Adulting: Moving Out

What’s Up 20 Somethings!

So I know I have been terrible at posting the past few weeks, I hope you haven’t been too deprived. Remember you can also follow the blog on Instagram, where I am always posting stories about events I attend and some make up and beauty hacks – @20somethingsblog.

The reason for my absence is that I moved out of my parents home and found my own apartment. #ADULTING. It’s been a stressful time for me but also it’s been beyond amazing. I’m learning a little bit more about myself everyday.

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I started looking for an apartment at the beginning of the year, but my price range being that is was, I struggled to find a place that was comfy and homey. And can I just say how expensive it is to live in Cape Town?! It’s like they don’t want the youth to move out of their parents homes EVER! It’s ridiculous. But then at the end of June, I came across this amazing little Duplex in Claremont. And I knew the moment I walked through the front door that this was my new home. Its’s spacious, with an upstairs and a downstairs, three bedrooms! (Of course I picked the biggest one!) 

So naturally I applied for the place. And many emails later, convincing the agent that I swear I could afford the rent, my lease was approved. Then came the beginning of the pain, I had to pay a two month deposit on the place, which was a big bulk of my traveling savings, but I figured, listen if you’re gonna adult, you gotta do it right. So I parted with the money, like a big girl. Then I thought, here comes the easy part: Finding two people to move in with.

LOL.

So finding one roommate was easy enough, I work with a lovely guy named Joseph who I knew was also looking for a place, so I showed him some pictures and he agreed without even seeing the apartment. (He literally only saw it the day before we moved in.) Then I ventured into the Facebook groups, posting a witty little paragraph and some pictures of the place.

First of all, can I just say how DUMB people are. I  put ALL the information on the post; Area, how many bedrooms, if there were built in closets, parking information, rent, deposit, water and electricity and wifi. And you know what? I STILL GOT QUESTIONS ABOUT THOSE EXACT THINGS WHEN THE ANSWERS WERE RIGHT THERE!! 

I’m convinced social media has made us lazy, like just read the post man.

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So posting on Facebook obviously attracted a whole lot of strange characters. One guy offered to pay the deposit and the rent immediately if he could move in the next day when it clearly said on the post that the apartment was only available in August. He also refused to give me his current landlord’s details so I could follow up on him- which seemed really fishy. 

Eventually I found a lovely young afrikaans girl who was keen to move in and I thought everything was sorted. So I packed my bags and went to Norway and Sweden for two weeks, thinking when I arrived everything would be fine and we could move in without any issues. But then in the middle of my vacation, this girl messages me to say she found another place and is moving in that week.

And all I could think was, “This Bitch.”

So it was back to the Facebook groups hunting for a roommate. Now if anyone you know is looking for a roommate, please don’t enquire unless you’re definitely interested. I had people asking me about the place just because they were being curious. Like. This is stressful, can we not.

Eventually though, I found a lovely guy studying and teaching at UCT named Zenzo, who could pay the deposit and the rent each month and was just an all together nice guy. So yay.

What I haven’t mentioned was how many anxiety attacks I went through before moving out. The moment I mentioned that I was ready to move out to my friends and family, the jokes started streaming in; about how I’m untidy, about how I can’t cook and will starve to death, etc. Stupid stuff. And okay, it was funny the first few times, but then eventually they started making me feel like maybe I couldn’t do this. Maybe it was a mistake. Maybe I would be useless at adulting.

It sucked. I literally started crying at Fathers Day Lunch and then had a hectic cry sesh later that night when I got home with my parents.

Shame, I know they didn’t mean any harm. But it was still horrible, so a note for you, reading this, if you have a friend embarking on a life changing moment, just encourage them. I promise you. They’re stressed enough as it is, they don’t need you reminding them that they cannot do it. 

My boyfriend handled all my breakdowns like a damn pro! Every time I obsessed about how I’d do it, he just told me everything would be okay and encouraged me till I was laughing again. He really is the best. 

I couldn’t afford a moving company, the cheapest one quoted me R2000 – for a few boxes and my bed. I was just like, thanks but no thanks.

Super boyfriend got a friend to bring his bakkie and the two of them legit carried all my furniture. 

It was really great. Moving day went super smoothly, and we all got super drunk after everything was in the house.

Listen, if you ever move out, don’t expect people to come over and help you out. In adulting, it’s every man for themselves. My Mom was a huge help, she literally came over and packed my whole closet and spent the first week looking for curtains for my room.

Once I was settled in, the apartment really felt like a home, It’s so nice to have a space that is all mine! And I keep learning things about myself, like the fact that I hate dirt and stains, every time there’s a coffee stain on my counter, I wipe that shit. I also hate dishes, and trust me, they pile up. I’ve literally made time in my day dedicated to doing the damn dishes. Who am I even?

So far I’ve managed to keep my room semi-tidy. And I legit, LOVE my new room. It’s amazing. It’s perfect. 

I haven’t gotten my head around cooking yet. I’ve made some oven bake things etc. But the fact that I work nights keeps me from exploring my cooking prowess. But I’ll get there.

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Also, no one warns you how addictive and exciting furniture shopping is. My boyfriend literally has to drag me out of furniture stores because I’m always looking at things  I do not need.

Okay, this post has been waaaaay to long. I may be doing a few more adulting posts, tell me what you want me to write about in the comments! Also I’d love to hear your moving out stories!

Until Next Time,

Nadine

Part 3, Why Contiki?: What to Pack

So if you’re planning on travelling this year, you’re probably wondering what to pack. I learnt the hard way what I needed and what I didn’t need. But hopefully this post can make your packing stresses disappear.

  • Get a real Camera
    Listen, I know your phone camera is great, but you don’t want average pictures to look back on after your trip. I took ALL my pictures on my phone, it was only recently when I got a real camera that I realised how shitty cell phone camera quality is. You get cameras these days with wifi that connect to your phone, so you can easily share your pictures and keep your instagram alive. If you have a GoPro, pack it. There are tons of adventure activities you’re going to want to capture. Also, don’t forget your Polaroid/Instax camera, Europe is so photogenic.

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  • Leave your stilettos at home
    Listen, Europe is nothing but cobble stone streets. EVERYWHERE. Babes, I almost broke my ankle 20 times in Paris. You don’t need the world of shoes with you. A good pair of sneakers, (Because you walk A LOT.) cute sandals and/or flip flops and maybe a nice flat shoe to wear out to clubs at night.

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  • Bikini time!
    If you’re going to somewhere sunny in Europe, like Greece, definitely pack your bikini, actually pack five. But if you’re going into the main cities, you’ll be fine with one swim suit, most of the hotels do have pools, but you don’t have much time to enjoy them. But after a hot day in Berlin, that indoor pool was everything I needed and more.

 

  • Pack a Towel
    The nice hotels have towels and that’s pretty great. But we got to some of the hostels and they didn’t provide towels and when they did there where two towels for four people in the room. Unless you’re a fan of air-drying, this is a must.

 

  • Winter or Summer?
    So consider what time of the year you’re going. May- July you’re bound to experience a great European Summer. Outside of those months it gets cold fast. But even in summer, the weather can be unpredictable. I was caught in the rain in Amsterdam, Venice and Paris. Pack a light raincoat, which you can squash in your bag if you need it later in the day. Don’t pack a hoodie, you’re most likely to buy a Contiki hoodie on the trip- which is great to wear on bus rides.
    Pack a warmer jacket just in case, one that won’t take up too much space in your bag. You’re going to want a lot of shorts, I lived in my running shorts during the day because it was comfortable to walk in. You only need one pair of jeans and a pair of tights. Pack some cute dresses in too. Contiki throws a lot of themed parties in a few cities. In Austria we had a lumo party, Venice was a nautical party, Rome was a I love Roma party etc so think of where you’re going and pack some cute outfits to dress up in.

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  • Pack Enough Underwear
    This goes without saying, but still. Most girls on my trip didn’t pack enough underwear, so they spent a good part of their trip doing their laundry. Which is usually 1-2 Euros a pop.
    Just take a little laundry bag with for your dirty stuff and do all your washing when you get home.

 

  • Make Up and Sunblock
    Australian girls love their make up. They had fully made up faces at 7 am every morning before we got on the bus. So you’re going to want to keep up. My trick? My Avene Tinted Moisturiser and some eyeliner and mascara, the two minute make up look that left me looking fresh all day.
    For your nights out you’re going to want to wear a bit more make up. So pack your essentials, you don’t want to be travelling with Twenty different eyeshadow palettes. Sunblock is your best friend. So many of the girls on my trip looked like roasted tomatoes after a day in the sun. It’s harsh and intense no matter if you’re in the streets of Berlin or on top of the Swiss Alps. A lot of the girls used Dry Shampoo on the trip, this might be something to add into your bag if need be.

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  • Bags?
    Besides your suitcase, you need a backpack for all your shit on the bus- usually a change of clothes when changing cities etc. Then you also want a good handbag to use during the day, when you don’t want to carry around your backpack. I just got a cute little bag that went on my back and carried all my daytime essentials. Just be aware of pickpockets at all times and you should be fine.

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  • Medication
    The last thing you want is to get sick on your trip. Make sure your stocked up on the following:
    – Nausea Tablets
    – Tummy cramp tablets
    – Headache tablets
    – Allergy Tablets
    – Sleeping tablets
    – Viral Choice (I popped one a day to stay healthy)
    – Corenza C (If you feel sick, just take two immediately)
    – Rehydrate (I got heat stroke in Berlin, you’re going to want a little pick me up after a day in the sun.)
    – Any medication you need or use etc.
    Better safe than sorry.
  • Activities! 

You’re going to want things to do on the bus! Pack in a portable charger to keep your phone alive and make sure you’ve got loads of reading material or even a colouring book for those long bus rides!

Okay, thats all I can think of for now, I hope that helps! Please do not hesitate to ask me any questions you have and tell me what you’d like future posts to be about!

Happy Packing!
Nadine

 

Part 2, Why Contiki?: Money, Money, Money

What’s up Somethings!
Today I’m talking all things Money when going on a Contiki Tour.

Let’s be real, travelling to Europe is expensive, especially with the Euro to Rand exchange rate. So if you’re going to be travelling, you’re going to want to take a good amount of money with to ensure you get the most out of your trip.

It’s really depressing when you get your money exchanged for Euros, you go from being really rich as a South African to being really poor in Europe. Meh. So let’s talk about expenses and what you’ll actually be spending your money on.

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Nautical Party in Venice!

You’re not going to have time to go shopping. There is a lot of time to do what you want on a Contiki, but if you’re going to spend that time inside H&M in Paris, you’re going to regret it. There’s so much to see and do in Europe, and shopping there really isn’t a must. The prices work out the same as they would be here, sometimes even more expensive. If you’re travelling to Asia then by all means, shop till you drop. But Europe, I’d advise against it.

On a Contiki, they give you a list of added on extras, which you can pick from. This ranges from activities and dinners etc with the group. Doing everything on the list (Which is what they suggest you do) is quite expensive, and it would have taken up a bulk of the money I’d saved. So I left a few things off the list. Which I now regret. So this is what I’ll do on my next trip: I’ll work out how much money I’ll need to do all the added extras, and ensure that I’ve saved enough to get all of those. I suggest that you do all the activities but leave off some of the traditional dinners. There’s no need to spend R500 on a meal you might not even like, unless you’re a foodie, which I am not.

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You get breakfast included in your Contiki price and a few dinners, other than that, you’re going to be spending a lot of money on food – Pasta is expensive in Italy. My advice is that you stock up on food at breakfast, grab some fruit and croissants to eat throughout the day. You’re also going to spend a lot of money on snacks for the long bus rides, like be prepared to spend R40 on Pringles like every day.

And last but not least, Alcohol. You party a lot on a Contiki. A lot. And drinks are expensive AF, but luckily the Europeans are generous with their alcohol. They were free pouring for days, so you don’t have to buy too many drinks to get a buzz. But I suggest before a night out, you take only the cash you need or are willing to spend, so you can avoid over spending while you’re drunk.

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Bike Tour in a Beer Garden in Munich!

So how much should you take?
Listen, between R20 000- R30 000 should be enough to ensure you have a good time. If you can take more, do it. The more money you have the better.

There are lots of ways to have a good time on your Contiki without spending money, I spent a lot of my time just walking through the streets of the cities. I put myself on a daily budget – which was cool because if I didn’t spend all the money I had budgeted for the day, my daily budget increased for the rest of the trip. If you control your money and keep track of what you’ve spent, you can make any amount of spending money work.

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Bidvest has a great option called the World Currency Card, which comes with an app, so you can always check your balance and expenses wherever you are in the world.

Feel free to post any other money related questions below! I’d love to help out! Also ask me your Contiki questions!

Okay, I’ll let you go start saving now!

à bientôt!
Nadine

Part 1, Why Contiki?: Solo Travel

Hi there guys!
So I’ve had a lot of people ask me questions about my Contiki Tour last year. A lot of people want to know if it’s worth the money, what to prepare for, what to pack etc. So I’ve decided to start a blog series about why My Contiki changed my life and why I’ll be doing more in the future.

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Me in Prague 

I travelled alone on my European Whirl Contiki, which was 18 days in Europe, starting in Amsterdam or London and ending in Paris. I often get asked why I went alone, firstly, travelling is expensive for South Africans and not accessible to everyone. I did ask a few friends to join me, but they couldn’t for their own reasons, which bummed me out at first- but it actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

It’s great fun travelling by yourself on a trip like Contiki, because you’re not actually alone. Only for the first day, when you meet your group, after that, you’re travelling with a group of friends you just met, having the time of your lives. A lot of people like to do Contiki’s with their significant other, which is cool. Personally I’d prefer to do it by myself. Travelling solo forced me to get out of my comfort zone and meet new people (something I struggle with, I’m an introverted extrovert).

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My group was made up of mostly Australians, Canadians and Mexicans, three of us were South African. Everyone was extremely nice and keen to make friends. We partied so hard together on our first night in Amsterdam. Our night was kicked off with a Sex Show in the Red Light District. Like if you can’t make friends with people after something like that, you never will.

If you’re travelling with friend, boyfriend or group of friends, make sure you are not cheating yourself out of the full experience. People who came with other people tended to exclude themselves from group activities and thus missing out on all the fun because they had their own agendas.

If you want to go off and do your own thing on your trip, Contiki gives you the freedom to do that, but honestly, If you’d rather plan your own trip and stick to your own agenda, you shouldn’t book a Contiki. Contiki trips are designed to ensure everyone has the time of their lives, your tour leader will ensure that you see everything you need to see and experience everything you need to experience. And doing things with the group is where all the best memories are made, if you’re going to leave the group for half of the day, you’re gonna have serious FOMO later at the group dinner when everyone is speaking about their adventures.

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Living our best life in Switzerland

For those worried about getting alone time or getting annoyed by being surrounded by people 24/7. Relax. The bus rides are long, I often just got a seat at the front away from the group, popped in my earphones and gave my social brain some rest between stops.

So Although I was TERRIFIED of travelling alone, I’d do it over and over again without hesitation. Travelling alone builds character and maturity, not to mention it’s an adventure. And now I’ve made friends from all over the world who I still speak to all the time!

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I found out new things about myself, I felt lighter and carefree, a thousand miles away from my problems and by the end of the trip I did not want to leave Europe. I found myself over there and the chances are you will too.

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Until Next Time,
Nadine

How I Survived My First Music Festival

How I Survived my first music festival

My response to anyone who asks me why I don’t like festivals has always been, “Man I like to shower.” Because let’s be honest, the idea of sleeping in a tent on a wine farm for four days has never been my idea of fun.

But 2017 is the year I’ve decided to start doing the things I’ve always wanted to try, and a music festival was one of them. So I decided to go with one of the most popular festivals in Cape Town. Rocking The Daisies.

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Now anyone who knows me will tell you, I like to have my shit organised (Okay, not my room, but in other aspects of my life) I like to go into things knowing exactly what to expect…However this was not the case for Daisies. I had no idea what to pack, how to pack, how people camp, what food to take with. It gave me a lot of unnecessary anxiety. So of course, when in doubt, I turned to Facebook. I asked my friends what they recommend packing for a festival, and they really did come through.

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If you pack one thing and one thing only to a music festival, let it be WET WIPES. These will save your life. And no matter how much you like showers, you’ll probably only end up showering once or maybe twice in four days. Believe me, the lines are long, which mean no morning showers (Which is when you’re sober and want to shower) I showered at 5pm in the afternoon, drunk af, trying to wash myself- but there was no line. So unless you’re keen to break your party buzz to shower, wet wipes will help you keep your personal hygiene in tact.
I suggest Facial Wipes (Cherubs just released an amazing range of bio-degradable facial wipes) and Intimate Wipes for your lady bits. (Clicks has a good range, as well as Lil-lets)

You need warm clothes. Trust. It may be summer, but wine farms get cold at night. One raincoat and a hoodie is all you need, as well as a good, thick pair of jeans. Pack in an extra blanket with your sleeping bag, to keep nice and warm in your tent.

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Going to a festival is basically signing up for 4 days of non-stop drinking. That’s all good and well, but you wanna take care of your body too. Pack in some liver tablets (Essentiale is what I use, GOODBYE HANGOVERS!) It’ll help your body process the toxins you’re digesting and take a six pack of water. You’ll be surprised how much water you’ll want to drink.

Of course, festivals have become a big fashion show. When I was packing, I was worried I was gonna look too “bougee” at the festival. But TBH, I looked like a homeless person in comparison to some of the other girls there. THEY WENT ALL OUT. They were on fleek. It was great. Pack your pretty lacy outfits, your flower crowns, maxi skirts and cute hippie jackets. Don’t pack: Your favourite pair of shoes. It’s dusty AF there, they won’t make it out alive.

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Speaking of dust, it’s all you’ll be breathing for four days straight, pack some tissues to keep those nasal passages clear. Or even better pack a bandana to cover your mouth and nose while you’re on the dance floor.

I laughed when someone told me to bring a fanny pack (Although i packed one anyways.) but then I got there, and everyone was wearing one. And I figured out why pretty fast. They keep your valuables so safe and they’re tied around your waist, so you can’t lose it. And it serves as 100% protection from pickpockets!

The worst thing I think, were the toilets. They’re porte-potties. Now I’m sure I don’t have to explain how gross those can get at music festivals. Pack your own toilet paper, hand sanitiser and always use the toilets right at the back (most of the time drunk people are too lazy to walk that far and mess them up.)

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If you want to be able to take pictures and have a working phone for the weekend, pack a good portable charger (They’re lifesavers).

And the most important thing is to get comfortable with partying by yourself. You’ll lose your friends, a few times. There’s no point in looking for them, you’ll only be reunited by chance. I spent majority of this weekend jamming hard, all by myself. And it was cool actually. The music was good, I had alcohol and you see people you know all the time so you’re never really alone.

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All in all, my first festival experience was amazing. Would I do it again? Probably, but I’d buy a more luxurious camping package- I have needs, you know. But it was awesome. Thanks Rocking The Daisies for rocking my world.

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