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Relief. Almost like the instant the wheels leave the runway. A peak through the oval frame confirms the sensation; large grey blocks become puzzle pieces, linking streets, suburbs, states and eventually borderless land with every meter further in flight and height. Perspective. Gaining height above the earth’s surface does something to your spirit. It is released from conformity. It could be any type, cultural, clicks, character, any attempt to capture it and make it fit.

One place could not meet us, nor a time, so we travel, and with every venture the capturing becomes less likely.

Swerving from side to side, the red bus contains a bouquet of wonderers, gazing out the window to seize a still frame among the spectrum of houses speeding passed. Hair tickling the side of my neck as the wind channels from the outside, I listen to the driver tapping his steering wheel to the timelessness of rusty rock n roll. Words create a vision not even a photo could recollect, so I dab down words that first come to mind. Freedom, curiosity, stories, potential.

In this vehicle I am a observer of a friendship so intertwined, that they even converse in silence. Kelia, Monyca and Bruna are witnesses of each other’s lives and investors of love in many others. Instead of diverting my attention to the splendor that surrounds, every exclamation of laughter from the back seat takes primacy.

The four of us are on our way to Rote Island, after a restless plane trip to a town in Indonesia whose name I can barely pronounce, the red bus waits at arrival and the driver straps 5 board bags to the roof. What would you measure this experience by? Another stamp in the passport? A kilometer covered as the shadows of the trees fall on the road ahead and mark its distance? A story to tell, a photo to take, a post to show case?

I measure this not by distance, but by the depth of sincerity in the eyes that look back at me. And I’m staring into eyes like wild flowers. Having been around the globe, clockwise and the opposite, this friendship stretches beyond conventionality. Their personalities blend like the primary colors, mixing into the shades of an entire rainbow.

I expected to be blown away by the serenity of scenery, but it was their sincerity and sensitivity that left me hopeful. Hopeful that substance does not come from a travel plan nor is it reserved to an exclusive number of individuals with a specific status, it is available to the person with enough courage to make eye contact, grab a coffee, and let another into their life. Friendship – a flickering flame of felicity.

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Home is where the heart is.

I have noticed a small change of heart, or is it home? The excitement and urgency of coming home seems to subside a little more every time I cross the seas.

Travelling since the age 14 sets you up for a slightly different lifestyle to those around you. You are set up into a life that is not normal, unfamiliar to others and quite a rollercoaster to yourself. Some nights, you would close your eyes wishing the opposite, wishing you were home, on the other side of the globe, only having to handle the stress a teenager normally would as you count the days to your return to family and a sense of security.

But with every flight crossing to another country, what was once regarded as unfamiliar starts to grow more and more natural. One starts to realize the privilege of the difference, that difference, a privilege only a handful of people I know get to experience. One becomes more comfortable in an economy class seat and the thrill of dependence than the routine of home.

I have just come home after the longest time ever spent away, a short 5 months. Instead of counting the days here, I count the days where the journey of travel and adventure and surprise would begin. From now, the majority of heart is on that road, and so my home also.

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Memory is fascinating, isn’t it? It gives you the chance to replay a glance, a conversation, a day, a trip or a year, filled with all these together. Waiting on a delayed flight is the perfect opportunity to let your mind run away with memories, memories of 5 weeks in Hawaii. Running down the street bare feet, trees tunneling over, only allowing single sun beams to shoot past to the surface below. The tremble of the ocean being nearly audible, as you stretch your neck in excitement to see what is over the sand dune, to see just how the ocean will cause delight for everyone that decides to step into it that day. Hawaii is delightful. Throughout the day the salt of the water remains on your skin, the taste of acai lingers on your tongue, the satisfaction of a good wave sits at the back of your mind, and you constantly have to remind yourself that everything you see is not your imagination. Even though it is a pity that Hawaii is proven to be the furthest place one could go from South Africa, my home, even being able to experience this serenity once a year is enough to keep the memories rolling until the next one. Mahalo Hawaii, see you sooner than later.

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blog1c

Drawing a large, red tick-mark in an empty box is fulfilling, especially since it gives you the courage to accomplish the next mission you decide to write down. Bucket lists consist of countless, randomly sequenced; crazy and many times illogical pencil squiggles that you spontaneously come up with as life happens. Maui has been hovering at the top of mine for far too long.

With the sound of the quickening rotations of the propellers, an audible vibration under my seat, and a glance out that oval window, I could see the Honolulu becoming smaller and smaller as we took to the sky toward a new destination.

I wanted to share with you just one day in Maui, so that one can get to experience a place without the struggle of overnight flights, carpet sleeping, board bag dragging, 6 hour rental car miscommunications, or jetlagged midnight wake ups.

I am woken by an alarm, opening the curtain with one eye still shut is enough for me to realize where I am and what is going on. I am in Maui for the Target Pro, the last event of what seemed like a long year on tour. We grab some granola and yoghurt, jump in the rental and zoom off to the Bay, excited to find out if the rumors of the swell were true. A two-hour session with a close friend and very welcoming locals proved to be the best start to the day. The sun was still hanging high, so a trip down the coast on a windy road was next, with ‘coconut and lemonade’ signs at every corner, and the corners were plentiful. At the 8th mile marking, close to the other side of the island, we head off to explore the trail and bamboo forest the locals had been talking about. We rock hopped, skipped and jumped over water for about a mile upstream, completely captivated by the beauty of the luscious greenery and serenity at the foot of this mountain. For a change in scenery, it was time for a snorkel and snack at Airport Beach close to Lahaina. Walking through the streets of this colorful little town only added to the atmosphere of excitement which showing on the faces of every person walking by with a floral shirt and camera in hand. This atmosphere proved to be contagious as we swam only arms length from a turtle, and the size of my smile caused water to flow into my goggles, making the visibility of the ancient creature only last a few seconds. With toes in the sand, feeling the saltwater lapping over your feet, the day had come to an end, and the sun was going down and past, on its way for another time zone to enjoy the day.

My greatest desire on this tour around the world is never to loose sight of all that is around me, that my eyes and heart are filtered by gratitude, never taking a moment for granted – so in all these moments I delight, since delight is the only emotion that can come from a grateful heart.

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