Rovos Rail, South Africa, February 2020

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Sometimes when I “pretending” to work, I am really looking at travel blogs and dreaming about trips I want to take. One day I booked flights to South Africa, without plans as to what I was going to do while I was there. As much as I love safari, I was not about to do one alone again. Somehow I came across the Rovos Rail and well….

I booked 3 day trip from Pretoria down to Cape Town on the Rovos Rail. It worked out as this was the first train that worked with my flights.

I spent one night in Johannesburg before heading to train depot in Pretoria. I actually took the Guatrain. It was fairly simple and I would recommend it, if it’s option. It helped I was traveling with hand luggage only.

I had received a message a few days before departure that due to track issues, we were requested to show up early for the train. We were welcomed into a lounge area. There was a train museum that provide some insight into the history of the train and a random alpaca.

We then boarded and it was soon time to leave.

The train encourages socialization so they ask that we not use electronics in the public space. So originally I respected and did not bring my phone and take photos of the meals. I ate my first lunch alone. I appeared to be the only solo travelers, but the crew was amazing, so I did not feel alone. Luckily at dinner, 2 lovely ladies from Sweden, invited me to join them.

The food… where to begin. Wow. I never had a bad bite and they were very accommodating to food allergies. The wine and liquor pairs were amazing. Honestly I had no complaints.

On the 2nd night, it was fancy dress

The train did not run as planned, there were signal issues, flooded tracks, no power, dead locomotive, etc. But in the end I still really enjoyed it. Yes I was bit disappointed to miss Kimberly, but now I have another reason to go back and do it again! We ended up spending an additional night on the train. Which was no hardship, with the food and liquor following. I would 100% recommend the train. It was great to unplug and relax, and literally just watch the world go by.

Stay tuned next stop Cape Town!

Australia Day, Sydney January 2020

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The American’s celebrate July 4th as our national holiday, Australian’s celebrate January 26th as their national holiday. The date is in commemoration of the arrival of the British and eleven boats of convicts. I am not going to get into the politics but if you want to read more about the history Australia Day check out this website.

With it being a long weekend, I popped down to Sydney to hangout with Katherine and Evander. I used points for us to stay the amazing Park Hyatt. It was the perfect location for the Australia Day weekend.

There was a whole lot going on.. here are some videos.

Tug boat ballet, they kiss!

But by far, the best part of the whole weekend, was seeing the Opera House lite up.

Sometimes is the simple unplanned weekends that urn out to be best. I am so thankful I took advantage of the opportunity to spend time with friends. Who knew just 2 months later we would not be allowed. Hopeful one day soon this shall pass. Until next time, stay safe

Fiji- December 2019

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Back in January, I went to Fiji for a few days as I had a hole in my travels and it seemed like a good idea. Turned out it was the best idea ever, as Chicago was getting hit was a blizzard and I was enjoying blue skies!

I returned to the same place I stayed in January, Marriott Momi Bay, mainly because it there was just something so relaxing about it. Whoever designed this resort, really did a good job. With it being New Year’s the hotel was quite full. I still managed to avoid people! I arrived 2 days after a cyclone had passed thru, aside from a little wind, you would have never known. I still managed to have a perfectly lazy relaxing time.

The hotel put on a super show for New Year’s Eve. I was super lazy so I watched them from my room. Best place in my opinion

I should probably stop saying how wondering this place is, as soon it will be “discovered” and overrun with tourists. But I am not worried, the resort if really designed well and for those looking to escape crowds, it works, for those looking for a little social, it’s available. It’s really something for everyone. Plus Fiji Airways, just got an amazing new A350 that is worth checking out!

I’ve already booked my next trip! Can’t wait til return. Until next time time, Sota Tale!