Awe-inspiring Africa images I’ve taken whilst here in Kenya. A world away from the corporate world. A real breath of fresh air delivering life-changing awareness of how disparate our lives are.
Wow wow and double wow. Despite Turkish Airlines trying to scupper the perfect safari plans, we did it!
Following months of travel plans and trepidation, me and my wonderful friend landed in Mombasa a few days ago and have experienced an explosion to our senses. From spotting a lioness on the prowl, bouncing 5 hours along dust roads, to tasting local chocolate delicacies, and passing the shanty towns sprawling out from all corners of the country, Kenya gives you so much more than you could ever imagine.
The vast size of Kenya is mind-boggling and it feels like I’ve travelled the length and breadth! From Tsavo East National Park, to Amboseli, Kilimanjaro and Tsavo West. We head to Shimba Hills tomorrow to visit an orphanage which will be heart wrenching but we’ve brought suitcases full of toys, pens and shoes…. We nearly didn’t get them through customs though, they were going to charge tax on every toy and gift!
Despite the intense awareness that the country still has huge steps to take to compete on the world stage economically, culturally it is leaps ahead. They are proud of their African heritage and we have seen the close communities working together on such a microlevel it shames us. We live such independent lives often without daily contact with our family and neighbours, we forget the importance of network, support and sharing. The majority here live in mud huts but have a village network feeding and supporting them, we have solid brick walls but rarely come together as a community.
I shall definitely return with my kids – a real eye opener to vast spectrum of poverty and diversity.
We have lots to learn.
Turkish Airlines disaster
I’m afraid this is a rant blog post, no other word for it and I’m hoping sharing my flight plight may help several causes! The main being a Kenyan orphanage. My suitcase is packed with shoes, pens, footballs and first aid for a ‘trip of a lifetime’.
A friend and I embarked on the adventure 8 months ago and next week is when it’s all due to begin. We’re both busy working mums, eagerly anticipating a safari trip we’ve saved and strived for but also equally trepidatious about missing our young kids whilst in Kenya for a week. The worry, guilt and juggling was relieved by the knowledge that this was a wonderful opportunity and we can make a difference whilst out there by visiting an orphanage with donations.
Hence the panic and frustration when I tried to checkin on Turkish Airlines this week. No email or communication to tell us our return flight had been cancelled and we were expected to wait 18 hours in Istanbul airport! So the return journey from Mombasa to Gatwick originally was due to be 15 hours is now 33! Desperate to get back to our kids, you can imagine our anxiety. Stressed is the word for the week 😦
The helpdesk is not ‘helpful’ in fact it’s fair to say the complete opposite. The airline is apparently ‘the best in the world’ but can’t even respond to calls, emails, tweets – god help us in the air!
We are still waiting to see if we can change to Heathrow return flights. There’s availability but the multiple departments and units don’t speak to each other. We fly on Tuesday! We have no confirmation on return flight times and dates to rebook transfers, hotels and itinerary.
Holiday of a lifetime is turning into holiday from hell and we’ve not even left!
Please share to help us get home!
It was a beautiful cloudless sky overlooking the sea and standing out on the cliffs was another of those moments when you realise how lucky you are.
I ran off the beaten track and found a secluded beach. Very very tempted to dive straight in but only had one kiddifree hour so continued along the dusty coastal path.
Got a bit carried away with the beauty of the views, turned around and the sheer climb back to the road was huge! The shingle was a nightmare too so it was a very slow jog back up in the midday sun. Huge climbs nearly always have a gift of an awesome view, and today was no exception.
Didn’t see another soul, the views and vista were incredible. I love the feeling when looking out to sea of being a tiny insignificant speck in the huge world we live in. We all get consumed in the minutiae of our own lives-running by the sea puts everything into clear perspective. Whatever worries are not worth it- the world keeps spinning and the waves keep rolling.
Single mum in Spain Synopsis
Holidaying solo in Spain with the kids has been fantastic. A huge sense of achievement rolls over me every night when they’re fast asleep in bed and I sit back and smile over all the fun and games we’ve had that day.
Not having another adult to rely on is actually easier because you don’t depend on anyone but yourself, so when we head out its up to me to remember everything from the lotion, the lilos, the water to the crisps and the goggles! Then if I leave something there’s no blame and we ‘roll with it’. Watching couples and kids out here it’s easy to see how we can cruise into quite a negative dynamic with parents stressing over the kids and the kids causing stress on the adults. Take one adult out of the dynamic and there’s no one to nag or stress with-all calm (apart from dive bombs in the pool!). I’ve learnt a lot being single and having to do it alone will make me more aware when back in a relationship.
My mum came out for a couple of days and it completely changed the whole dynamic. Somehow
I started our adventure with apprehension; knowing that I would manage but wondering how much fun it would be. We’ve had a ball. A few moans to be expected, but very short-lived and the kids have been amazing. We’ve had pool parties, had Hawaiian birthday bashes, mexican meals and made lots of friends. It’s been a real awakening into how perfect life can be with the right mindset-you can make it what you want.
Hot Helter Skelter
Back on my fave La Manga run this morning. Full bottle of Berocca and headed out to sea. It’s a stunning but tough descent with an even tougher climb, but the views seem to melt away any thoughts of tiredness. The gradient is so steep at times it felt like I was running on the spot!
It was about 30 degrees in the shade so it felt like I was running in a steam room! The harder the run, the more cleansed I feel. It would be a detox hol if it wasn’t for all the chips and Cava being consumed! Hey ho, that’s what holidays are for 🙂
Wow what a run this morning.
Heavy head from a glass too many Cavas at the cheesiest Abba tribute act last night. My three year old is now singing Voulez-vous at the top of her voice. An eclectic mix of music taste in my family Arctic Monkeys to Abba hmmmm.
Headed out with a Berocca in my running bottle – my hangover cure of choice – and only ran for 40 mins but felt great after! The clouds were low so some welcome shade made it cooler for a few (too few to be perfectly honest!) interval sprints. At my final sprint, I turned and got this great rooftop view!
Sizzle in the sun
Why can I still not be responsible in the sun?! My kids are milky white with factor 50 slapped on every hour but I have an uncontrollable tendency to fry!
Yes, I’m naturally dark, but yes I also burn and today was the day (day 5 of hol) when I sizzled in the sun 😦
I think I have a burn bravado pseudo personality! And I know a lot of us have this streak-but in the evening we soon retreat to reality with the after sun and glorious nighttime glow!
Today it was the back – my excuse is I couldn’t reach it but really I got engrossed in a book 🙂
So tonight’s outfit was a black full length maxi from Next to hide a multitude of tanning sins! Hidden support was a bonus as the morning run and an overdose in sun made for a huge appetite! Gold and twisted thread hansa necklace and Victoria Beckham sunglasses
Racing through life
Running is my sanctuary. Thinking of nothing and everything as I race through life, every run leaves me with clarity, self belief and wisdom that I didn’t have before I set off. I feel at one with the countryside I’m running through and I relax into life. That sounds such a cliche but it’s true.
Now if I miss a run, I can feel agitated and stressed. My very own natural Prozac and a source of energy I wish I’d tapped into when I was younger, but then the luxury of being alone on the roads would have been lost on me before kids I think.
This morning, one of my favourite runs when I’m in La Manga a great workout as there’s a helter skelter style road down to Playa La Cala-a tiny cove overlooking the big wide blue. Such an amazing vista! You feel alive looking out to sea.
God damn bargain
Love mixing high street with bits of bling and I couldn’t resist this holiday bargain of the century from H&M! Striped bandeau dress £7.99 yes £7.99! Teamed it beach hair, gold vintage jewellery and Michael Kors clutch.
Great night with live music whilst kiddies played around a beautiful fountain in the square. Who cares what Peter Pan is up to!