Tips

7 Daily Rituals all Expats should have

7 Daily Rituals all Expats should have

Athletes have set routines to get them in the right frame of mind for success. The rest of us don't really think about our daily habits - until they drastically change! 

How has your daily routine changed since moving abroad? Are you doing these 7 things to ensure you are at the top of your game.

HOW TO HAVE THE BEST ROAD TRIP TO CAPE TOWN EVER

At the end of our first year in Joburg we headed to the Transkei for Christmas.  It was the longest road trip we had ever done. We drove the route over 2 long days which looking back will be one of the most memorable trips we have taken for good and bad reasons. Good: Beautiful scenery and the sense of adventure in the new routes undertaken. Bad: locking the keys and the dogs in the car, a burst oil pipe and driving through the largest thunder storm over Van Buren pass (at night) in years.   What a journey, loved (in hindsight) every minute. 

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After we finally arrived we met our lovely neighbours. They were a South Africa family that have been coming to the same spot for generations, and they all had driven down in one go, it was clear that South Africans know all about road trips!! Our Zimbabwean friends make our road trips look tame,  and border crossing are for a whole new post!.  We are learning, and now Road Trips are something we have come to love and don’t think twice about jumping in the car for a weekend away to Durban (5/6yrs) or out to Madikwe (4/5yrs).  

Are you heading away over the December holidays? Come pick up hints and tips to stay safe and enjoy the experience on our monthly Webinar - 5th December. 


This year we are driving 16 hours down to Cape Town with twin boys (2yrs) and our girl (4yrs) and ridgeback dog, which is going to take some preparation.

Here is my research to date, which covers - route selection, places to stay and other tips for making it the best road trip ever!!

Johannesburg to Cape Town some 1400 km on the N1 - put it into your sat nav and it will say continue on this road for 1,401 kilometres.......


The Route: 

Option 1: N1 

(15/16 hours) 

  • Leave Joburg on M2
  • Take M1 N to Christian Barnard St/M60
  • Take N1 exit to Cape Town  
  • Pass through Bloemfontein 
  • Colesberg
  • Richmond
  • Beaufort West
  • In to Cape Town via the Wine Lands  

Route 2: 1519km 

Not much more than standard 1400km on N1, route taken from Traveller 24   

  • Joburg - Kimberley  
  • Kimberly N12 to N1 at Three Sisters
  • Continue N1 through Beautfort west
  • N12 - Outdshoorn
  • Outdshoorn to George
  • George - N2 - Cape Town  

Route 3: The Ultimate Road Trip of South Africa 

Around  2,500Km Route supplied by South Africa To

  • Leave Joburg N3 - Vaal River 

  • Head onto R26 towards Bethlehem 
  • Clarens - R712 - R711 towards Ficksburg 
  • Fouriesburg change from R711 onto R26 (again)
  • At Ficksburg you will enter Lesotho
  • Lesotho visit Maseru
  • Head back into SA back on R26
  • Rouxville - N6
  • Then head onto R58 crossing the Orange River  
  • R56 towards Middelburg 
  • N9 South to Graaff Reinet 
  • N12 to Oudtshoorn 
  • George - Mossel Bay 
  • N2 Heidelberg (start Garden Route) 
  • Hermanus 
  • Cape Town 

Going to Eastern Cape - Portfolio collection 

Not heading to Cape Town but Plet or Port Elizabeth - Click here for Back Road Route, highlighting some wonderful stop overs and places to eat along the way. 

Where to Stop 

 N1 route: Day 1
1. Windmill casino in Bloemfontein (the Spur) has a good play area for the kids and off the road so the dogs can run around a bit.
2.  Colesburg.
3. Service Stations / Petrol Stations - usually have a Steers which is good for quick stop

Stay Over:  

  • Beaufort West (small town in Cape Karoo) - 930Km from Joburg and 460Km to Cape Town, so majority of your drive will be done on day 1 

Lemoenfontein Game Lodge
Ko kat sara Bush Camp 

If this is too far to drive in one day - you can stop off in Colesberg at Kuilfontein Stable Cottages 
or half way at the Bloemhof
 
Take the additional day to head to Graaf Reinet and Camdeboo National Park, fellow blogger 2summers has a great write up of this beautiful stop over.  READ IT HERE 

Or slight D Tour to Gariep Dam - DeStijl Hotel

 
Day 2 stops: standard N1 route: 

 1. Matjiesfontein - very cute little town. Nice to grab lunch at the coffee shop, dogs can sit out back with you. Nice to walk around the town as well. 


Kimberly Route 2:

Stay at Country Club Kimberly

There are also lots of little Farm Stalls on route, selling uniquely South African items such as Rose Geranium Cordial, Lamb and mint Pies, Fig Jam and Biltong. Check out Food Jams post by Jade de Waal 

General Tips: 

    •    Leave early to avoid queues at the tolls
    •    Have a map and backups to your GPS
    •    Take enough small change / cash for the tolls (don’t accept foreign credit cards, and only some accept south african credit cards)  
    •    The big petrol stations have grassy areas for the dogs so make great pit stops. 
    •    Stick to Speed Limit (usually - 120km/h major routes / 100km/h secondary roads, and 60km/h in towns)  
    •    Pull over into hard shoulder (yellow line) to let cars pass and then thank other drivers by flashing your hazard lights. 
    •    Make sure you have your drivers licence on you and certified photocopies of your passports (or actual passports)
    •    Don’t leave your bag or valuables in the car when stopping at service station and double check manually your car is locked as car jammers (systems that block your automatic central locking)  operate over the holiday season. 
    •    Avoid traveling in the dark (the conditions of the roads aren’t always great, and often deserted).   


Emergency Numbers to have in your phone:

The best advice I have is to download this app! It literally enables you to get the support you need where ever you are in country. 

https://namola.com/

    •    ER24 paramedics: 084 124
    •    Police/Fire Department: 10111
    •    Ambulance: 10117
    •    Arrive Alive Call Centre: 0861 400 800
    •    Netcare Emergency: 082 911

Also your insurance details, who to call in emergency and break down. 

Other Places to stay - AirBnB and Greenwood Guide / Portfolio Collection

Please note - most of this article is advice I have collected over the years, I personally haven’t driven the route (my husband and father stayed at Kuilfontein Stable Cottages and loved it - but the other suggestions are all word of mouth)

Freelance Business Toolkit

I often get asked for recommendations on software and programmes, so here is my list of tools and programmes that Translating Me would be lost without: 

Business Toolkit

Toolkit

Squarespace - website 

Google Documents - store all your files online to give anyone remote access 

Mailchimp - email software (or convertkit

Evernote 

Design / Photos:

Unsplash - beautiful and un stock like images 

Shutterstock - images and music. Plus they have a great design programme too 

Canva - simple graphic design 

PicMonkey  - i create all our blog posts etc on here. 

Pages  - I create all the workbooks in Apple's Pages 

Creative Market - have everything you need for your design. From fonts, to styled images, you name it they will have it! 

Online Course Platform 

Udemy

Teachable

Freelance Platforms 

FlexJobs - FlexJobs has over 50 career categories, with jobs ranging from freelance to full-time, entry-level to executive. The best part? They screen the jobs before posting, so you don’t have to dig through shady opportunities. The site currently hosts more than 20K job listings including part-time and freelance opportunities!

Skip the Drive - Good job listings, plus some good resources (and I like the name) 

Upwork - Wide range of job categories: from virtual assistants to mobile app developers. Plus they have more than 1 million companies, from Pinterest to OpenTable, use the site to hire remote freelancers.

Toptal - Focused on connecting top-tier former consultants with short-term engagements for high impact corporations, the Toptal Business (formerly SkillBridge) model is taking the traditional consulting world by storm. 

Fiverr - whether you want to advertise your services or outsource some of your own business - fiveer can be a great option. 

Recruit My Mom (South Africa) 

People to Follow 

Michael Hyatt - great on productivity and work / life balance

Carrie Green - I joined her members club 3 years ago, and its given me all the knowledge and training I have needed.

Bryan Harris - Practical advice on how to get you started in building an email list.  

Jeff Walker - If you want to create an online course, he is the guru to help you 

 

Finding it all a little Overwhelming...... 

Come join other passionate men and women who are creating their own side projects over in our Ubuntu Academy: 

We share training videos on: 

Creating your Website

How to Sell on Etsy

How to create $1000 a month by being a virtual assistant.   

For training videos and step by step tutorials on setting up your business - join us over in the Ubuntu Academy Now. 

 

Super 6 Transport Options in Jozi

Transport around JHB can be tricky, especially if you don't have a car. But there are affordable and reliable ways you can get around Jozi!

Perfect for in-city trips between places

Membership Service, you drive to an event and they will come drive you and your car home. 

Jozi's railway system linking JHB, PTA, Ekhurleni and OR Tambo

The best way to see Jozi

The quickest way to travel around Sandton

Fast, safe and affordable transport around the city centre

Switching Perspectives - to bribe or not.

Police in South Africa

When I was training to become an executive coach one of the most important lessons I learned was the ability to switch perspectives, i.e. that often there is no single approach to a problem. Many of our problems can be alleviated if we can just look at them differently. Matt and I were lucky enough to go and see Trevor Noah on his recent tour of South Africa. His talent to tell stories from this alternative perspective is simply remarkable, he wasn’t rude and didn’t rely on foul language, he just highlighted the variety of things has come to miss since living abroad. I don’t want to spoil the joke but his sketch about the South African police coming to share their tactics with American police has kept me laughing for days. 

Expat in Johannesburg

Unbeknown to Trevor, he helped me to take a different perspective last Friday when I went to submit my police clearance for my visa (my 6th in 7 years). This time, when buying a coffee for ourselves we decided to buy a couple of extra for the police who were processing our applications. Some people reading this may view this as bribery but we asked for no favors or better treatment than anyone else around us. We simply took the opportunity to make two police officers day. They were delighted, conversation flowed and an ordeal was made more pleasant.

Did you miss out on seeing Trevor Noah? Make sure you dont miss out on any other concerts and events by downloading our Joburg Annual Calendar to keep you updated on everything thats happening. 

The tap to clean your hands of the thick black finger print ink............

The tap to clean your hands of the thick black finger print ink............

 

As we needed the visa fairly quickly they advised me to take our forms to Pretoria….. I could have got frustrated with the traffic, the time it took to get there, the lack of parking, lack of clear signs to know where to go, and the fear of being in a strange place (with our passports, wallets and phone).  Instead, I paid some builders who were working at the building site next door, they kindly moved some cones for me and helped me to park. They then asked to wash my car for a small sum, I smiled at them, the car was a little dirty, so sure why not.

I then walked right passed the building, and a young lad stopped me and said

"Mam, I think you are looking for the Police Clearance, you need to go back, and then inside, take the first floor".

He even walked me to the door and then asked me for some change. Once again, I could get frustrated at this, but he helped me out, so why not give him R20. 
 
It can be incredibly hard to understand other people if we haven't walked in their shoes, which is why living abroad is such a valuable experience, because we get to walk right there alongside them. 
 
In the UK, there is employment and processes that mean my police clearance costs around £50 and is done in a quicker, cleaner way.  In South Africa it costs R100 but if I added in all those extra pairs of helping hands probably R250, which is still an absolute bargain. Plus it allowed me to connect with a few interesting people, outside my usual sphere.
 
Seven years into living here, I am finally learning to change my perspective, to switch from fear  to empathy, to see’s the individual doing a pretty rubbish job (if they even have a job at all).

Will connecting with people make me more likely to become a victim of crime, maybe, but I hope its worth the risk.   

HIRING DOMESTIC STAFF: IN SOUTH AFRICA

HIRING DOMESTIC STAFF: IN SOUTH AFRICA

The employment of household staff is complicated, both morally and practically, and it is sadly more common in South Africa than in other parts of the world due to the large social economic gap pervasive in the country.    As a result it is likely that when you arrive you may have to make a choice about whether or not to employ staff and ultimately if you do make the choice to employ then how to do it.