Martina Hermanns

A passionate traveller turning into a cancer fighter

Category: Travel (page 1 of 2)

Reliving our African Dreams – 5 weeks in South Africa (Part 2)

The most exciting part of our holiday, however, was yet to come: my Dad, brother and two cousins from Italy joined us for 10 days.

On Friday 7 April, 2017 my Dad and Stefan arrived whereas Matteo and Simone landed on Sunday 9 April, 2017. Since I have been fighting cancer this was the first long distance holiday together with the entire family and it taking place in South Africa, our loving country, just made it all the more special. For my two cousins it was their first ever time in Africa, and we were extremely excited to share with them our experiences, stories and simply show them why we fell in love with this country. We booked a beautiful big pool villa during their stay at Eden Rock Estate, a luxury estate located in Pennington and hence close to our friends. Obviously we made sure that there was a bit of program organized for my cousins so as for them to experience some African adventure, cuisine and culture.

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Reliving our African Dreams – 5 weeks in South Africa (Part 1)

And again I broke my promise that I wouldn’t keep you waiting too long for updates, but believe me this time I have a very good reason to stay away from my laptop. Once I felt comfortable with my new Lenvatinib therapy I was able to enjoy my days without any side effects but I started having another issue: my wanderlust was not satisfied and I immediately had to change this. Why waste time on cold winter days in Germany staying indoors and afraid to get sick when instead I could be sitting somewhere soaking up the sun and feeling good, strong and positive? Even my doctor had already come to the conclusion that “TRAVEL is my therapy”, because every time I travel and follow my passion I get an extra kick of energy.

 

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Oman – Muscat & Nizwa

In May 2010 my mum and grandmother came to visit me in the Middle East. I was able to only get a few days off, and decided to do something different with them. For the first couple of days the two ladies stayed in Dubai and explored this modern city and my mum showed my grandmother around, whilst I was at work.

We then met up in Dibba, a small border town between the United Arab of Emirates and the Peninsula Musandam that belongs to Oman, we rented a car to commence our short road trip to Muscat, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman. There are several options to drive to Muscat, but for nice scenic view through most northern part of the Al Hajar mountains we decided to cross the border at Hatta. Within 440km you can reach the capital of Oman, and besides the curving roads in the mountains, the road remains most of the time all straight and quite boring. The landscape remains very dry and desert-like throughout the drive along the coast. At this time of the year (May) it is very hot in Oman and temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees Celsius.

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A new life in the Middle East (Oman & Dubai)

After I graduated from my studies in Hospitality & Tourism Management in September 2009, I applied for a job in Oman that was advertised at my university. The job was exactly what I was looking for: a management trainee position in Sales & Marketing for a small high-end luxury hotel company named Six Senses Resorts & Spa. Just the location was not exactly what I was keen on, which was Oman. With mixed feelings I applied for this position. It was the first job application I sent out, and I never expected that I would get the job in the first place. I still remember very well that I was conducting several phone interviews whilst I was in South Africa on vacation, and when I was being told that I was down to the last three applicants and I burst into tears! Can you imagine I was sitting in a little hill in the middle of an African bush field and I cried because I was scared to actually get the job? Pretty ridiculous of me as so many other people had been searching for jobs for months, whilst I was very lucky to be down the final stages of the application. By the time I had my final interviews and eventually got the job offer I was totally thrilled. I realized that this was an amazing opportunity for me and the location itself should not be a hindrance.

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Great Ocean Road – Outback – Queensland – Sydney

So here I am on my last Australian road trip and I was lucky that my mum and brother joined me for this one. Obviously upon their arrival in Melbourne we they stayed with me in my apartment and spend a couple of days to show them around in the city that I called my home for the last few months.

We headed on a day trip to the Great Ocean Road one of the world’s most scenic drives and listed as Australian National Heritage. The road stretches 243 km along the south-eastern coast of Australia between Torquay and Allansford offering curving roads with striking views. The Great Ocean Road is mainly famous for the “Twelve Apostles”, a collection of giant eroded limestone sticks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park. In the same National Park you will also find “London Arch”, a natural arch also formed by erosion. Other key attractions include the Bay of Islands, an impressive large collection of mammoth rock outcrops, as well as the “Gibson’s Steps named for the series of steps leading down to Gibson’s Beach. Unfortunately we were not very lucky with the weather that day, and hence we were not able to see the last two sites, but we still had a beautiful scenic drive and great views over the Twelve Apostles.

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West Australia: Perth & the Southwest

My next Australian journey was to Perth together with my flat mate Shiyavanthi. I so badly wanted to go to see the rugby match amongst the South African Springbocks and the Australian Wallabie and thus bought our tickets for the match on 19 July 2008 in Perth and decided to extend a couple days to see the surroundings as well.

tb8d-me-being-stupid-copyThe city of Perth lies on the Swan River, just 10 km from where it flows into the Indian Ocean. On our first day we simply walked around the city center to get overview of the city, as it is relatively small and a quiet city compared with those on the east coast. We went to Elizabeth Quay that is home to the Swan Bells Tower, and from where we walked towards King’s Park, which is a 400 ha of both wild and cultivated parkland. It offers nice views over the city and Swan River.

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Australian Outback: Darwin – Alice Springs – Adelaide – Kangaroo Island

Once we had finished our exams of the semester, I finally had 2 and ½ months for traveling before starting the new semester back in Germany. How can you go to Australia and not see its outback? So this was the next tour we had planned, a nice long journey from the North to the South of Australia within 3 weeks.

tb8c-darwin-copyWe flew up from Melbourne to Darwin, the capital of the region “Northern Territory”, also called the Top End. It is a very tropical region and hence the best time to visit is in winter during the dry season. Darwin is a quite modern but relaxed town. On our first day we simply chilled at Bicentennial Park with a view over the bay before we started our tour. We had booked a 9 day journey with Adventure Tours joining many other backpackers with the trip ending in Alice Springs.

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Australia: Road Trip Melbourne to Sydney

tb8b-leDuring Easter we had two weeks of vacation and obviously there was no way I would be sitting in Melbourne doing nothing. I wanted to see Australia and what this continent has to offer. Hence, another German student (Anja) and I decided to go on a road trip from Melbourne to Sydney for the entire two weeks.

Our tour started from Melbourne with our little rental car, a Hyundai Getz, heading East towards our first destination. The 320km to Lakes Entrance is quite drive on a highway, but we decided to take several stops along the road and planned the entire day to be traveling. One of our stops was at the “Golden Beach”, also called 90 Mile Beach, that is very popular in the summer months for fishing, sailing and other water sports. Our first overnight stay was at Lakes Entrance, a tourist and fishing town situated near an artificial channel connecting the Grippland Lake to the Bass Strait.

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Australia: Melbourne & Surroundings

tb8a-mel-copyAfter spending 6 months in Mexico for my internship, I had the opportunity to do a semester abroad at Victoria University in Melbourne and this was my next destination for another 6 months – Australia. Besides studying and attending university lectures we had great time together with Ozzies as well as other students from my university in Germany.

Melbourne is such an amazing and vibrant city to live in, and I enjoyed every single bit there. This city holds many surprises: it has the most elaborate Victorian architecture of all Australian cities; it has a variety of restaurant cuisines, hosts many sports and cultural events, and its most defining characteristic is its cultural diversity.

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Los Cabos – Mexico (2007/08)

Westin Resort & Spa

Westin Resort & Spa

My new home for six months was Los Cabos situated on the southern tip of Baja California Peninsula. Los Cabos is the general name of the destination, which includes the 2 towns “San Jose del Cabo” and “Cabo San Lucas”. The 30km between the two towns is called “El Corridor” filled with many beach resorts and in one of those I had the opportunity to gain my first Sales & Marketing experiences at the Westin Resort & Spa Los Cabos.

Cabo is a popular destination for Americans who make up 80% of the tourists in this area, and also well known for it’s parties. Besides the parties, Cabo offers amazing golf courses and amazing deep sea fishing possibilities. I guess this was the perfect place for a 21-year old like me in those days to gain their first work experiences and whilst partying in heaven.

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