Monthly Archives: April 2018

Plettenberg Bay – the crown jewel of the Garden Route

Cape Town had some serious gravity to it – with all its amazing things to see and do (and a buttload of work to get done), I spent three weeks there to start my time in South Africa. After catching up on projects, sightseeing, and waiting for the aftermath of the vicious Cape Storm to be cleared away, I was free to finally hit the road in SA.

The ranchlands of the Western Cape between Cape Town and the Garden Route

Destination #1: The Garden Route. Not an easy place to visit, as there are numerous places to stay – George, Knysna, Jeffery’s Bay – all these places had a pull to them. Once I typed in ‘Plettenberg Bay’ into Google Images, though, my fate was sealed: I simply had to make this my base in this beautiful region.

Shortly after arriving, I knew I had made the right choice.

I only had time for a quick look about town before retiring for the night. The next day was a wash, giving me a convenient excuse to get further caught up on work. With 20 degrees Celsius and sunshine predicted for the following one, though, I would quickly fall for this beautiful resort town

 

A well-deserved beer after a fun day walking this incredible beach

A well-deserved beer after a fun day walking this incredible beach

Oh, I forgot to mention something – despite it being officially winter at 34 degrees South Latitude on this particular day, the water was 17 degrees Celsius – bearable for hardy swimmers and plenty warm enough for experienced surfers.

Ever been to Plett? Geek out on how awesome this place is in the comments below!

PHOTO: A beautiful day in Observatory, Cape Town, South Africa

I have a habit of travelling to places outside peak season. And so it was with South Africa, as I landed in Cape Town in June. Good timing, eh? Not really. The seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere, meaning it was almost winter when I arrived in SA.

As luck would have it, though, it was much warmer than normal when got to my hostel in the neighbourhood of Observatory – 23 degrees Celsius to be exact. Sweet place to stay, by the way – it’s served by the third station from downtown on the Southern Line of Metro Rail, and it is full of indie restaurants and cute shops.

Pleasant weather like the kind depicted on this day is fleeting, though – one week later, and the worst storm in 30 years struck, bringing the winter rains and temperatures to a city dying of thirst. One year on, and Day Zero still looms on the horizon – here’s hoping this winter brings downpour after downpour.

The Mexico trip thus far: dodging winter, tackling my social media habits, and more

Progress (professional, personal, or otherwise) often proceeds incrementally before going exponential.

Unfortunately, it seems I’m stuck in the former phase. Don’t get me wrong – taking a rain cheque on Canada’s never-ending winter of 2018 has been awesome (though, I am starting to get concerned the polar vortex might never leave the Prairies).

Two steps forward, one step back

Photo by qimono on Pixabay

Who knew running a business in paradise would be so hard? — Photo by qimono on Pixabay // CC0

Like going the wrong way on a moving sidewalk, I’m making progress, but not as quickly as I could be – this is mainly due to deeply ingrained habits I have yet to shake.

I have had success on some fronts – I have managed to raise rates on some clients, and bring others aboard at higher rates than in the past.

Other battlegrounds have been a slog – specifically, my use (abuse?) of social media. Despite initial efforts to harness them for business purposes four years ago, I have largely been a passive consumer of sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

Being continually slammed with work in 2017 reinforced this, as I would retreat into these platforms for relief from the constant 12+ hour workdays which, depressingly, appeared to have no end in sight.

Moving in the right direction

Photo by Mediamodifier on Pixabay // CC0

Won’t be popping FB pills no more  — photo by Mediamodifier on Pixabay // CC0

Thankfully, as mentioned in a previous post, I summoned the courage to cut a high volume client loose late last year. This gave me the space I needed to recover from what had been an unsustainable workload. It also gave me time to reflect on the trajectory of my life and career.

Here’s one epiphany I’ve had lately: social media sites (apart from content created by family, close friends, and top-shelf brands) are little more than a time sink. If not actively managed, it can swallow up hours which could have been used to enrich your life, your career, or your business.

After dissecting my use of social media, I have stopped checking feeds first thing in the morning, I have imposed a 2x daily limit for checking accounts (apart from business use), and have slapped a five-minute time limit on scrolling through my Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram feeds.

Some people cut these platforms out of their lives entirely, and I understand why. As someone who makes their living online, though, maintaining a professional presence is a must.

As such, I have committed to re-establishing my presence on this site’s accounts – however, I’ll be doing my best to avoid falling down the social media rabbit hole – wish me luck 🙂

Mexico (and Guatemala) so far

All is quiet in San Cristobal DLC before the arrival of Semana Santa (Holy Week)

All is quiet in San Cristobal DLC before the arrival of Semana Santa (Holy Week)

Enough with the dry, boring stuff: over the past two months, I have been holed up in Mexico. Most of my time has been spent in Playa del Carmen – however, I am presently writing this from the mountain town of San Cristobal de las Casas.

I’m on the return leg of a trip which took me to Guatemala. Initially, the journey was also slated to include Nicaragua, but a sudden foot injury ended those dreams. Let’s just say I will never go on a pub crawl in flip-flops again.

In the week ahead, I will be returning to Playa, as the seaweed invasion which engulfed its beaches back in early March has vanished. Stay tuned for posts detailing what I have been up to lately, as well ones telling from my year-long trek through Asia, Africa, and Europe, which went down throughout 2017.

How has the first quarter of 2018 gone for you? Tell me about it in the comments below!