After 5 weeks of travelling and being home now for almost two weeks, the rhythm of home life has yet to fully catch up to me. Only now am I getting a chance to sit down, sift through photos and finally write a word or two. One of the best decisions I made while traveling was to listen to myself completely. Within the first week or so in Morocco I realized I didn't want to write blog updates, I didn't want to dissect my trip like I do so often, I just wanted to be. Easy.
I didn't want to take away from everything, or the nothing, I was doing to sit and write. I love writing, but for once I thought I'd do things differently. I dove into the time and space I had over the 5 weeks more than ever before. I focused on the beautiful landscapes I was crossing, the beautiful people I was meeting and the physical challenges I was setting myself up for.
A few things I have to thank for the amazing experience:
I only did what I wanted and when I wanted to.
I planned most of my trip from home in November, booking all my flights and hostels in advance. Once I started to solo section of my trip (the last 3 weeks) I started to really embrace everything I wanted to do, I didn't have to take in to consideration a travel buddy or family member's wants. I did whatever I wanted when I wanted! So when I decided to stay longer at my surf camp I did, when I wanted to drink my face off despite an early flight or train ride I did. When I needed solo time to nap, lounge, or draw it was readily available. It was my first time travelling alone, and it definitely won't be the last.
I put social media on the back burner.
I didn't bother updating my blog past Morocco. I didn't want to feel any pressure from myself to be creating content, whether that was blog posts or photos. I left my laptop to be used for netflix and online banking while my camera basically lived in my pack from the moment I landed in Portugal. My phone allowed me to take quick fun shots of what I was doing for memory's sake and my large DSLR just sat catching dust - and I'm so happy it did. Instead of being caught up in the thought that I had to be taking photos, sacrificing time with new friends, or sacrificing time on the slopes I left it behind. I just wanted to be present, not documenting. After all this wasn't a work trip, it was a trip for me. I also love the feeling that I will come back somewhere. I focused on taking photos in Morocco fairly certain that it would be the trip of a life time. Knowing full well that I will return to Portugal and France again I allowed myself to have a "scouting" trip. I know I'll be back - and I'll know exactly where to go for the shot I want. Until then, photos taken on my phone serve just as well for the memories.
I learned to be even more flexible than usual.
I'm very easy going; but I'm also a huge planner. I like having everything booked before leaving for a trip as a way of staying relaxed and grounded. This time around I noticed myself sink into the rhythm of traveling more than ever and craving slower and longer trips. When I decided to extend my surf camp session I wished I could've extended it even longer but an already booked plane ticket to France meant I had to leave and I missed out on a road trip with hostel friends. A sweet lesson for a next time I travel - plan but leave way more wiggle room for unexpected changes.
I embraced all my fuck ups with laughter.
My week and a bit in Portugal was littered with injuries due to surfing and my own stupidity. I almost ended up at the hospital but after being told it was a 65 Euro charge instead I let my wound heal on its own. Afraid I wouldn't be able to snowboard a few days later I really lucked out and had to thank my own body for bouncing back so quickly. Those were easy enough to laugh off, but when I left my passport, laptop and 300 Euros on my train ride back to Paris ... it took me a bit longer to start laughing. I only noticed 15 minutes before I was about to leave for the airport and I am again so lucky in that I have a French Passport too, so I still made it home. The funniest part of it all, is that the laptop was a replacement laptop for my previous one that had been stolen when my house was broken into only months before my trip. Funny how the world works sometimes. In any case, going home safe and sound down electronics and a few hundred euro isn't the worst scenario there is out there.
Now I'm home, and since landing have jumped right back into work without letting go of the play. I've squished in as much time as possible with friends and hitting the mountains to snowboard. All the while focusing myself again on my personal work and planning some exciting new projects for the spring and fall. Looking forward to getting back into things here in Vancouver before setting off again soon enough.