After passing a sticky morning ducking into air-conditioned souvenir shops and drinking iced coffee in the shade of a crowded terrace, my friend Robyn and I decided to escape Cyprus’ landlocked capital city Nicosia and head towards the Mediterranean. We rented a car without a GPS, hoping our generic map would get us to our destination. Lucky for us, Cyprus is about the same size as New Jersey; if we got lost we’d reach water sooner or later and could follow the coast home.
Within two hours we made it to Pissouri’s beaches, arriving just as visitors and the relentless heat dispersed with the sinking sun. My toes brushed the shell-less sea floor of Aphrodite’s rumored birthplace, and somehow the water felt purer than any I had touched before, more fluid and buoyant as if it were just as alive as the small fish that came to nibble my ankles. Our hair heavy with salt and sand still stuck to our feet, we continued on to Paphos for a satisfying seafood meze (and to feed every stray cat I came across), before returning home to sleep the deep sleep that comes only after the exhaustion of a hot summer’s day.
The next day we finished our expedition in theoccupied Turkish territory of the north, climbing the cliffs of Cape Apostolos Andreas and relaxing at an adorable restaurant attached to an old couple’s house. We ate fresh olives and tender meats, the Mediterranean blue and soft on the rocks beside us, as our chef snuck a cigarette out the back window, pressing a finger to his lips so that we didn’t reveal his digression to his wife.
Essentially, the quaintness of Cyprus allows for the perfect road trip: the inability to get really lost, cheap fuel, easily rentable cars and plenty to see in any direction. Apart from the mythical island, poor road trip planning can lead to emergency hotel stops, extra fuel, unplanned for meals and other costly expenses.
Wanderlust borrows the German words wandern (to hike) and lust (desire), translating literally to a desire to stroll. German’s own word for wanderlust, Fernweh, stands as a direct antonym for Heimweh. While Heimweh is the ache for one’s home, Fernweh is an ache for distant places. This ache, much like the worst cases of homesickness, is insatiable and inescapable.
Which is how I’m guessing you found this blog. You’re not content with trudging through the mundane and mediocre. You can’timagine spending your days in the suffocating atmosphere of a gossipy office poisoned by fluorescent lights. You know there’s something more to explore, some keys to find that will unlock an undiscovered part of your mind, some knowledge that can begin to answer the many questions you’ve collected over the years. Every cell of your being longs for an adventure, desires experiences, craves more; the taste buds that aren’t fully satisfied, the pupils that can never pull in enough color, the nose that needs the aromatics tones of curry and fresh, salty fish resting on a plate in Dubai’s hot morning sun, the ears that long for the song of a sole saxophone underneath the streets of Times Square as trains and passengers rush by…
If you feel the world calling you, don’t hesitate to respond.
From this point onward, I will share my adventures and explorations, whether they be tips and tricks to find the cheapest methods of travel, or the discoveries I make in cities along the way. Feel free to leave your own advice – for this blog or for fellow vagabonds – in the comments. Enjoy!