Waking up at 4am to climb a mountain is my kind of jam, and luckily I have friends who don’t mind to tag along. This was only the beginning of what would turn in to a 10-hour day traversing a beautiful ridgeline covered in tons of fresh snow, all under a perfectly blue sky.
The pain associated with getting up at 6 in the morning is rapidly eased when this is what meets you outside the door.
I spent some magical days in a tiny Italian village on a hill near San Miniato earlier this year. I have always dreamt about experiencing the true countyside life of Tuscany and by meeting Daniele, another rock climbing globetrotter, with his roots deep down in the Tuscan soil, I suddenly found myself living that dream. Fantastic locally grown food and wine, gorgous views and lovely people – Just what I imagined, only slightly better.
I’ve never really been that tempted to travel around Europe. Being from the same part of the world, it always felt like my backyard. An unexotic place, (too) easily reached by a short flight. But years of traveling to faraway lands have brought me perspectives and slowly changed my way of looking at it. Especially last year, while voyaging from the Peruvian Andes to the Canadian Rockies during 11 months.
The stunnigly beautiful Andes in Peru. The start of one long, mind-opening journey.
There are similarities in between the European countries for sure and Madagascar will always be more exotic than Slovenia to me, but my previous assumption that there wouldn’t be much of interest for me in Europe has heavily been disproved.
I left Canada last fall to spend a couple of months home with friends and family with the intention to head back after Christmas. Somehow that didn’t happen I ended up on a last minute flight down to Málaga in Spain. That was the beginning of four amazing months in the same backyard I’d previously neglected.
As always, I’m beyond grateful for all the experiences I’ve gained and beautiful moments I’ve created with people I’ve met along the way. I wouldn’t change my decision to stick around in Europe for anything in the world.
Now I’m sitting in the airport in a rainy Reykjavik, watching the raindrops slowly slide down on the other side of the window. Time has come to finally head back to life as I left it in Canada. I don’t know a lot about what’s going to happen over there, but I’m beyond excited.
So long, Europe, it’s been a pleasure.
Below, a little collection of photos from Budapest, one of many great, impovised nights, with equally great people.
Pola and Dan
Sunrise and left-over beer
Buda and Pest
What to do when your energy fades and the hostel is too far away