For me, travelling is less about ticking sights off a list and all about experiencing the realness, the humanness of a place. I haven’t bought a travel guide, I haven’t mapped out a route. In fact, it doesn’t quite matter where I go, as long as there is something real at the other end.
When I was younger and a less experienced (or is it jaded) traveller, I visited museums and temples and ruins and hyped up places. I stayed in hostels and spoke English with other backpackers. Later I let go of any need to say: “I was there,” and went where the wind (or first available bus) took me. I learnt to step out of my comfort zone, and then to revel in living from moment to moment, sometimes without a place sleep but always with the certainty that things would work out just fine. And they have.
I travel because I love being on the move. I love having stretches of time devoted to the going, to being on the road or open sea. The longer the bus ride, the more scenic the passing countryside, the better. I don’t read, I prefer not to talk to anyone. I just love to look out of the window, wishing I could tattoo each vista onto my eyelids. My memory bank is stocked with images of faraway places.
Wandering and wondering.
On my previous journeys I kept an eye out for a place in which I felt I could live. I didn’t find it. But then I moved to Cape Town and immersed myself in the sweet, sweet rhythms of life under Table Mountain. I have found the place I want to make my home.
In a conversation with my mom some months ago, in a moment of panic and self-doubt at saying goodbye to Cape Town, she asked me why I was leaving. Why, if I enjoyed living there so much, was I going travelling? I stuttered. I stumbled. But how could I not go travelling? It is something I am absolutely sure I want to do. And how can I stay when there are still so many beautiful places to visit, so many friends to make, so many stories to create.
And so I found myself on the road again, without much of a plan other than to leave South Africa’s winter behind and get back to Greece. I remember the moment I thought: “I have to come back here.” It was on my last trip during which I had spent some November weeks in Greece. I was on a bus from somewhere to somewhere else. We were driving up a steep mountain pass, the road winding alongside gnarled olive trees, the sky a promising blue. We rounded a corner and there in front of us, arching over the slopes, was a rainbow. I was in the pot of gold. And I wanted more.
I’ve made it to Greece, and have spent a satisfying month here, wandering wherever I can find a workaway host or place to stay. I may not have much of a travel plan, but I do have a very clear intention for this particular trip.
I am here to work on farms and at retreat centres so I can see how they have created their spaces, how they have created a life off the grid, living in tune with nature. I will take these lessons back with me to manifest my own dream of eating from my abundant food garden and inviting people to run workshops and do healing work from a beautiful space in the mountains which already live in my heart.
Watch this space…