A travel diary

I don’t know how to start this story, I just know that it has a few parts to it that need to be broken down a bit. By now a few people have written about living in a time of the coronavirus – the lock-downs, the self-isolation and the quarantine. My story is about my observation as a traveler during this time.

We holiday a lot back home but stamps on my passport are scarce – this is my story and travel diary –

I was last in Portugal in May 1995. At that time I had two babies in my arms both in nappies. I was on maternity leave of my second child and when we came back home a month later maternity leave was over and I was back at work.  And just like that 25 years later I was finally going on my dream trip to Portugal. I just wanted to visit my aunties (my dad’s sisters) I was so excited that I think I started packing end of January.

In February I was surprised with a visit from something called shingles!!! And to add to that I also contracted tick bite fever. I have no idea how I got either one of them, and the doctor actually said stop thinking about it. Stop trying to figure it out, what matters is that we have the blood results; you now have the correct medication and you will be fine. At one stage I really thought I was dying and that I would not make this trip at all. I cried in-between fever sweats and lay awake at night sweating and thinking that maybe I should plan my own funeral. Just in case…it was that bad 😦

It was a terrible month. But I did recover and I did get better and the planning and packing continued. I was most excited because no one knew we were coming. Some of my cousins found out in the middle of the month of February, I told five of them about our arrival date, and five might sound like a good amount of people knowing but in a large family like ours that is nothing!

My sister in law found out about our arrival the day we were leaving SA. At the airport after checking in we sat down for lunch and then we made a video. She received this with photos of our bags being wrapped and put on airport scales. Photos of boarding passes and us standing next to check-in counters. I was excited for us and excited for them!!! It was such a good feeling doing that video, sending it to her and saying; Hi, we coming, we will see you Sunday night at around dinner time. But don’t cook we going out for dinner, a place has been booked. Just give us a bed and a good Portuguese breakfast the day after.

And that she did.

We left SA on the 2nd of March for Portugal, on to Ireland, Italy, and then back to Portugal and finally back home to land in SA on the 25th.

Phew that’s a lot of places in such a short time, we were a bit stretched but the adventurous spirit was larger than life.

So exciting I cant even !!!!!!!!!! ♥

Gratitude Jar 2019

Sometimes I wake up and my first thought is I’m tired, I’m going to be late, I hate traffic, I’m hungry. If I don’t get myself out of this, small negativity (as insignificant as it may be) and really fast I spend the rest of the day not feeling good enough.

I moan and swear at traffic on my way to work, I judge people constantly, I don’t feel good enough or good about anything! Not thin enough. Not clever enough. Unnoticed and unappreciated. And the list goes on and on, so does the mood. It’s a horrible circle.

So I get up, I’m tired, might get to work a bit late and hungry but I climb in the car and I pray out loud. I prayed before, but this year I changed things. I started by climbing in the car and talking to God out loud while I drive. I haven’t listened to radio for a long while, because usually when I’m finished talking I then listen to voice notes on my phone or send some out.

My talks always start with gratitude this changes my drive and my whole day. My outlook changes.

Introducing this year’s gratitude jar – it may look small but it’s filled with lots of little notes and with a great amount of gratitude. So many blessings written in them.

Also folding these notes into that origami finger game thingy was so hard!!! I will never do this again 😊 what on earth was I thinking?

And so I will go into 2020 on a positive note, with hope and confidence….

In everything give thanks.  1 Thes 5:18

Why don’t you add a gratitude jar to your habits of well being for next year? I am sure you will love it. I have been doing this since 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Gratitude Jar 2018

 

This was a damn long year, it was one of the worst starts I could have ever imagined. On day one I was already crying and begging for it to end.

It was a harsh year of pain but I guess it was one where I grew the most. I made it through each day with a lesson of some kind, whether I liked it or not each day was a new lesson.

Despite all the hardships I filled my glass jar with so many things to be grateful for and of course it’s beautiful and bountiful. I feel blessed.

And so I will take a deep breath and enter into 2019 on a positive note, with hope and confidence….

In everything give thanks. 1 Thes 5:18

My 2017 Jar  ♥ ♥ ♥

Gratitude Jar 2017

I started the year with a positive attitude, this is going to be a better year, I’m not going to have a complete meltdown over big small huge things in my life…..and then it all came tumbling down.

We had some really rough months, huge storms and lots of turbulence, at some stage I thought the plane was going down!!  But look at this, I still have a glass jar this year and so many things to be grateful for, just look at it, it’s beautiful.

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It’s four years in a row that I fill a jar and it feels so good to think back and find so many blessings. They always stand out. Just look at this year, WOW!!

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And so I end off 2017 with a huge *sigh* and another big Thank You LORD for keeping us safe. Thank you for saving us so many times from so many things that could have turned out badly.  And of course, thank you for keeping me sane in the midst of all the craziness

In everything give thanks. 1 Thes 5:18

 

My older jars – 2014  2015  2016  ♥ ♥ ♥

I filled a glass jar in 2016 !!

Last year I received a new jar from my friend, it was a Christmas gift.  She filled a large jar with homemade cookies and she wrote this on the card:

“This is your gratitude jar for 2016. Empty it this year and in 2016 you have to fill it with thoughts of gratitude…big or small.  So that by the end of 2016 you can reflect and appreciate the awesome year I know you will have!”

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For the past two years I have filled a glass jar with little notes of the things or moments I am grateful for. And this year I was going to try to fill my gifted jar with gratitude but actually filled it with some home-baked cookies for the family. I had to find another jar very quickly, and I did, it’s a special one too and I started filling it with everything I am thankful for.

It’s a good feeling, because I tend to remember the negatives too but when I start to write down each special moment I realise just how blessed I am.

It’s also a great feeling when I’m feeling a little down to see so many happy good moments we had as a family.

This year was hard but when I started filling the glass jar I experienced the amazing power of gratitude. The feeling is small, at first, there was only one little piece of paper but then it then gets bigger as the jar gets fuller.

It’s a good way to start the holiday season and wrap up my year I have so much to be grateful for.

Thank you LORD for keeping us safe this year and for keeping me sane…thank you for everything….

In everything give thanks. 1 Thes 5:18

My glass jar is bigger _ 2015

My glass jar _ 2014