Wanderlust Blog

Stories for those with Wanderlust

How to find your own Hygge:

Hello, there dear Wanderer! New year, new start!

It’s such a great thing to anticipate a great future and to have amazing goals but sometimes we have to just stand still right where we are for a bit and experience the moment. 

If you do it will surely make all your today’s and tomorrows much more memorable as you adventure through this year and smash ’em goals.

In this light, we want to share the Hygge concept with you.  There has been a lot of buzz around the Danish way of living and the philosophy of Hygge (Pronounced Hue-Guh).  

What is this Hygge? For the Danish, it is a way of living in the present and being content in the little moments.  

We like your thinking there Danes! 

We here at Wanderlust, however, believe that the Hygge feeling, or what creates it won’t be exactly the same for everyone. So you kind of have to figure out what your ideal state, environment or feeling for Hygge is.   

Our opinion is that you can deliberately choose to have more Hygge moments or experiences in your everyday life.

We say “yeah!” to that, let’s live a little and a lot! 

How many moments of each day pass by that you’re not consciously part of? We’ve even created a word for it: “Autopilot”.  What will you remember from your autopilot moments or days when you look back? 

You can definitely be more present and “here” during your day even when you are busy with work or everyday tasks, and especially in the moments, you have for yourself and the people you love.  In fact, you will be much happier to be a part of the human experience.  It’s all about comfort and being content.

What is Hygge?

How do I create my own Hygge? How do I embrace this philosophy or way of living in a practical way? You will be surprised to find happiness in the most simplistic things, so we’ll say it’s actually pretty easy. 

For instance, a great way to be more present is simply to become aware of your senses and what they’re experiencing.  Deliberately tuning yourself into the environment to hear the sounds around you and be aware of the texture of the thing in your hands etc. 


Here in the Wanderlust Leather studio, we enjoy the smell of coffee and fresh leather, touching the materials and noticing the different hues of brown is a Hygge sensation making us feel that we are inspired and comfortable to create and discover.  We are genuinely part of the process.  It’s not always easy to take it all in, there are days that we have to move quickly and days that are stressful, but the idea is to create an environment that takes you back to breathing and enjoying the moment. Press the pause button while you still remember how. 

The point is to make it part of your everyday life, to celebrate the ordinary. To create an intimate experience where you are, to be content and alive.  

Now that you have a feel for what Hygge entails we will give you some real-life examples to make it a little more real.  It might sound a bit too mystical and philosophical, stay with us and you will see how incredibly easy it is to make a huge difference in your life.

Maybe you can relate to some of the things on our Hygge list or maybe it will remind you of something completely different that makes you feel that same sensation and comfort.

Here they are:

The List of Wanderlust Leather’s Hygge-ish things: 

(we do know that Hygge-ish is not a real word, but it should be okay?)

1. Opening a window on a rainy day to let the fresh air in, enjoying the smell and the little hairs on your arms standing up.

2. Candles instead of electrical lights, just because for every occasion or in any environment. Treat your sense of smell and get a scented one.

3. This is one of our favourites and so very important:  Have Technology Time-Outs, this means having meals, wine or chats with loved ones and friends without your phone or any other electronic device. Listening to the voice of real people, watching their expressions and mannerisms, enjoying them and caring for their well-being by being there.

4. Enjoying a good book or music without interruption.  Start up your playlist, put a record on and listen to the music without doing anything else, sing along, dance a little or just zone out, whatever makes you enjoy the moment more.

5. Walking in nature, to be outside. Collecting things as you go, seashells, flowers, stones, feathers, pine cones are the names of birds, there are endless treasures around if we only look.  Be it mountains, the beach or your backyard, get out there!

6. Browsing through art galleries, thrift stores, museums and libraries. Enjoying the smells, the visuals, the stories. If going to a second-hand car dealership or grocery store makes you feel this, go there, embrace it!

7. Creating! We obviously love this more than anything.  You can quickly produce something or you can actively create something, we try to do the latter.  Cutting, drawing, dreaming and using your hands to craft new things, this makes us feel awake and alive and connected to what we are doing. Involve all your senses and your thoughts and attention to detail will come much more naturally.

8. Slowly waking up, a good breakfast, better coffee and being grateful for the opportunity to open your eyes and to be able to start a new day. Write down some thoughts, things to be thankful for, to do’s or goals, contemplate them and stay relaxed. (Check out our post on journaling for a few ideas)   Do whatever makes you smile when you wake up, this will set the tone for most of your day.  

9.  Making your living and/or working space a place you actually like to spend time in.   Let the things that surround be both functional and beautiful. Get that awesome pastel pink stapler or put up your Dr Seuss poster, let your Lego’s hang out on your desk and use them to lower the stress levels while taking a break.  Have things that make you happy to look at, no clutter.

10. Having your dog lay on your feet while you work or on your lap while watching a movie or working. Hanging out with animals, in general, is a great feeling and instant mood booster, observe them and their actions or just enjoy some time with them.

11. Having a meal or a cold beer on your porch or in your garden.  In summertime find a nice tree to sit under or in winter a cosy spot in the sun. 

12. Mowing your own lawn,  we bet almost everyone likes the smell of freshly cut grass. We also guarantee that planting things like flowers and herbs and then nurturing them for life and growth will make you feel alive and responsible for being part of this planet. Using them in your food and in your home will add so much to the Hygge atmosphere that you are creating.

13.  Fireplaces and Friendly Faces; basically again creating a super cosy and comfortable environment.  Fireplaces or fire, in general, is so hypnotizing, the colours, the sounds and the smell. We recommend that you add a glass of good red and a good friend for total comfort.

14. Documenting special things/events; draw it, write about it, film or photograph it keep it alive in any way you can.

15. Wearing really comfortable clothing and shoes.  Have your own style, express yourself and make sure you are comfortable in the process.  Clothing has a big influence on how we feel and how we see ourselves.  Choose fabrics, prints and colours that you like and styles that allow you to move freely. When it comes to shoes, we’ve got you covered. Taking them off after a long day and putting them on the coffee table is also a Hygge moment for us.

16. Fresh and clean nice bed linen and towels.  This will make a bigger difference in your comfort than you would expect.  Trust us, it will make you feel cared for and super satisfied if you allow yourself to sleep in comfort.

17.  Cooking, baking and sharing.  Start from scratch and create something delicious to share with friends, family or strangers. Smell the Rosemary or lick the chocolate from the spoon. Your senses, stomach and spouse will be happy and happy is very Hygge.

18.  Writing letters by hand or gift wrapping something yourself.  Putting effort into making something for someone else will always make you feel happy.


The list goes on and on.  What’s on your list? What makes you happy to be here? It’s not always the big things but mostly the small things in our humble opinion that makes life feel good.

Do them more regularly and intentionally and they will become the rituals rhythms and routines that bring you joy. This is creating a happy life by just being.


Be happy for this moment.  This moment is your life.” – Omar Khayyam

Share your Hygge list with us, we always love to hear from you.  Post on our Instagram or Facebook account or write us a letter.

Happy Hygge-ing!

(again, not a real word, use it anyway)

Genuine Leather and Genuine Wanderlust.

Why journaling is a great idea:

A while back here at Wanderlust Leather Co, we launched our new Travel Book (if you haven’t seen it, look for it under the New Products tab in the online store, it’s pretty cool).  

We’ve created this product to inspire you to document your journeys and travels as well as your thoughts.

Write down special street names or coordinates of the place you love most, draw the pigeons while you’re sitting on a bench sharing your sandwich with them.  Put the dares you made on your road trip in writing.

Photographs and videos are great for remembering but sometimes you need to capture what your senses are experiencing in words to remember them more vividly.  There’s just something about paper, about creating lines with a black ink pen.  Turns out it’s also good for you to write down your dreams, thoughts, memories and to do’s.  

According to the University of Rochester’s Medical Centre, there are some great mental benefits you get from journaling. When we write down our thoughts and feelings we understand them more clearly, it also serves as a healthy outlet to deal with the things going on inside.  Some of these benefits include:

Managing stress and anxiety:

By writing down how you feel and getting it all out might just make it a little easier to breathe.  If you write down all the big stuff you’re worrying about before bedtime along with the things you have to do the next day, it will help you to clear your mind and have good night’s sleep.

Help to prioritize problems, concerns and fears:

If you write these down, chances are that you will be able to see them with more perspective.  This will give you a starting point for problem-solving to find solutions that will help make these concerns and fears become tiny little blips on your radar.

Improving your IQ:

Just when you thought you couldn’t get any smarter.  In a report from the University of Victoria it was noted: “Writing as part of language learning has a positive correlation with intelligence.”

Stimulating your imagination and creativity:

Try writing down small events or things that happened during your day, try recording what your senses experienced, now try to write a little story from this event, true or fictional. This is a great exercise to help your imagination stay in check.  You can also make drawings and doodles and use different materials, like water paint, sharpies, colour pencils etc. when journaling to stimulate your creative mind.

Remembering important moments:

By recording and documenting the things that make you stop in your tracks will give you the opportunity to relive it anytime you’d like.  We live in world where we are obsessed with other people’s stories, go back and read your own, you may just feel content with all the little journeys you go on every day that you take for granted, you may just see something old through new eyes and be thankful all over again that you were able to climb that mountain.

Living a positive life:

When journaling the good and the bad try to write down or draw something to be thankful for with every entry, it doesn’t hurt to let a little light in, also it’s like a muscle the more you practice it the easier it will be to use those positivity vibes.  

Basically our lives are very short and it’s scary that we won’t be able to remember most of it, you might lead an ordinary life and you might not go on big trips around the world every week, but you are alive dear Wanderer and that is worth documenting, the human experience is worth writing about.

In your journal you can go wherever you want, you can tell about that time that you visited the Angkor Wat or your grandmother in De Aar.  You can look back and remember the time you had lunch with Bruce Springsteen or what you would talk about if you ever got the chance.

Write down the yesterdays that are important and the dreams of the beautiful tomorrows that awaits you.  One day these will be your treasures.

Enjoy your Travel Book,

Genuine Leather, Genuine Wanderlust

Hi there,

So here at Wanderlust Leather we obviously believe in a good amount of wandering. Sometimes it’s good to explore the great unknown and sometimes local is amazing too.  If you are not one of our South African readers this the ideal opportunity for you to see what is up in this beautiful country.

Grab your vellies put on a bow tie (cause why the hell not?) be sure to pack your camera and hit the road Jack or Evelyn, or Steve, or Goodwill, just go!

So without any further ado, here are a few recommended spots to discover:

Mpumalanga: The Blyde River Canyon

This is a personal favourite of the Wanderlust Leather founder and creator.  If you like open spaces, fresh air and breathtaking scenery this is where you would want to go.  Come back inspired and happy, cause that’s what nature does.

For more information on planning your endeavour, go here.

The perfect pair for this trip would be The Mario or The Selcouth.

Limpopo: Magoebaskloof

Be a tree hugger.  Go see some Baobabs and be humbled to walk this earth.  They are majestic and definitely worth a trip.  You can also enjoy some lekker Amarula Cream Liqueur and see how it’s made.  You’re welcome.  To be enjoyed in your Bens or Doras.

For more information, go here

KwaZulu Natal:  Red Desert Nature Conserve in Port Edward

Now this one might seem strange as Natal is usually known for its summer beaches and lush green sugar plantations.  However, it is also home to the world’s smallest desert.  Say what? We really do live in a diverse and interesting country.  Go check it out, take some great photos on the red dunes and enjoy a tiny but       wondrous piece of nature. Get some info




Eastern Cape: The oldest mailbox in South Africa

Okay, so this province has a variety of really great things to see and do, for example, Whale Watching, Surfing, Bungee jumping, The National Mountain Zebra park (they’re like horses, except cooler because they wear pyjamas all the time), Hogsback Labyrinth and much much more.  Go and do all of those things and see all of those places. Click here to read some more. 

Then go and mail a letter from the oldest mailbox in South Africa.  Be the romantic that you are in your dapper Wanderlust Vellies and send that declaration of love, appreciation or gratitude the old school way.  

Freestate: Rosendal

You know what they say, there is only one state and that’s the Freestate, perhaps go see it to believe it.  Go visit this gem, situated on the edge of the Witteberg.  Take your tools because you will find something to draw, photograph, paint or write home about.

If you just want to go hang out and soak the magic in, you can visit the Rosa Restaurant and Theatre or the Kos-Huis.  If you are always on a treasure hunt for new collectables you will love Turksvy Trading, guaranteed to find something special in this store.  Put on your party shoes (your Rues or Bens) and head over to Die Stoor for some music, movies and fun. You can also go hiking and do a variety of adventure outdoorsy stuff.  

For all the information you might need to visit the town’s very own website.

Western Cape: Visit Babylonstoren

Seeing that spring is here, we thought it best to direct you to this amazeballs garden in the Western Cape.  On this lovely piece of land, you will also find restaurants, a wedding venue, accommodation and of course a wine cellar. Can you say ChenIN my face please, or I need MerLOT of that so I can do the ChardonNAY-NAY.   More info here.

You can make a booking for a garden tour, yes it’s that big that you will need a tour guide.  Take a notepad and get some inspiration to make your tamaties grow.  Keep your eye on their website for workshop dates, if you want to get all serious about gardening and making things grow, do it, it’s nice and relaxing and it will make you happy.  Your Wallys and Selcouths are sure to love the outing.


Northern Cape: Stargazing at Sterland and SALT Observatory

Starry Starry night. Pack your Fernwehs and funky socks (you will need about 2 pairs at a time.)  It ranges from cold to “I can’t even feel my nose” cold in Sutherland but be sure not to miss this town filled with wonder and whimsical nights.  You will see few things as beautiful as an African night sky.  Join the star gazing sessions at Sterland and see the Milky Way like never before. Read more.  

While you are in the area visit the SALT (South African Large Telescope), you can go during the day to see the telescope and find out more about the South African Astronomical Observatory.  Alternatively opt for a two hour night time tour to see those sparkles from up close.  Now you can tell BAE you love her to the moon and back and make it relevant, looking all dapper in your Marios of course. For more SALT click here

Gauteng: Maropeng Visitor Centre / Cradle of Humankind

Take a walk to the past and even further back (in your Verkenners) at Maropeng. You might think that this is an odd place to choose out of all the hip and happening stuff that Gauteng has to offer, but this place is kind of special in its own right.  When last did you go on a field trip anyway?  A LOT of effort was put into the very creative and interactive exhibition that will educate you a little along the way. You can head to the Sterkfontein caves for exploring before or after your trip to the centre. Also, do your part for South African tourism and keep places like these alive.  It’s your heritage bro.

Check it out here.

North West Province: Botsalano Game Reserve

Last but not least. Help save the white rhinos while on safari.  What better place to wear a pair of Wanderlust Vellies than in the field.  So bring your Verkenners, Bens, Doras, Marios, Selcouths, Wallys or Rues out on an adventure.  This Game Reserve is home to many wonderful wild animals that you can admire and is also one of the oldest volcanic craters in the world, pretty cool right?

The WWF (not the wrestling people the World Wildlife Fund) is assisting the North-West Parks and Tourism Board with wildlife conservation.  So the 40 bucks you pay to enter the park will in return make sure that the place will still be there in the future to care for the White Rhinos that grazes their grasslands.  Show your kid and their kids what an African unicorn looks like. The accommodation on site is nothing fancy but being in the wild is fancy enough.

Watch this video and learn more.

What are you waiting for? Go out, explore, marvel and don’t be afraid to learn. We are observers of the moment we call life. We are part of what we choose. Make it a good one.

Share your travel pictures with us on Instagram or Facebook. We want to go on your journey and listen to your stories.

Mpumalanga: The Blyde River Canyon

This is a personal favourite of the Wanderlust Leather founder and creator.

If you like open spaces, fresh air and breathtaking scenery this is where you would want to go.  Come back inspired and happy, cause that’s what nature does.

For more information on planning your endeavour, go here.

The perfect pair for this trip would be The Mario or The Selcouth.

1. Give a little love:

It might seem really obvious but a little love and care for your “vellies” can go a long way. Polish them regularly and they will make you look like a million bucks. Thank goodness a tub of Leather Care is much cheaper, if you have not yet, purchase one. We are not just trying to sell you things, we are interested in keeping you cool.

2. High and Dry:

It might be inevitable that your pair of Jaunts or Bens might need to cross a river or two on your wild and wonderful adventures. Although it is not recommended to get your leather products wet, we know that life happens. Put them outside to dry, (away from direct sunlight) and they will be just fine. We share this with love because nothing that stays wet smells fantastic. 🙂

3. Where the sun shines:

Don’t expose your leather treasures to direct sunlight for long amounts of time. You know what happens if you leave yourself on Balito beach for too long, streaky bacon is not a great look for anyone. We share our advice and helpful tips only because we care.

4. Wear them: everywhere you go:

The best way to get the most from your leather products is; ENJOY THOSE BEAUTIES. Like you already know; Wanderlust is all about adventures and wandering down unknown avenues. Explore as much as you can, travel as far as your feet will take you. We handcraft products that you can wear anywhere. The best part of owning a pair of Wanderlust genuine leather friends is that they are lifelong companions. The more you wear them the greater they look, your adventures will add memories to your life and character to theirs.

5. Best of both worlds:

Dress them up or dress them down #thisiswhatthefashionpeoplesay. Whether you are going to Rietvlei or your wedding day, your Wanderlust Leather shoes will be fitting for the occasion. Chances are that if you own a pair or aspire to, you have a heart for adventure. Unusual pairings with your shoes will never make you stand out in a bad way as we have designed them to look classy. If you wear them with your tracksuit we might suggest that you do that in your garden. Just joking. Do whatever you like. We will always like you.

It all started with leather shoes

I’ve always worn them, even when I was little.

They took me everywhere.

Wanderlust Leather Co products are synonymous with adventure, freedom and experiences.

A loyal companion on all your travels.

They tell a story.

They tell your story.


As a creative I have always been fascinated with the shoe making process.

I wanted to create a product with unique character.

One thing led to another and I started Wanderlust Leather Co.

Wanderlust means: A Strong Desire To Travel

I got the idea while discussing my dream with friends around a campfire.

That same feeling of companionship and friendship is what our products are all about.

I want to create products that are personal.

Making something out of nothing is a special process which I enjoy being as closely involved in as possible to make sure we produce something amazing.

We love making people happy with our products, we want to share quality, comfort and adventure.

Marné de Nysschen


Using only locally sourced material is really important to us.

We get our leather from Midlands Group Tannery.

This family owned tannery creates job opportunities for many.

They pride themselves in training and empowering people and that makes us happy.

Their transparency makes it a pleasure to work with them as we know exactly which materials they use when treating the leather.

They are proudly South African and so are we.

It’s all about supporting each other.



Joyce is the friendly lady responsible for the finishing touches on the products.

Thanks to her everyone will be putting their best foot forward.


Joseph is the gentleman in the studio.

He makes the soles and does the stitching on the products.

His brilliant craftsmanship and colourful personality is visible in his work resulting in some really fine footwear.
Thanks Jo.

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This is where we dream, design and create.

This is where your shoes are handmade. This is where the magic happens.

If you know which shoes you would like and the size that you wear, please send us an email to arrange for a fitting.

Situated in a scenic area of Pretoria, 18th Avenue, Rietondale

A few of our products