My year didn’t start the way I expected! I’m sure that may be the same for many. Glossing over the details as they are not important, I will say I am (mostly) grateful for the experiences in my life. Good and bad. But, for now, it’s back to more pressing matters. Travel, adventure, and all that entails.
I can’t express how happy I am to be sat in a rather stylish (for me) apartment as I type this. I’m in the sun, wrapped in a towel, sipping a vino tinto after a 3-hour surfing lesson at Famara, Lanzarote. The heat of the day is dissipating and, if I peer over the top of a volcanic rock wall, I can see tops of trees swaying gently in the wind.
If that sounds cliché, it probably is. But it wasn’t a cliché to get here. For the first time in a long time, I was actually nervous to travel. I had dreams for Africa, Mexico, NZ, and other far away places, but I was not in the right head space for it. And I don’t mind admitting it.
My last international travel experience was March 2020. I was in South Africa and, as covid began to gain momentum, had my return flight cancelled with no information or help from the airline or booking agent.
I booked another flight, which was then cancelled two days later. Again, with no info or help from the airline. Getting a flight / accommodation / transport then became a nightmare, and I ended up paying a ridiculous amount of money for a third flight home.
I left the South Africa the day the country shut down and there were hundreds of people trying to get out at the same time, in the midst of the new kid Corona on the block. I arrived to the UK two days into the first lockdown and it was a surreal experience to take an empty tube across London and arrive at St Pancras to see no-one (and I mean no-one) else there.
There were, of course, many others who had it way more traumatic than me.
At the time I put it down as part of the adventure and embraced it for the novelty it seemed before the pandemic set in but, with hindsight, it was also stressful. So instead of something long haul, I’ve come to explore the Canary Islands….and it seems to be unravelling quite nicely.
I happened to ask a friend from Germany, who I met in Cape Town a few years ago, if he had any info on the islands as I knew he’d spent time here. It transpires he has an apartment on long term rent – and I can use it whilst he is away in Germany. What a coincidence!
The dates didn’t line up exactly but I booked a one way ticket, found a surf school to stay in first, met an international mix of travellers, threw myself into a busy first week, and checked into his apartment today.
It’s been a super fun start to this adventure, and just what I needed to snap myself out of the January blues that creep in without me realising. I really feel energy levels dropping as soon as the clocks go back in Autumn and, by the time December is done, like most people in northern Europe, I’m wanting to hibernate until spring shows her face.
But forget that, and here I am in Lanzarote. It may not be Cape Town, or Mexico, or NZ, but right now it is perfect. I don’t know how long i’ll stay, or what I’ll do. I’m just keeping plans, options, and adventures open for whatever decides to come my way…