I don’t always remember to take pictures and let’s face it, I’m not that great at taking photos to begin with. I find myself acting really awkward in front of a camera and often get annoyed behind one when I don’t get a shot I imagined in my mind.
There are also moments where I am simply lost in awe and wonder that I forget to whip out my camera. So I thought I’d write some of them down before my crappy memory robs me of some truly precious moments.
1. Dancing with incredible women around the world
From Bali to KL to Porto to Barcelona, I’ve danced till the lights come on, till the last song ends. I’ve shared these dance floors with women from all the globe and they’ve been a delight. Smart and funny, incredibly interesting and more importantly, super silly on the dance floor – my kind of women. I hope to meet you ladies again someday.
2. Listening to the same playlist again and again as we drove along the hills of Nepal
My first ever voluntourism trip was with my closest friend and it was incredible. The same song blasted out of the speakers of our 4WD with the windows down. Stunning views everywhere you look, the current one more breathtaking than the previous. Listening to our driver sing along as he swirled and swerved around the bends. Please never forget this, Nic.
3. Fantastic meals with incredible people
Countless roasts, stews, raclettes, pasta, rice, curries, banana leaf, beer, wine, mulled wine and cheeses. Countless dinner tables with friends around the world, some who have from home, some I’ve only recently come to know. Laughter and food are both good for the soul and I have every intention of keeping this up.
4. Picking my sister up from the airport after not seeing her for a year
What else is there to say? She’s incredible in every way.
5. Frosted trees in winter and mountains draped in fog
On my train rides from Bern to Interlaken, that’s what I saw. Land taken over by giant trees, white frost covering each delicate branch. A close-up would reveal a masterpiece whereas a giant step back shows each item of nature falling into place. The mountains partially covered in fog, with bits peeking through like a woman wearing a sexy garment. You want to see more but you can’t, and so your imagination runs wild and taking your sanity with it.
6. Finally understanding what saldate means
In the streets of Lisbon, our guide introduced us to this word that means longing for the love you cannot never have again. I finally understood it as he told us tales about old aristocrats and poets, about what the streets were like when intelligence and fascination and curiosity met. A longing for a place rich in culture and identity, before the likes of H&M and ZARA, took over the streets.
Note: Very nice people have told me that the actual spelling for the word is saudade. I’m an idiot.
7. Incredible sunsets over Lake Brienz
I’ve been lucky enough to witness these magical evenings more than once. Each time it takes my breath away as streaks of red, pink, yellow and orange fill the sky. The sun slowly bids us goodbye and retires beyond the mountains.
8. Raw conversations about life and love
Being honest is scary, regardless of whether it’s about me and my feelings, or about someone else and theirs. Honesty is risky but I’ve learned that high risks come with higher rewards. Long chats with friends over the phone or with strangers over a meal, each one reminds me that life is precious, so find your purpose and cling on to it. Also, remember to love like crazy.
The more I open myself up to the world, the more I learn, gain and grow. I’ve learned so much about what life is, what it means and how it is experienced by people in different parts of the world. I’ve learned that I can come up with my own definition and my own interpretation of it. At the end of the day, it’s up to me to make it work and it’s up to me to be content with the definition I call mine.
9. Meeting up with great friends on the road
Nothing gets me more excited than knowing I’ll be seeing a familiar face in a foreign land. Each encounter lights up my soul and I’m giddy with excitement. Being away has taught me the value of friendship and I’m grateful to those who have met me along the journey, who have fed me, who allowed me to crash on their couches or simply shared (yet another) meal with me. I love you to the moon and back.
10. Welcoming the New Year on top of a roof in Bern
Dark figures in thick coats against thick fog coloured by fireworks going off throughout the city. I remember seeing a few rooftops through the fog while our sparklers let out more light than imaginable.
Laughter, champagne and shivering in the cold.
Bring on 2017.