A Visit to Calaway Park

The weather forecast wasn’t great, but we had family over last weekend and decided to have some fun at Calaway Park. None of us had ever been there, so this promised to be a day of exploration. This is not a sponsored post. 🙂 What I really love about Calaway Park is how family-oriented the […]

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Survival Tips for New Immigrants

Maybe it’s because I know so many people who have recently moved countries or are about to take that particular leap, but I’ve been thinking about life as a new immigrant a lot lately. Friends and acquaintances have been sharing so many firsts photos in their feeds, it’s difficult not to get all nostalgic about […]

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Calgary Zoo Visited

We had such a wonderful weekend with friends from South Africa who also live in Canada. Besides the good food–and there was loads of good food–we hung out, caught up, laughed and chatted, and also treated the kids to a day at the zoo. We’ve heard really good things about Calgary Zoo, but haven’t had […]

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Peace Bridge Explored

One of the coolest landmarks in Calgary has to be Peace Bridge. Apparently, the locals have nicknamed this one ‘Finger Trap Bridge’, because it kind of looks like a finger trap. I personally think it resembles a diamond back snake. Either way, it’s gorgeous. We haven’t spent that much time exploring Downtown Calgary since we […]

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Things I Don’t Understand – Canada Edition

You know, we’ve been living in Canada for just over a year, and there are still things we really don’t understand. So many things are done differently in South Africa–which makes sense when compared to Germany, but one would think that Canada and South Africa would share more similarities, considering that both have a strong […]

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Walking on Water – Lake Louise

You’d think–after everything–we’d pretty much be sick of road trips, but you’d be wrong. Why? Well, mountains. They call to us. We’ve seen some mountains before, of course. When Kayla was just a wee babe we went to the Drakensberg in South Africa, and we also experienced the glorious Bavarian Alps one December, back when […]

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Downtown Calgary

One of our first exploration trips took us into the heart of Calgary. We hadn’t planned anything specific–it was a see where the road takes us kind of thing, AKA we wanted to get out of the house. Back in Toronto, it was always fun to go Downtown, and while some of us are in full-blown […]

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Homeward

When you’ve left as many times as we have, you learn that home isn’t the land, air, or water. Definitely not bricks and mortar. Home is a smile, a hug, a long conversation at the end of the day, a week, or even a month. Home is a beating heart. For this reason, I know […]

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Long Walks

As someone who’s spoken to her fair share of therapists, you’d think I remember how important exercise can be for mental health. You’d think, but you’d be wrong. I mean, in theory, I know. Of course I do. But I’ve never really done the recommended exercise. I’m a butt-in-chair kind of person. 🙂 Lately though, […]

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Ice Ice Baby

It’s official, we’ve experienced another first on our journey. Last night, we had no electricity due to the insane storm that has been raging here in the north since Thursday. Ice rain, friends, is a bitch. If those of you back in sunny South Africa thought the worst thing that can possibly happen in Canada […]

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Horton Tree Farms

Living in Canada means loads of snow and maple syrup. As a self-proclaimed right of passage in our journey to become Canadian citizens, we figured it was a must to visit a maple farm and witness the process of making maple syrup. We’ve seen it a time or two on TV shows, but the actual […]

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Better

I’ve tried to chronicle everything throughout this double immigration journey, more so this time around than the first. Being vulnerable on the internet is difficult, but in the name of helping other immigrants through their journey, I felt I had to make myself just that – vulnerable. As a result, you might have noticed many of […]

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Canadian International Autoshow 2018

As you can probably guess from the title, we saw some cars the other day. And rightly so, considering I share a house with two major auto enthusiasts. Kayla’s one big dream for the day was to see a real racecar, while Jan wanted to check out all the American cars we don’t usually get […]

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Braving the Weather

This never gets old. If you, like my little family, have immigrated, or are planning to, brace yourself. Winter is coming, as are the questions about it. Moving to a country with a radically different climate from your home country is always interesting. I say interesting, because there’s something magical but challenging about the whole […]

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Sledding Fun

I mentioned on Monday that we went sledding for the first time. Loads. Of. Fun. I never imagined I’d like it, I’m not a very sporty person, but I’m excited for when we go again. 🙂 And if I’m excited, you can imagine what’s going on in the Kayla’s mind. She had an absolute blast, […]

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Vacation Highlights

As many of you know, my parents came for a visit over the month of December. I’ve already shared photo posts of us doing the things tourists do (over here and here if you missed it) but we still had some other expeditions that you haven’t seen. Since there are SO MANY photos, I thought I’d […]

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Snow Fun

I learned one of the most important lessons of my life as an immigrant this week – don’t leave the snow shovelling for the next morning. Also, snow shovelling? Not fun, but really satisfying when it’s over. Having a walkable sidewalk made me feel fantastic, weird as that may sound. And thankfully, I had my […]

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CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium (My WIP)

I’m typing this as the snow is falling and slowly piling up outside. Just thought I’d put that out there, since our friends and family in Europe and the UK have been spamming us with wonderful imagery of snow, and we’ve been feeling left out here in Toronto. Ironically, everybody was expecting us to spam […]

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Toronto Christmas Market 2017

I guess we wanted to see how the Canadians do Christmas. You know, considering we’ve been to a lot of European Christmas markets. 🙂 Living in Germany will do that to you. Honestly, the Toronto Christmas Market was a lot like its German counterparts – merry, happy, jolly. Sure, this time around we understood the […]

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Things I Miss About Germany

Nobody saw this post coming, right? 😛 Truth is, Europe was our home for two years. I don’t believe you can spend extended periods of time in any place and leave it exactly the same as you were when you entered it. People and places change you, whether you want it to or not. For […]

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Growing Pains

So, Kayla started school this week. Kindergarten in the rest of the world (well, the parts I’ve lived) and kindergarten (nursery school) in South Africa are vastly different concepts. ◄ This is something we’ve been learning really quickly. I also know how much some of you loved the differences posts I did while we were […]

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Let’s Do This

No, this isn’t another of those please-bear-with-me-posts, I really am here to blog to my little heart’s content. Starting today, the schedule is back in action. #FTW A general update on the Canada side of things – we’re getting there. Most of our stuff has been sorted. Heck, Kayla even started school today. You remember how […]

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I’ve been MIA again…

And I’m sorry. It’s been just a tad on the chaotic side of the spectrum here in our new home. You’d think I knew this by now, considering our recent history, but I’ve just realised that people have a distorted view of immigration. Many of the people we’ve spoken to recently picture the whole thing […]

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It’s ALIVE!!!!!!!

Honestly, this is only half a post. Just wanted to drop in and let you know we’re still breathing here in our new corner of the world. Immigration isn’t a simple thing, but I have to say moving to Canada is superior. If you want people who will welcome you with open arms and pretty […]

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Boxes and Suitcases

Boxes and suitcases everywhere. This is my current reality. Those boxes we’re not shipping to Canada are full of stuff for charity. It’s a minefield. The clutter makes me anxious. It’s a combination of excitement and being totally overwhelmed, so every now and then I find myself disengaging to regain some semblance of focus. I […]

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Explanations

Fair warning – this is a long post. After Friday’s big news, we’ve had a lot of good wishes, emails and questions. I thought I’d address some of those today. Most people were surprised that we’re so unhappy in Germany, especially considering how happy all of our photo diary posts look. I talked about this briefly […]

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The Big News

As a teenager, I dreamed of moving to Hollywood. At first, I wanted to act. Who doesn’t? But then, one fateful day, I saw the work of my first idol, Steven Spielberg. More than anything, I wanted to follow in his footsteps and make films. I wrote many brilliant screenplays (they were Oscar winners one […]

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Ten Pin Bowling

Life is full of little firsts. A while ago, one of these came up for Kayla, when we took her bowling for the first time. Jan and I used to love bowling back in SA, but haven’t played in about 5 years. Thinking about it now, that puts the last time we played at before […]

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Rome – Day 4

By this time, we were knackered. Four days in Rome, walking off your toes will do that to you. Having said that, we were still just as in awe of the place as we were upon arrival. Rome, folks. It’s magical.

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Rome – Day 1

So, Rome. Folks, you don’t even begin to understand the spell this place has me under. Even now, I can’t get it out of my mind. But then, Venice was amazing, so maybe I should have known how bewitching I’d find Rome.

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Cologne 3.0

There’s a feeling that fills your chest when you round that corner, or take that step out of the train station in Cologne. The first and most undeniable structure in the heart of the city is the Cologne Cathedral – majestic, impossible and awe-inspiring. It claims your every thought and emotion with its sheer size, […]

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The House is Quiet

Well, I’m back. This vacation was one for the record books. Having friends over was seriously special, and more so because we experienced so many new things together. It was an honour to have them fly half-way around the globe to visit us. All the warm and fuzzies were felt. Having said that, I’ll try […]

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Hello February

Wel, lookie here. A brand new month. I’ve been gone for a week, I know. A mini-plague descended on my house and we’ve been recovering. Meanwhile, I’ve also been up to my eyebrows in edits. Even sick, obsessive nature won’t let me go. It’s a blessing and a curse. This is going to be a […]

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Ice Cold

Last week, I bombarded you with images of snow. This week, it’s ice. You see a theme here? This winter has been more than a smidge colder than last, but the weather brings many new experiences for those of us originally from warmer parts. So, ice. We live close to the River Ruhr, but we […]

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Kindergarten Fun (TGC)

Yes, this is a German Chronicles post on a Friday. My week has been kind of topsy-turvy. For the first time in a long time, I have a FAQ that I want to answer. Why isn’t Kayla in a preschool/nursery school/kindergarten? The short answer is because Germany. I’m guessing that’s not what you want, though.

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Neuschwanstein Trip

We’ve been ogling this castle for a looooong time. You know how I feel about castles to begin with, but this one was kind of special, and not just because it’s the template for the Disney castle. Imagine this place, with its majestic spires and pristine white bricks, keeping its vigil on the side of a […]

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My WIP – Tree Decorating and Tower-scapes

We spent Kayla’s first two Christmases in South Africa, but for the one she was 6 weeks old and for the other, just over a year. So I doubt she remembers much. Last year, we didn’t want to make too much of a fuss, because our apartment was still temporary and we didn’t want to […]

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The Threes

My kid will turn three in under a week, can you believe it? I struggle to. Kayla is a happy, sweet little person. She loves to cuddle and kiss and say ‘I love you, Mama’, which obviously melts my heart. She and I have a blast together, and that’s a good thing, considering she’s home […]

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My WIP – Where Did Autumn Go?

First of all, I apologise for missing yet another blog post on Friday. I went to my German lesson as always, then received the bad news that one of our doggies in South Africa passed away. I was really sad and shocked by the news, which really just jumbled my mind, I accomplished nothing for […]

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Visit to Kaiser Park

So, Oberhausen has a schloss (this word can be used to describe anything from a castle to a manor house – in this case, it’s a manor house) and a park, but we’ve been putting off going there. First of all, the schloss is not that impressive (in our opinions) and we had no idea that […]

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Germany – Things I Don’t Understand

As you can imagine, culture shock is a massive thing when you move to another country. Germany is no exception. In fact, some of the stuff that we see here is completely unique to Germany, like the German toilet. Yes, you read that right. Today I want to talk about some of these weird-ass things, […]

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My WIP – I See You

I’ve always had pretty good eyesight, but recently it’s been a mission to read the signs at the station, or the subtitles when I watch anime. Plus, the headaches. I knew it was time to have my eyes tested looong before I actually had them tested, but, you know, anxiety. You can guess by the way this […]

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My WIP – Forests and Food

Welcome back! I said this last week somewhere and I’ll say it again – I feel as if a train ran over my head, realised it was on the wrong course and then reversed. I’ve been unable to stay fully awake at any given time for about 8 days solid. Hello, Monday. This weekend was […]

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My WIP – Girls’ Day and Legoland

This title is probably a little misleading, because everyday is ‘girl’s day’ in my house. You know, because I stay at home with Kayla and all that. The difference is that we don’t usually have girl’s days on weekends when Jan is home. Last week from Thursday to Sunday was Gamescom in Cologne and, being […]

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Castle Hopping – Part Two

This second instalment of castle hopping reached over two countries. So exciting. 🙂 You can see day one here, if you haven’t yet. Maastricht in the Netherlands was our first destination. This is a pretty amazing place, with cobbled streets and beautiful old buildings. You must be getting tired of the words ‘cobbled streets’ and […]

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Castle Hopping – Part One

Friends – castles. Over the weekend, we saw three of them. OK, fine, we saw one castle and two palaces, but you get the general idea. We also visited some monuments, a small fort with an actual moat and drove between two countries. It was amazing. Here’s how it went down.

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Visit to Duisburg Zoo

On a sunny Thursday, we took Kayla to the zoo. Duisburg zoo is one of the biggest zoos in Germany and it has a pretty cool dolphinarium and Koala enclosure. Check out the Wiki page for more. It’s much different from zoos in South Africa, but it was still a pretty cool experience. In SA, […]

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A Visit to Schloss Broich

These photos are actually from my Mother’s Day weekend. It’s late, I know, but I was writing a novel! Yes, the keyword in that sentence is ‘was’. More on that soon. 😀 With the amazing spring weather, we’ve been sightseeing a lot lately. There are some pretty awesome sights to see right in our back […]

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Japan Day (and other stuff) – WIP

Japan Day is a big thing in Düsseldorf every year. Massive crowds of people dressed as their favourite anime / manga characters (or even some characters that don’t fall into that category), good food, fireworks and a lot of fun is to be expected. It’s a highlight on the calendar! But then, going out to […]

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Visit to Werden

On Ascension Day, we hopped a train to Werden. This picturesque place is a suburb of Essen and is seriously gorgeous. The buildings are still in the old style and there’s almost a fantasy-type vibe to the old taverns turned cafés. Walking through those cobblestone ways certainly piqued my creative flow. Then, there’s the parks […]

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A Visit to Schloss Styrum – TGC

We’ve been living in Germany for seven months. Can you believe that? It’s been interesting. We’ve been adapting. There are still better days and worse days, but overall, we’re finding our feet. Jan is starting with German classes soon, and our landlady has undertaken to teach me too. Once he learns, I’m sure my own […]

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My Weekend In Pictures – Carnival in Düsseldorf

This weekend was a sunny one. After the rainiest two months of my life, we’ve been extra thankful for every ray of sunlight coming our way. Hopefully, that statement didn’t jinx it… Anyway, all of the sunshine means a lot of outdoors activities, even if it’s still chilly out. This weekend, we went walking a […]

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First Snow

Coming from Johannesburg, I’ve mentioned before that I haven’t seen real snow before in my life. Sure, there were two occasions, but I’ve never seen enough of it to cover the ground. This is why moving to Europe had me hopeful for some snow this winter. Of course, it doesn’t really snow in our part of Germany. […]

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New Year in Germany

We used to live in a country where fireworks are illegal. So imagine our surprise when we first saw different kinds of fireworks for sale in basically any shop you can imagine in Germany. Here, it’s a massive tradition to shoot fireworks on New Year’s eve (more than anywhere else I’ve ever heard of). The […]

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Vacation Day-by-Day : Schloss Burg

Everybody who knows me is aware of my absolute fascination and obsession with castles. There is something mystical and magical about castles and the age they were constructed in.  I often find myself at the base of one of these structures and I wonder how it’s even possible that they exist. How did those people […]

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Vacation Day-by-Day : Amsterdam

While my folks were here, we spent a day in Amsterdam. The last time I was there, the place absolutely stole my heart. I mean, it’s not only beautiful, but the people were incredibly warm towards us and understood when we spoke Afrikaans. I loved the sights there. This time was no different. I still […]

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Vacation Day-by-Day : Aachen

Aachen is a beautiful town in Germany on the border with Belgium. It’s one of those typical European places, with the most beautiful building style and cobbled streets. The Aachener Dom is a picturesque cathedral, though not nearly as magnificent as the Cologne Cathedral. It’s still pretty though. It was being renovated on our visit, so […]

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Vacation Day-by-Day : Cologne Cathedral

Am I addicted to great architecture and lead-glass installations? Why, yes, I sure am. That statement means cathedral and church-hopping is on my A-list of things to do and sights to see. The Cologne Cathedral (Or Kölner Dom, as the Germans call it) is AH-MAZE-ING. It is, without any trace of a doubt, the biggest structure I […]

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My Weekend in Pictures – Fun with my Folks

The title should probably have read ‘all the same places’, because that’s where we went. But we wanted to show my parents the places we like to go, so that means Christmas markets. We had some delicious gluhwein and gluhbeer, some traditional food and sausages, and just enjoyed the sights. The only difference is the […]

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Dortmund Christmas Market

Yeah, I know. ‘Yesterday‘ ended up being a week. Humblest apologies. Our pictures with Willem from the Christmas market at Dortmund will feature today. Can I just say that I love Christmas markets? One thing we’ve noticed fairly quickly here is that Christmas celebrations in South Africa pail in comparison to those in Germany. Goodness, […]

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Amazing Fun in Oberhausen

Continuing from yesterday, I’m going to share more pics with you from my brother in law’s visit. On Sunday we went to CentrO’s Christmas Market and on Monday we visited an amazing indoor kid’s playground in Oberhausen. Kayla had a blast, but I have to admit that we ‘adults’ had just as much fun. I know […]

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Playground Fun and Christmas Markets

Hiya folks! I’ve been thoroughly enjoying a visit from my brother in law. It’s been amazing to catch up and explore Germany together, with the added bonus that Jan’s taken a few days off to spend with us. We’ve done all kinds of awesome things, and before we head out again for the day, I […]

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Three Months – The German Chronicles

It’s probably about time I give you an update on how things have been here in Germany. It’s been almost three months now (we’ll reach the official 3 mark month on the 25th of November) and a lot has happened in that time. First of all, we’re going to stay in the furnished short-term rental […]

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Sightseeing in Gruga Park (TGC)

So, last weekend, my Weekend In Pictures post got away from me. Sorry about that. I mentioned last week that some stuff exploded in my face and the greater part of the week was spent fixing that. As a result, I was revising my novel, trying to get it as ready as I can before it […]

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My First Week in Germany! (TGC)

Wow. Here we are, aren’t we? Last week this time, I was getting ready to get on a plane. I was a bundle of nerves mixed with insane excitement. Since then, a lot of people have asked how we are and if we’re adapting. The answer is good and yes. But I’ll get there. The flight […]

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