It´s my last day in paradise (as of today: Ilha de Boipeba) before it’s time say good bye to caipirinhas, tapiocas and açaí. While I am strolling along the island´s deserted white-sand beaches one last time, I am thinking back of the 2 incredible months I got to spend in this overwhelmingly friendly country. My solo journey around the world is coming to an end and my heart feels light when I recall all the gorgeous beaches where I briefly left my footprints.
I keep bumping into the same people on this small island, like the European couple I had met a week earlier exploring the beautiful Chapada Diamantina national park. On their last day on the island we only chatted briefly each time our paths crossed, I figured they´d rather enjoy some alone time. This morning I realized that’s how I was going to celebrate my last day of solo travel in paradise. Just being with the person that I created so many memories with: myself 🙂
When I first started my adventure in Cape Town almost two years ago, I met a German expat for a drink who had just finished his own trip around the world. He left me with my first wanderlust lesson: You first gotta learn to enjoy being on your own. 19 countries later, I have to smile when I realize how right he was (btw he also remembers our meeting, soon he is going to celebrate the 2-year-anniversary with his girlfriend that he met that same evening).
You are not lonely if you like the person you are alone with.
… when I was traveling on a bus, just random thoughts running through my head, watching local villages, mountain tops, or palmtree farms fly by, embracing the uncertainty of not knowing where I would sleep that night, not having a plane to catch, place to reach nor deadline to meet.
Mom (looking at my Instagram): Why are you always alone?!
… when I found myself sweating during a trek through the jungle or freezing in a tent on top of a volcano, where I would suddently enjoy a deep conversation with someone I barely knew and might never see again; random connections and little comments that stuck with me and changed the course of my actions ever since.
Bestie (calling from Barcelona): This Andrea is speaking 100% from her heart, where is the one who plans her life with post-its and excel sheets?
My wanderlust moments have become less frequent since I booked my Xmas flight home (first time back in Europe, wow!). Well, and since I fell in love half a year ago (ooops). Too often now I catch my rational mind pushing the mindful me into the corner. I have enjoyed being the sole owner of my time and appreciated every time I got energized by magical places or inspiring people. On my last day in paradise the idea of soon going back to a 9-to-6-office-schedule seems far-out.
Time is not money because it never returns.
Lately my mind has been craving 1st world luxuries: Spanish tapas, Italian coffee, Austrian deserts (Bananenschnitte!), tasty vegetarian food, a “real” Gin & Tonic (Hendricks, with a slice of cucumber), Swiss chocolate, cheese and white wine. My back is looking forward to unpacking my 17kg backpack one last time and getting to sleep in a bunk bed. I wonder how I will feel about choosing between more than 4 shirts and wearing heals and perfume again soon.
The sun is about to set over Boipeba as I finally reach my favorite palm-lined beach. Having explored the world for 650 days, my heart is filled with gratitude. I have had the time of my life, I was inspired by the people around me, I learned to live true to my values and to be in touch with my feelings. Still there are so many beliefs to be questioned, so many ideas left to be explored, so many insights to be put to use.
I feel good about starting the next chapter of my journey: going home 🙂