Funemployment- Here’s what I’ll be up to for the next 3 months, plus, the future of Jozilicious

I thought I would be really really excited as it got closer to my last day, but instead, I’m quite sad- about leaving the people, not the job. Spending 8 hours a day with the same people for 4 years is bound to build relationships, and I’m really going to miss the people I work with. There’s also something comforting about having a purpose, somewhere to go each day. I definitely would be bored out of my mind staying at home. Even though I have blogging and freelance writing to keep me busy, I need more stimulation than that.

But, as has always been my approach with these things, the easier thing to do is always to stay where you’re comfortable. The true reward comes when you step out of your comfort zone and push yourself to the peaks of your potential. Just the thought of getting to know my future MBA classmates from scratch exhausts me, but I have no doubt that there’ll be some amazing minds in my class.

So, what do I have planned for the next few months? My MBA only starts in August, and I’ve always dreamed about having a few months off to travel, so that’s exactly what I’ll be doing.

I write level 3 of the CFA exam in 2 weeks’ time, so I’ll be at home studying for that. Then, we’ll be busy packing up our house and putting some stuff into storage, selling others (still looking to sell our dishwasher and dining room table- holler if you know anyone.) I also have been commissioned to write about 30 (!!) travel stories for a new international travel website, so I need to get all of that done, plus research and write as many Sunday Indy stories as possible. I’ll be keeping my Jozilicious page in the paper, but instead of being bi-monthly it will now be monthly.

Then, one of the requirements of an INSEAD MBA is to be able to speak 3 languages, so I need to get to a basic understanding of French before the end of the course, else I can’t graduate! I tried going for lessons at Alliance Francaise but found them too drawn out, so I’m going to try and do as much online as I can beforehand. I’ve spent some time playing on both babbel.com and duolingo.com apps, which are both GREAT (duolingo is free so that helps)

We leave for the US in late June for a month- we’ll be doing EVERYTHING. I’m SO excited. What a dream to not have to worry about annual leave. We start in Miami, then we’ll be driving down to Florida Keys and heading back up to Miami. We’ll take a leisurely drive up the East Coast to Orlando, where we’re going to hit Disney World. From there, we fly to Vegas and then spend some time in LA and San Francisco. Our last leg is Boston, and finally. we have a few days in NYC.

It’s going to be a very different holiday  for us. I’m on assignment for a few travel stories, so my accommodation and flights are sorted, but most food and other expenses will be for our account. It’s going to be a challenge to be budget conscious because food is such a big part of a holiday for me. I need to remember that the money I have is ALL I have, I don’t have the luxury of spending a little too much on my credit card and just paying it back with next month’s salary anymore.

Some highlights that I’m looking forward to:

– Eating a cronut (I am standing in that queue I don’t care how long it takes)

– Seeing KATY PERRY live in concert! I’m missing out on Bey and Jay as well as Justin Timberlake who will ALL be performing while I’m in the states, but alas, tickets are too expensive to do it all.

– Seeing Cinderella on Broadway (starring Carly Rae Jepson!)

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Going on a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon

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What I’m not that excited about:

– that crazy 16 hour flight. In economy class, it’s a b*tch

– All the driving. On the opposite side of the road- eek.

– Missioning. When you’re on assignment you don’t stay at one hotel for the full duration of your stay. The idea is to experience as many areas/ types of hotels as possible so you have more content to pitch. So we’ll be spending a night – max 2 nights in each hotel and then packing up and going to the next hotel.

We get back to Jozi in mid July where we’ll have a day to do laundry and sleep, and then we’re off to Istanbul with Celebrity Cruises, on a Greek Odyssey cruise that stops in Mykonos, Athens, Malta, Sicily, Amalfi Coast and Rome. I know, it sounds dreamy, but I’m wary of being one of those travel bloggers who sounds like her life is a dream. Rishav was really not keen to go on another trip so soon after the USA but I wasn’t about to turn down the opportunity. I hate forcing him to do stuff but I’m honestly not keen to go with anyone else, so this is a bit of a difficult one- first world problems, right!

When we’re back, we’ll drive to DBN, spending a night or 2 in Drakensberg, and from there we’ll fly to CT, where we’ll spend about a week. My aim here is to accumulate as much content as possible for future stories, so if you have recommendations of things to do, especially restaurants, please let me know!

Lastly, we’ll have a few days in JHB to round up our stuff, and then we’re off on a 1 way flight to Singapore in mid- August, a week before the MBA starts. Exhale. If I had it my way, I’d be spending 4 nights in the Maldives in that week, (hint hint to The Husband!)

I’ve had lots of people ask me what is going to happen to Jozilicious. Well, I write because I love writing, and that’s not going to change. Travelling in Asia is super cheap and I want to maximise on that while I’m in Singapore- likewise in Europe. I’ll continue to document my experiences abroad on the blog, but because I know a lot of my readers are Joburg based and therefore interested in Joburg content, I will try and get some guest bloggers to fill in for me at cool events and launches. I’ll also be writing a weekly column for a really cool MBA site called www.10minuteswith.com, which will feature weekly learnings and experiences from my time at INSEAD.

So that’s it from me! Thanks so much for reading, supporting, and following my journey to this point.

xx H