Let’s start from the beginning

So exploring Italy a third time in less than a year? It’s always a charm, that third one. When leaving home I felt a bit nostalgic – is this really the right time to go, what’s to loose, what’s to win? But it’s always quite different once you’re actually there – here! The second the plane touches down, there’s no time or use for second thoughts. It’s sunny, it’s beautiful, it’s still fresh and new. It’s questions that needs to be answered in situations I can’t control in a language I don’t speak. I need to find my way around best I can. From that moment, I have no time to reflect upon work, studies, future and the big mysteries ahead. I can only focus at the present, function in the now. Instantly I had been dragged back to reality, a mindfulness practice the rough way. I really did miss my mind this summer so I was happy to get back into it. Though much of a peoples person I am, I do appreciate being a lonesome traveller. The expanded time you have to sit back and do nothing, talk to nobody and answer no calls. I don’t even read. I write some, have hardly listened to either pod casts or music. While this is something I did all day long in Sweden, I am happy learn to be stimulated by the wind and the weather. The landscapes and the wilderness of a city as much as the country side.

I ended up staying in a beautiful house in the very picturesque town of Chiavari with my host and his very enthusiastic dog. During the day I went hiking in the Cinque Terre which, for all it’s reputation is fairly beautiful and unique. I do curse my luck that I saw the Amalfi coast first thing last year in Italy, cause really, nothing compares to it. I did good time though, worked up a sweat and really had to make it into a competition against myself, the clock and the world. I can’t really enjoy a hike just for the walking, something within me makes me go faster, faster and further, further. Oh well. I’m a natural born Aries. Loving the weather so far – it’s giving me it’s best. Had half a day of a refreshing rain when I ended up far off the beaten track in a tiny town called Vobbia. I got an invitation from a host who never had any couch surfing experience before and therefore no references. But my gut feeling told me it was worth the risk being stranded in the middle of nowhere after the last bus left me by the road – I really should go. Happy I went – turns out the host was one of the most intriguing travelling characters I ever met, and, when not residing in Vobbia, lives outside of Bamako in Mali, producing music! How big are the chances to find someone with connections in Mali when that’s the dream destination of this trip? After loads of good laughs, tips, deep conversations, I now feel fully refuelled for West Africa! The travellers spirit – trust your guts, it’s nearly always right.

Spending the night in Barcelona after a crazy weekend in the always crazy Milan. I am very happy I have gotten to know the best parts of that city – the people of the couch surfing community – and felt sad I had to go so soon even this time. Well, well. Travellers travel. And now the real adventure starts!

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