I quit my job, packed 20 kg of my life into a backpack and moved from Lisbon, Portugal to Australia.
This feeling of adventure has stayed with me with every trip. I have been fortunate to explore 48 countries from Australia to Mozambique, Cambodia to Morocco, Brazil to Turkey… The number doesn’t really matter. I enjoy to travel slow and try to absorb the culture, experiences and adventures within each place. If this means I miss a monument, I would prefer to retain this feeling then have an album full of famous landmarks. The type of travel is not important- whether it be relaxing on a beach, setting up a camp fire, finding my bearings in a city to just organizing the day for the next part of the trip. This spirit of travel just gets me hooked.
Not that all my adventures have been pure joy. I have been ill-prepared and ambitious for mountain climbs. I have been lax with crossing borders and spent a night in prison as a result. But in between these errors in judgment, I have toured Vietnam on a motorcycle, lived in the Alps for 6 months snowboarding and stayed with a remote village in Brazil, only accessible by canoe. If there is a great experience on offer, I am all too happy to drop the original idea and head in a new direction.
Travelling through the Baltic countries, I fell in love not in the most romantic circumstances. With messy hair, big backpack and no shower for a couple of days, Paul had lost a number of trains and looked anything other than glamorous. Finding love on the road requires luck, a good conversation and a spike of craziness. So they tell me. Paul wasn’t in his best mood after being stuck for days on train stations waiting for trains that didn’t come due to strikes. We started chatting only out of mutual interest in knowing the “real” cost of the ferry to Montenegro. Over time and after Paul showered, I realised as we explored Montenegro we both shared a passion and enthusiasm for travel. Even though he was an Aussie from the other side of the world, we just fitted together so well and have stuck together ever since. First he moved to Portugal, later I made the move to the other side of the world and haven’t look back since.
There is much to appreciate in the little adventures at the end of my day in Australia. And I must admit, I am more inclined to take them now than before. How often do we wonder what it would be like to see what’s down that street, or know the story behind that beautiful little shop? I do these things more often than not. I wanted to live in a small town by the beach and we both always wanted a Land Rover. And with these wishes, we take Lucy, our Land Rover and climb over sand dunes to camp with kangaroos. I am always planning to go further, longer and wider each year!