Sharing Our Travel Story So Far

Our Travel Story

You can think of this as running commentary of our life… I started this post as more of a reminder for myself but then I thought it could be a really cool interactive story guide for you when looking for particular blog posts. It’s slightly more exciting than our basic Where We’ve Been” Page which just lists the different destinations we’ve visited. I’ll add the links to this post as I go and always keep it updated. So, it might just be a little more fun 🙂

Our Travel Story:

1986 – 2010:
  • I was born in Durban, a ‘little’ sea-side city in South Africa.
  • Craig, on the other hand, was born in Durban but moved to Cape Town.
2010:
  • In the beginning of 2010, I moved to Cape Town at barely-eighteen to study Psychology at the University of Cape Town.
  • In July, I went to Phuket for a week with my family.
2011:
  • In December, I went on my first ‘friends-only’ holiday to Mozambique. There were 12-14 people in a house we rented for a week and I’m not sure how we all made it out alive.
  • I met Craig, one of the weekends I was back in Durban for my frequent, monthly home-visits. He was an intern at a hospital in Durban, even though he grew up in Cape Town, and we continued a long-distance relationship for a year until he returned to Cape Town.
2012:
  • In June, my family and I travelled to Italy for a Trafalgar Tour. We visited Rome, Venice, Sorento, Positano, Capri, Lake Como, Bellagio, Milan, Assisi, Florence, Sienna, San Gimignano, Pisa and Verona. We ended the Tour with a week in Tuscany.
  • In July, Craig surprised me with a week’s getaway to Mauritius – a common island getaway for South Africans. It was a boozy, tan and chill kind of holiday. I wrote a blog post all about how to travel with a partner here, give it a read.
2013:
  • In September, my mom, myself and my brother returned to Thailand, but instead went to the other side of the island, to Koh Samui. On our flight there, we stayed over one night in Dubai, and a few nights in Bangkok.
  • Craig, on the other hand, went to Tomorrowland in Belgium (without me). And yes, I’m still jealous that I didn’t get to experience that with him.
2014:
  • This year, Craig and I had moved in together in an apartment in Cape Town, but had simultaneously started the process of moving to Canada.
  • In April, we visited Craig’s family vacation home in the Eastern Cape, Grovesnor (South Africa).
  • At the end of that year in October, we went on a site-visit to Alberta, Canada, to see three potential towns we could move to.
  • November: Craig and I headed to England and France for a magical two week holiday. We spent a few days in the countryside area, the Cotswolds, before continuing onto Paris for ten days.
  • This was the year we fell completely in love with Paris. We stayed at Hotel Secret de Paris (see blog post here) and loved it. Highlights include a spontaneous day-trip to Reims to visit champagne houses, an afternoon tea at the George V Four Seasons and a night at Disneyland during the Christmas period – and it was the best day ever!
2015:
  • May:  We returned to the Cotswolds (in England) for a week during my varsity break in my final year of law.
  • July:  We also went on a mini-roadtrip to Knysna and Hermanus, in the Western Cape, South Africa.
  • September: To say goodbye to friends and family, we went on a whirlwind weekend visit to both Durban and Johannesburg, a week before Craig left for Canada.
  • Craig arrived in Canada in September, while I remained in Cape Town to finish my law degree.
  • November: I arrived in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, two months after Craig had arrived and a few weeks into Winter.
  • December: For our first Christmas in Canada, we booked two nights at the Rimrock Resort Hotel (check out my review) in Banff to see the magical mountains. We also got engaged that Christmas!
  • And spontaneously spent Boxing Day night in Canmore on the way home from Banff after a lunch date at Crazyweed with our friends got a little too wine-heavy. We also happened to stay at an interesting motel that night – the only one we could find last-minute during peak season.
2016:
  • In April, we went back to South Africa for a chaotic two week holiday in which we celebrated Craig’s 30th, our engagement, and a best friend’s baby shower. We split this holiday between Durban and Cape Town in order to see all our friends and family, but came back exhausted. But in amongst it all, we did get to spend one night at the luxurious Oyster Box – and it has to be my favourite day of the whole trip!
  • In May, we bought our house, which put travel on the back burner for a while. While it’s mostly empty, we started furnishing some of the house. But I’m pretty much obsessed with home decor now. And if you’ve read my 30 before 30 list, you’ll see that I have high hopes for my decor talent 😉
  • In June, we went to Calgary for a weekend getaway. We ate our weight in food and watched Shakespeare in the Park. I blogged about our foodie weekend here.
  • In August, we flew to Vancouver for 24 hours, to get our Schengen visas for our trip to Europe in September. It was such a rushed visit but I’m actually amazed at how much we did. Check out the blog post here.
  • In September, we went on our two week Eurotrip. The main event and main reason for us travelling to Europe was actually for our friend’s wedding in Potsdam, Germany. But we thought seeing as we were going in that direction, we might as well visit Paris and Amsterdam too. And so we did!
  • Here’s what we did in our 5 days in Paris. 
  • In October, we went to Calgary for a quick overnighter to get our American visas. The struggles of a South African. All these visa runs. One benefit was staying at the Fairmont Palliser.
  • In December, we took Craig’s mom to Banff for the weekend, and stayed at Juniper Hotel & Bistro.
2017
  • In February, we decided (spontaneously) to head off to Calgary for the night! Again, it was a foodie weekend. Here’s what we did (or rather, what we ate).
  • In March, we travelled to Winnipeg (Winter-peg), to visit family who were in Canada on business.
  • End of March, we spontaneously decided to book an all-inclusive holiday to Mexico. It was amazing! After 7 months of not leaving the country (due to our travel ban waiting for immigration docs) the sunshine, beach and afternoon naps made it all worth it. Here’s a recap of our trip with Sunwing Vacations.
  • April 
  • We jetted off to Los Angeles for 3 Days with our friends, Ryan & Teaan! We did SO much: Rodeo Drive; Santa Monica Pier; Venice Beach; Universal Studios (Especially, Harry Potter’s Wizarding World) and just about every restaurant in Downtown LA that’s worth the calories.
  • You can find the blog post on where we ate in Downtown LA, here. They were some of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to.
  • We did two more quick visits in April: We drove to Calgary and back to fetch Oliver, our little kitten. And then we stayed in Jasper the next weekend for one night as Craig was taking part in the Jasper Sevens Rugby Tournament.
  • August: We spent 4 days in Vancouver.

Keep checking back, I’ll be updating this often!

~ Leigh 

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