Keeping Up With...

Carolyn Keep

It's more than words, but words are all I have...

How do you describe an experience you want to cherish forever by using mere words to represent something that deserves so much more? Words don’t do justice to smells, energy, heat, passing conversation, colour, texture, how your eyes absorb architecture you’ve never seen before, how your soul feels in a place that is seeping in history so deep it leaves you feeling as insignificant as a grain of dust in the timeline of human history…THESE things are what I fell in love with about travelling, not a specific place I ate or slept or walked or swam.

I tried to summarise each perfect location as I travelled along…it was hard! I’d never be a travel blogger; I could never find the right words. It’s taken me 3 weeks of being back to be able to even attempt to describe all these special places.

Dubai – hot, sweaty, energetic, in your face, sand everywhere, a melting pot of culture, exotic beauty, and a total contrast of incredible wealth vs. those who do what they can to earn money.  It was a sexy sweaty mish mash of everything. Food, fashion, history vs. modern, mind boggling architecture. I loved it. It looked like human beings had set up a home on Mars or something, way ahead of our time. I even had a camel milk coffee. Totes local.

Paris – it was like the movies. Romantic, beautiful, classy, and oh so stylish. I felt like I had to wear red lipstick on the daily just to fit in to the place. I found Parisians to be lovely, helpful, light-hearted and kind and of course they sound oh so sexy. You have to dress better than you ever have in your life in Paris. It’s the rules. Also, be careful crossing the roads and look the other way first…I nearly got run over forgetting that traffic was going to hit me from the OTHER side! Pedestrian crossings in Paris do NOT mean cars stop for you; it’s just where you cross a road. #blondeabroard

Lucerne – I had a moment in Lucerne. On top of a bar built over the lake, sipping Prosecco while gazing at the stars and talking about the important things in life with one of my best friends. Lucerne beauty and history aside, I will forever remember that moment, watching shooting stars in the fresh night air on the other side of the planet to all I knew. I felt so content and so far away from home at the same time.

Venice – it’s IN the water, I mean REALLY!?! So very cool. My eyes were out on sticks the whole time I was there. Trying to look at each and every detail and sear it into my memory so I’d never forget how incredible it was. I am not even joking when I say I would not have been surprised if I’d seen Matt Damon jump out of a window and into a jet boat speeding past. Yes we got on a Gondola, yes we sang “when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie” and yes, we then had pizza for lunch. Rude not to.

Florence – well I never. It’s like where all the coolest of the hipsters go to hang out. It also smells like leather. Oh so much leather! The buildings are all sorts of dusty whites, yellows and browns. The streets are cobbled and I’m not even sure they have road rules. I could wander Florence for days and not feel the need to buy anything, just watch. It’s sexy, grungy, easy pace, and there are without a doubt lots of hidden gems hiding around corners I didn’t have the chance to stumble upon.

Rome – my Soul City. Don’t ask me why but for some reason I got totally emo about Rome. Some random connection I felt to the history and the culture perhaps? Who knows. Either way, The Vatican, The Pantheon, The Colosseum, the rubble and the ruin, all filled my heart up so much there was no room left in there and the feelings fell out my eyes.

Tuscany – we stayed in this little town on a hill called Arezzo. It was magic. One minute you’re walking up cobbled streets then from the street you open a door, and you’re inside the most incredible little loft apartment with brick ‘church ceilings’ you’ve ever seen. If life was only to be wine, olive oil, cheese platters, chocolate and the quaintest style you ever did see, this is where I’d hang my hat and never leave. It’s got little castle-like buildings everywhere, it’s so old and so new in one little mix and I adored it. It’s one of the places I think of the most since being home.

Positano  and the Amalfi Coast – seriously, you see photos of this part of the world ramming your instagram feed and you wonder what it would be like to be IN the image? Well, it’s beyond. The colour, the heat, the water, the stairs, the people, the flowers, the way whole colourful towns seem to be built in to, but also falling out of the mountains. It’s incredible. I would go to Amalfi Coast each and every year for the rest of my life if I won Lotto and didn’t still have the rest of the world to see!

Folegandros – I’m not going to lie. The first few hours on this little island were horrendous. We got lost. Walked for hours trying to get to a beach getting our legs scratched by local fauna and walking through ‘villages’ which consisted of only a house or two (basically barren wilderness)…The amount of heat exhaustion and frustration shall not be mentioned here, but what IS worthy of a mention are the beaches. Out of this world!!! Once we realised it was our fault for not really understanding the island before we adventured bang smack into the middle of it…it was just adorable. Not really a tourist mecca like Santorini, but small, white & blue contrast, with the best sunset I’ve ever experienced in my life. Town squares with lights hung from trees and children playing outside long past 10pm…Beaches where no one cares that you’re naked and you can swim in all your skinny dipping glory and feel so connected to being alive it’s unreal.

Santorini – it was everything I’d dreamed it would be. There is nothing more I can even say than that. I had two of the most special dinner experiences I’ve ever had in my life in Santorini. The stairs, the sun, the white against the blue, the colour, the gorgeous little churches scattering the countryside, the beautiful place we stayed with a pool from dreams…Santorini, the place I’d dreamed of seeing with my own eyes and experiencing with the love of my life for years, (before I even knew who he was) was a dream come true on so many levels.

Have I experience the ‘post-holiday blues’? Absolutely not! Being on holiday and experiencing all these beautiful places and creating memories isn’t a different life, it’s a part of my life, as is being home, and it’s all part of creating a wonderful, colourful tapestry of memory and experience so when I’m old and grey, I have many things that make me smile to look back on.

So, here’s to the next adventure for all of us, whatever that may be…!

Love Caro x

 

 

 

 

 

Posted: Thursday 13 October 2016


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