As part of the first instalment of my Guests’ Corner, a new travel interview segment on Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust, I chatted to fellow SA travel blogger, Verushka Ramasami.
Verushka is mistress of words from Durban, South Africa’s sunny city. She is a lifestyle blogger who loves vanilla, travel, books and gadgets. Verushka’s blog, SpiceGoddess, is inspired by a book and movie called Mistress of the Spices; it’s based around an Indian spice shop in America and the beautiful woman who works there. For Verushka, it made sense to keep the Spice bit and add Goddess… hence, the blog’s name, SpiceGoddess, was born.
1) Who or what inspired you to go into travel blogging?
From a young age, my parents exposed us to the world of travel. Most of our trips were local road trips. As I grew older, I understood the value of travel and, when I returned to South Africa in 2010, I needed to find a place to give my thoughts a home – and that was the start of my blogging journey.
2) What kind of traveller are you: thrill seeker, culture vulture, adrenaline junkie, nature lover or something of everything?
I am a bit-of-everything kind of traveller. I do love exploring nature, discovering new cultures, as well as eating amazing food.
3) What was your most memorable travel experience in SA?
It would be a childhood memory of a road trip with my parents and brother through the Garden Route to Cape Town. We spent a month on the road, stopping along the way and discovering all the awesome places along the route. I hope someday to give my children memories like my childhood.
4) What was your most humbling or eye-opening local travel experience and why?
It would have to be a day trip I did with my students to Shakaland. This is the set of the movie, Shaka Zulu, that now houses a local Zulu tribe and boasts a hotel. What was humbling was learning about the story of Shaka Zulu and watching this tribe.
5) Worst local travel experience (and if you are comfortable enough to, please explain why)?
As a kid ,Dad had booked a weekend away (just outside Pietermaritzburg) for the family. It was supposedly a health farm and everyone had been raving about how fab this place was. On arrival, we were greeted by the stench of horse manure, filthy rooms with dirty linen and a green swimming pool. We refused to stay and insisted on returning home the same night.
6) Your top three travel destinations (or road trips) in SA are?
1. Midlands Meander
2. Garden Route to Cape Town
7) Any useful travel sites/blogs, either local or international, you can recommend for following?
Travelstart, Getaway Magazine, Sho’t Left, TripAdvisor… too many to mention.
8) If you could travel anywhere in South Africa – or the world in general – right now, where would it be?
South Africa: Cape Town. The Mother City is full of magic with so much going on always.
World: On my #BucketList is Thailand… I could do with a relaxing island break.
9) Do you have any handy tips for planning a trip/day out in your city, Durban?
1. Leave early in the day.
2. Have an awesome playlist.
3. Grab your BFFs.
4. Pack your favourite snacks.
5. Always have charging cables for your phone, for help and Google Maps.
10) Best travel advice for locals and tourists?
1. Be safe always.
2. Plan your trip.
3. Do not carry too many valuables with you.
4. Never travel alone.
5. Carry a mix of cash and cards.
To read about all of Verushka’s amazing travel stories and adventures, you can visit her blog. Or follow her Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Thank you very much, Verushka, for appearing in this guest travel segment. Until the next one… happy writing and reading, everyone!
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