Our weekend escape.

Sunday sunset.

Our view each morning.

This past weekend, my boyfriend and I went on a little “escape”. We went camping at Kleine Paradys, a newish campsite just outside Piketberg. My oh my, what a spectacular place it was! It is newly built with breathtaking views. It turns out, I actually know the owners, so they will definitely see us again anytime soon.

When we arrived and got all set up on Friday afternoon, we went for a swim in their heated pool. (It even has a mini slide where we behaved like children again). After our swim we started our campfire and watched the sunset. Words can’t describe how beautiful that was. Overlooking the empty Berg river, we enjoyed a bottle of wine, celebrating three and a half years together while watching God ending another beautiful day.

The next morning we woke very early and watched the sun making its way over the mountains to begin a new day. We went canoeing up the river for quite a while. It is scary to see how empty one of the famous rivers in the Western Cape is at this stage. Afterwards, we went to explore Piketberg. When we entered the town, it was about two minutes when we reached the other end of town. It is a very small town… Later that day we went for another swim with the water’s temperature about 28 degrees. That was lovely. We made a delightful lunch and then took a nap. I woke up a half an hour later and sat outside, reading my book. We listened the Stormers and Lions game over the radio followed by a mouth-watering dinner which my own master chef prepared for us on the braai.

At 7:15 on Sunday morning, I sat in a canoe, still half asleep, ready to paddle down the river again. (The things you do for the one you love…) When we got back, we made a breakFEAST. It was divine!! We went for one last swim and started to pack up. We stopped in Piketberg again for an ice cream cone and drove to my grandparents.

My aunt and her family are leaving for Canada on Wednesday, so this was their “goodbye” with the whole family visiting. It was so lovely to be with them before they leave again.

On our way home, I saw the most beautiful sunset in my nineteen years on Earth. (I looked like Ana from Frozen, looking at the Northern lights in the movie). Tears filled my eyes because of this beautiful view I had in front of me. My camera could not capture the real beauty of it, but it was BEAUTIFUL. I still don’t understand how people can not believe. even if it is just in something, when it is so beautiful around us. What a perfect way to end our fantastic weekend getaway.

I realized this past weekend how beautiful life actually is, if you just WANT to see the beauty in it. It took just a weekend to recharge my mind, body and soul and to be ready for this coming term. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to see this beautiful part of our world, not even far away from us. Sometimes you just need to break away from your daily routine and go into nature and embrace it for a while. I realized the importance of family, when all the family were together. Spending quality time with my loved one, and being just us, made us even more stronger. This was by far the best weekend I’ve had in quite a long time.

Grateful for small things, big things and everything in between.

Love & light

Ina xoxo

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Easter

It was Easter holiday this past week and our whole family went to our family vacation town, Kleinmond, a small town just outside Hermanus in the Western Cape.

I decided to go on a social media detox for the whole weekend. And I can proudly say “I made it”.
I decided to go on this, not necessarily because I am “addicted” to social media, but it consumes so much of my time that I don’t realise the life that goes by. I would usually just scroll through Instagram and then, 20 minutes later, I am stalking a foodpages’ editors’ dogs’ owner and her best friends mother’s birdwatcher… (Get the picture)
Our family are very close and we enjoy each other’s company. And because I don’t see them very often because of university, I decided to put my phone down for a little while, just to spend some quality time with them.

A little bit of what we did:
We rented a different house this year, because my father’s sister and her husband and children are in SA from Canada, and they decided to stay in Kleinmond for the Easter holiday. (we usually go there every December holiday). Our house was literally on beachfront. When you open the curtains in the morning, you see the deep blue sea and the beautiful sunrise. And then you have the energy for the day. We went to see the penguins just outside Kleinmond. Apart from the wind, it was a very exciting outing. The last morning my guy woke me up to go see the sunrise, and afterwards I did some yoga on the famous fishing bridge. And oh my, that was so good. Sunset-runs and sunrise talks provided me with absolute joy. I finished my book (Emily Hobhouse’s biography) and catched up on my sleep. (always sleep better with a sea breeze in the air). I baked a cake and made sago pudding for the first time and I must say it was to die for. We ate WAY too much. Every time you walk past the kitchen to go outside, you get something to munch…

I gained new strength and energy for this coming term. Luckily I still have a week of vacation back home. But this breakaway was really needed. My boyfriend and I also got some quality time together going for walks, ice cream talks, and just being in eachothers presence. (we have our own little getaway next weekend, buy that will follow in a next post)

To sum it all up: this was exactly what my soul needed. I can truly recommend a social media detox, even if it is just for one day. There is so much going on around us, if we just look up from the little screen in front of us and and look around. You realise that life is actually great. Spending quality time with your loved ones and doing things that you love will give your soul just that extra boost that Instagram or Pinterest just can’t do.

I am so ready to go back to this new term and grab every day with both hands. I am so thankful for being comfortable and settled in at this stage. Our flat’s going to be under a DIY construction when we go back just to get a more “home” -feeling. Right now I am so grateful for having my family with me and being “all there” this past weekend.

Remember, you are enough.

Love & light
Ina xx

Sunrise ons the last morning.

This view.

Dealing with change.

Stepping out of your comfort zone is a big step in a person’s life. People react differently to change. Small changes like moving your bedroom or reading a different book to big changes like cutting your long hair short or moving to a new town. Change is change. In my case, lastly mentioned was my big change. I stepped into the the so-called “student life” at the beginning of if this year. I should mention that I am a person that are very close to my family and being away from them for a while is not for me. (I’ve been like this since a little girl and will probably be like this until the day I take my last breath.)

So the first week was fun. It was an orientation week where we had a lot of social activities planned to get to know the town and the people you study with. My best friend and I share an apartment walking distance from the campus and everything we need is within walking distance of our flat. Then the second week came and reality set in… I had to deal with being away from home for 5 days a week, not eating mom’s food and not sleeping in a familiar place. And this was really hard for me.

I’ve never experienced a panic attack and I personally think that it differs from person to person. Shortness of breath, constant crying, and a loss of appetite was what my day consisted of. I struggled to make friends and didn’t want to be alone. I scared myself because I knew that this is not the person I was and I needed to change my mindset towards this change. Because it is here and nothing I can do would change the situation. I knew that it will be okay and I knew that it will get better, but just not at that time.

So I started to talk with other girls in my class and soon realized that this was my kind of people. We are a group of 6 who are constantly together. A few days ago when I was busy doing some work, I stopped and realized that I AM OKAY. I’ve embraced this change and are comfortable with where I am today. Yes, I still miss home, and mom’s food and my own bed, but the exciting thing is that I know at the end of the week, I would be having all three of those things.

I started jogging to release stress and tension and started playing hockey for the university. This keeps me busy and my mind going which helps me not to over-think this new environment.

In this past month I have learned more about myself that I did in the nineteen years I am alive. I’ve learned that sometimes it is okay not to be okay. I’ve learned that you need to have a good supporting system. I’ve learned that if you choose to think positively, positive things will happen. And the most important thing that I have learned was that God is ALWAYS there. No matter what your situation is, He provides and He cares and has an unconditional love for YOU.

So this is it: my first month as a college student and how it treated me.
What kept me going was a wise person’s words during this time:”You are at rock bottom. Nothing could be worse than this. From now on, things can only go upwards.” And it did. If you BELIEVE it will go well, it will. You are stronger than you think you are.

Till we meet again.

Love & light
Ina xx