Travel

Applying for a Schengen Visa- for South Africans

First rule of wanting to travel and not knowing how to start: NEVER feel embarrassed, shamed or sorry about things you don’t know. Traveling is about discovering things and you learn as you go. Countries are different, travel reasons are different and so documents needed for your Visa application are always different.

The only Visa I have done so far is a Schengen Visa under the friends and family visit category which I have no idea what number or visa type is formally know as in code. As long as you know what you are going to do wherever you are going, then you are on the right track! Before I discovered Visas and all this, I used to think a Visa looks like a card, like the kind of card we have now as a form of new card ID system. I would always wonder “Where do they stamp on the visa anyway?”. It never made sense but eventually you start the process and understand how it goes. So, take your time- it will feel overwhelming but it’s okay, just follow the rules and you will be fine. It will be over soon.

Schengen refers to the EU passport-free zone that covers most of the European countries. It’s the largest free travel area in the world.

A Schengen visa is a short-stay visa that allows a person to travel to any members of the Schengen Area, per stays up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes.

The Schengen visa is the most common visa for Europe. It enables its holder to enter, freely travel within, and leave the Schengen zone from any of the Schengen member countries. There are no border controls within the Schengen Zone.

Visa terms

It is nice right! Just remember that, if you are planning to stay more than 90 days, you must apply for a national visa which has its own code and name. There is a third party institution that assists people with visa applications. Then there are people who assist other people in getting docs to apply for instance, people who don’t have time to search what needs to be submitted. So someone will do all that for you and tell you what you need to have. They schedule and appointment on your behalf and tell you when you need to go there and time. I however choose to do it by myself because there is no money for that and I do it through VFS Global South Africa

 

They take care of all the process and you pay them and they take care of everything. Remember you always need to schedule an appointment (you don’t just rock up) Schedule here and track your application online Track visa application. I am about to go for my Schengen Visa to visit my boyfriend in Europe and these are the documents I had to get:

  • Copy of ID
  • Passport (they will take this for your application so don’t freak out).
  • An invitation letter which the person you are visiting must fill up and get it stamped by his government and courier it if they are not with you. They can also do it in your country at their consulate (A fee applies) Invitation letter
  • If you are paying for your stay, a bank statement must accompany the docs.
  • A letter of employment in this case too.
  • Copy of flight reservation and medical insurance (these will show your travel dates and duration of stay).
  • A fee of R1065 at this moment will be charged (last time I paid R1400 and before that R700) It changes with country and other factors.

A lot of docs are needed but once you are done, it will take 5 days to process your visa and can choose to collect it at VFS Global or have it couriered to you at an extra charge. If you are struggling, just comment below and we can have a chat on your application. I am only familiar with Europe short stay visas by the way.

Whatever you do after your visa has been approved and you are living your best life in a different country, DO NOT OVERSTAY! You can get banned for a number of years, maybe 10.

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Food, Travel

Strawberry picking at Polkadraai Strawberry farm

I would like to take a moment of silence to appreciate the fun moment I had at Polkadraai considering the fact that I have been trying to explore…

Polkadraai Strawberry Farm is in stellenbosch which is only 26 minutes away from Observatory on weekends without traffic. It is pretty much easy getting there and you’ll know by cars parked outside that it’t where you are going.

In order to be allowed to the strawberry grounds, a bucket for each person must be purchased which can be purchased in the first and only supermarket you see upon arrival in the farm. The buckets range in prices from R40.00 per person for kids to R190.00 for ultimate pickers.

What you need to know:

  • The farm is only open during these times and season: September to January daily, 9am – 4.00pm* (times might change depending on weather and holidays).
  • Picker bucket vary: Junior R40.00; The harvester R55.00; the professional picker R150.00; and the ultimate picker R190.00.
  • There are other fun things to do on the farm for families and kids such as tractor and pony rides, face painting, mini golf.
  • There is a food court which is super affordable. I spent R40.00 on burger and chips which were soooo delicious.

What I enjoyed:

  • Parking is totally free.
  • They have a range of buckets which suit everyone.
  • It is affordable and no entrance fee- just bucket fee.
  • You can pick as much strawberries as you want, as long as you are not greedy about it.
  • It is relaxing and their strawberries are very sweet and juicy.

What I did not enjoy:

  • I was a bit unprepared and I did not take a sunhat with me so I was sunburned
  • It can get a bit muddy so try wearing sneakers or any closed shoes that are not really important to you- NO HEELS.
  • We started at a ground where there weren’t a lot of strawberries and only got small ones until we were moved to a different field but our buckets were almost full.

There is literally a lot you can do. Just know that a group of 20 and more must call in first to book Click Here for more information

Food

Definitum Wines

“Wine is the only artwork you can drink.”

-Luis Fernando Olaverri

I agree with this wise man Luis. Wine can make you look at a random and simple situation with the most appreciation., It can have you confessing all your deepest desires. Tells the truth that people only deserve to hear without you feeling guilty or regret.

I was recently given an opportunity to taste Definitum Wines . They are based in Stellbosch and offer 3 of their select wines:

  • Arbalest which consists of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 15% Malbec, 10% Petit Verdot and Cab Franc 5%. This bottle goes for R120.
  • Benevolence with a composition of 36% Pinotage, 24% Malbec, 24% Shiraz, 12% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot. This bottle is also R120.
  • Petit Verdot only has a composition of 90% petit verdot and 10% Shiraz and retails for R180.

All the bottles are sold on the Definitum Wines website and they deliver nationwide.

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My favourite of the 3 bottles is the Arbalest because it has a really good balance of the Carbenet and Merlot. It has a good fruity aroma on the nose and a soft taste on the throat- it glides. For me, it would go really well with a steak and some veggies with a little bit of mushroom sauce and chili in them and chocolate dunked strawberries.

Next time when you feel like a glass of something red, don’t be shy to visit Definitum Wines and orders yours to be delivered right at your door. The festivities are near and we are gearing up for the lit moments.

 

Please be advised that alcohol is addictive and not for persons under the age of 18! DRINK RESPONSIBLY! Definitum Wines

Travel, Travel Attire

My Top5 Bacon Bikini Faves for the Summer!

Firstly, I would like to thank everyone who made sure I made it as a Bacon Bikini ambassador and got to make it all the way to Mauritius for their Spring/Summer campaign.

How I made it:

Face of Bacon Bikini is a competition by Bacon Bikinis where the brand looks for ambassadors, you do not have to have a lot of followers on social media (but can be an advantage) to enter. It happens annually and 2018 was the first of its installments. I sent my pictures and created a profile on their website and told them why I think I deserve to be a #BaconBabe . The next stage was to ask followers on all my social media platforms to vote for me and show the Bacon Bikinis team that I deserve to win and send in a video for them to get to know me better once making it to Top10- the rest is history.

During the campaign we tried a lot of bikinis and my oh my they are gorgeous and comfortable, not to mention affordable- a beach girl’s dream. Below are my Top5 pick from the Spring/Summer collection which launched in September of this year.

1. Scrunch one-piece

IMG_E2792 This is the first swimsuit I was super excited to try on because I have it in yellow and you know how yellow pops on brown skin so I was pretty excited when I received it as part of making it to Top10. It comes in all three colours as you see in this picture. Just make sure you know your size very well with this one because it might look a bit bulgy at the back on the waist if you choose the wrong size.

2. Jane Scrunch + bottom

I had no idea how my love for this piece would grow after the trip! This one is an “itsy” so it cuts out your buttocks to show your nice “tatas” as I call them. Perfect for the ladies who are not shy to show a little extra of their confidence.

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3. Amber and Kira one-pieces

As much as they may look a bit similar, THEY ARE NOT. The Amber ties at the back and has a wide range of colours (check website). Kira on the other hand is fully open at the back and hugs the body, you don’t need to adjust any ropes/tie it to fit. I love them both because a one piece always saves you time and I love the feeling of covering my stomach sometimes. Kira comes in Red, Orange, Blue and White and I love me her blue

4. Electric Blue Kai and Tide + their bottoms

This one stole my heart because, well you know blue is fire! Most of Bacon Bikinis can be worn in two different ways: the “normal” way with straps or without and tie at the back OR reverse the top back to front and tie it in front. I know right, two in one is just what everyone needs.

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5. The girls: not us but the bikinis:

The tops are: Bella, Kelly, Tide and Pearl (in no particular order)

Bottoms: Jane, Lauren, Jenna and Monique (Jenna is not in the picture but check website).

My personal favourite? ALL! I can’t choose from the tops unfortunately because they are all gorgeous! I however, absolutely love the Jane and Lauren bottoms! They are gorgeous and so cheeky and itsy, depending on how you find them on their good days.

Bacon Bikinis is a South African Brand founded and owned by Candice Bacon. Delivery takes about 2-3 days depending on where you are based. They ship WORLDWIDE and randomly run sales competitions. So visit their website and find your own because South African summer is here and it’s about to go down!

Bacon Bikinis