“I may not have gone
where I intended to go,
but I think I have ended up
where I intended to be.”
It’s been a few years (um, decades) since we’ve been out on the streets past midnight – but Seville does that to you.
This city literally comes to life at about eight o’clock at night. And by ten, the locals come out to move from bar to bar with friends, enjoying one tapas and one drink at each place (well, that’s the idea anyway).
It takes bar crawls to a whole civilised and delicious new level – and it’s a way of eating, drinking and socialising that fits us perfectly.
Even the late nights feel early, perhaps because the sun stays up late too.
And there’s always those ‘recovery’ sleep-ins, because nobody emerges until at least ten in the morning. Except a few of the keen tourists of course.
More about this fabulous city later. It’s getting late – which means it’s time for us to hit the streets… adiós for now!
Tasty tip: We went on the excellent Seville Gourmet Wine and Tapas Tour with Manuel from Pancho Tours (booked with Viator). A great way to get familiar with the tapas scene and hang out with like-minded vino and food lovers.
And, of course, the pre-travel madness has set in.
What is it about travel that makes you get everything done before you go? Talk about emptying the in-tray. Sheesh.
I mean, all we’ve been doing these past few weeks is renovating our house (at least it’s lockable now!), closing EB’s business (after 30 years, because he’s over it… wait, that happened 29 years ago), getting my own work projects wrapped up before I go, and all the usual family dramas (mostly the mother/granny-lou-thing about leaving them for over 2 months).
I’m exhausted already.
And did I mention the packing dilemma? Our trip will involve lots of train hopping, so travelling light is the only way to go. Between us we have two cabin-size bags and a couple of small backpacks… and even that feels like too much!
So the countdown is on. Just a little bit excited now. See you on the flight path…
It’s easy to get to the end of a year and wonder where your resolutions went. If you’re like me, you left them at the gym about mid-January.
But don’t despair. This is the perfect time to write your ‘done list’. The big, small, easy, fear-facing, clever, inspired or a little bit dull kind of stuff you actually did in 2015.
Even if it was buying that bike ready for your touring adventures or sticking at swimming when you still feel like a whale caught in a shark net…
Because if you look at what you’ve done, not the un-conquered to-do list, then you’ll feel a whole lot better about you and your life. And that has to be a good thing.
Someday soon you’re going to pack up that touring bike and head off, or have your mermaid or merman moment.
Whatever it is you’re dreaming about, start now – in a great leap or small steps.
Today you turn to a fresh page. It’s time to start writing your adventure story.
Last weekend we took a quick trip to Sydney to try out a tandem touring bike (as you do), to catch up with family and, the unplanned bit, to fall in love with Surry Hills.
Located on the city fringe, adjacent to notorious Kings Cross and right near Central Station, Surry Hills was once a bit of a slum area.
Today, it’s a melting pot of cultures, with a delicious retro, arty, entrepreneurial flavour – a happening place that has a village feel and a real sense of community.
Wander along its tree-lined streets window-shopping, then stop for a coffee (or vino) to watch the world go by.
It’s the perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon – and you’re likely to be served by switched-on wait staff, who are easy going and up for a chat.
If you’re keen to see some great parts of Sydney on foot (I’m with EB, so keen or not…) take a stroll past the Domain to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, then walk along the foreshores of Farm Cove to the Opera House, and back through the city to Surry Hills.
Of course, you can always take the civilised option and jump on a train to Circular Quay to catch a ferry around the harbour… but this 1.5 hour easy walk is worth every step.
The ‘civilised’ option comes later at one of our favourite restaurants, Longrain. It’s just down the road from our hotel and a perfectly delicious way to end a great stay in Surry Hills.
We recently went back to Hobart for a few days to sort out an issue with tenants – and to revel in that feeling that we’ve come ‘home’, if only briefly. We’ve wanted to make a move here for six years now, but we keep putting it off until ‘the time is right’.
And who wants to be 80-something and wishing you took the risk when you had the chance.
The ‘thing’ could be travel, a business venture, changing places or all of the above, like us.
The risk is clear for us – going to a city where we have no jobs (or, in my case, no clients), and missing our family and friends.
What I wish for, when we do take that leap, is that our children might not hesitate when faced with a choice in their future – that they’ll be less risk averse and more likely to follow their bliss.
And here’s another thing… choice is a privilege, and being torn between living in a gorgeous coastal town in northern NSW or a fresh and fabulous city in Tasmania is a blessing, when so many have no choice and no place to call home.
a right time to leap…
there is only belief.
Here’s just some of the reasons we love Hobart and Tassie…
Perhaps it’s a kind of dysfunctional aspiration, where we’re literally buying into the myth that we have to work our butts off to get money, so we can get more cool stuff – and then struggle to pay off the debts we’re drowning in.
We’re constantly bombarded with messages that tell us if we get this thing or that thing, we’ll be happy.
Except happiness is usually in the other direction – in a life where you live with less, especially less stress. Where you don’t surround yourself with mostly useless stuff, and you don’t live to work so you can consume more useless stuff. And you get time, every day, to paint or write or surf or paddle… or whatever it is that you love to do.
So here’s my five for Friday:
With so much less, but ultimately so much more of everything important to us.
Especially time – time to look after our health, to hang out with family and friends, to take on the projects we love, to give something back to our community, and to explore our world… on a shoestring (or a bike).
We’re working on getting unstuck. Starting now. How about you?