A Travellerspoint blog

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Jolly's Big Adventure begins....

Jolly's Big Adventure has begun.

Species: Jolly. Found in multiple parts of the world in 2012. An adventurous and outgoing 21 year old with a penchant for dreadfully lame jokes. Usually found smiling, and often in herds of people; thrives on adrenaline and jelly beans. Unlikely to be using her B. Bus Sci degree from the University of Cape Town on her intrepid escapades. May be seen to be carrying a 75L navy backpack with everything except Bear Grylls' kitchen sink in it. And she'll be on a mission.

That adventure is what I'll be writing about, with no silly clichés or falsified stories (maybe just names). To quote KS, it'll be a rad-venture.

Join me. Let's go!

Posted by LindsJolly 07:56 Archived in South Africa Tagged adventure big lindsay jolly jolly's Comments (1)

How To Leave Everything Behind

(8-Nov-2011)

You'll need an empty garage, lots of tissues, one more day, and a bag for everything that you forget to pack. (RJD – if you're reading this, please don't lose my pocket knife). And you'll need enough stuff to leave behind.

For the last four years I've accumulated stuff in Cape Town, South Africa. Useful stuff, stupid stuff, dress up stuff, kitchen stuff, varsity stuff... Copious amounts of stuff. However, in the spirit of an adventurer, that all went out of the window. Well, not literally, because we're on the fourth floor, and there are nice hedges below us, and the body corporate could've got annoyed, and some of it was breakable and... Anyway, I digress. Even my diglets were in danger of getting chucked out – but the Yellow Submarine would've sunk without them. Much love.

Said stuff was packed methodically (cough cough) into boxes, and left alone in a garage somewhere near the Cape Town airport. And with that, I had no permanent place of residence... Freedom much?!

Packing people into boxes and saying goodbye is not as easy, though. Firstly, I didn't have big enough boxes. And secondly, I couldn't leave part of my heart there, too. Four years in Cape Town has meant more fun, memories, laughter, friendships, blessings and adventure than I could ever have imagined. To leave that all behind was tough – especially with the knowledge that it'll never be the same again. Some legends made sure that I'd have good farewell memories, and rocked up at the airport – hence the requirement for lots of tissues. AB, LS, MK, PP, RJD, SJB and TG... You guys made leaving easier and harder at the same time. The lady who had to sit next to me on the flight to Johannesburg will attest. Apologies, ma'am, for being the awkward crying girl on the plane.

Goodbye, Cape Town, and everything that I left behind. I'll be back. Someday.

Posted by LindsJolly 07:57 Archived in South Africa Tagged travel adventure lindsay_jolly Comments (0)

How To Travel for 36 Hours

(11-Nov-2011)

The title says it all. And despite all my efforts to wangle my way into a business class upgrade, I must report that there is no easy way to travel across the world in a half-upright seat. None, I tell you.

There is a type of African lizard that falls asleep if you turn it onto its back. Put me on my front and I'm also out like a light. This works in airports, floors, carpets, even on piers... But not on planes. We flew from Johannesburg to Dakar (“Where is Dakar?” you may ask. Parked outside, I say.) which popped 8 hours of flying onto the tally. Despite it being some raucous hour of the morning, I can clearly remember seeing the full moon shimmering over the ocean just off the coast of West Africa. The knowledge that I was landing on African soil was comforting – but not as comfortable as the travel pillow that I had wedged backwards around my neck (Note: Get an inflatable one. It doesn't sag or shift around like those silly pellet cushions that are so much fun to play with).

An hour stopover in Senegal for fuel, freshener and French-speaking passengers was on the cards, then it was off above the Senegalese coastline and flashing lighthouse: America bound!

The rest of the flight is blur of good intentions of eye masks, in-flight entertainment, stiff necks and conversations with a doctor from Chicago. And deceptive amounts of sleep.

Another wait in the Washington airport was livened by meeting someone from Rondebosch, Cape Town. Perhaps it was creepy to be reading the luggage tag on his suitcase, but it was too cool to meet someone who lived less than 2km from me – on the other side of the world. Capetonians for the win!

One more take-off, one more runway, one more runaway... Jolly headed to Texas – home of cowboys, huge trucks and Chuck Norris himself. A little town called Grapevine will be my home for the next few months... Y'all will be surpriiiised at the accent that may result!

Posted by LindsJolly 07:59 Archived in USA Tagged travel adventure flights lindsay_jolly Comments (0)

How To Make Friends with Strangers

(15-Nov-2011)

One of my goals for the year is to make 212 friends. Not just meet 212 new faces, but actually get involved with people (.. and add them as Facebook friends). Although I'm travelling on my own, it doesn't mean that I'll be alone – people make the memories and the memories are of people. My mother always called me gregarious (although that somehow sounds like a bad thing...). Basically, I thrive around people. If only my job entailed being annoyingly friendly to people all day long. Oh, wait. It does. Win!

And so far, so good. I'll be naming (and hopefully not shaming, but you never know!) all those legends that I get to have fun with, work with, chill with or roadtrip with. Watch out for your name on the Jollywood page...

We've met Texans, Mexicans, Alabama boys, Las Vegans, security guards, owners of frozen yoghurt stores, old people, young guys, angry bosses with pagers and clipboards, diddly grannies in Christmas jerseys, and some epic South Africans. There are 29 of us rocking it out in Texas, speaking far too much Afrikaans and trying not to get run over when crossing the street. But hey – when in Rome... (Don't get hit by a Roman chariot!)

All of us are staying in a ridiculously luxurious apartment complex less than 5km from the hotel. Dishwashers, air conditioning, free wifi, brand new appliances, and kiff (translation: cool) flatmates (after a bit of moving due to, how shall we say, 'preferences'. Not politics.). Life's good in Cross Creek.

BM and DO are the new flatmates – welcome to the HR Department (Hilarious Retards?!)! It works well: DO is receptive to bad puns, and BM is a lefty and talks in her sleep. I quote 2am on 23 Nov, “Mumble, mumble, they have the same nostrils”. Beautiful.

World, watch out, because soon we'll be friends. It looks like you need a bit of South Africa in your life.

Posted by LindsJolly 08:00 Archived in USA Tagged lindsay_jolly Comments (0)

How to Sell Hot Chocolate

(18-Nov-2011)

We're not here just to meet cowboys and wander around Walmart – gotta earn enough to sustain the adventurous life to which we have become accustomed.

I work at the Gaylord Texan hotel (jokes about the name will not be appreciated. We know it's a bit weird). Got my name badge, my staff card and a sexy (not) purple uniform jersey.

Just a bit of context: Christmas here is huger than the trucks and people. The Texan is hosting a Dreamworks extravaganza with 2million pounds of ice (I want my metric system back!). Ice scultputres, ice slides, snow tubing, Shrek, Puss in Boots, and temperatures of 9F. That's cold in Celsius.

I think I may have smiled too much during my interview, so have been allocated to work in the retail area. Too. Much. Christmas. Already. I like to think I could sell ice to an Eskimo, what with a marketing degree and all, but they've made it easier by letting me sell hot cocoa to people who are colder than Eskimos. Fair game, right? Here's a tip for selling even more hot chocolate: Ask the guys if they're real cowboys – chances are they'll tip you more than their hat ;)

But here's the creepy (but cool) thing that we use to sell: We have a machine that pumps chocolate scent out across the hall. It smells glorious. And we thought it was just our smiles that was attracting guests...

We smile A LOT. Like I said, I get paid to be friendly. Win. I come home at the end of the day with cheeks sore from smiling, and a fine layer of chocolate all over my purple uniform jersey. Last week, I was accused of being a cocoa-sniffing addict. Hehehe *sneeze. Things could be a lot worse. Hey – I could working in Box Office :P but I think they knew that Jolly's adventures couldn't be put in a box.

Life's not all hot chocolate and dollars, though: I get two days off work a week. Now THAT'S where the real adventures start... Stay tuned

Posted by LindsJolly 08:02 Archived in USA Tagged christmas lindsay texas jolly Comments (0)

How to Make American Food

(23-Nov-2011)

The first step involves choosing/selecting/hunting/finding food. There is a good chance that you will go hungry due to the inability to make a choice, given the huge assortments available (MJC and AC – it's true! Our thesis is legit!). Full aisles are dedicated to each product type, and everything comes quantities larger than the trucks and people. It's a vicious circle (around the waist...).

Thankfully, there's not too much “making” involved in making American food. Just add water and bung it into the microwave for a few minutes. Done. And then warn explicitly that the food will, for some unfathomable reason, be hot. #facepalm

We're trying out all sorts of food that we've only ever seen on TV – Taco Bell, Pop Tarts, beef jerky, turkey, various candy...The verdict? Everything here seems to have cherry or peanut butter in it. Everything, I tell you. South Africans, please post us good food. K, thanks, bye! I've already had to make a new hole in my belt (smaller – surprisingly!).

We may or may not be taking advantage of our South Africanness by faking ignorance as to their foods... Exhibit A: We managed to convince a certain RJ that we didn't know what burgers were the other day. South Africans – 1. Gullible Americans – 0. Hehehe. Naughty.

Posted by LindsJolly 09:53 Archived in USA Tagged food lindsay jolly Comments (0)

How to Live Out of a Backpack

24-Nov-2011

Two weeks into my trip, I'm almost fully unpacked. I think if Mary Poppins and Bear Grylls had had kids, the result would've been my packing skills. In a seemingly bottomless bag, I fitted in everything needed to survive - except the kitchen sink (only because I knew I was heading to a first world country where they have dishwashers :P).

Here are a few things that I would go purple in the face trying to convince you to pack.

Digital watch with an alarm: Mine tells me what day it is, what the date is, AND gets me up in the morning. And when you're jet-lagged, that's even better than a cup of American coffee.

Sleeping bag: It's kind of like having my own bed with me, withoth having to lug around a mattress. That first night in a new town will be a lot better if you've got something that smells like you and has got you through a few rough times already.

Prestik: For sticking tickets into your journal, South African flags onto the wall, into your ears when your room-mate won't shut up (Joking. Much love, BM), and for holding things together. Yourself included.

Headlamp: The quickest way to make yourself feel incredibly epic and, er, bright. Mine was a gift from MG – thank you! And my roommate says thanks, too, because it means I can be a slightly-less-annoying early morning person :)

I had a full spreadsheet of things to pack (as per usual), so this is just the tip of the iceberg. But be warned – there is more than just seven-eighths of this iceberg beneath the surface!! (I'd just like to take a moment to point out that my bag only weighed 16kg. Victory!)

Posted by LindsJolly 10:01 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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