Exploring Maboneng.

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Location: Maboneng Precinct, Johannesburg. South Africa.

Maboneng has been on my travel wish list for a long time now. It reminds me a little of the creative artistic vibe I got at Block 338 when I travelled to Bahrain last year, only rich in African art and culture so thick you can feel it in the air. Around the corners you’d find bands of musicians performing reggae and soul compositions. Amidst all this, the streets are filled with colour as artists sell their wares in temporary stalls, similar to Maasai Market in Nairobi. No comparisons, it’s just the best way to describe the vibe.

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I bought two malachite bangles from a lady selling little bibs and bobs, souvenirs and beaded jewellery. These added a flair to my look in the ‘photoshoot’ that followed shortly. I posted one of these photos on Instagram and the love I’ve received from you all was amazing, some even sharing that I look more confident, which I feel I’ve consciously been working on. I’m trying not to brood on mistakes but realize that it’s normal and integral for growth, and remind myself to instead focus on continuous self improvement one day at a time.

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I tipped this old man and his band so he sang a few lines dedicated to me which was kinda cool.

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The rich smell of coffee is too tempting to ignore so I satisfied my cravings at Little Addis Cafe, an Ethiopian restaurant with authentic cuisine that also serves Ethiopian coffee, which is one of the best coffees in the world for its unique roast, flavour and brewing style. Here, they served it in a wooden pot with teeny white coffee cups I’ve also seen in Swahili households, and pop corn on the side for only R40, equivalent to about 4$. Coffee and pop corn go surprisingly well, if you’re wondering.

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A short walk around the precinct reveals more gems to explore next time, like Soul Souvlaki, pictured below, and others like Pata Pata and Uncle Merv’s.

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The architectural character is quite intriguing, with a mix of classical old buildings to contemporary lofts and container apartments. Fascinating. Maboneng is the kind of place for creatives, I left feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the week.

On a random note, in 2017 I’d always keep track of what day of the year it is, like today, Wednesday 15th August 2018 is day 226/ 365. Keeping track of the days like this always feels encouraging, like I have 139 days in the year to do more meaningful things. And then somehow I feel accountable and just want to fill my life with more life changing experiences, travel and beauty in all shapes and forms.

I could say an afternoon in Maboneng is good for the soul and spirit.

Useful links to check out when planning a visit to Maboneng:

I rely heavily on Google Maps when I’m new to a place. It not only is for navigation, but also when searching for local attractions and great places to eat. The links below may also be great for your reference.

www.gauteng.net 

www.mabonengprecinct.com

Saturday Shenanigans Seven

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One of my favourite places to hang out is Melrose Arch, an artsy precinct with cute restaurants, coffee shops, fashion boutiques, retail stores and amazing apartments, reminding me a little of Block 338 in Bahrain.

The Starbucks here has a cute vibe; the material palette, decor and lighting works so well together. I particularly loved the wooden seats outside. I make a habit to consciously collect pictures of inspiration just in case, so in the future I can execute the ideas in my spaces.

I didn’t experiment much with my food choices as I just wanted a coffee and a cute backdrop to take pictures. Had a cappuccino with almond milk, and some delicious chocolate and lavender macaroons.

Feeling so fulfilled typing this out, I just love it when I start my week off inspired.

Ahlan wa Sahlan

Ahlan wa sahlan wa marhaban bikum!

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An Arabic greeting that loosely translates to a very warm delicious ”welcome”.

It has been too long since I hit the publish button on here, close to eleven months since my last post, eek! It feels so good to be back on this positive space as every time I checked my website I remembered the reason why I started it in the first place. This time off has helped me clarify that vision and grow my passion for content creation and blogging. My intention was, and still is, to document my travels and adventures so that I can stay excited about life and perhaps even inspire my readers.

So here’s what I’ve been up to since I’ve been away.

Moved to South Africa

Last year in September, I came for a short trip to South Africa and well I guess it’s safe to say I fell in love with the country! The standard of living and opportunities left me inspired I told myself I had to come back. I was back home in Kenya between the months of November and February, applied for my Masters and got accepted into the MBA program at Monash South Africa.

Why an MBA while I’m a professional architect? Because I believe in capitalism.

I also work part time so it may make a little bit more sense as to why I’ve been MIA online? Either way, with strong accomplished women like Beyonce running the world it goes without saying that women can do so much more so I will try to be the best version of myself – studying, working and blogging too.

I am becoming a fully self sufficient human as each day goes by and it comes with so much growth *cough* challenges * and I am grateful for it everyday! As I type this out, I cracked my iPhone screen this morning and will have it replaced on pay day. Lol.

I digress. Moving on.

Untitled-1.jpgRedesigned pilgrimchic.com, and learning a new language (CSS)

If you’ve been following me for a while, I’m sure you have noticed that my blog look has changed.

I’ve always loved the minimal look it’s had from before but I kept hoping to evolve into a more professional vibe. I pray I will be able to collaborate with my dream brands and creatives I admire with time and I’m hoping the choices I make everyday will enable that vision. We all hope we can somehow get rewarded for our efforts as blogging is not easy guys! Creating amazing content and visuals takes time and sharpening your skills and I’m ALL ABOUT THAT LIFE! Growth all day errday. Why not create amazing content and enjoy my life as I’m at it?

The blog look is still not quite there yet as I’m learning how to design the site myself (CSS) and build the components of the website bit by bit. Any programmers in the house?

Untitled-2So what’s the plan now?

The plan is to stop sitting behind the screen each day wishing I was doing more with my life when I actually can.

I intend to post whenever I can and perhaps even come up with a schedule, once a week to begin with on Saturdays after class. Although school and my livelihood are my priority, it can sometimes get so overwhelming that I felt that I needed to remind myself to enjoy life more. That’s where content creation comes in, scouting for interesting locations and getting to put down my thoughts in words on this virtual space.

It seems like it’s a recurring theme here on my posts – to not forget why we’re doing what we’re doing (work, school and everything else we seek out in this life) but remember to take a step back, be grateful and enjoy life. There is so much beauty within our reach, from the small things like taking a walk in the park, a cup of coffee or delicious pastry in a restaurant you’ve always wanted to visit, to slightly more complex luxuries like a road trip or globe trotting in another part of the world!

I hope you have all been well, truly.

Talk to you again soon?

Fatma xx

Location: Monte Casino.