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Photography Tips: How to Avoid Imprisonment in Dubai

I skipped down the road in Old Dubai, camera slung over my shoulder, chatting to my friends as a video crew trailed behind us. We were in high spirits, exploring the city without smartphones, on our way to the Dubai fish market. We passed a man sitting on a ledge in the morning sun, drinking tea from a styrofoam cup. Sami stopped to ask the man for directions. “May I please take your photo?” I asked the man. He nodded shyly. I snapped the picture, showed it to him, and continued along my merry way. My last photo before “the incident”. We reached […]

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A Year of Making Space

My friend Dee, who blogs at The Good Holiday, contacted me a couple of weeks ago and asked if I wanted to work with her on a #365Days project in 2016. I traveled with Dee during my recent trip to Reunion Island. She is a warm, passionate, hilarious person and she loves teaming up with other bloggers on projects like this. Dee on a mountain in Reunion Island. So of course I couldn’t say no to her. But I’m not gonna lie: I was nervous. If you’re a regular on Instagram then you probably know what a #365Days project is. If […]

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The Melville Cat: My First Hotel Review

From the Melville Cat: A couple of weeks ago I took my first holiday, to a place in the south of Joburg called Cattery on the Hill. I suppose you could argue that this was not really my first holiday. Last month, while Heather was away on an extended trip, I decided to take a surprise holiday without telling anyone and absconded from our house in Melville. That holiday, however, did not turn out as planned. It was precisely due to my unsuccessful first holiday attempt that this new holiday came about. Heather had to go away on another trip and decided […]

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A Quick Jaunt to Abu Dhabi

In my last post I told you about my whirlwind trip to the United Arab Emirates. I stayed in Dubai for four nights, courtesy of Qualcomm, and spent a few days exploring the area without a smartphone to support the #WorldWithoutSnapdragon/#WorldWithoutSmartphones campaign. (Read more about the campaign here.) We spent half a day in Abu Dhabi, which is the capital of the United Arab Emirates. We mainly went to Abu Dhabi to see the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the largest mosque in the UAE, but we had a couple of other adventures along the way. Our voyage to Abu Dhabi, which is […]

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Discovering Hidden Dubai, Without a Smartphone

I’ve just returned from a five-day trip to the United Arab Emirates. That sentence has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? Look, it’s Heather on a train in Dubai. I’m not sure how to begin to explain this trip. Let me start from the top. I was invited to the UAE by a company called Qualcomm, to participate in a blogger/Instagrammer campaign promoting Qualcomm’s products. Before this invitation, I knew Qualcomm only as the title sponsor of Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. But it turns out that in addition to sponsoring a football stadium, Qualcomm is one of the oldest and most […]

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At Long Last, High Tea at the Four Seasons

Joburgers love high tea. I know this because the last high tea post I wrote, High Tea in Jozi, is one of my most popular blog posts of all time. I wrote that post back in October 2013, when the legendary Westcliff Hotel was closed for renovations. Up until that point the Westcliff had been the go-to high tea venue for Joburg’s ladies who lunch, and I figured my readers would appreciate a post about some of the other high tea options around the city. I figured right. I never had the opportunity to have high tea at the old Westcliff before […]

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Instax Fun in Jozi

I got a FujiFilm Instax Wide camera recently, as part of a campaign I’m doing with Venus Snap. Using technology made famous by Polaroid way back in the 20th century, Instax cameras shoot pictures that pop right out of the camera and emerge from the photo paper in 90 seconds. The Instax wide camera is particularly cool because it prints pictures twice as wide as the original Instax. The Instax Wide also offers a little more control over its exposure settings. When I ordered the Instax Wide, I had visions of traipsing around town taking fantastic instant photos and portraits of people. […]

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Paragliding Over Reunion Island (With Video)

Sorry for the delay in my final #GoToReunion blog post. I can’t believe my Reunion Island trip was two months ago. (Where has the time gone?!) I was delayed because it took me a while to figure out how to cobble together my shaky video footage from our Reunion paragliding adventure. Well, actually I never did figure it out. My lovely and talented friend Fiver came to the rescue and figured it out for me. Before I show you the video, a few words about paragliding. I had never been paragliding before and didn’t really know what it was about. Perhaps there […]

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2Summers Extreme Makeover

I’ve had a weird couple of months. After epic trips around South Africa, Reunion Island, and the United States, I returned to Joburg via Istanbul with a case of raging jet lag. My cat ran away. Then he came back. And there’s been plenty more that I haven’t written about on my blog. Amidst all of this, or perhaps because of it, I underwent an extreme makeover. Extreme Makeover, Part 1: Screech of the Hadeda The story started last Tuesday morning at 1933 Classic Tattoos in Braamfontein. Come to think of it, the story started several months earlier, when I Googled “hadeda pictures” and […]

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Thoughts on Blogging, Working, and Making Money

I started this blog in June 2010 and named it 2Summers on a whim. I was moving from the United States to South Africa and I would experience two summers in the same year. Two summers, I thought…2 summers. 2Summers. It had a nice ring to it. I opened up WordPress, fiddled around a bit, and in minutes I had a blog. My first post was called Two Summers in 2010. The first photo to appear on my blog, in my original 2Summers header: South African and American flags in Melville during the 2010 World Cup. (Photo: Jon Hrusa) I never planned to become “a blogger”. I […]

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Nine Random Fun Things in Joburg (Featuring Venus)

November is the best month of the year in Joburg. It’s summer and it’s right before Christmas, so the city is buzzing and tons of cool things are happening before everyone clears out in December. After weeks of exhausting travel, I’m back just in time. As I wrote in a previous post, I’m participating in a campaign with Venus that involves shopping and leg-shaving and doing fun things around the city. I’m always up for fun in Joburg, but this assignment is a great motivation for me to recover from my jet-lag and really get out there. Over the last ten days I’ve been all over town, […]

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The Melville Cat: I’m Back

From the Melville Cat: In my previous post I told you that I was missing. Today, I came back. I arrived early this morning and went straight to the sunbeams on the kitchen floor. I didn’t come back on my own. Heather brought me back. Heather found me in a place called Westdene, in a house nearly two kilometers (1.2 miles) from here. Heather was surprised that I traveled such a tremendous distance. She was also surprised that I didn’t sustain any injuries during my three-week disappearance, especially considering my medical history. (I don’t have a scratch on me. I’ve lost some weight and my fur is a […]

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