One of the things we love most about travelling are those rare moments when the world seems to shrink in on itself around you. The times when you end up in a place that literally sucks the reality out of your being and leaves you feeling teeny tiny but at the same time hugely significant. Those places where time ceases to exist, where your spirit takes charge and where the meaning of life is within your grasp.
Travelstart asked us to share what we love about travelling. For us, travel is about more than just seeing new places and doing new things together as a family. It is magic in its simplest and most humanly accessible form.
There are certain places where the fabric between magic and reality is torn. Places where people gather and become still and contemplative. These places recharge your spirit and make you content, they strengthen you emotionally and remind you what an amazing gift it is to be alive.
Here are 9 of our most magical places in our beautiful rainbow nation, South Africa:
When we wrote our open letter to the Universe on 1 January, the kids were adamant to include #13 – Something Fast. They weren’t too fussed with exactly what it should be, as long as it was fast and furious. Although I must admit to secretly hoping Something Slow, or Something Tropical would be dished up first, it was exhilarating to see how thrilled the kids were when we were invited to try out Misty Mountain’s brand new quad biking adventure.
Now this is something that most people probably don’t want to do, so perhaps our story will help those of you who think it’s a bad idea to lose your kids, to prevent it from happening to you.
Here are three easy steps to lose your kids on the Otter Trail:
After putting it out there to the Universe a couple of weeks back, Big U kicked into action almost immediately and we found ourselves on our way to our first family adventure of 2017 – No.15 Something Wet. (An Open Letter to the Universe – #17adventures)
First up on our 2017 adventure experiences was a family kayak and lilo adventure with Untouched Adventures up the Storms River Gorge. We prefer to gift each other experiences instead of things, and this was Ralph’s present for his New Year birthday. Paddling up a pristine gorge on bright red kayaks and heavy duty lilos sounded incredible and we decided to make a weekend of it with camping in the Storms River National Park.
Living in South Africa, we are surrounded by vast game reserves containing a huge variety of indigenous animals that live in natural harmony only a hop, skip and jump away from our city homes. There are also lots of smaller wildlife “sanctuaries” on the outskirts of the cities, where you can see and often interact with wildlife kept in captivity – offering things like elephant back riding, cuddling lion cubs and walking with cheetah.
We recently met up with Lara Mostert, avid animal rights activist and owner of Monkeyland, Birds of Eden and Jukani near Plettenberg Bay. Lara is passionately educating tourists to be discerning in their support of animal sanctuaries and activities, as not all are good for the animals.
So, what makes Monkeyland, Birds of Eden and Jukani different to other wildlife sanctuaries?
Easy answer – happy animals! Here are 5 responsible reasons why:
Read to the end to enter and WIN tickets for your family to visit all 3 sanctuaries!