Cultivating local tourism by being a cool community member

As a social media strategist and marketer, much of my life is spent trying to figure out what the special news and events of the month ahead can benefit my client. This means that I have had to become a calendar freak- with special highlighters for each event and heavily-pencilled weeks. September has been a hugely educational month for me and it hasn’t even reached the midway mark.

This month is:

• South African National Parks Week –where you have free access to selected national parks;
• Creative Week Cape Town;
• South African Tourism Month –focussing this year on the oft-neglected (but not as much the North-West) Northern Cape;
• Heritage Day AKA Braai Day;
• And, the one I had no idea existed: World Tourism Day on the 27 September, which melts into the rest of these events as well as butter in mashed potatoes.

Delving into World Tourism Day’s Google search revealed that it was first started in 1980 as “a global observance to highlight tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value” according to the official website. The global event is held annually in a different country with a specific focus. This year it’s held in Mexico and the theme is “Tourism and Community Development.”

The theme is incredibly apt for 2014, especially for South Africa, as we have seen increased tourism and global recognition in the last four years. After reading an extremely well-written article called How to Keep Travel Mode on At Home on cultivating community diversity and positive interaction in every day spaces and routines (in the writer’s and in my case, Cape Town), the connection I made to both tourism and community is the following.

By acting a like a tourist who experiences wonder in what we see as the minutiae of life –the people we interact with, the transport we use and the infrastructure around us –we contribute to becoming a better community. A community that seeks to constantly better itself is the cornerstone of improving and sustaining a city. This leads making a city more appealing, which is a honeycomb to swarms of happy tourists. The point is to cultivate the right kind of community attitude and engagement by starting out small and sincere. A good example of this is Durban’s Rivertown Project, which seeks to renovate an unused area in the city and turn it into a pedestrian-friendly space. By working with what a city has to improve peoples’ experiences of it makes their lives better and, in turn, the tourists who will visit it one day.

The point is to keep both our minds and attitudes positive to better the environments we live in to cultivate tourism. There are countless ideas that use design, green materials and technologies to sustain tourism while also improving peoples’ lives, most recently seen at Open Design Cape Town. This World Tourism Day and SA Tourism Month, ensure you do something that would make your community better –even if it is just making use of a cycle path or visiting a SAN Park.

How to find and support tourism in your own backyard:

 

  • Monitor the Twitter conversations #TravelLocal, #TTOT and #TravelSA to keep abreast of travel news and information
  • Head to Gansbaai for a weekend and go shark cage diving, whale-watching and hiking
  • Visit the West Coast flowers this spring
  • Travel to Stellenbosch and learn more about it’s heritage

 

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Children and Nature: My Neighbour Totoro

Love this.

Ekostories

“Here is a children’s film made for the world we should live in, rather than the one we occupy. A film with no villains. No fight scenes. No evil adults. No fighting between the two kids. No scary monsters. No darkness before the dawn. A world that is benign. A world where if you meet a strange towering creature in the forest, you curl up on its tummy and have a nap.”
– Roger Ebert, My Neighbor Totoro review

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The Millennial Curse

How to pull yourself towards yourself.

Eye of The Spider

I hate being a millennial. I hate having been branded as a millennial. And I hate other millennials.

Three insufferable beliefs of the typical millennial:

I am special

1 in 7 billionNo you’re not. You’re just another ant in the underground kingdom. It’s like that quote someone came up with that one time:
I just want to be unique like everyone else.
Maybe your mother wanted you to believe that you’re the exception. Mine certainly did. Maybe she even told you that you’re an indigo child. But let’s be real… Even though you probably still live with your mother and she’s constantly encouraging your belief in how special you are, she is one of few people in life who will ever believe it as much as you do.

Why fit in when you were born to stand out? Because that’s what life is. You work hard and you play amongst the masses…

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Hard Pressed Cafe

New place to try on Bree St #Hardpressedcafe

The F Word

For our very first blog-worthy experience, Team F-word decided to try out Cape Town’s hottest new coffee hotspot – Hard Pressed Cafe. And let’s just say wow – how blog-worthy that was indeed.

We decided to go for a quick coffee and ended up getting so hooked that our bill comprised of  a latte, cappuccino, two bagels and the cutest little cookies. Every single drop of coffee was heavenly,the bagels were toasted to perfection and the cookies made us feel like kids again.

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If the food and coffee is not enough to win you over, the atmosphere at Hard Pressed is bound to do the job. The decor has the perfect balance between retro and hipster, and boasts an impressive vinyl collection in the back, making it the perfect spot for young and old. We loved the feeling of stepping in and immediately being drawn into a different era while being…

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20 reasons to #discoverOverberg

If you live in South Africa, you won’t be disappointed by the Overberg region.

#discoverOverberg

Pictures often tell you what you need to know more effectively that pages of descriptive words so we thought we’d whet your appetite for a sho’t left into the countryside with 20 evocative images that are reason enough to plan your next getaway to the Overberg…

1. For mountains with sea views

2. For whale breaches

3. …and whale tails

4. For luxury holidays

5. …and fields of fynbos

6. For fresh fish

7.  …and fishing

8. For close encounters of the great white kind

9. For rainbows

10. For dirt roads

11. …and roadtrips

12. …and canola fields forever

13. For snow

14. For an ‘organic’ childhood

15. …and farm animals

16.  For harbours

17. …and lighthouses

18. For long beaches

10. …and long walks

19. or simply getting lost in nature

Feel free to follow these talented folk for more enticing imagery… and add your own by using…

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A mandatory yet list-free post on being 25

There have been a great many articles and posts on the perils of getting older and, sometimes, wiser. Buzzfeed in particular have a monopoly on listing one’s milestones in their twenties, thirties and beyond with the corresponding hilarious gifs from popular culture. Often these are gender specific and a little generalised but overall entertaining. I appreciate a good gif and have no desire to jump on the I Hate Buzzfeed bandwagon, especially the open secret is that we visit that site at least twice a day and unashamedly love it.

Thought Catalog also produces some particularly poignant pieces on getting older, predominantly directed at us millennials (cringe, sorry) in our twenties and early thirties. Sometimes I find myself inwardly groaning at the points made but the overarching message of “It’s OK, we all don’t know WTF we’re doing and we’re just doing the best we can,” is extremely comforting and, for the brief second before you scroll down to the comments section, the internet becomes a caring community of friends.

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I recently turned 25 and was delighted to find I had just as many people still willing to be my friend the day after the celebrations. After mulling this milestone over (my celebration was titled “Quarter Life Crisis Conference”), I surprisingly found myself enjoying the opportunity to take stock of the years I have lived and the experiences I have been through for the first time. In fact, I made a little list of my own on the lessons I have learned. Note: all lessons came with a hearty helping of hangovers, deep internal shame, public humiliation, dancing it out and Sinead O’Connor-level angst.

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This is what happens when you listen to Sinead.

Exactly how many glasses of wine I need depending on if I want to sleep deeply or just get my drink on

It was lovely to meet wine after a few years of alcohol initiation where, as an impressionable fawn on the party scene with minimal funds and a stomach that can take it, you opt for bottom shelf liquor every time. Wine was the natural progression to the more sophisticated way of getting trashed and one that our parents had been enjoying for most of their lives.

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Effects of Friday night+wine

Wine is much like chocolate; there are many varieties and most of them taste gosh-darn amazing. I have become something of an amateur wine appreciator where I enjoy a good bottle of white paired with Lays Lightly Salted. After sharing one bottle of wine with a friend, I can happily amble off to bed for a sleep that would make sedated babies envious.

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Add one more glass: weird and emotional.

Minus one glass: ready for dinner and a dance.

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The Radish Spirit knows what’s up.

Most embarrassing moment with wine: Any time you get the dreaded maroon teeth from drinking a bit too much red wine. Sadly, this is also the point where you want to put your mouth on someone else’s mouth.

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The answer to “Are my teeth red?”

There are certain things I have to buy as the exclusion of one of these seemingly nondescript items opening up my entire universe to chaos

These items depend on who you are and the kind of lifestyle you lead. You know exactly what these things are because the realisation that you needed them was preceded by a devastating incident that you never want to repeat. I, for example, cannot live without baby wipes, a little bottle of hand sanitiser and tissues. You may have guessed I am a messy person. It is true, I always spill food on myself and, if it’s windy, snot may come out to say hey. There is no dignity in needing these things, but the fact that I now know to carry them lessens regular humiliation and everyone I know calls upon me for one of these things, so who’s really the winner here?

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I is. I is the winner.

Hand sanitiser: Great for helping your sister who placed her hand on a rock that was mainly used by homeless people to urinate. Also great for any time you eat something sticky.

Baby wipes: Great for life, but the example that springs to mind is getting rid of racoon eyes anytime, anywhere.

Learning to be a teensy bit less afraid and confused

As I have gotten older, I found that the lessons learned in terms of friendship, relationships, work and university have shaped me into a person who can deal with the reality of life: you don’t always get what you want when you want it, you can’t force someone to be something they are not (including yourself) and you will have to go through some heavy shit to become the person you are destined to be.

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YES I DO.

How you deal with these lessons is the real sorcery of growing up. There was a time when I was way too afraid to ask for what I wanted and, if I am honest, I didn’t really know what it was anyway. Today, I have a clearer image of who I am and what I want out of life, which makes you less inclined to put up with the rubbish you did before –from yourself or from other people. Thanks to the years preceding being 25, I no longer feel the need to always prove myself to people and I have no time for people I see as having a negative impact on my life.

The main lesson and one that I have to stress to you all: Don’t be so hard on yourself.

On that same token:

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Realising that there is still a looooong way to go

I haven’t even reached the base camp of the Everest that is my life. But, sitting here and realising I haven’t done a completely piss poor job is satisfying. Cue wine.

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I raise my glass to all you 20-summin summins. Well done, Godspeed and bless you all.

 

Images:

http://giphy.com/

Prepare For Season 6 Of ‘The League’ With A New Poster And The Official Soundtrack

Fear boner!

UPROXX

The League

FXX’s wonderful fantasy football series The League returns at 10 PM ET on September 3, and it’s probably going to be the most intense season yet, what with the Shiva and Sacko Bowl winners living under the same roof and sleeping in the same bed. When we last left our favorite crude and dysfunctional fantasy football league, Jenny had crushed what little was left of Andre’s pride by defeating him for the Shiva trophy, while Pete hit rock bottom in losing to Kevin for the Sacko. And then there was Taco doing typically Taco things.

The League’s official Twitter page shared a new poster for Season 6 today, and it doesn’t actually reveal anything about the new season, unless there is a unicorn involved and the entire gang rides him around. That would be pretty awesome, but I think it might get a little old after a few episodes.

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Why Your Quarter-Life Crisis Is Actually A Good Thing (I Promise)

Thought Catalog

Somewhere around our mid-20s, we begin to freak out. We compare our lives to the vision we had for them when the present was the future; we measure our successes against those of our peers.

Our futures seem like a vast ocean of abstruseness, and we stand on the shoreline contemplating all the ways to make it across.

Even those of you out there who are shouting at your screens, “Not me! I’ve got it all figured out!” will wake up one day with the nagging feeling that maybe there are other options to explore. That maybe everything you thought you knew is wrong. That if you don’t veer off-course now, you never will.

The quarter-life crisis is more than a cliché. For most of us, this is the first time we’re making Big Life Decisions by ourselves. We felt like we had choices in school, and to some degree…

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San Julian Taco and Tequila, authentic Mexican in Cape Town

Went here for my birthday- awesome pork sandwich!

mediagourmand

Braving rain, hail and gale force winds,  I went searching for authentic Mexican food in Cape Town.. and found it!

Since going to America a few years ago and discovering the joy that is Mexican food, I’ve searched in vain for something authentic and similar in Cape Town. For the most part, all you get is cheese, beans, a little bit of vinegary guacamole, and more cheese. So when I heard about San Julian Taco and Tequila, an apparently authentic Mexican restaurant in the CBD, I wasn’t that all that hopeful. But the name kept coming up in magazines and blogs, and eventually I couldn’t help but take notice. It claimed to be real Mexican food, made by real Mexicans. So, finally, I decided to give Mexican in Cape Town just one last try, and even convinced a couple of fellow diners to come along.

Quirky decor, perfect lighting and…

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#ExposeRapeCulture this Mandela Day

Mandela Day is coming up- do your bit and #exposerapeculture in South Africa.

Rape Crisis Cape Town Blog

Mandela Day is a celebration of the power of each individual to transform the world and fight for the rights and freedom of all people. Every year countless women, children and men in South Africa have these rights violated by acts of sexual abuse and rape.

Rape Crisis calls on you to donate 67 minutes of your time to challenging rape culture in one of the following ways:

#ExposeRapeCulture on social media

Throughout July 2014, we will be exposing rape culture through Facebook and Twitter. Read about the myths about rape that drive rape culture, and post a picture of yourself holding up your statement, like the pictures below. Share your picture on Facebook and on Twitter using the hashtags#ExposeRapeCulture and #MandelaDay, and tag @RapeCrisis or RC Cape Town Trust.

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Plan your Mandela Day Actions with us

On 14 July 2014 we will hold a workshop to discuss rape culture and…

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