B A R C E L O N A

This is probably my favourite clip that I’ve made so far… probably because I really like the song and how it fits and because I had such a good time riding around Barcelona.

It was a day where everything felt full of potential. I was embarking on another chapter of my journey in a place I had never been, I knew no one in the country, the sun was shining and warm, and things seemed to be going alright you know, at least if it felt that way just for that day. I was totally free and full of optimism. I wish I had stayed there for at least another night…

I’m trying to learn to really see what I have in front of me and appreciate it instead of thinking that something in the future is always going to be better. It might be, but we don’t know the future.

‘If we take care of this moment, the future will take care of itself‘ – unknown

I’m training my mind muscles to be more and more aware and appreciative of what is in front of me, so that I can make the best of it and not divide myself by living half in the future.

I’m tired of realising that if I knew how good I have it now, that one day I won’t be looking at this time regretting how I didn’t make the most of it; that I didn’t see the true beauty and value of it while I was actually there/here.

F R A N C E – Part 1

This was my fourth time in France, and as always it was unfailingly charming. I stayed several days with a friend near Toulouse who took me to the quaint towns nearby . I then took a train to see a friend in Aix-En Provence whom I met back home at acro yoga while she was travelling in Australia. I really liked Aix, but didn’t get many shots in there because we were too busy playing around with Instagram stories. [insert plug here to follow my Instagram and watch behind the scenes live updates]

Processed with VSCO with acg preset
The view of a cluster of charming country houses backed up against the forest, from a viewing platform at Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges 
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
The amazing, hand-painted cathedral in Albi
Processed with VSCO with acg preset
I love medieval courtyards with pillars along the sides… (Albi)
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Charming gardens of Ste Cécile Cathedral Albi
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Whenever anyone makes the decision to make supports for vine plants to grow on, I commend them ❤
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Nothing like flowers in spring
IMG_7210
Instant romantic appeal when plants grow over a walkway I say
IMG_7503
The beautiful beaches of Sausset-les-Pins reminded me a lot of the Adriatic

 

B A R C E L O N A

Since we last spoke, I went to Siena and some awesome natural hot springs in the Tuscan region (more about that another post when I get time to collate the stuff from that trip), then said my goodbyes to my friends in Rome and hopped over to Barcelona for a few days.

I specifically chose a hostel that provided FREE bikes for rental and I’m glad I did because Barcelona by bike is something I would recommend. They have a great cycling transport system in place where there are designated lanes for bikes overlapping between sharing the road with vehicles and sharing the sidewalk with pedestrians. You are not a separate entity but another vehicle, and pedestrians always have right of way. No helmets needed unless you’re under 16!

I was surprised how my lacking capabilities in Spanish was not a problem. Pretty much everyone I interacted with had brilliant English, was super friendly and happy to help.

It’s a very attractive place with beautiful architecture, style and actually quite clean streets compared to some European cities I’ve been to.

Here are some of my snaps:

Processed with VSCO with acg preset
A pretty square I cam across on my ride with bars and restaurants, barking dogs on balconies, children running around and of course some pigeons
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
My bike having a rest at the Cathedral of Barcelona
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
This cool building in the Parc de la Ciutadella had plants growing inside, but no access. Beautiful and mysterious..
IMG_7151
Cascada Monumental in Parc de la Ciutadella is an amazing monument/water feature thingy that I have got to admit blew my socks off. I tried so many angles of this thing but I couldn’t capture it’s amazingness sorry…
IMG_7301
Me taking selfies by myself of me having lunch by myself
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
My vegan sushi and mushroom dip *yum*
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Of course, the amazing La Sagrada Familia
IMG_7081
Some more Gaudí. This is probably one of my favourite buildings now. I wish there was more architecture like this in the world. It’s like out of a fantasy video game or some underwater mermaid mansion
Processed with VSCO with acg preset
I had to sit down for a 3 course quintessential Spanish meal before I left.. common – and for only 15 Euros!
Processed with VSCO with acg preset
The size of the paella with my hand on top so you can get an idea of the size of that portion! Massive. I had to take half of it back to the hostel and donate to the communal dinner that night…
FullSizeRender
It’s the simple things that really get me; I find the grass covered train tracks so romantic, I’m not sure why, but it made me get off my bike and take a bunch of snaps. The grass was also so lush.. maybe it’s my Taurus sun…

R O M E: Italy Part 1

I’ve finally been able to get this little video on air. It’s a little fun clip of my stay in Italy/Rome so far paired with a classic tune which I think is appropriate!

I’ve just come back from 3 day trip Naples which includes a visit to Pompeii. I am probably in Italy for another couple of weeks and will make another clip of the rest of my stay in Italy then.

Ciao!

So far, so lovely.

DCIM100GOPRO

This is the lovely place where I am staying. It used to be a barn which my friends bought and converted into a lovely home with cream walls, solid stone stairs (with no railing), small white square tiled bathrooms, whitewashed cupboards and folding wooden doors onto the terrace (mmm).

This property is about a 30 minute train ride outside of the centre of Rome, perfect for bustle yet far enough for peace. It has apple, peach, olive, plum trees (as far as I know) and wine grapes with which John* has made his own wine with! They’re down to one chicken (darn foxes) but right now there’s still two lovely dogs Sasha and Max. So far I have pruned the apple trees and had a taste of pruning olive trees. I’ve also created frost protection for the tomatoes with John and planted a bunch of peas and onions with Gavin*. The grape vines are on my to do list.

Planting peas and onions with Gavin and Max.JPG
Gavin, Max and I planting the onions, with the peas that I had planted in the morning in forefront.

It’s exactly what I’ve been wanting to do for months, in a place exactly like this, working with my hands on plants with animals to supervise me (I ran into an anonymous cat on the property as well).

Pruning apple trees copy

My body is reacting very well to all the changes. Small but irritating ailments had been increasing in inconvenience over the months, but they seemed to have faded away down to  less than 20% potency.

It’s only been about a week, but ever since I got on that plane, in my mind I felt I was entering some kind of time warp, leaving home the way it is in a sort of time bubble.

Liné leaves for South Africa tonight for a few weeks. So me and the boys are left to our own devices in the kitchen. Let’s see what we can get up to..

John is suggesting itineraries of heading south to Naples and stopping at Pompeii and also heading north to Florence and Tuscany. I’m going to start looking at days and Airbnbs now…

So far so (damn) good.


*John and Liné are Gavin’s parents.

A brief introduction: a one-way ticket to Rome

It is 9.30pm here in Rome as I begin to write this. About this time last week I flew to Rome on a one-way ticket with a cafe napkin sketch of a plan, and enough money to comfortably travel with a loose end for a few months.

I booked the ticket less than 2 weeks ago and handed in my notice to work the day after. 1 week before that I had moved out of my house.

The unexpected decision to come to Europe on a one-way trip, was prompted by my state of limbo. I think this may have had something, if not a reasonable amount to do with my best friend/partner and me deciding to part ways just about a week before that.

Fantasies of sailing around the Mediterranean and adventuring around Europe had been loosely floating around in my mind for months prior. For several reasons, we were not able to do this together, so I left my roughly sketched, uncoloured-in dreams in the drawer for later.

The night that my friend’s and I booked my ticket, I decided to pick up where I left off but do things differently to how I’ve always done: this time I would put no pressure or time limit on myself, from myself, or anyone else, for anyone else.

So, this is the beginning of the story. I’m not sure how it will end up. Who knows, maybe this cat will come home with her tail between her legs, or maybe it will be the kind of adventure that will cause people I know to say ‘aren’t you glad what happened happened?’

Who knows. There’s no other perfect time to do this than now, while I’m 23 and with no strings attached; flying like a cat on a kite.