But we haven’t talked about this yet. This, the mother (or at least the bossy oldest sister) of all road trips. This, something that requires little fanfare and little introduction — both of which I’m going to give you, anyway. This, the Great Ocean Road: a scenic highway stretching for approximately 250 kilometers along the southern coast of Victoria, Australia.
Like most reasonable people who have recently committed to renting an apartment, and who have a multitude of tasks ahead of them (including but not limited to: installing new appliances, painting till their arms fall off, eviscerating dust bunnies, and constructing furniture from plastic nails and hopeless dreams), we decided to do literally none of that, and go away for a couple of days last week instead. Because, you know. Priorities.
Considering how adamant I apparently am that I don’t live in Amsterdam, and how unlikely it is that’s going to change anytime soon (spoiler alert!), the place where I do live has received very little recognition on my blog lately. And considering that I may be the only person, currently or ever, producing content on the Internet about that place in English, it’s especially weird that I’ve forsaken it so frequently to write about places for which that is certainly not the case. Well, no more!
I feel like, so far, every post I’ve made about Barcelona has involved some kind of happy accident.
Whoops, we just happened to ride up this hill during a beautiful sunset; whoops, we went on an angry walk and just happened to wind up in this awesome park that helped me refocus my entire life. You’re probably thinking, “yeah, whatever, who in Barcelona is paying you to promote it as the city of miracles?”
Despite the assumptions of a good many people who know me (and, frankly, should know better), the fact that I live in the Netherlands does not actually mean I live in Amsterdam.
I don’t. In fact, I live on the other side of the country from the Dutch capital city. How do you like that?
While we’re making confessions, there’s something else you should know about me. I’m…kind of a city person.
This doesn’t mean I refuse to set foot in any place without at least six Starbucks and 500,000 people complaining about public transit. One of the best summers of my life was spent in Kaikoura, a teensy-weensy coastal town in New Zealand. My parents started taking me and my sister camping all over the United States before we could walk. Hell, I spent twelve weeks in the Australian outback, chasing cows in a helicopter and showering in water our host wouldn’t use to clean his car. I am no stranger to dirt, isolation, or small-town life.
I’m a bit of an imposter when it comes to this whole “outdoor flea market” thing – it’s time I just came out and said it.
In my dreams, I stroll through such markets at a leisurely pace, lovingly eyeing old rotary phones and vinyl records, chatting to the stallkeepers who have worked there for decades, and then magically discover something breathtaking that I will cherish forever (/sell to someone else for 100x what I paid).