Our greatest challenges should be those we give ourselves to reach our full potential. – Brendon Burchard

Givers and takers

From recent experiences with friends, aquaintences, guests etc, I have concluded that we can divide people in our lives into two categories: takers and givers. 

When I grew up there were simple principles that my parents taught me; 1. Never arrive at the occasion empty handed. 2. Never leave an occasion without saying thank you. 3. Always give something back because there are always people that have less than you. 4. Never ask anything in return but happiness.  

These are simple rules I have always tried to go by in life. It is not always easy but keeping to them has shaped who I am.

Having been brought up with people that always ‘gives’ it bothers me that there are indeed people who just use you and take take take. It is like i’m just a convenient  friend or acquaintance and only useful when I can give something or provide a service.

With this revelation, I slowly started sifting through everyone in my life. And quickly I could seperate the givers from the takers. 

I think a good friendship is when you can have a balance between give and take. And also when you can realise who is the takers, because then you can slowly shut them out of your life. I tend to invest more in people who give more and also respect people more for ‘paying it forward’.

You want to make the world a better place? You can start by actually calling your friend and ask how their day was, without wanting a ride to the city later.

Givers have to set limits, because takers rarely do. 

Lesson 5: Let people inspire you

Slowly but surely I will continue sharing all my lessons that I have learned and am still learning while travelling. This is a lesson that was thought to me by a very special cab driver that used to come and visit me each morning when I worked night audit.

She taught me this phrase ‘law of attraction’. She took her time in explaining this to me and I soon realise, wait a minute she might have a point. Maybe this is what I should be doing… seeing the world like she chose to view it.

Law of attraction basically translates to: what you put in is what you get out. If you believe positive things are going to happen to you and you put that out in the world good things will come your way. When she told me this I was like ‘yeah yeah’ she is just giving me a speech. But then I started to actually think about it and then I actually tried it out.

As soon as I started to have confidence that I would have a good day, my day became better. Soon I started to believe that I could be the change and that there is hope for small things like changing the mood of a colleague at work. It really worked. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a work in progress. And yes there are those miserable days where you just can be positive about anything.

At least now, I can try and always think of this lesson that I learned. Because her little speech inspired me to try a new perspective. She inspired me to think beyond the scope of my usual thoughts and soon I found myself trying to inspire other people with positivity.

Allow yourself to be inspired by the people you meet on your travels. Take the time to listen to their stories and let them inspire you to go cliff diving, swim with the sharks, hike up to machu picchu or even inspire you with something as simple as being positive.

What you think, you create. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you become.


I often find myself just reading random passages of things I find or links people share. Today I found this passage and just thought I had to share it!

the best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues often make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.


It feels like months since I have actually posted anything on my blog, so much has happened in so little time. I find myself constantly thinking about writing and I think spend so much time contemplating that I end up not getting around to it.

But it’s strange how one simple thing can change your happiness, however small it might be.

The following things have just had such a big impact:

  • I moved. (to the other side of the island, and it is cheaper!)
  • I stopped working night audit. (yay! I am back to being a normal human)
  • I travelled again. (this is what life’s all about!)

I am certainly happier now that all these changes has happened, and I can see time going by faster because I am having more fun and less stress.

Believe it or not –  in this small time that has passed, I have again learned something about myself. And after all these changes and yet another travel I realise that I don’t know if I will ever be happy to just settle. There is always going to be more and better and I think therein lies my dilemma and this debate that I am having with myself.

I realise now that it is not Key West that I don’t like, but the fact that I am boxed in and forced to live in one place. I hate travelling back here and knowing that I still have to live here for another 2 months. I went to Chicago for 4 days and I swear if I had the option I wouldn’t come back.

One of my good friends just sent me the following quote days ago:

When wanderlust is your biggest desire and enemy because going anywhere is never enough.

It is like this statement has ‘Ali’ written all over it. Maybe my biggest challenge is not to travel but to push myself to stay…  I guess I just have to realise that if you find something/some place or someone that you are willing to compromise for – you have truly discovered something special.

And if I haven’t found myself willing to compromise, maybe I haven’t found my something special yet.

Lesson 4: you will never be able to please everybody.

So, It has been nearly two weeks since I have posted. What happened? Life. Just as it seems I have picked up all the pieces, something comes along and shatters it for me.

I have truly had one of the not so better weeks – bike got stolen, roommates got in a massive fight and to top it all off I also got sick! Is it any wonder that I feel terrible (not only physically but also emotionally). It is strange to hope that for once things will just go your way?

Looking back, the thing that just made me feel the worst was this whole fight with my roommates. I have mentioned before that I absolutely hate drama and I have come to realise the place and people I live with cannot exist without it. I wish people who was 30 years old had all their ‘ducks in a row’ and that they would be able to talk each other like adults.

Is it so hard to understand that I sometimes live more in my head than in my emotions? Just because I don’t cry or get outrageously angry or say mean things, doesn’t mean I don’t have a heart. Sometimes I wish just for one moment people would even consider my perspective, but they are to caught up in trivial things to even think of anyone else.

Apparently by not speaking up, you still end up being the culprit because you chose not to get involved. And this brings me to one of the lessons that I have recently learned: you will never be able to please everybody. There will always be people out there that will be ‘haters’ and no matter what you do or what you say, you will not be able to fix them or make them like you more.

You have to distance yourself from these people because all they do is create this negative energy which fills this bigger void of negativity and sucks you in. Once you start distancing yourself, you will find it is easier to believe that things can be better. You can start putting that positive energy out there and realise that you don’t need to be anchored by these people who will never like you. Because if you know who you are and you are content with your choices – you don’t need their approval.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

Lesson 3: everyone we meet has something to teach us

Whilst traveling I met a lot of people from different corners of the world. They all come from different cultures with different mentalities. 

Some of these people we may only meet once and others might stick around. But one thing is for sure, they all have something to teach is if you are willing to listen. 

I met one of my good friends through my work. She is from the Netherlands and I remember the first day I met her like yesterday. I hadn’t maybe even spoken 10 sentences to her and she pulled me aside and said “just let go, what would it cost you to let go for just  one moment?”. 

I looked at her for several seconds and asked myself why she just said that to me, its then when I realised that she saw more than anyone that was currently in my life. 

She taught me not to sweat the small stuff and just be more “happy-go-lucky” in a sense.  Even without knowing her that well she was able to teach me a valuable lesson. 

Without even noticing people teach us a lot. For instance guests that give me constant issues to solve at work teach me patience. People that are mean teach me kindness etc. 

Only when we are able to look at a situation from an outside perspective can we realise that there is always a lesson for us there. 

People are sent into our lives to teach us things we need to learn about ourselves.