I bet you've all arrived at a new place before and weren't “feeling it”. It can be too big or too small, too busy or with not enough going on – simply not what you had hoped for. When I arrived in Eilat in Israel, it was all of that.
"Are you cold, darling?" Kevin, the ticket inspector asked me on our train from Glasgow towards the Isle of Skye, while I was putting on my jacket. I agreed, assuming he was just trying to have a conversation. He then forced everybody in the entire coach to close the windows, while explaining to us which bridge we were about to cross and offering help with our luggage. This was the first of many overly friendly encounters, that almost made me feel like a bad person for not constantly offering help to everybody.
As a result, my friend Ashton (you might remember her from our trip to Laos) and I were in love with the Isle of Skye, before we even set foot on it.
My first travel memories are of the many times my Dad took me to Paris. I was fascinated by the Metro system, loved the abundance of crêpes stands and the proximity to Disneyland.
We always stayed in the same area – the quartier latin – and had a deal with each other that we could both choose the activities for one day each. Mine has always been Disneyland, his was always Versailles.
Judith and I have been travelling together for more than ten years now and are known for the most chaotic and randomly chosen trips. We’ve booked flights after several bottles of wine and ended up in Latvian beach towns and industrial areas in Poland, usually positively surprised but never well planned.
So, when we booked our flights to Budapest, we felt very grown up and reasonable: this is actually a place where people go on vacation!
Abdullah, my driver and new friend blasted the first Britney Spears album on the speakers in his car while he speeded through the desert at night. Nothing but the headlights and the stars to be seen in the dark while we both hummed "oops, I did it again".
This was my last moment in Dahab, headed to the airport. I still had sand in my hair and a slight sunburn on my skin – leaving for Milan or even putting on shoes felt unreal.