Image: Facebook @kolisirachel
Rachel Kolisi’s 2019 was punctuated by great accomplishment. The busy mom achieved great professional success with her Rise Women platform, supported her husband, Siya Kolisi, as he led the Springboks to a Rugby World Cup win, and created hilarious social media posts in between. Rachel is passionate about family, health, honesty, and helping women “find their best self”. We chatted to Rachel about packing when travelling, her dream holiday, and turning 30.
W&H: What has been your favourite place to travel to, and why?
Rachel Kolisi: Japan – so far. I think if you’re going to travel somewhere far and spend a large sum of money getting there you should really want the greatest experience possible.
Japan’s food and culture is so peaceful, beautiful and consistent and not like anything I’ve ever experienced. Most people are very friendly and helpful. And there’s so much history to experience.
Their public transport systems are also impeccable – so clean and punctual. It’s also unbelievably safe, I walked around in the streets on Japan at 3am with my kids (see: jet lag) and saw 100s of bikes without a lock on them, restaurants with their furniture etc. left outside for the night.
There were pram “parking bays” almost everywhere you go and people leave their handbags and shopping bags without a single worry. When you’re so accustomed to being unsafe and watching your back all the time it’s really quite something to experience an environment like Japan.
W&H: Travelling with your family must get a bit chaotic at times – what is the one item you never leave at home when you set off on family missions?
Rachel Kolisi: Rescue drops. They help with sleeping on the plane, sometimes even with sleeping at the destination. They’re so great because they don’t mess and everyone can use them.
W&H: Let’s talk airplane travel with little ones. What do you recommend packing in your carry-on and why? Are there any go-to snacks that get carried along?
Rachel Kolisi: A spare set of clothes. I’ve had some very interesting experiences with kids and vomiting and runny tummies. And finding baby/kids clothes at the airport is not always as easy as you might think…
Snack-wise, biltong is always a winner in my house and is very seldom left behind!
W&H: What is your number one packing tip?
Rachel Kolisi: My number 1 packing tip is to start packing early, and making a list. If I know I have a big trip coming up (especially if the kids are coming with), I start a written list at least 10 days before we leave. Then I start packing three days before. That way, it’s almost impossible to miss or forget anything.
I’m also a bit of an OCD packer: everyone starts off with their own bag super neatly packed. Then if I see the younger kids’ clothes can fit in one bag, Keziah will have one side of the bag and Nic the other. This also makes it so much easier to unpack when we get home.
W&H: What is your dream holiday? If you could go anywhere, do anything, for however long – what would you plan?
Rachel Kolisi: A dream holiday would definitely be somewhere kid friendly. Honestly, when you have small children and the place where you stay doesn’t have kiddie activities, it’s really not a holiday for any parent.
I’d probably pick an island somewhere, where there’s a kiddies holiday club or lots of kiddie activities and water sports. It’d be somewhere nice and chilled where no one is in a crazy rush. Days on the beach and nights under the stars would do it for me.
W&H: What was your personal highlight of 2019?
Rachel Kolisi: My personal highlight is definitely starting my, and my partner Tammy Rawstron’s organisation – Rise.
Not only has it been a huge part of my personal growth but it has also helped many other women grow too. And so many exciting things are still coming!
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Girls. I hope y'all ready to Rise with us in 2020! We have rolled out our first quarter events in Jhb (sold out), CT, Durban, Bloem, PE and EL. We have also just launched our 21 day challenge for ANYONE wanting to take on the challenge (men you're welcome to join this eating/training challenge too) starting on 13th of Jan 🙌🏼 For info on all the above check out the link in my bio. Also welcome home @bods_bytam 😍
W&H: What are you looking forward to in 2020?
Rachel Kolisi: 2020 holds so much excitement. I’m 30 this year which is a achievement in itself.
Professionally, I can’t give too many details right now but Rise Women has big things planned for 2020. We have just launched a 20 in 2020 challenge. So we are on the search for 20 women who want to lose 20kgs in 2020.
We will be taking Rise to the communities to serve the women who need it most. We also have an opportunity to take Rise international. We are also busy confirming a Kilimanjaro Summit on Mandela Day, and our first ever full Marathon.
There’s nothing small about my 2020 goals and my only wish is to inspire others to have nothing small on their goal list either.