Taking the campervan for a ride
Happy Holidays! Sorry I have been so MIA lately. After finishing the CELTA course I was a bit fried, so I've taken some time off from the blog. For Boxing Day we took our newly purchased campervan to Mooloolaba Beach on the Sunshine Coast. It has a list of little things to fix, but it works well and we were able to sleep in it overnight. The sun comes up SO EARLY here so we got in two perfect beach days. We're still working on our NYE plans since David started his new job last week and is working this week while I'm off.
I'll be heading to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary tomorrow to do some more filming, so get ready for some weird animals coming your way.
For us travellers, it can be hard to pinpoint the exact moment we caught the travel bug. For some of us, it’s the time we stepped into the world as a grown up, on our first solo travelling trip. For others, like me, catching the travel bug was a gradual thing, made up and built upon in hundreds of different ways.
How books made me fall in love with travelling…
One of the reasons I decided on the name of my blog was due to the HUGE impact books have had on my life, including influencing my views of the world and the desire to see it all. I remember the very first books I read as a child and crying because I wanted to be there with all of the characters. Then as I grew up, I started to realise that the world is larger than my little town, that there are whole other continents and countries to be explored.
The Princess Diaries
I remember this book series being one of the first to truly make me want to hop on a plane and see everything in the books for myself. I wanted to see a Mustang car, to ride on a tram through Manhattan, I wanted to taste a corndog and see the buildings that touched the sky.
The Boys Next Door
This was, and still to this day remains, one of my favourite reads. I think I was about fourteen when I bought this book, and I’d read it within a day, it was ADDICTIVE! I remember wanting to learn to wakeboard in a lake and visit the Crabbie Festival. I remember that I wanted it: a summer by the lake with good friends and even better weather.
Practising what you preach…Whilst books had a MASSIVE impact on my want to travel, the times I actually travelled only built upon this insatiable dream of mine. I was lucky enough to have a mam that managed to take us abroad every single year, and whilst I was often too young to really appreciate the places I visited, as I grew older I began to realise that I was wanting to travel more, to travel further.
A fair few years ago, I went up to Edinburgh with my mam for a girl’s weekend away, and I absolutely fell in love with discovering new cities. I’d never been to Scotland before, but you’d think I’d just found Narnia with the amazement I felt! I felt like I was drowning but at the same time taking my first breath: there was so much I wanted to see and take pictures of, so much I begged my mam to stop the car for so I could get out and breathe in the scent of the Scottish countryside as we headed for Edinburgh. I think that little road trip was the first time I truly felt what it was to be filled with wanderlust.
GreeceI’ve been so lucky in that I have a mam who has managed to take me abroad every year since being three months old, and each holiday only added to this sense of amazement at the world; at the sights and smells, at the smiles of the people and the sounds of a city. One trip that I remember with such fondness is the time we went to one of the Greek Islands,
Zante. While the island is a well known hot spot for youngsters, we were nestled up in the hills towards the quieter end of the island. This trip taught me so much about travel, and mainly about both sacrificing and taking a leap of faith.
I remember walking for two hours to find the nearest little village with a shop, and seeing the REAL side of Greece that you don’t often see; the curious stares of locals and white painted houses with fruit trees in the gardens and families sitting having their evening meal outside on the patio. I remember FINALLY building up the courage to properly swim in the sea, a HUGE fear of mine, and freaking out because I thought I saw a turtle (to my disappointment it was only a rock…).
The influence of social media…I think one of the biggest sources of inspiration for me, and especially in falling in love with travel, has been through social media; through images on facebook pages and instagram pages worthy of envy. I couldn’t tell you how many pictures I’ve liked, how many I’ve sent to my best friend with a caption along the lines of ‘we HAVE to go here!!!’ or ‘how AMAZING is Canada?’, and how many pages I’ve cut out of magazines and stuck to my wall while I dream and plan of how I’ll get there and what I’ll do when I’m there!
It’s one thing hearing about these amazing places, but actually seeing it, even if it is just a picture, is, as they say, worth a thousand words. Following other people on their journeys across the world has only strengthened my drive to travel. It’s made me realise that actually, it is possible, and that despite what people say, travel WILL be a huge part of my life, so here’s to all of the adventures yet to come!
Thank you to Rhiann for writing today's guest post! Please check out her social media and her beautiful blog!
A serious case of the travel bug
Symptoms of the travel bug include: a sense of amazement at one’s surroundings, attempting to speak in foreign languages, insight into how others live, hiking to remote places, occasional adventures, trying new foods and hours spent on public transportation. If left untreated, the travel bug can lead to: spending one’s savings on plane tickets, living out of a backpack, leaving family and friends behind to move abroad or even truly being able to enjoy the here and now.
As my flight from Madrid touched down in Chicago, I realized that I had been infected. I had caught it. The travel bug. I had just spent an incredible semester in Granada, Spain studying Spanish, learning about southern Spanish culture and becoming a more global citizen. By the time that the wheels hit the tarmac in Chicago, I had already decided to travel again, as soon as possible.
Living in Granada was the springboard that launched me into the abroad life: living abroad 365 days a year. Since then, I’ve been fortunate to live and work in Costa Rica, Egypt, France, Spain (two more times) and now Australia. It was in Granada where I fell in love with being out of my comfort zone and living in a fulfilling, meaningful way.
Granada is magical. Here’s why.
The scenery. Granada is nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains. After I evacuated Egypt (long story) I ended up going back to Granada and spending a lot of time hiking. Wander only 15 minutes out of the city and suddenly you are surrounded by olive groves, flowers, ice-cold streams, abandoned stone buildings and endless skies. It’s a hiker’s or mountain biker’s dream.
The architecture. Granada is filled with stunning examples of Islamic architecture. The most beautiful examples are found in the Alhambra, but a walk through the city will leave you enchanted. There are endless patios and winding streets to explore, and you can easily imagine what life was like when Granada was a city of grandeur.
The tapas. Granada is known for its tapas; small dishes that are given with each drink you order. While some cities in Spain charge extra for their tapas, they are free in Granada. They are also HUGE. You can throw back a few drinks, eat your way around town, and still have a wallet full of euros left at the end of the night. My favorite place is called Um Kalthum at it’s located on Calle Jardines near the Cathedral.
Flamenco. Andalucía is the cradle of flamenco so it’s not a surprise that professional flamenco dancers, singers and musicians call Granada home. I took flamenco lessons during my time there with Chua Alba and it was the most difficult dance form I’ve ever tried! Don’t miss out on a flamenco performance while you’re there
The sense of adventure. Granada gave me a serious case of the travel bug because some of my first adventures took place there. I climbed up a dry riverbed and found a flock of goats, watched as a crazed man threw a chair out of his cave-home in Sacramonte, danced until the dawn with a view of the Alhambra and was shown hidden corners of history.
If you ever need advice on what to see or do in Granada, just leave a comment down below.
~ Jamie and David
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