Like our internet friends Essena O'Neill, Michelle Phan and countless others have shown, it's all too easy to push #goals curated instagram feeds and YouTube travel montages out to an audience seeking inspiration, education or just entertainment, but at the end of the day it is never, ever the full story.

For example, I shot these images of this beautiful top kindly lent to me by Dominique at Khaki Rose one morning after a run to Clifton Beach. Among other challenges I faced two guys running past me twice as their dog barked enthusiastically at me while I pretended to casually photograph the ocean in a sheer red bell-sleeve top at 7am, because why not?
Take 6

Take 6

Take 1

Take 1

I'm here to figure out where the line is between sharing beautiful or funny moments on social media and becoming absorbed with turning life into content for my channels. Because usually when my life is going instagram-good it's simultaneously going bank account/health/general sense-bad.

I can't lie, I've been living a relatively unique life for a while now. But there are times when I'll read a "teach me your ways" or "I'm so jealous" or "you're killing it" comment from one of you babes and wonder if I'll agree or even understand it one day.

... You sure?

... You sure?

Because at this moment I'm essentially a semi-homeless unemployed graduate in a new-ish city with a phone that's not even up-to-date enough to use instagram live and living on promises of pay from my 36 freelance gigs. It gets rough out here, girl. *laugh-crying emoji*

But life is still pretty beautiful, somehow, so enjoy my own little version of real captions to instagram could-maybe-be-goal-status photos. Shalom.

A post shared by Julie O. (@frameambition) on

 

A missed visa appointment

On my way to get a visa for India in Nairobi city centre in February, I stopped to first get these passport-size photos taken at a little stall because what's planning? In the end I missed my appointment because I got the street names mixed up for where the high commission was (Harambee Avenue is nowhere near Kenyatta Avenue Julie, you wastegal!).

I showed up early the next day though and hustled my way into a walk-in sesh when the appointments for the day were done and got the nicer visa officer who read my blog as I sat there and told me how I had achieved a lot for my young age :') Thanks, guy!

 

Mediocre Monte Carlo

Monaco was boring. I spent a very aimless afternoon there after chilling in my PJ's all morning, making a sandwich and taking a really scenic bus ride from Nice. All I saw was apartments piled on top of each other and yachts with nobody on them and then got to the palace too late to enter. Fantastic.

It was naturally beautiful though and its history still fascinates me. I'll go again but with a fun group. And with money for extortionate cocktails at Nikki Beach. Watch this space.

A post shared by Julie O. (@frameambition) on

A post shared by Julie O (@julie_olum) on

Look alive

I was almost an hour late to this afternoon/sunset shoot with Henrik after saying a final goodbye to Port Elizabeth at the end of my studies last year (and postponing even that because I had so much crap to get rid of from my apartment). I eventually gave up on those efforts and took the overnight bus to Cape Town. Arrive at 6am as scheduled, wait a couple of hours until a friend can meet me at his place and keep a suitcase there for when I get my own place, get a cab to my hostel, can't check in because it's not 2pm yet, so off to the waterfront to feed myself and maybe get some writing done. Back at the hostel for a quick shower, sort out hair and make-up and it's like 15 minutes before we're supposed to meet. In Hout Bay. Which is an hour away on a MyCiti bus.

On the plus side the bus was running on time that day and Henrik and Anneli were cool. We shoot on the dunes, got Greek food then went up Chapman's Peak to chase some sunset shots. I then forgot my flip flops there and they likely flew away in that insane wind within seconds.

So there you go. I try and always be real with you about the whole story of travelling and modelling and living as I see it, but sometimes I don't actually think to pick up my camera when stuff is going wrong. Eventually though I remember or I get over the embarrassment and put it in a video for you (like this one) or write it down like here. I hope you never feel alone, we're all fumbling here!

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Stay golden,

J.

xx

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