Month: December 2013

Train travel

There are no coincidences

My 2013 New Year’s Eve was spent jamming to Pit Bull in an Italian Postal Warehouse in Milan. The night became a patched memory that led to me walking around with bare arms in the height of winter. This in turn led to an extended sick spree over the next 3 days which I bravely overcame with an adventurous trip to the capital city. I packed my bags and my meds and headed to Rome to fulfil my life-long desire of seeing the ancient relics with my own eyes.


On the 4th of Jan 2013, I threw one euro over my left shoulder into the Trivia Fountain and, instead of making a wish, made a declaration. 2013 would be my year. I would meet and keep great friends. I would prove that I was capable of independence. I would live it believing in myself. In my talents. In my dreams. In my beliefs. And believing that my beliefs would carry me towards amazing things.

Here’s a little overview of how 2013 has easily been one of the greatest successes in the history of Lelanie:

  • I got my first job.
  • I quit my first job.
  • I ran back to Italy for love. Though love often goes lost, any instance of it is a little gift from the heavens to remind us that we are worthy of sacrifice and deserve to be treated as kings.
  • I spent my European summer on the shores of Lake Como and Liguria reading English classics that taught me that there is no such thing as coincidence. That every instance of life is part of a vast plan. And that every second we endure on Earth is one that affects the next and leads us to the realisation that we are part of a larger cosmos of meaning and are all intricately connected in this infinite cycle of life.
  • I came back to South Africa and got my second job which has led to a permanent position at one of the leading global advertising agencies in the world. I spend my days writing about things that matter, things that I care about, and things that make people laugh enough to make their days seem a bit brighter. Most importantly, I spend my days doing what I love most in life – writing.

And all of this came from that one moment when I made a truce to myself that I would make this the best year yet. That I would tackle the heartaches and the disappointments and fight until I get where I know I can be.

I spent my last Christmas eating reindeer in Oliva Gessi, Pavia, Italy, with my Italian replacement family. I drank sparkling wine in Bascape with my replacement cousins and spent a good couple of days dodging snow on the ski slopes of San Sicario. I battled the cold with hot chocolate and a frequent shot of grappa in my coffee. And flamed sugar cubes soaked in alcohol.


Right now we’re planning our Christmas Eve dinner in Cape Town while sipping on Castle Lite next to the swimming pool. I don’t know who you thank for the great things that happen in your life, but I have had many prayers protecting mine and the only person I can thank is the Man who I will be celebrating on Christmas day. Buon Natale. Geseënde Kersfees. iMerri Krismisi. 2013, out.

Train travel

5 Traits of the Typical Traveller

1. A traveller is eager to learn new things

Travellers indulge in the culture of their new environment. They immerse themselves in its uniqueness, learn the language, eat the food, and adapt to new ways. True travellers let go of what they’ve known in order to become a part of something magically new.

2. A traveller loves getting lost

It is Ray Bradbury who said that half the fun of travel is the aesthetic of lostness. Getting lost leads you to undiscovered places you may never have seen had you kept to your route. Don’t panic if the GPS on your phone fails in the midst of a strange, new city. Bask in the excitement of a little adventure.

3. A traveller always carries either a book or a pair of headphones

You’d be surprised how comforting a book or a familiar piece of music can be in the midst of the strange sights and sounds and smells. Pick up a few books on your way over or swap out some familiar favourites with travellers you meet along the way.
Train travel

4. A traveller never looks back

Setting foot upon distant soil is often scary. But with the right mindset and the steadfast decision to always look forward to the next adventure, those fears are bound to melt away in no time.

5. A traveller lives in the moment

True travellers do not walk around with a camera glued to their hand. True travellers use the moment to savour their experience and feel the grass beneath their feet. Don’t worry about what you’ll show people afterwards. You are here. This is now.

** Bonus tip:

Sometimes the best thing to do is not conform. Not plan. Not settle. Occasionally you need to let life lead you to more imaginative places. You need to dream and you need to discover the unknown in order to truly determine what it is you want from life…

You need to be a traveller.