Hello Cape Town! First, A Day Spent At

I once had a phone call with one of my best friends talking about life and in between, I mentioned Cape Town as a place I’d like to visit. There was no reason why but funny one I’ve been living in Lagos for almost  7 years but never travel to other countries in Africa. If you ask me the reason why I decided to fly to Cape Town this year, I just

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“Want to travel to somewhere that is nice, in the same time it’s civilized”

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I admit I wasn’t really keen to fly to South Africa. First reason, I was quite lazy preparing documents for visa. Second, oh gosh if you are a reader of this blog you must be nauseated how many times I’ve mentioned about building my dream kitchen but nothing happens yet. Okay, if there is somebody says to you that spending money to travel makes you richer than buying things, THINK twice. My personal opinion about it is yes, traveling makes you richer as a human being. It’s an absolute TRUTH. I believe everyone in this life is endowed with wanderlust. The level of wanderlust and the opportunity may vary. But if you have something more urgent and important to use your money for, share some and KEEP TRAVEL. Maybe, to somewhere inexpensive? At least, once in a year.

Reason one was done even, oh I have funny stories applying the visa from here. First, since I was extremely busy then I had to ask my driver to copy documents needed. Lesson learnt, everything about important documents handle it by you. Because of some mistakes I ended paying more than it should be. That wasn’t the key, time wasted was my concern till I had to sort everything out at one hotel near my office till late evening cause I only had time to apply the next day (I had to pay extra to print in the business corner cause hell ya, we had a problem with the printer in the office which made every paper faded printed! see?). Not even that, cross checking documents after 11pm was exhausting. It took more days for the visa process from what stated on the website till I finally got a message to collect my passport. Arrived at VFS and went straight to collect mine, opened the envelope and I didn’t see my visa (damn!, I was shaking a bit). I said to myself, “Well, Azis you said you are not that keen to travel to SA, huh? then, this is fine”. I was shaking a bit not because I wasn’t happy if I didn’t get the visa, but the money I spent to apply was something lol, the visa fee wasn’t that expensive but the service fee was too much :(“. I checked twice on my passport and ended saw one visa at one of the latest pages (haha, holy shit I could come back to work with a smile on my face, next time I’ll share some stories about this topic :)).

Reason two was more like an excuse again. Even though I wasn’t that keen to visit SA, but my travel bugs were flying higher when I finally got my visa and it was a nice feeling. I sorted all my tickets and knew this time around my travel wasn’t that cheap, because from Cape Town I would fly to Asia before flew back to Africa. But hell ya in between of fickle hearts, I said “let’s do this then. Nothing more exciting than getting lost at somewhere new with camera in hand”. I do believe that an opportunity to travel is something like carpe diem. Opportunity means we have fund to pay our bills but for me, apart of money there are important things involved: health and time. Back to what I said up there, KEEP TRAVEL even to somewhere that isn’t that far and expensive once in a year. It is really good to make us richer as a human in a way to embrace differences and beauties the world has to offer.

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“I flew after 20 hours layover in Istanbul and landed in Cape Town in the morning”

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It was a pleasant flight since I picked the flight route with a good timing and of course, window seat. Flying after midnight from Turkey gave me three good things: I could see how peaceful up there at dawn, subtle sunrise, and the landscape of Cape Town from above which looks very tidy. I could feel that I was already on top of somewhere that is not Africa at all but in Africa.

When I landed at Cape Town International Aiport I met with a driver from the hostel I stayed and went straight to Western Cape. If you are planning to travel to Cape Town, and love to stay at the hotel, oops sorry I left the S, I mean hostels like me, I recommend 91 Loop. I asked for pick-up service from the airport to the hostels to ease my movement and cost almost the same with Uber. Since there is neither metro nor subway in Cape Town, I mostly used Uber to move around (of course, using legs is the cheapest option if you have a tight budget, wise option to visit nearby destination!). Before I landed I already knew that Cape Town has a serious water shortage problem and it’s been three years. I was a bit worry when I heard about this and all the signages at the airport, malls, hotels, and public spaces are clear enough to ask you to use water wisely. But that wasn’t a problem at all since I could enjoy my days there.

Another thing I will tell you, when I landed on Sunday where a lot of stores nearby the hostel were closed and the road was a bit empty, I felt a bit unsafe to linger around (tho I did on my first day looking for food and ended with a pricey burger but man! it tasted so so good, one of the best burger I ever tasted). I know that we need to always be positive wherever we are but being careful is a must. At some areas by the street you would see raggy black people standing or begging (I don’t mean to sound racist by saying black people, so correct me if there is any better word to explain). That was the only thing I felt a bit hampered cause it limits me to take photos freely on the street. If you are going at least with two people together then you don’t need to be scared. Also, in the evening by 8pm I would always back to the hostel. It’s better to keep yourself safe than being careless and something happens like what I experienced in Istanbul last year. At the tourist area or somewhere popular, everything is fine. Apart of that, Cape Town is a beautiful destination. You won’t feel like you are in Africa, I repeated this. It’s more like in Europe of even New York kind of. I mean how clean and neat the city centre is, all those buildings, cafes by the streets, delicious food is easy to find, beautiful beaches, art galleries, many things you could explore. And 30 minutes drive from city centre to the airport sounds good, right?

On my second day, after I rested a bit and rented mobile wifi, I took my time walking to V&A Waterfront. Before I realized it was quite bit far from the hostels, I enjoyed every step on a sunny Monday morning with earphones listening to my favorites songs (this is my morning ritual every time I travel abroad, my simply happiness). I checked how much I would spend for Uber but ended by exploring some streets cum learning to read Gmaps more often. When I finally arrived at V&A, I felt so happy. I took a very slow morning by grabbing breakfast round two from Woolworths. I mean, what breakfast to expect from budget hostel, huh? :P

Anything better than sitting on the bench, enjoying good breakfast with this view below, on Monday morning while most people are working? As I wish I could do that every Monday in my life.

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I spent a whole day at V&A with few things I would always do when I travel alone: sitting on the bench watching different people with ice cream, following my heart where to have lunch either fancy restaurant or supermarket food (I ended with second option, shrimp pasta with avocado and it was so good), at V&A I was crossing my legs on the stone bench by the harbor and how I love spring, smiling to stranger after helping them with some photos (I know, this is classic challenge for solo traveler like me when what I got back after helped them was slanted photo of myself in front of one landmark :|), staring at the blue clear sky thanking Him for another opportunity to travel, also waiting for a sunset.

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Clifton Beach


“I spent few hours at Clifton till very subtle sunset was brighten the day”


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A week spent in Cape Town was one of my slowest travel style as I did not have any must-visit list and high expectation of the city. Every time I travel to a new country, I always try not to put high expectation cause I feel some surprises I’ll find there are more interesting. Even before I flew to Cape Town, I didn’t really have a clear idea where to visit though I did a little research for itinerary (of course for a visa purpose, what else). But when I was there, I kept doing the same thing everyday: woke up, checked map and cost for Uber to a chosen destination, and followed what my heart said. 

I paid a visit to Clifton on my third day after I went to Bo-Kaap for less than an hour since it’s quite close from the hostel I stayed. That day was quite gloomy, and I wasn’t so sure to spend my day at the beach (what was the point if it were raining then?) until I saw the weather changed a bit. After 20 minutes Uber ride from the hostel, I arrived at Clifton Beach 4. The area has 4 beaches named 1 to 4, that would make it easier which area you want to explore first.

I was pretty enjoyed when I lingered around there. I gasped few times looking at those beautiful houses facing the ocean which made me knew that Clifton is an exclusive residential area where the most expensive real estate in South Africa located.

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Cause I didn’t prepare myself for beach time, I came to Clifton wearing my very comfy Zara cloth trousers (it made me easy to climb those huge rocks), light tee, and leather bag. This sounds so stupid right now but really, I came just to have some scenery photos.

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The simplest thing that made me grateful when I was there was I could simply sit on the bench hearing how magical the ocean sounded. It was a moment when I said to myself there a lot of things in life I need to be grateful for.

I came and found a brighter sky then it changed a bit gloomy again till I saw a subtle sunset before I ended my visit. It reminded me that in this life, we just need to let universe shows different scenes without asking too much. And somehow, it could be unpredictably beautiful.

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Hey, It’s Been A While

 

Two things.

One, I just came back from my two weeks vacation: two different countries, two different continents! I can’t thank enough to the universe for all memories and lessons learnt. As always, it makes me craving more of where’s next!

Two, anyone could help to wake me up and say hello to a real life? I mean, it never has been easy to face a real life after vacation but the truth is I had great time a week in Cape Town and a week in Hong Kong. When I was on my flight back to Lagos, I couldn’t stop smiling and said to myself, “hey real life, I can’t be more excited to face you this time around!”

In case you wonder why, because I already thought of some new countries to visit when I was on the plane (wait, I never calculate all my expenses noted on my iPhone :P).

Before I share stories and for sure, photographs from Cape Town and Hong Kong, here are some photos from 12 hours in a city I visited last year on spring :)

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I had 20 hours lay over in Istanbul and the good thing was I landed in the morning so wondering around the city for 12 hours was so good :). It felt so great for being there, some last year memories were came out in my mind (tho in the end my legs were like, gosh!). I didn’t take a free tour cause the one available didn’t fit my time (you could join if you have more than 6 hours transit flying with Turkish Airlines, free of charge. Just because some places I already paid a visit last year so there was no point :)) also, I’m kind of person who love to visit the same place for a simply thing: remembering particular moment such as sitting nearby Galata bridge staring at sunset of Bosphorus Strait, which reminded me the first day I met Saf and Hakan :).

I can’t wait to share travel stories and photographs from Cape Town!

Once In A While


…just to love yourself, am I right?…


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After had a quite rough week I decided to send myself a gift (I’m not trying to be exaggerated but what if I tell you I had to use staircase more than six times to 6th floor cause the lift was stopped (at midnight!!) when I was directing my team to finish a book launch). I’ve been very straight recently not to buy new things (I’m really trying not to break my vow, spending money for an iPhoneX. Wish me luck! oh this doesn’t count please) but again, once in a while because why not.

I finally gave myself a thing I’d been eyeing for after I met the same bag but in black, three times at three different stores. I kept saying no to myself cause “well, I still could manage a tote bag I got in Kyoto” “a bit faded, anyway”“but, you had a bigger one the same brand, but you left it in Indonesia, so?” till I came to the last store yesterday and said “where’s my new baby? :)”

It wasn’t because my very good friend, Reza, did the same thing by giving himself a gift by flying to Stockholm today (yes, flying to Sweden!, I’m fine Za tho sometimes #YouAreNotNiceZabut giving ourselves a gift to appreciate hard work we’ve done is a nice thing.

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You Are Stunning, Cappadocia

 


The fact that I just realized today is April already, it makes me remember, I spent my April last year in one of stunning places I’ve ever been…


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I could tell that traveling is addictive in a good way, of course. I’m writing this in my room on Sunday, plus Easter holiday tomorrow, with my body’s here. But my mind is somewhere else. I’m literally thinking to travel to somewhere new. To somewhere I have never been to. I have some ideas where I’d like to spend my casual leave this year but I won’t tell for now :) (as I wish I didn’t need to think about budget TBH!).

As often as I think about where is my next destination, I also think about how I should gather my will to start something for my own house. It is too bad I neglect it for two years doing nothing. The last time I went (yes, last year when I had my annual leave in Indonesia) I forgot the exact location of the house, ridiculous I know. But it was true. I was literally wondering “where is my house” till I laughed stupidly when I saw a lot of vines growing on the floor. From the rusted gate, thru the door, till the unfinished part at the backyard. Sigh, pathetic. But here’s also the truth…

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“There are a lot of travel bugs flying around me right now”


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While I’m still looking at some places for my vacation, I’ll take you back to where I spent one of beautiful days I had last year in a stunning Cappadocia.

 

 

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Ok, fine. You just saw what I had for my breakfast in Cappadocia. It looks good right? The truth is, yes, it was! le pardon if it makes you hungry.

It was a bless having an opportunity to experience the famous balloon ride there and came back for an hour before my tour started. I still remember how peaceful it was having the breakfast that morning. When the sunshine was bright but the weather was cool, endless Turkish almond I fell in love with (true, the almond is amazingly milky!), fresh fruits, also that fluffy cutie popped in the picture :)

I only had an hour before the shuttle bus picked me for a whole day tour called Green Tour. It was part of the tour package I paid included the balloon ride (I’ll attach the link of the travel agent in case you guys need it :)). I had to rush preparing myself cause I knew that day would be an exciting long day.

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“You know I prefer to be a BTS person but when standing in front of that stunning landscape I gave my camera to one of the tour members and said “Would you mind?” ~ cause yes, for memory purpose. Perhaps if I didn’t follow my spirit I won’t have a single picture of myself in Cappadocia :)”


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Before I continue with the story, I’ll take you to take a short tour to some stunning landscapes…

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If you read what I wrote up there, I must say one of the things “Ok, travel first” instead of “Buy the furniture for your dream living room” is photograph. I admit that photography is my happiness. Before I even started writing this post I looked again on those pictures I took when I travelled, always, and will always make me happy. This might sounds like an excuse not to do something for my house but buddy, there is a magical feeling every time I look at those photographs” 


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I deliberately joined the tour cause I knew I can’t drive, meaning it would be easier for me to explore another side of Goreme by tour (even though I’m not a tour person tbh!). Perhaps if I could, I would drive around and stopped at some points anyhow I liked. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t regret anything joining the tour cause I was glad could see interesting places like what you’ve seen above. The tour itself started by 9am to 5pm and costs 40 euros/person. It includes Derinkuyu Underground City (you’ll love it if you are into history), Selime Monastery, Ihlara Valley, Pigeon Valley, and ends at Goreme Onyx where you could see onyx demonstration (and pick some if you want to spend money :)). The tour itself was a bit tight, so you might need to fuel yourself properly before it starts.

Honestly speaking you’ll be mesmerized by the fact how people lived in 8 levels of underground city then. It was amazing knowing the history from the English-speaking guide, tho it might be a bit boring if you are not into history. Again, if you have a plan to visit Cappadocia and have a very short time to explore but want to experience something else, the Green Tour isn’t bad at all. Yes, hiking on some points might be a bit tiring, but having a quick-lunch at place with beautiful surrounding and ended the trip at Pigeon Valley was worth to try.

When I finally arrived at my hotel that day, I didn’t want to waste my time in my room. I opened my window, the sky was gorgeous, some sunset hues were on the sky, and call prayer was echoed. I had no reason not to be grateful before I ended my day two in a stunning place called Cappadocia. Now, let these photographs do the talk :)

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I’m glad right now looking at picture above when we were stopped for five minutes and most of us decided sat on the road for memory purpose. Mine was taken by one of the tour members, she’s Chinese and traveled alone (oops, with her friend (read: a selfie stick) :)). 

When I shared my chocolate to her in the bus, she said “I loved to be up there on the balloon ride, I think I’ll do it one more time tomorrow” :) 


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Below is one of my favorite photographs I took that day…


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Ten Things I Love To Do In Tokyo


“Oh, bloody hell why I have to write the title of this post as if I’m a travel blogger, I can’t even say it with a straight face (I’m laughing!)”


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Okay fine, this isn’t a bad thing. I have managed my time (no, not actually, it’s laziness!) to start posting a post today. Been trying to finish what I have started since December last year after compiling some memories from my second visit to Japan (who doesn’t want to come back again to Japan anyway? One isn’t enough right). Well, this is a thing, when you start forgetting “don’t wait till tomorrow what you can do today” you’ll never finish. It’s lackadaisical, of course.

But here just a short one I’d like to share with you guys, ten things I will always love to do when I’m in one of fav cities on earth, Tokyo.

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“Of. Course. This. Is. The. First. Thing!”



“Pocky! This particular almond crush I tasted inside Shinkansen to Kyoto (on my first visit to Japan) stole my heart”



“What else is a better thing to start a morning than having a cup of cappuccino :) this was from Streamer Coffee Company”



“I might stay in hostel everytime in Tokyo for the sake of “finding new friendship”, but eating a proper “a-bit-fancy-oh-yes-it’s-pricey” breakfast at one cafe or restaurant is always a good idea, period”



“This is funny, but it’s actually fun”



“Staring the magical city light from above”



“Praying in a beautiful mosque called Tokyo Camii. When I was there, I remembered the day I met Hakan and Saf in Istanbul”



“Eating authentic halal ramen”



“Looking for some design inspirations cum spending money for some new stuffs”



“This last one might be the cheesiest thing I say on this post, but honestly speaking it’s one of my fav thing to do not only in Tokyo, everywhere I travel to a new country :). In frame below is my friend, Luís from Brazil”


Brunch With Avo


Just wanted to share some photographs of a brunch I had Sunday last week.


Few slices of avo on top of baguette with mayo and sautéed king prawns. Also, milky avo puree and dice-cutted avo in lettuce plus sweet corn plus cheddar salad. The way I love to enjoy this kind of brunch is taking it slowly on Sunday on the bed. In fact, this was shot on top of my bed using a DIY grey board from a side table.

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