Summer Highlights ‘19

in Seasonal Highlights - 7 min read

It has been such a long, stressful (in a fun way) and exciting season. I experienced so many things for the first time and it kind of overwhelmed me but I can never say to new adventures, can I? In as much as I was out a lot, I also isolated myself a lot too. Anxiety was on an all-time high which just made me sleep every stress off instead of actually dealing with it but hey I eventually dealt with everything hence why I am stress-free again. So, here’s what went down this season…

• Degree completion

My summer definitely took off on a great start. I still get emotional just thinking about the fact that I have finally completed my degree after a whole 3 years of complaining and having meltdowns. It was so hard to maintain a blog while in school and now that I am done with that I honestly feel free.

• Mitchel Park Zoo

For the first time in my life, I actually visited the zoo. It was such a beautiful experience and we (my sister, niece and nephew) thoroughly enjoyed our time there especially because we got to see animals that we only knew from books and TV. Seeing a swan was totally one of my favourite parts.

• Rosehurst

There is honestly a ridiculous amount of gems in my city – Pietermaritzburg. Oddly enough, not so many people know of them. Rosehurst is basically in the heart of the city, it is a restaurant that has antique shops and a garden and the garden even has a hidden wishing well. It is such a perfect spot to unwind after a long week or to catch up with an old friend, I was just fascinated by its beauty throughout my visit and wish more people could get that experience.

• Howick Falls

• Nelson Mandela Capture site

One of the most interesting facts about my city is that Nelson Mandela was actually captured there by the police as he was on the run. He was caught in Howick with a friend of his and that spot was then transformed into a tourist attraction because well who wouldn’t want to stand where Mandela got caught or to just see the place really? The capture site also has a museum all about Nelson Mandela and why he is such a well-known hero. It is most certainly a good place to visit if you want to learn more about the history of South Africa.

• Learnt how to master Lightroom

I don’t know how many sleepless nights I have had all because of Lightroom! This is an app that takes editing pictures to a whole new level. I had seen so many bloggers, influencers and travellers sell their presets (filters created with Lightroom) and their price tags inspired me to learn how to create my own instead. After all, I am a Digital Arts graduate so I was down for the challenge. I failed so dismally in the beginning but as soon as I got the hang of it, I just couldn’t stop editing, I still can’t stop. Well, now I understand why creatives sell them at such high prices, creating presets is definitely no walk in the park!

• Family getaway

To read about our experience and tips on how to plan a fun family getaway click here.

• First travel credit from Airbnb

YASS! Airbnb has inspired me so much to travel because of how affordable and beautiful the accommodation is through this app/website. Not only that, you can actually earn travel credit if you share your referral link with others and they take their first trip with Airbnb. My sister signed up using my link when we went on the family getaway and after the trip Airbnb rewarded me with $21 travel credit so I will definitely be checking in somewhere new soon.

• Lauryn Hill concert

If you have been committed to this blog from start, then you should know how obsessed I am about Lauryn Hill, I don’t know how many times I have written about her here! You can only imagine my reaction when I first heard that she was going to be performing in South Africa as part of her 20th Anniversary for the album “Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”! Seeing her perform live is one experience I will never forget and I am so grateful of that opportunity.

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The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill 20th Anniversary Tour Listen, it even doesn't matter what the rest of the months have in store for me because it won't change the fact that 2019 has been the best year ever just because I got to watch Ms. Lauryn Hill perform live. Live! When I found out that Lauryn Hill was coming to South Africa I was so convinced that the universe is sending her here literally just for me so I sacrificed everything. I remember in December when I found out I have completed my degree the first thing @qwabelihle_ said was, 'Now we really gotta make this happen' and what did she do? She took the biggest weight off my shoulders and without even thinking twice she bought us golden circle tickets to the concert. Guys! I love my sister! Fast forwarding to Saturday night when Lauryn Hill stepped out to the stage. It. Was. Unreal. I cried. I screamed. There were moments when I would just stand there with my hands on my chest, just staring at her trying to believe what I was actually experiencing – Lauryn Hill, a whole Lauryn Hill was standing right in front of me, it wasn't a fantasy anymore, it was real. It was indeed the best night of my life and will forever be the best night of my life. Like I said, things can go south from here but it won't change the conclusion I've already made that 2019 'was' the best year of my life. Also, I have just posted a new video on IGTV – a travel documentary to the concert, check it out when you get a chance 💫 • • • (this was one long ass caption)

A post shared by 𝙼𝚋𝚊𝚕𝚎𝚗𝚑𝚕𝚎 | 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝙲𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚟𝚎 (@imbalenhle_k) on

• First plane ride

At my big age, I had never been on an aeroplane before prior to Lauryn Hill’s concert in the first weekend of February. Well, I could justify this and say that there really isn’t any place I would’ve just went to, my whole life revolved around the city that I grew up in – Pietermaritzburg. I was certainly nervous before the plane actually took off, but when we were in the air from Johannesburg to Durban, I felt comfortable although I was a bit nauseous. Oh and I totally didn’t enjoy the landing. Haha. My sister had a great time laughing at my random reactions throughout the flight.

• Stepped outside my province/state

Again. At my big age, I had never been outside of my province before the Lauryn Hill concert. Well, I once went to Johannesburg 3 years ago but I wasn’t there for longer than 3 hours so that doesn’t even count. Also, my family resides in KwaZulu-Natal so we have never really seen the need to step outside the borders of our province. So a huge huge shout-out to Lauryn Hill for changing my life just a little.

• I turned 22

I would be lying if I said that my birthday was average because I genuinely had the time of my life with people who matter to me the most. I didn’t do anything extravagant but I just enjoyed myself and had a very refreshing day.

• Went paintballing

First of all, let me complain about how painful those bullets are – I literally left with bruises from the game. Well, I didn’t play for long because I got hurt but I surely enjoyed the couple of minutes I was in that very intense game. Haha. I really gives you the idea that you are at a real war and you are fighting for survival!

  • My 3-in-1 dinner

On the last Friday of February I had a birthday/graduation/farewell dinner with my close friends and family. It was my birth month and I wasn’t going to be around for my graduation because I was moving to New York soon hence why it was also a farewell dinner. Hectic! I know right! But it was absolutely beautiful and way better than I had planned it. I have got major undying love for my family.

  • Presents from the dinner

I didn’t know I loved receiving presents until I had the dinner. Every single gift I got was literally what I had beeeen wanting, I’m glad my people know me like that honestly.

  • Moved to New York

I had been waiting for this moment for so long and to be honest everything turned out just how I had imagined, which is great. The biggest downside though is that I was jet lagging for the whole first week here so basically I felt dizzy, sleepy and had no appetite for a week which was actually sad – well at least I felt sad/sorry for myself. The move was fairly easy and I am getting used to the extreme cold.

  • Walking tour of Manhattan, New York

So on my 2nd night in New York I went on a tour which was an absolute great idea but definitely not in winter! Yikes! My whole body was frozen but hey I am an explorer so learning and seeing things for myself is my main priority at all times. I would like to give you details on each stop we made but I would just go on forever. We went to cool places like Times Square, Central Park and the Empire State Building and what made the tour actually better is that we were walking so you get to see everything properly and the city lights really enhanced the tour. We also went into the subway and into the Trump Tower. Click on the link below to watch my Instagram stories on the tour.

Walking Tour of Manhattan

  • Took my first driving lesson in USA

Well, you might be thinking, ‘Uhhh, what’s so exciting about that?’ Let me tell you, I have been driving since 2017 so nothing is new there. What is new though is that I ‘have’ a car here, it’s an SUV, it’s an automatic and I drive on the right side of the road now. Haha. Pretty fun! My first lesson was not bad to be honest especially since I was driving in snow. Proud of me!

That’s it for now, I am yet to document so much and I have already made so many travel plans so I definitely have a lot to look forward to since I will need to keep myself busy to avoid getting home sick. Like I said, this season I got the chance to experience many things for the first time and I accepted each challenge and opportunity and I will surely continue doing so. I hope everyone had a good season too, take time to look back at all the things you have accomplished and good things that have happened for you and you will realize how blessed and lucky you actually are.


  • What an incredible summer! So glad you did so many cool things. Wow its crazy that you moved out to new York xx

    • Yeah sis everything just happened so fast and it was exciting😊

  • Wow! So many milestones / achievements were reached! And love the photos by the way xx

    • Thank you sis💕, I hope the upcoming season will be good for you too🍃

  • My heart is SO full for you! <3

    • Omw thank you so much🤗, you are so kind💕☺️!

  • Onyeka at

    This is so inspiring. Beautiful pictures and congratulations on all you’ve achieved so far.

    • Thank you so much hun💕. I really appreciate this🍃

  • sounds pretty amazing! i’ve always wondered about paint balling. also congrats on your degree!

    • Oh it’s painful but fun😂! If i had known how painful it was before actually playing I probably wouldn’t be moaning about it🤭. Thank you sis💕

  • Major congrats on completing your degree! You live such a beautiful life- these photos are breathtaking- what gorgeous places! So excited for you in this new chapter of life in NYC. Can’t wait to follow along 🙂

    • Omw thank you so much🤗! I try to life a consistent beautiful life by staying positive and showing gratitude ❤️. I will most certainly keep documenting my adventures, thank you so much for stopping by🤗💕

  • Happy for you! Loved this post & totally agree with the last line. Some times we forget things and feel like we haven’t done/achieved anything. All the best on your new journey! xoxo

    • Yes sis, but when we sit down and reflect we start to realize that there is actually a lot of good that has happened🍃. Thank you for stopping by💕

  • Divine at

    I loved reading your blog. So many things you did for the first time and you enjoyed every single ones of them. I am so happy for you 💞
    All the best on your new journey

    • Thank you so much! I am always telling myself to just go for it, whenever an opportunity arises I take it and if no opportunities arise I create them myself💕. Thank you for your warm wishes❤️

  • It sounds like you had an absolutely amazing summer – hell yes! Rosehurst looks insanely cute, I’d spend many a day there. Also congratulations on completing your degree girl! xx

    • It was beyond amazing sis🤗! Yesss, Rosehurst is what I imagine heaven is like tbh😅

  • Congratulations on completing your degree and on the big move.

    • Thanks sis, I swear I still can’t get over the fact that I completed my degree🤭

      • It’s an incredible feeling I know and I’m wishing you much more success

  • Wow! Happy for you! What a great collection of captivating experiences

  • So much greatness happened during summer and wow every pic is beautiful especially that one you took in nelson Mandela museum by the judging from pics I think you are 22 yrs. Enjoy your travels…cheers.

    • Thank you Tsepo! Yup, a lot happened this season and I totally forgot to mention that there is no entry fee at the Nelson Mandela museum/capture site so you can go there as an adventure by yourself or family/friends 😉

      • Very soon I will grace Nelson Mandela museum with my presence since lekeno ele mahala empa eseng ke motho ya ratang dintho tse sa lefellweng.

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    About Me

    Hi! I am Mbalenhle Khuzwayo, but everyone calls me Mbali for short. I am a lifestyle blogger who focuses on mental wellness, travel and social media marketing. Sign up to the monthly newsletter for insights on the personal side of my life and exclusive tips Read More

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