I’ve had a bit of a ponder these last few weeks. After eight years of living the life of a wanderer, my adventures seem to have come to an end.
It’s a strange thought. I always knew the day would come yet I never thought it would. In fact, it came towards the end of last year. It just took me a little while to get used to the idea.
Up until a year ago, I was based in Spain having lived in cities and pueblos all over the beautiful region of Andalucia. It was a dream come true. I set my heart on the land of toro as a little girl and I still can’t believe I made the dreams of my younger self a reality. I readily sacrificed my home country and legal career that was slowly killing me in the biggest f*ck it moment of my life.
During my time in Spain, I lived in the Sierras and the Campo. In the old Moorish quarters of towns and cities. I breathed in the wild air by the ocean and enjoyed the views from the top of a mountain above a lake. I lived on hilltops and in valleys. I called rustic cortijos and casitas my home.
I stayed on an Olive Farm for three months and spent a couple of weeks in a teepee. I lived it up in villas and penthouse apartments. I even stayed in a hotel for a while because I was so comfortable. Not just because I couldn’t be bothered to find somewhere else but, because, I could.
Under the glorious Spanish sun and never-ending deep, blue sky, I lived in them all.
I travelled extensively around Spain, France and Morocco for months of at a time. The open road was mine, my friends, not for fun but to learn and to seek. To satisfy my curiosity for unknown lands and people of different cultures. To open my mind and shake up my values. To go out and let life teach me it’s lessons. To search for my treasure that are the stories I made. Stories I will keep forever.
I have stories that would make your toes curl. Stories you wouldn’t even believe. I feel incredibly blessed to have experienced it all; the good, the bad, the ugly, including the downright painful.
If you would have told me of the life I was going to live ten years ago, I would have laughed my socks off and said “no way!”.
All in all, I had an absolutely amazing time.
So, what changed? Looking back, in early 2018, I felt death in the air. Something was coming to an end but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then, with the literal death of my beloved dog, Sally, I decided there was only one thing for it. I was going to walk a Camino de Santiago again (I walked the French Way 2016) and let the magic heal the pain. I decided on the Portuguese route and set off for Porto.
When I arrived in Porto in June 2018, I came out of the metro station on the street where I move into a little loft a couple of months later. At that point, I thought I was going to walk the Camino and move on. 16 months later, I’m still here. Life had other plans for me, it seems. Far grander plans than I had imagined.
So, without realising, I was hanging up my wandering boots, my friends and it felt very strange. In fact, there have been times when I felt a little lost while staying put. Ironic, huh?
After the last 8 years, at times, it’s been mentally tough to stay in one place. There’ve been times when I’ve struggled. I had to grieve and say goodbye to my adopted homeland of Spain, a country that runs through my blood. I left a little piece of myself in all the cities, towns and villages I’ve lived in and passed through. Spain, you will always have my heart.
But I do love the beautiful city of Porto with its colourful buildings and laid-back atmosphere. I love the Portuguese people even more. I’ve been blessed with another beautiful city and country to call home.
Will Porto be my forever home? Probably not. This is the start of a brand new adventure, destination as yet unknown. I’m finishing off the in-between stage at the moment but I can feel it, my friends. The next stage of my life is just around the corner and I’m incredibly excited to see what the future holds.
The one thing I know for sure, though, is this. Whatever life has in store for me. No matter the surprises that life springs upon me. Life will give me exactly what I need. Experiences that give me a plentiful supply of stories.
So, I’m ready to let the good, the bad, and the ugly times roll, once again, my friends. Let’s see what the future holds.
(c) Samantha Wilson 2019. All Rights Reserved.