In fear of not living

I finished high school in a time when South Africa still suffered from international sanctions against us. South Africa was still very isolated, the world wasn’t nearly as small and young people who took a gap year were few and far between.

I knew I wanted to do and “live an adventure” but our options were very limited. There were basically two choices – either you could go to a kibbutz in Israel or you could go and work as an au pair in one of 5 countries: Holland, Germany, Belgium, France or Italy. Although I did contemplate a kibbutz for a while, my love of children and my (then) fascination with everything French, prompted me to choose the Au Pair route. I didn’t make it to France but at least I ended up in the French part of Belgium.

I think if there was one song that inspired my generation to at least dream of driving through Paris, in a sports car, with the warm wind in our hair, Marianne Faithfull succeeded brilliantly.


We’ve got a long way to run

I’ve met many travellers in my life and we are a special lot. Often philosophers, often philanthropists, often adrenalin junkies, we all have something in common – we all battle the ennui of the modern consumerism world.

Sonrotse touches on that a bit but who says it better than Collective Soul with Run?

Are these times contagious
I’ve never been this bored before
Is this the prize I’ve waited for
Now as the hours passing
There’s nothing left here to mature
I long to find a messenger

Is there a cure among us
From this processed sanity
I weaken with each voice that sings
In this world of purchase
I’m going to buy back memories
To awaken some old qualities

Snippets of home when you’re on the road

Like Afrikaans literature, good Afrikaans music is, in my opinion, few and far between.

During my Round the World trip, I was on my way from Europe to New York when Bernard shared Klein Tambotieboom, by Die Heuwels Fantasties, on Facebook and I was immediately smitten. Afrikaans music that I could actually listen to. Intelligent and eloquent with an extraordinary gift for wordplay.

I was met at the airport by fellow South African and CouchSurfing host extraodinaire, Dean. Except for the fact that his unique South African hospitality blew me away, I was able to get excited and share new music in my mother tongue with someone just as intelligent, who loves language just as much as I do.

Song number four is about the need to escape a life that brought no satisfaction, when even familiar faces start to look like strangers.

Our bonfire hearts

If there is one thing travelling made me appreciate above all, it is the random encounters we have. There is no rhyme and reason to them, they just happen, and sometimes, just sometimes they have a profound impact on our lives.

Last year I was in India for a week. One short, crazy, dismal little week. If not for the incredible wedding of Srikant and Anastasia, who would travel to a foreign country for a week?

Incredible India

Incredible India

There was magic in that trip though. From the taxi drivers to the train journeys, the servers to the shop assistants, everything was just perfect.

There was the hospitality and love from Uma and Subash that completely floored me, the unexpectedness of midnight encounters with Dalton, reconnecting with old and very precious friends, the gorgeous Verônica, the glorious Kitty, picture perfect Anya, and then there was Nikita.

Start a spark in a bonfire heart...

Start a spark in a bonfire heart…

If I have to think back on that week, not a single thing that comes to mind has anything to do with anything I have seen but every single memory involves a person.

In the end people like us, we don’t need that much. Just someone that starts, starts a spark in our bonfire hearts…

The Ultimate Wanderlust Playlist

Recently two friends asked for playlist suggestions on Facebook and. while contemplating music I love, I thought of all those songs that inspire me to pack my backpack and hit the road again, those songs that make me (want to) go and conquer the world, those songs that instantly transport me to the side of someone I love or reminds me of a place, a person or a moment that touched me.

Travel till your shoes fall off your feet and then travel some more!

Lets face a it, music is magical and has the power to move us. It was really difficult to choose the first third song as there are so many strong contenders.

I had to choose George Ezra’s Budapest though.

I definitely would still like to see this city, or cities to be more correct. I fell in love with Prague during my Round the World trip in 2010 and Flavio highly recommended that I travel to Budapest too. It came down to a choice between staying in Gius’s empty apartment in Groningen or embarking on yet another adventure and, at that stage, the choice was easy!

More than that however, it also has something to do with watching The Grand Budapest Hotel, Adrien Brody (did you know his mom was born in Budapest) and a boy I met one morning when he woke up over coffee.

Thus Stefan will always be intrinsically part of Budapest and, like the song, thinking of him always makes my heart sing…

People who make your soul sing!

People who make your soul sing!

While I do like the original song too, I have to admit that the A2A remix is a personal favourite!

A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.

I think the first time I went overseas (and maybe the second)  it was about seeing the world out there. It soon changed though. I believe nowadays I firstly travel to meet up with some of the many people I love in the great big world out there, and in the process see a couple of places I haven’t seen before.

When you are part of an international community like CouchSurfing you sometimes meet people on-line who impacts your life even though your paths have never crossed in the real world.

I have loved this song by Lisa Hannigan since Dev introduced me to her. An ode to all those loved ones you just haven’t met yet…

I do think I may have fallen in love with the enchanting video just as much as with the song!

When your heart is always somewhere else.

So I’ve started this project of compiling the Ultimate Wanderlust Playlist. I wanted to do something constructive with 2015 as I finished off 2014 in such a state of exhaustion that I really couldn’t do the normal “taking stock” and felt I couldn’t start a new year with absolutely nothing to work towards.

As a journey of a 1000 miles starts with one step, so a 365 day project starts with day 1. The initial post was George Ezra’s Budapest but, being who I am, I felt a better beginning was in order.  Luckily this is my blog and I may change it 😛

I therefore do the very female thing and change my mind.

The Ultimate Wanderlust Playlist can start off with few songs better that Just One Day by the Mighty Oaks.

May we all, somewhere and somehow, in this crazy year that started before I was even remotely ready for it, take to the sky and take to the sea!