To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. - Oscar Wilde
It is impossible to resist its Andalusian charm, the flamenco, tapas, wine and sun. I love it! Maybe I’ll never return home.
I’ve never really told my family about my passion for travel as I don’t think they would understand. My parents still see me as a little girl, not as a grown woman.
Mel and I lay on the beach and talked about life, swam and surfed constantly, met new friends and generally made the most of living in such a magical spot for a short moment in time.
Although I am primarily a solo traveller, I often say it’s not about what you see when travelling, but who you see it with.
With each day and experience our confidence grew and we thought we were invincible. Look at us – we were killing this travelling thing, nothing could possibly go wrong! Or could it?
Riding camelback through the desert at night with only the Milky Way and shooting stars to light the way, we eventually stopped at a row of Bedouin tents in the middle of nowhere.
I returned home and sold my store and planned to move to Australia for a year. This was one of the biggest decisions of my life so far. But even though I felt nervous, I felt very alive.
Each evening we sat down with iPads, tea, maps and guidebooks, and figured out the route for the next day. In those ten days, we saw so many incredible things that I never ever expected when first setting off.
I fell way behind my pack, limping like the runt of the litter. As my boyfriend fell behind to help me up the millionth step, I felt instant shame, looking around at the faces of my patient pals as they held on for me to catch up.
By the end of the week, the walls are jam-packed with love notes to lost ones and forgiveness notes to themselves. I was moved to tears by it.
We all wake much later than expected following our evening at Craggy Range. I blame the exhausting bike-ride. The others blame the three bottles of wine we had at dinner.
It’s a jaw-dropping place, with colourful villages clinging to a steep green coast above the crystal-clear Ligurian Sea, but that’s not what made it so special.
On our first night I was so tired from the 33hr door to door travel but I just wanted to cram it all in. Times Square, yellow cabs, hot-dog stands and sky-scrapers that made Auckland buildings look like match-sticks.