I've missed a plane, almost been robbed, climbed a mountain, seen the coasts of Africa and witnessed the salvation of a bird. I turned twenty-one, learned the value of time - in the minute it takes to run from one side of the airport from another, in a night - who you can meet, what can happen, whole chunks of experiences you might not even remember, or in a week - where everything changes and leaves you grasping at memories.
It's been hard to keep this updated, to think about what to do for Will Travel 4 Life, to take time outside of planning my European summer, the weekends coming up, what I'm eating for dinner, where I'm going tonight and who to invite to the next house party that as was inevitable this poor little blog got a little neglected.
Between the road trips and train rides and missed flights everything has changed. I realised how quickly things can change. You look around and can't believe where you used to stand but look ahead and there's miles, daydreams and oceans before you're where you want to be.
We took a roadtrip and visited Ronda, built on cliffs, hidden caves and mountains with mouths that gape open and wide. We stayed in a tiny town of white-painted houses called Parauta where we slept in sleeping bags on mattresses on the floor while the dog howled and the wind blew. We climbed mountains with bushes that scraped our legs and rocks that we felt under our unprepared canvassed feet. Our stomachs growled as we walked the 3 hours and 7kilometres up the highest mountain in Malaga. Our mouths dropped as we stood on clouds watching birds flutter and the coast of Africa in the distance.
The night before I turned twenty-one I was in Barcelona and almost got robbed. It was 6am in the morning and we were walking to a day-club. Two of us behind, walking and talking about nothing in particular. My friend turned her head and yelled, I grabbed my bag and was grabbed in turn. I had never held so fast and hard onto something in my entire life. We laughed later with racing hearts and said it was my coming-of-age ritual.
We went to Nerja where only weeks before we had named it Paradise. The calmest, freshest, clearest water. It was there we floated belly-up while the sun kissed our faces and the water froze our hands. The day we came back for the third time the waves came with a vengeance. We braved the water, and trembling from the sea-shore I watched as my friend, fatigued and weary, almost collided with a rock face. The sequence still replays in my head. We hugged her in disbelief and went for pizza and gelato.
It's these moments, that back in Australia seem to come with pauses and spaces but here seem to crash into one other, a queue of mind-freezing-moments pushing up against each other.
You don't have time to take it in, you barely have time to breathe. So you click your finger over the button of the camera and write down as many words as you can before the next set of adventures gets underway, leaving you a loss for words and memory.