Seize the Day

2019 is here and to my utmost surprise, I find myself calm and very rational about things.

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Equipped with new notebooks and stationery, I set out to be more practical with how I plan this year. The state of mind I choose to have in 2019 is not to think of it so much as new but more like progress. After reviewing my 2018 goals, I created an Annual ‘Road Map’, something I picked up from Monash which, in school is basically a diagram of the week and each day’s goal. My variation has space for about 5 targets to be clearly described for each month. It’s also helped me set some financial goals, like say for example taking a trip to Cape Town in April during the Easter holidays.

Curiously, besides wanting to get a new lens and tripod, the one thing I couldn’t see how it plays out in the future was this space..

I could think of a few reasons why; like maybe how I feel that I haven’t established myself in the blogging world. That one time I got nominated for Best Travel Blogger in 2017 was long time back. I’m not popular, and most times I’m happy with the privacy but other times I wonder if anyone really knows of my work. As a creative, progress is so important to me, so many at times it feels like I don’t know what I’m doing or where I’m going with it but I do know it brings me so much joy. It keeps me creative, having to learn new things, techniques, discover new places, discover myself. Become more, and do more. I religiously read each month’s Conde Naste Traveller magazine, cover to cover, and delve deep into the exquisite text and images. It transports me to another world, and I hope that is what this space can be for my readers.

These wonderful photos were taken by SLR Photos SA who reached out to me to collaborate on a street style photoshoot. I suggested The Marc as the venue, it has become one of my favourite places to hang out, with quiet coffee shops and restaurants in the heart of Sandton.

Go show them some love on their Facebook and Instagram pages @SLRPhotoSA, and while your at it find my social media handles at @pilgrimchic on Instagram and Facebook.

Let’s seize the day!

Freedom Park, //hapo Museum

Location: Freedom Park, //hapo Museum.

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“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela

I recently took a trip to Freedom Park, //hapo Museum in Pretoria which is about an hour drive away from Sandton, Johannesburg. The architecture of the place is nothing short of genius – every single corner had a character of its own expressing itself in materials and landscaping. Such designs reignite my passion for architecture, it all feels so fluid and.. perfect, just as nature is.

I mean, I visited the Museum and it inspired me to add sketches to this post! To me, this is enough evidence of why it’s so important to feed your mind and soul with experiences that move you to be a better version of yourself.

And what better way to enrich your mind and soul by learning about your history as an African?

The stories I read on the displays inside the museum were phenomenal to say the least. With objects collected from ancient times and distant lands all over the African continent, the realization that history was a few feet from my grasp left me with goose pimples the whole time I was inside. I picked up a few interesting facts about African history, from Ancient Ghana, Timbuktu/ Mali to Egypt when it was known as Nubia. And most of all, the struggle for freedom in South Africa has left me humbled. Spaces like these are so important as they remind us of our history, and make us realize how important it is to always treat each other with love and dignity.

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Also, am I not killing these photos?! I’ve never experimented as much with black and white photography until this post.

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Once I was done with the displays inside the museum, a walk around the grounds revealed gorgeous vistas of Pretoria. The building is just as beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside.

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I posted on my Insta stories that this is the best museum I’ve been to so far. It’s not just about the physical space but the stories the building carried inside it, I think it’s a must visit for anyone traveling to Pretoria.

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.