Creative Escapes

Ever hankered after a tranquil creative space to explore your emotions? Discover your inner artist at myriad art retreats across the country. You’ll not only learn to express yourself through dance, writing, theatre or painting, but you’ll return home reinvigorated. “In several studies, it’s been found that those who regularly paint tend to be less, and have a healthier sense of self-esteem than those who don’t. This is true for other art forms too,” says Johannesburg-based psychologist Diane Preddy.

New & Trends

Animal love: Prep your pet sitter

Description: Ensure Fido gets the best care possible by prepare for all eventualities

Your animal care needs more than a list of instructions. Heed these tips:

  1. Leave your credit card number and authorization with your vet so the sitter won’t be saddled with a bill s/he is unwilling or unable to pay in an emergency.
  2. Give the sitter two sets of keys – one to use, the second to keep at his or her home as a backup if the first set gets lost.
  3. Prepare a release document stating what should be done with your pet and keys in case you pass away while out town.
  4. Make a list of your pets’ usual habits and hiding places to ensure their comfort. Also include what treats they are especially fond of.
  5. Buy some new toys and treats for the sitter to use to cheer up your pet if he or she becomes lonely or depressed while you’re away.

Holding it in?

Try this solution:

Constipation can make your winter holiday woeful. The doctor’s solution? “When you travel, your stomach may be uncomfortable with the discuption in your routine. Your body may react to any unusual foods and unfamiliar environment, and end up clogging up completely. “One solution is to concentrate on increasing your intake of water and other fluids, high-fibre foods and exercise whenever your travel plans allow. “And if all else fails, try a spicy curry!” – Joburg-based travel doctor Dr. Therese Maarshalk

Green your getaway

Pining for an exotic holiday, but concerned about the environmental impact your travelling may have?

Mitigate your guilt by making Careplane.org part of your travel planning, which helps you make flight purchases based on sustainability (in addition to cost and convenience).

This innovative site allows eco-savvy travellers the chance to compare the environmental effect of itinerary choices when searching for flights on their favourite travel sites. It takes into account aircraft characteristics and the number of passengers on board, among other factors. The website submits the travel results page to Brighter Planet CM1, which then works out the carbon footprint. Fly green!

The perfect travel gift          

Description: The perfect travel gift

When a loved one is moving overseas, it’s always great to say goodbye with a fittingly marvelous gift.

But with all the excess luggage charges and 100 ml bottle restrictions, that heavy knitted jersey or coffee-table book might not be the most prudent gifts. Consider these instead:

  1. Comfy throw: When freezing on a long-haul flight and stuck trying to sleep with one of those scratchy carrier-supplied blankets, a cashmere throw is cosiness heaven.
  2. Noise-cancelling headphones: Banish engine roar or chatty neighbours with these headphones that will cocoon your jet-setter in blissful silence.
  3. A travel voucher: Load some travel cash to a Flight Centre Gift Card so your friends or family can choose to use their present as and when they want for various travel-related costs.

The Tao of travel

Description: The Tao of travel

By Paul Theroux (Penguin Books)

For 50 years, master traveller Paul Theroux wandered the globe writing about his adventures. The Tao of Travel is a collection of short extracts from travel classics – including excerpts from the writings of JRR Tolkien and Mark Twain – and modern travel works interspersed with his own experiences. It also touches on unconventional themes in essays like “The contents of some travelers’ Bags”, “travel as an Ordeal”.

Art for giving: Ceramic healing

Description: the Light From Africa Foundation

the Light From Africa Foundation

Zone in on that do-good feeling with an art-charity experience, Last year, the Light From Africa Foundation launched Art in the Forest in Cape Town. Located in Cecilia Forest, this art hub combines the spirit of giving with the healing power of clay. Ceramic classes and workshops are offered and the profits help improve the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children. The project provides them with a safe, creative space which allows them to feel nurtured and playful. The Art in the Forest project also supports other partner charities in the Western Cape and Gauteng. See lightfromafrica.com for info.

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