December 31, 2014 § 1 Comment
“Traveling– it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”
Once more, another year draws to a close, and as I flip back through the pages of my sketchbook, I am in awe as to where I have been, whom I have met, and what I have done in a mere 365 days. And once more, it is time to compile a photo collection of this past year’s adventures and pair it up with something good. Last year, it was books. This year, its travel quotes.
One of my very favourite books, read last year, is The Tao of Travel. And, rightfully so, most of my favourite travel quotes come from Paul Theroux. I’m going to try to spice things up a bit, but, in the end, most of these quotes can somehow either be linked to aforementioned book or author.
“The wish to travel seems to me characteristically human: the desire to move, to satisfy your curiosity or ease your fears, to change the circumstances of your life, to be a stranger, to make a friend, to experience an exotic landscape, to risk the unknown…”
I brought last year in in Salzburg:
, and had another month left of working as a teacher at a high school in Italy run by priests and monks:
I was making weekly trips between Milano and Ancona:
, and occasional excursions to Lake Como:
Then, I hopped on a plane and went to Istanbul to meet up with Mommy and celebrate Mr. Italian’s birthday with fish kebabs bought under the bridge:
An outing to Ephesus:
Then back to Italy for a couple of days before getting on another plane back to Austin. A couple of weeks of theatre and avocado margaritas and a change of plans: Argentina cancelled, Peru on the calendar. So, I unexpectedly found myself in Lima:
Then, yoga and yard work at an eco village north of the capital:
A (temporary) recovery in Cusco:
The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu:
And lots of buses to little villages while attempting not to die of stomach viruses:
After Peru, back to Italy for a while. Weekends at the beach:
Or in Umbria:
Lots of ‘housework‘:
Opera adventures whenever possible:
And watching the World Cup final (Deutschland vor!) in Napoli:
Followed by a hop to the Amalfi Coast:
Hitchhiking through Southern Italy:
, and finally making it to Matera:
Went to Belgium for a wedding:
, with a hop to Holland:
, and a few days in France:
Then, back to Italy. Onto another plane, this time for a road trip around the coast of Scotland. But, first, Wales:
I found my favourite nook in the world (the very deserted upper nook of the Highlands):
Then came back to Austin, where I fell in love with dancing and the trail around the river:
And, here I am. Currently sitting on a couch at a coffee shop at 5:30 AM, after a night of dancing and before a chilly sunrise with breakfast tacos.
“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair of moving.”
– ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
And while my list of places is not as extensive this year as others, I feel like I dived (deeply) into such different lifestyles and became part of so many different communities that it feels as if I lived through several lifetimes and traveled several different worlds.
From elegant circles of rich ladies that frequented the opera (Italy), to travel hippies (Peru), to family time and dance friends (Austin), I have been blessed with so many beautiful experiences that no photos or colors could ever do them justice. I’ve been lucky to have my heart broken numerous times, mostly because I have had to bid farewell to things that seemed flawless and beautiful and enticing, but was at the same time thirsty for more, for the new, and for something that I had not seen yet.
And I know that 2015 will not disappoint me in that area. I honestly have no idea where I will be, or what I will be doing. I’m approaching the new year as unplanned and free as possible. Other than my red backpack and travel diary and pencils and a head full of daydreams, I’m entering 2015 completely empty-handed.
Because how better than with empty hands to embrace whatever comes your way?
Cheers, 2014. You have brought me many, many smiles and memories, and I loved every single one of them. Thank you for always throwing something unexpected my way, and keeping me on my toes.
“Traveling is like flirting with life. It’s like saying, ‘I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station.”
― LISA ST. AUBIN DE TERAN