In a pocket of the country strange and new, distant and odd to me, I felt like I belonged. We were not alone in the west, nor in this country, but rather a part of it.
Unfortunately, life had plans for me that did not involve taking a single footstep in my hiking boots.
To me, Japan is a country of convenience, politeness, discipline and gorgeous landscapes. It’s the country where napping on the train during the commute is perfectly normal. It’s home to the most polite and helpful people I have ever encountered.
To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. - Oscar Wilde
The urban legend claims that for higher houses you need to make a more significant offering. No, it’s not two fetuses. It’s also not a grown llama. Brace yourselves; it’s a human.
Over the next couple of days, it didn’t get any easier, but I learned to love the challenge and accomplishment. Each night coming to camp I felt proud of myself for making it, and that sense of accomplishment kept me going.
We act as if it is normal to say “I am busy” every time somebody asks us how we are.
It is impossible to resist its Andalusian charm, the flamenco, tapas, wine and sun. I love it! Maybe I’ll never return home.
But it turned out that she sent me far enough away and often enough that I became aware of what the vast world had to offer me even if my immediate world seemed so small.
If we tried to do everything our way, we wouldn’t be doing much here, so we are embracing it as much as possible.
Penguins?” she looks at us incredulously. “You went to see the penguins?” (kind of a mix between ‘why would you do that?’ and ‘is that a thing?’)
We found a flat on the first day and a job within a week. I did it—I moved to a new country on the other side of the world, found a job, and started a life! It was liberating to know I could do it.
Being confronted with children on the streets, begging to survive, I felt a great need to do something, rather than accept this inequality as normal.
There we women were dressed in black abaya from head to toe, a hot and uncomfortable novelty, but we were generously allowed into the glittering, mirror-mosaic interiors of the mosques where rich carpets from wall to wall provided seating for thousands of pilgrims, all of them happy to see us, non-Muslims, in their holiest of places.
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.
Home is my love, but New Zealand is my mistress, or maybe more—I’m still deciding if I prefer her long term.
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.
You know the light you see in someone’s eyes when they talk about something they really love? That is what Travelher is about.
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.
The entire six months were filled with feelings of incredulous awe and appreciation—both of the unparalleled scenes of nature, and a humble appreciation for the daily realities and routines of the people around us.
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.
I had always considered myself to be strong and independent. But there’s no way to feel more strong and independent than when you’re wandering through Kadıköy market on the Asian side of Istanbul, solo...