Well hello there to the 5 confirmed readers. I know, I know.... I kinda suck at this travel blogger business.
Here is why:
I am not a travel blogger.
That is a harsh truth that I am willing to admit to myself now. Yes, when we embarked in this journey I had dreams of grandure of becoming a travel blogger. More specifically be really good at documenting this adventure because I knew it was once in a lifetime. Yet knowing all of this I have failed in all those goals.
Honestly, there is so much that has happened that now I am overwhelmed in trying to think I must write it all down. Yet it would be a shame, for my sake, if I didn't. I know that one day when we are old and tell these stories to our grandchildren having a manuscript of some sorts will help relive the moments we've had.
Here's the thing though, I look at a map and I am at awe. It all feels a little surreal. This whole thing this feels a little foreign. I have to tell myself that I, me, Diana, rode through 7 countries on a bicycle!!! That shit is crazy! That I visited Istanbul for a month and swam in the Pammukkale pools. That I have walked the wall in Dubrovnik and strolled the quiet empty streets of Venice at night. That I now know about the existence of cappuccino freddos in Greece and saw the Caldera in Santorini. I climbed mountains and went down mountains and endured 45C degree heat and saw amazing sunsets and I just can't wrap my mind around the fact that it was ME.
It is a dream. It is a weird section of memory that even though I am the one that experienced all of those things they in a way feel foreign. I don't know why. And here we are in Sri Lanka. SRI LANKA! The series of events that brought us here come down to trying to use our accrued airline miles the best way possible. That lead to a 4 day journey to Sri Lanka. Which in turn lead to 17 days in a country I hadn't even placed on my radar, driving a tuk tuk to practice for our Tuk Tuk rally in India.
Yeah why don't we throw in a 2,500km Tuk Tuk rally in the mix while we are at it.
You see, it sounds CRAZY! Maybe if I put pen to paper I could grasp all of this and it would in turn feel more mine. If that makes any sense.
We recently went back home for a short stint in between continents. The infamous question of "How was it?" is one I don't know how to answer. I say it was great. In reality no words I can sum up in a digestible sentence would be the truth. I don't know what to say. How do I sum up these past months? How can I even begin to tell friends and family everything we did. How do I tell about the many highs and lows, literally altitude wise and emotionally? How can I convey the feeling of heatstroke after riding for 5 hours in direct sun up an incline? Or skinny dipping in a Croatian cove at night with a sea urchin covered floor? How can I retell these stories and not have blank stares look at me because, just like I was a few months ago, there is no common point of reference. So I say it was great. There are too many stories to tell and so I have chosen to bring them up when and if they are relevant to the conversation. Most likely they will NEVER be relevant to the conversation. Therefore, things are just great.
Another reason why I failed in this travel blogger business is that it ain't my business. Really the more I travel, the more I realize that it being a blogger doesn't really move me. I am not inspired by it all. It is odd to say that because travel IS inspiring. It is inspiring in so many ways. My brain is hardwired to see the world not as a blogger but a designer. I literally have to fight back the urge to buy the saris off the women's body because they are so gorgeous. It would be really odd if a foreigner in shorts would ask a woman to give me the clothes off her back. Then again they might take it as a fact that I got my shit together and finally realized I had to cover my legs. Maybe I should try it and see what happens. The thing is, that I am inspired by the world I see and honestly I am greedy.
I failed because I am greedy. I am greedy about my experience. Sometimes I am not going to lie there were beautiful moments that we were living and the LAST thing I wanted to do was bust out my phone or a camera or anything BUT be present. See, wanting to be present rather than thinking about the business of "likes" is probably a quality of a failed blogger.
Let me share with you a story because I consciously kept it to myself. We were taking the ferry to the Asian side of Istanbul. Being mid October the weather had finally changed to a crisp chill in the wind. We were sitting on the top open deck of the ferry boat. As we were crossing the Bosphorus, it all was perfect. The light hit the water making the tops of the ripple glimmer across the shores. The Bosphorus filled with ships going up the sea flanked by the two sides of Istanbul. The horizon marked by the sprinkled silhouettes of the many mosque minarets. I am not doing it justice. A picture wouldn't have done it justice. I sat there and chose to keep that moment for myself. I breathed in the salty air and heard the water breaking. The seagulls, the engine motor sounds cutting through the wind, the Austrian architecture of the building flanking the shore as it turned into a loading ship freight yard. That moment was mine and I could've shared it. I could've stopped and reached down to my pack and try to fiddle with my expensive camera to TRY to get the moment right but I didn't. I could've shared it on instagram and facebook. Maybe the picture wouldn't have been half bad. Maybe for a little bit you would've looked at it and maybe liked it. Who knows. The point is I just didn't want to share. I was greedy. I wanted it for me and my memory bank only. I didn't want for it to escape me as I tried to figure out if I used "Crema" or "Juno." Because If I have learned anything is that moments are fickle things.
Great moments are fickle and they can scurry away from you if you aren't paying attention. Look down at your phone and it just might be gone. Because of this I seriously struggle what to do. To document or not to document. The GREAT moments the ones that are blog worthy I am not going to lie I probably don't even have a picture of. We flew down to Mexico to attend my sister's wedding. I have about 5 pictures of the entire thing. Not because I don't love her but quite the opposite. I wanted to be there with her. I wanted to live it and hold it inside. The uninterrupted feeling of me being present with her in this moment than worry about a fussy picture.
Another reason/ excuse why I failed as a travel blogger is that traveling takes a whole lot of time. Unlike having a secure place to stay and a steady routine when one knows at what time free time will be available, traveling is everything but a routine. Yes we can stay in a place a little bit longer to have a rest from moving around but, the moving, the trying to find a place to sleep, eat, be settled, took a little more time than expected. Once we had a minute to breath the last thing I wanted to do was sit in front of a computer and write. The whole living thing took time. Riding took a lot of time and really setting up the computer to write a blog post was at the bottom, scratch that, it wasn't even on the to do list.
However, don't lose hope you trusty 5 readers, I do want to finish the story. I do want to tell it. It will just take a little longer for me to finish. Maybe once I am done there will be one of you standing. It will be done. I want to have it so when I grow older I can retell it to myself. So I can remember that once upon a time I was young and daring. That I crossed mountains ranges and I had a little big adventure.