Well. It’s been a month and a half to say the least.
For the month of September I have been on the road with Tourism KZN, as we took part in the National Campaign called, #WeDoTourism.
We have toured our province with new eyes and an understanding of our cities and communities.
I’m one of the lucky ones, despite all I have been through in my life, I have been able to travel my province at times, for this reason or that and so am quite familiar with the outskirts of my main city.
Still. I have experienced my province in an entirely new way, with a group of amazing individuals. Some of our group and I have known each other for awhile, some have been at the same events, some have communicated online only, and some we have only heard through the print in their published stories.
It was an amazing experience to finally travel together as a group. We were all from the media in some form or another. Journalists, Travel Bloggers, Photographers, PR, Radio Presenters and TV Personalities.
Part of our travels, helped us explore and discover new activties, new accomodations, new adventures and new communities around KZN. We’ve been Inland, North, South, you name it, we were there.
The campaign #WeDoTourism is actually not aimed at our international visitors. It’s aimed at the locals.
It’s aimed at South Africans, at us.
While I have been to, lived in, or driven through some of the areas we went to, I have not “visited” those places and met the people in those places.
I have to be honest, as a travel passionate individual, I think a huge part of why locals don’t explore home, is because of the mindset, that “you’re not a tourist at home”. Sadly.
For example, CouchSurfing is an amazing App. I used it quite a bit in my abroad travels and I come to notice, slowly that South Africans and friends of mine are starting to join. It’s a worldwide community of travelers (14 million)that need a couch, bed or hammock to stay in, anywhere from 1 day to a week, at the destination they’re travelling to.
People open their homes and arms with excitement and joy at meeting someone new, someone not in their city. And yes, people aroad, are just happy to host someone from another city nevermind country.
Here in South Africa, not so much. I have often wanted to explore Johannesburg? Meet the locals, learn about the different areas, and spend some time with people I know are verified and safe.
And yes, quite frankly, helping around the house, and cooking dinner a couple nights, instead of paying insane hotel fees in an area you dont know, is sometimes more appealing.
Well don’t stress, your chances of finding a local Couch Surf in a sister city is almost zero. Apparently, we are not interested in hosting or meeting our own. And that’s sad.
I love travelling, I live, eat and breathe travel and tourism and the sooner I can be on the road, the better. There is so much to explore an see, and whether I’ll get the chance to see it all, who knows, but I’m doing my best to.
So with it being Tourism Month and Heritage Month, we were sent to all corners of the province and took part in all types of educationals and activties. And we got to stay in various types of accomodation, which is always a bonus.
One of the places I have NEVER been was Newcastle, in KZN. You can find my article on my home page. Or subscribe so you never miss a post again.
And while I played Miss.GPS through Hluhluwe as we traveled to Sodwana, I had never been to the Umguzi area, or to Tembe Elephant Park. Both interesting experiences in their own capacity.
The same happened in Richards Bay. I have driven in and out of its main hub, several times. Yet, I had no idea about the amazing forest like lodge that we stayed in, or the Complex Market.
My favorite part of our adventures though, was travelling down to the South Coast. My second home. My happy place. The sea, within arms reach, sunset boat tours, friendly backpackers like Mantis and Moon, business hotels like Umthunzthi, and my new discovery the Pumula Beach Hotel.
There is something about being so close to the ocean, to the sound of waves. The city truly is coastal in the sense that you can always see the sea or a river, from anywhere.
We were lucky to experience a few Wild 5 Adventure, mainly the Ziplines in Lake Eland. Last time I was down there, I did the 2.5 hour Zipline, this time a few of our team went a level up and tackled the Extreme Zipline. 40 seconds of absolute madness, aka a Zipline Drop.
For lunch we stopped at C-Bali Restaurant, a nice spot right on the beach front. Unfortunately even though the place wasn’t very busy, our meals took forever to arrive, and my mango juice was anything but that.
One perk of the South Coast, is when you have seafood, you’re having the freshest of the freshest! To put it lightly I pigged out on Sushi for my mains. And I wasn’t dissapointed. It was devine.
Rushing back to our stunning hotel rooms to change for the South Coast Tourism Awards, I noticed how beautiful and peaceful the coast is in the evening. One of my favorite places to be is the chill area at Mantis and moon in the evenings.
The Awards was a casual affair, which I totally missed, arriving in heels, lace and silk! Typical Cee, singing to her own tune.
I’m proud to say I walked away with an award as well. Bringing home the Tourism Influencer of The Year 2017 Award.
I’ll be writing more about that in my next post, but it was lovely having the team celebrate the moment with me as well.
We were briefed on the amazing new steps that Tourism KZN, are going to be making this year and next. With the launch of a new site and packages under #DoKZN.
Look out for my article with all the information on #DoKZN and #GottaDoKZN. You’re going to want to be involved.
So what have these trips meant to me?
- They’ve shown me, that there is still so much more to explore in the place I call home.
- They’ve made me meet so many different people, from different cultures, with different life agendas.
- They’ve made me prouder of my home and my country.
- They’ve convinced me to actively seek out more South African travel adventures.
Don’t forget #CeeSummerLoves 2018, will begin soon. For more info on the internationally successful campaign, email me HERE. And if you’d like to work with me, use the same email.
Find me on my most active platform TWITTER: @ceecestravel & Instagram: @ceecestravel.
And As Always…..