Follow @ChanelHurlin on Instagram
One of our favourite things to do at the Nifty studio is put together the super cool weekend takeovers of our Instagram account, we love finding South Africans who take incredible photographs, and are off to some rather exotic locations. Whilst scrolling through our Instagram feed we noticed that Chanel was posting the most beautiful photographs in India, so obviously 5 minutes later an email was sent and last weekend she took us on a whirlwind trip from the Qutb Shahi tombs, to the top of the Charminar in Hyderbad, dodging tuk tuks and eating samoosas for breakfast.
We caught up with Chanel to find out about the highlights from her two months working and travelling around India, and the top 3 things you need to do if you go there!
1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m 23 and a Cape Town baby. I’ve always been involved in the arts from a young age. I started dancing when I was 4 years old with tap being my favourite genre to this day. With dance I’ve travelled to NYC twice and have competed in a countless amount of competitions. At 14 I started TV presenting for the SABC2 show HIP2B2 and since then have absolutely loved being in front of the camera. I am also an actress and have acted in several international films and a SABC1 drama series called Amaza. Im ambitious, creative, passionate and love a good adventure.
2. You’ve recently spent 2 months in India, what were the absolute highlights of the trip for you?
I travelled to India as a dancer for the IPL which enabled me to travel to several cities being Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam (worst place ever), Mumbai, Kolkata, Raipur, Mohali, Bangalore and Chennai so I reallyyyy got a feel for the country, culture and people. One of my highlights would be visiting the incredible Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad which overlooks the whole of the city. I will forever remember the mixed feelings of fear and excitement when driving in a tuk tuk…oh em gee! Just hold on for dear life and trust that you’ll arrive in one piece! I loved walking down the different local markets in each city and interacting with the people, buying bindis which we wore every day, looking at all the beautiful costume jewellery and appreciating the detail and character of the buildings. Last, but not least, I was travelling with 9 other girls from all over SA and therefore made special friendships and of course have some crazy memories from our adventure.
There is so much to see when walking around. The people are so friendly and their smiles can brighten up anyones day.
The Qutb Shahi tombs are mesmerising to see in person. The locals visit these tombs to have picnics during the day as the scenery is beautiful and it’s such a tranquil environment.
3. Top 3 things we have to do, if we’re ever in India?
Oooo eat cheese naan bread! You will feel as if you died and went to heaven!
Embrace the chaos and enjoy it, otherwise you will forever be anxious and nervous getting from place to place. Thats an adventure on its own!
I would love to say, visit the Taj Mahal, but unfortunately we never went there so thats still on my bucket list. Boo. But I will say, take time to see Mother Teresa’s home in Kolkata. Its a humbling and beautifully overwhelming experience and definitely worth a visit.
I’ve walked up to the top of the Charminar which is easiest to explain like the Arc de Triomphe of Hyderbad….Colourful chaos down below.
The women in India are always dressed in such colourful saris.
Look what is for breakfast. I am walking down Charminar street whilst dodging tuk tuks from all angles!
4. Who are your favourite people to follow on Instagram?
Other than Nifty250 of course…. @WorldWanderlust – an Australian travel blogger. She inspires me to get out there and see the world! @Wishwishwish – a UK based beauty and fashion blogger. @Tailsofwonders – also a travel blogger
5. What are your favourite photo editing apps?
When I edit for my blog, hellochanello.com, I tend to just use iPhoto because its user friendly and ‘quick’ when on the go, but for my Instagram pictures, I like to use Vsco Cam and sometimes Snapseed.
6. What is your greatest extravagance?
My Eurotrip coming up this month! Im visiting London, Paris, Amsterdam, Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Cologne, Berlin and Hamburg. Whoop whoop!
It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bussel of life that I often need to take a few minutes to reflect and appreciate what Ive been able to experience and share with you.
7. What is your most treasured possession?
Im a sentimental person so I have a mini kist of all things I’ve collected since junior school which literally fills the entire kist! Other than that, I have a box of cards that I’ve built up for years from my grandmother since the age of 4 years old that she’s been sending me on special occasions like my birthday, Christmas etc. As silly as it sounds, I would have to say my hard drive is also a treasured possession as it has ALL my pictures on it that Ive taken/saved since grade 8.
8. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Knowing that you have the freedom to do what you love and pursuing it.
9. Macarons or cupcakes? Sprinkles or chocolate chips? Tea or coffee?
Cupcakes fo sho! Chocolate chips..YUM! Definitely a ‘tea’ girl however I do enjoy a good flat white.
I am travelling India with 9 girls and of whom I only knew one from before. We have made such amazing memories together and I would definitely recommend a visit to India.
My boyfriend Dayne, surprised me here in India. We’re ending our day off on a sunset cruise around the iconic Buddah statue. You can check out my my blog hellochanello.com as next month I’m off to Europe if you want to keep on following the adventure. Byeee!