As part of the next instalment in Guests’ Corner, a local and international travel interview segment on Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust, I chatted to Dominique Heusdens, SA travel blogger and photographer at Dominique in the City.
Having grown up in a minute, diamond mining town in Namibia, for Dominique Heusdens, her love of travel began at a tender age (like so many of us), as her family frequently travelled to Cape Town to stock up on goodies and necessities alike… She has fond memories of braaiing under the stars, and of endless roads flanked by changing, yet always beautiful, South African landscapes.
While Dominique did study photography at the Ruth Prowse School of Art, it was this passion, combined with her love of writing and learned skills of social media, that has cemented her blog, Dominique in the City, as one of the most popular in SA.
This is why, today, despite only starting her blog in 2016, Dominique is already an inspirational travel blogger and photographer in South Africa… To read and see more on her exciting travels, be sure to check out her insightful blog!
1) Who or what inspired you to go into travel blogging?
I have always loved exploring my city and my country. When I was very small, we lived in a tiny mining town in Namibia that didn’t have much.
My parents would pile us in the car and we would road trip to Cape Town to buy a lot of the stuff we couldn’t get in the town. This meant many hours in the car, stopping off at farm stalls and petrol stations.
2) What kind of traveller are you: thrill seeker, culture vulture, adrenaline junkie, nature lover or something of everything?
Like most people, I am not just one type of traveller – although I am definitely not a thrill seeker! I like to discover history, culture, architecture, nature, the people and the food.
3) What was your most memorable travel experience in SA?
My most memorable travel experience was my first time in the Kruger National Park. It was so beautiful, so quiet and we saw so many animals in their natural habitat (exactly where they are supposed to be).
4) What was your most humbling or eye-opening local travel experience and why?
My most humbling local travel experience was going to Soweto. I visited the Hector Pieterson Museum, took a walk along the road where Hector Pieterson was shot and ended the walk at Nelson Mandela’s House in Vilakazi Street.
Having only entered the world in the ’80s, and because we lived in a tiny town that had intermittent access to television, I never really truly understood the magnitude of the Soweto Youth Uprising.
Signs, info boards and street art adorn the route from the museum to the Mandela’s house. The people in the area are so welcoming and most have lived there their whole lives. I highly recommend going to Soweto to every South African.
5) Worst local travel experience (and if you are comfortable enough to, please explain why)?
I am mom to two little boys and travel a lot with them. There are good stories and some horror stories. But this one is my favourite to tell non-parents. Lol. We were returning to Johannesburg on a late flight. we began to descend, with about 10 minutes before we landed my then-two-year-old began to vomit. All. Over. Me.
I began to frantically push the help button and a very friendly flight attendant helped me… The poor people around me had a very difficult time. I can laugh about it now, but it was not funny when it happened.
6) Your top three travel destinations (or road trips) in SA are?
My top three travel destinations:
1. Golden Gate National Park
2. Kruger National Park
3. The Cape West Coast
7) Any useful travel sites/blogs, either local or international, you can recommend for following?
. I love local blogs and websites:
8) If you could travel anywhere in South Africa – or the world in general – right now, where would it be?
I would love to do a very long road trip to the Northern Cape and the Eastern Cape, and I am planning a trip to Amsterdam for my 40th birthday (which will be in 2020).
9) Do you have any handy tips for planning a trip/day out in your city (and please state which city it is)?
I have (just) moved back to Cape Town and cannot stress enough that we need to be #WaterWise. Please bring your own water, only take very quick showers and save, save, save! Other than that: sunscreen, hat, camera and a sense of adventure will get you very far.
I highly recommend connecting with a local to take you to their favourite bars, restaurants and spots in the city.
10) Best travel advice for locals and tourists?
My best advice is to #TravelLikeALocal: find out where the locals eat, drink and enjoy their city. Be #WaterWise, respect the customs and traditions and respect the environment.
Photo credit (lead image): Marike Herselman Photography
To see of all Dominique’s travel stories and experiences, you can visit her amazing blog. Or follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Thank you very much, Dominique, for appearing in this South African guest travel segment. Until the next one… happy writing and reading, everyone!
Author: Tamlyn Amber Ryan
Content writer by day and blogger by night, Tamlyn Ryan passionately runs her own travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust, from her home base of Cape Town, South Africa. And, despite a national diploma in Journalism, in her free time, Tamlyn’s preferred niche remains travel writing.
Tamlyn is a hopeless wanderer, equipped with an endless passion for road trips, carefully planned, holiday itineraries and, above all else, an innate love for the great outdoors.