Travel

TRAVEL LOG//SAFARI IN SOUTH AFRICA

If you follow me on the 'gram - you know I just got back from a safari trip to Kruger National reserve in South Africa. The trip was amazing... in the bush, full out 4 days of game drives, hikes and tracking animals at the Arathusa Lodge. 

Here's a look at the trip: 

Two game drives per day. The first is at the CRACK of dawn, the other in the evening. Both in this bad ass open air Land Cruiser. Our ranger Ryan drives and our tracker Debeer sits on the seat in the very front watching for tracks. 

He points to the ground at the SLIGHTEST thing (and I say slightest) because the man would point at something that looked like a grain of rice imprinted in the sand and KNOW that a leopard was nearby.  He would also know which way said leopard went... and we would go and find it! #OKDEN.

In the first 24 hours we saw and I'm not kidding: 3 lioness, 2 male lions, 1 white rhino, 3 giraffe, 50 elephants, 10 zebra, a leopard and a handful of hyena. We'd be driving and then all of sudden...

A rhino. We'd follow for a bit. 

And then.... a LEOPARD! 

Then our ranger Ryan would say, we've been tracking a group of lionesses' in the area - let's see what they're up to. 

Sometimes we'd drive for 40 minutes straight and see nothing. Just when your brain says "there's nothing to see here. SURELY, we've seen it all! "  A majestic creature would just walk by like no big deal. 

Footwear, as per. 

Crack of dawn... tired. 

In the middle of the bush at 5:30AM, freezing temperatures, instant coffee becomes the most DELICIOUS thing ever! We'd stop during the morning drives to take in the vistas and SIP. 

Just about everyone wore their safari neutrals which is the right thing to do. Instead of going with flat fabrics, I went with printed pieces in safari-esque tones. I am who I am after all. 

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In the middle of the day it got hot. Here's a walking safari lewk.

Up in the trees, we'd catch some vultures lurking and KNOW there was a fresh kill nearby. 

And then we'd find it! 

Just ate 40 pounds of buffalo each. 

Lion cub getting in on the action! 

Hyenas got game too. 

Ever see baby hyena? Exactly!

One of the most magical things, is that right outside our rooms, the wild was going on about it's business. In fact, a few prides of elephant came by the plunge pool everyday between 12 and 2PM to drink up all the water. MAGIC. 

THE BABIESSSS!!!!!! They couldn't reach the pool, so they drank the spill off. Heart explosion. 

Sunsets in the bush. A leopard enjoying the views.

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Glorious! If any of you are interested in safari and want to know proper details. Hit me up! 

MINIMAL PACKING FOR A CITY TRIP

When it comes to city trips, I still keep packing minimal. BUT there's a different logic!

Instead of putting 7 random outfits together, which can lead to "too many clothes in a suitcase" syndrome and random looks. I choose one color palette and pack items within that palette to mix and match all week long.

What I end up with is a cohesive collection of separates that will look good no matter how they're paired. BOOM!

 MINIMAL PACKING LIST

4 pants | 5 basic tops | 4 sweaters | 4 layer pieces | 1 thin jacket | 1 coat | 2 pair shoes

PANT BREAKDOWN and PURPOSE 1 boyfriend jean (casual/loose outfits) 1 leather jogging pant (edgy outfits) 1 coated skinny jean (nighttime outfits) 1 sweat pant (stylish/anytime)

TOPS BREAKDOWN  1 green tank | 1 green muscle tee | 1 black muscle tee | 1 black men's crew neck | 1 black V neck - all of these are basic.

SWEATERS BREAKDOWN and PURPOSE 1 black asymmetrical  (edgy outfits) 1 basic mohair (dressy outfits) 1 cropped geometric print (anytime/for interest) 1 green (adds color/anytime)

SPECIAL LAYERING PIECES BREAKDOWN and PURPOSE The point of this category is to spice up the basics. I grab my most fun, bold pieces within the palette! 1 bold button up, 1 long sleeved top, 1 kick ass vest, 1 black button up. Mix and match.

COATS BREAKDOWN and PURPOSE 1 thinnish wool jacket (layering/anytime) 1 coat (overcoat/anytime)

This strategy works for me. Do you see how every piece could work with the others? I threw in a black cashmere scarf and am good to go!

MOUNTAIN PACKING// WRAP UP

Two things.

#1 Promised you a wrap up from the previous post, showcasing the looks that could be pulled together with the minimal packing list.

#2 Many questions poured in about where I put toiletries, makeup, products, to finish the packing.

Let's start with number 1!

Remember, every look is topped off with the same coat and scarf. All looks are about maximizing the other pieces

DAY 1 - Navy shirt + blue jeans + cream sweater

DAY 2 - Red shirt + red sweater + black jeans

DAY 3- Metallic/green sweater + all black everything else + sweater wrapped around waist

DAY 4 - colored jeans + two black sweaters. 3/4 sleeve for day and long sleeve for the evening.

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DAY 5- solid red sweater + all black everything + red button up around the waist. 

DAY 6- Navy shirt + blue jean + green sweater again!

There are more combinations that could be made, but you get the point! I felt stylish and different enough all week. 

#2 Where It All Goes

What you see is a Tumi, regulation sized carry on roller bag, fits in the overhead compartment and a WANT Les Essentiels De La Vie tote bag. 

All clothing on the packing list, including 1 pair of shoes, 1 set of workout clothes, socks, sleepwear and undergarments fit in this bag! For. Real. This...

Becomes this...

Makeup,  travel sized toiletries and hair products go in pouches and then inside my WANT handbag. Full sized products won't work with this system. Remember this is a week-long trip!

There is still space inside the handbag for hairstyling tools, accessories and laptop! What do you think? Could this work for you?

HAVANA CUBA

Yes - you can go to Cuba legally nowadays, without having to pretend you're part of a church group from Canada! I highly recommend you visit this amazing place before Castro dies and the Western establishments (Starbucks, McDonalds et al) move into the country and kill what is an amazing time capsule of the 1950's mashed up with the exotic and warm vibes of a Caribbean island. 

Here's a look at the trip I took December 2012, plus recommendations on what to pack a rustic trip where exploring the culture is the main priority.

I mean...

I mean...

Zaratop
Courtyard in old Havana art gallery

Courtyard in old Havana art gallery

Must pack: inexpensive gauzy, white button up that will easily wash in the hotel sink and dry quickly!

Must pack: inexpensive gauzy, white button up that will easily wash in the hotel sink and dry quickly!

Found the oldest and most delicious coffee spot in Havana.

Found the oldest and most delicious coffee spot in Havana.

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Old Os Gemeos street art in old Havana

Old Os Gemeos street art in old Havana

Flair everywhere

Flair everywhere

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Must pack: Tons of neutral bottoms, my color choice olive/military green. Less severe than black and easy to wear. Wearing Zara top/Baggu bag.

Must pack: Tons of neutral bottoms, my color choice olive/military green. Less severe than black and easy to wear. Wearing Zara top/Baggu bag.

BooksCuba
Baseball is BIG TIME in Cuba. We packed, balls, mitts, and ball caps for the kids.

Baseball is BIG TIME in Cuba. We packed, balls, mitts, and ball caps for the kids.

Every single kid had their own stylish something. Pops of red and fresh haircuts!

Every single kid had their own stylish something. Pops of red and fresh haircuts!

KidsSwagCuba
Must pack: generic tote bag. Cuba is super rustic and not the place to be flashing designer bags. Wearing: Zara top/J Brand chino/Margiela sneakers

Must pack: generic tote bag. Cuba is super rustic and not the place to be flashing designer bags. Wearing: Zara top/J Brand chino/Margiela sneakers

Getting around is most of the fun in Havana. It could be a 1950's taxi or a rickshaw or something in between.

Getting around is most of the fun in Havana. It could be a 1950's taxi or a rickshaw or something in between.

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rickshawCuba
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Lived in a top knot.

Lived in a top knot.

Must pack: breezy, inexpensive floral top. Somehow this Zara top fit in everywhere I went.

Must pack: breezy, inexpensive floral top. Somehow this Zara top fit in everywhere I went.

Vintage shopping is awesome. Check out these art deco chandeliers.

Vintage shopping is awesome. Check out these art deco chandeliers.

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Lots of street art.

Lots of street art.

Olive green separates made it easy to create multiple outfits. Wearing Dolce Vida top/Isabel Marant tee/Margiela Sneakers. No jewelry!

Olive green separates made it easy to create multiple outfits. Wearing Dolce Vida top/Isabel Marant tee/Margiela Sneakers. No jewelry!

Cubadusk