So, where did it come from – this urge to travel, to move, to explore? The restlessness that comes after a while standing still? I don’t have a clue, but I am glad its a part of me. It has given me some of the most exciting moments in my life, and directed me in to meeting some of the most wonderful people.
Its a very complex feeling, and it can be hard to explain. The easy way out is to call it boredom. I get bored easily. It can also be described as fear. Fear of standing still, fear of being trapped in a life I don’t want to live. A fear of missing out.
In 2010 I was in an unhappy place. I was not happy with my life, I was depressed and didn’t have any idea about what to do or how to make things better. My friend had decided to take a year off, and go to Spain to learn Spanish. I got so inspired by her, or actually I basically just stole her whole idea. But the moment she told me about her plans, something inside me just snapped to life. “That’s exactly what I want to do!!” It was weird how I went from looking so negatively on life, and thinking nothing would ever make me happy, to suddenly feel hope and excitement again!
I couldn’t afford to go away for a year just like that, but I figured out I could afford to go for two months. And that was good enough for me. I had a plan!
That was the beginning of a whole new chapter in my life, and for the first time in a long time, I was excited about life again. I quit my job and saved up as much money as I could. And after a great summer in Norway, I packed my bags and left.
Travelling alone and going to a place where I didn’t know anyone was scaring, but it gave me a great sense of achievement. I spent two months in a language school in Jerez de la Frontera in Andalucia. It was nothing short of amazing. One of the best times in my life with some truly awesome people.
If you want to read more about this experience, you can read my old blog here: miaseventyr.blogg.no (Go to August 2011 to read the beginning 🙂 )
After my two months were up I of course did not want to go home again. I felt I had nothing to go home to, or no reason to be there at all. But I did go home as planned. I stayed home for about two weeks, then realised I was slipping right back into that depressed state of mind, and I just couldn’t stay! My whole mind and body just screamed : GO BACK!
So I did the only sensible thing, and followed my heart. I borrowed some money from my family, and back to Spain I went.
I went backpacking with one of the girls I met at the language school, and had some amazing weeks with her. We travelled around for a bit, and just enjoyed a slow pace life. In order to survive we decided to do some volunteer work where you’d get a bed and food in return for the work you do. A perfect way to travel on a budget. We used the website WorkAway (recommended!) to find places. We emailed lots of people, everything from farms with olive picking to Yoga retreats. The first person to reply was an English fellow named Chris who needed help at his hotell. And the rest is history! (at least for those of you who know me)
We arrived at the El Elefante Amarillo in november 2010. A hotel, restaurant and bar in Montejaque. A white village in the mountains close to Ronda with about 1000 inhabitants. You can’t find a more authentic Spanish village – it was amazing!
I could write forever about the hotel and the village that became my home.We were a group of volunteers there and we became such good friends. It was a crazy time! I worked in the bar, I served food, I did dishes, I cleaned rooms. We hiked in the mountains, we drank cheap Spanish wine, we joined the aerobics with all the Spanish ladies, we hitchhiked to Marbella, we worked and we played.
And then there was Chris.
I have to admit, I liked him from the first second I saw him. And it didn’t take him long to swipe me off my feet. I was charmed by how warm, open and generous he was. And of course his handsome face!
It didn’t take long before I was staying permanently in the hotel, and also after a while working full time. The two of us basically ran the hotel with the help of our fantastic Kiwi chef – Kate, and always a handful of volunteers from all over the world. I learned so much during this time, and what an amazing experience it was. Chris and I found out we were a pretty good time, so I decided to stay!
We had some great times and some crazy times. We got to know each other pretty darn well. As the hotel only had 8 rooms, it didn’t take more than a group of walkers to book us up. When the hotel was fully booked we had to sleep in the laundry room..haha.. I felt like Harry Potter. A few nights also on the sofa . Serving drinks in the bar til 2-3 o’clock, and then up again at 6 for breakfast service. It was hard work at times, but it was also exciting, new and fun.
I will always be great full for the strings life pulled to make me end up in Montejaque. I learned so much, had the craziest times and I met the most wonderful man who I am lucky enough to still call my boyfriend 6 years down the road.
I think this post is long enough for now, so I’ll call this part I.
To be continued…….