I love traveling. I love the planning, the prepping, the packing and arriving at the airport. I even like the flying. Growing up, we drove past the Launceston Airport every time we went from Evandale to Launceston and back again. I remember a friend’s mum driving us though one time as if she was dropping us off to embark on an adventure. Perhaps to the mainland! As a kid, this was an unlikely but thrilling prospect.
While some of my favourite travel memories are the ones you would expect, seeing the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China, the pyramids of Mexico, the Eiffel Tower, the Kremlin, the Mona Lisa, the Hollywood sign, the Berlin Wall … the travel memories that I treasure the most, that I remember most fondly, are the unexpected moments.
1) Sitting in the sun at the YWCA Hostel in Ooty, India after washing my hair for the first time in weeks. It was sunny but clear and cool, the sun had just enough warmth to dry my hair, and make me feel warm and glorious after being chilly for days.
2) Walking up the Metro steps into Paris with Luke. We’d be flying and travelling for what seemed like forever, and finally arriving after months of planning, years of dreaming, was a spine-tingling moment.
3) Hearing the ringtone of our guide’s phone in middle of nowhere Mongolia. Luke and I were a two day drive from Ulaanbaatar, surrounded by wild horses, cows and yaks, and yet, amongst the nomad gers in the mountains, was our 15 year old guide with a nokia, texting and talking to his friends. How small the world is after all.
4) Conversing to a taxi driver in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. The ladies and I were at the end of a six week trip and my Spanish was finally getting better! I caught a taxi back to the hostel (after a few cervezas), and low and behold! I was able to have a coherent, meaningful conversation with the taxi driver about our lives.
I guess this is true of life, isn’t it? It’s often the small moments amongst the excitement of travel or the comfort of everyday tasks that make life meaningful.
PS. A big thank you to my travel buddies Luke, Monica and Lisa who helped make these moments special.