Part 2: Travel Journaling, A Way To Preserve Our Memories. An Extract From Our Client

Friday, 15th May 2020

Nichol Callaghan

iceland snaefellsnes aurora sky march rth

Travel experiences may be fleeting right now but we all have memories that last a lifetime, we share a second extract from one of our client’s travel journal.

At 32, I got engaged in Paris. It was magical and even though it ended with divorce, Paris holds a place in my heart of being every bit the romantic city that I believed it to be – it did not disappoint. A café au lait’ on the pavement, walking slowly around the Marais District, stopping for a glass of rose just because. Walking along the Seine taking in all the works of art along the river, climbing the Eiffel Tower and not being beaten by the steps or taking time to enjoy Café de Flore in St. Germain. Family holidays to the South of France have been a tradition long before I was even a glint in my parents’ eyes – Le Canadel, Ramatuelle, La Croix Valmer, Gassin – pure heaven.

The guest house ‘Le Relais des Maures’, so quaint and run by Katherine who would welcome us so warmly in Le Canadel. Sisters’ children being born over a number of years so the numbers increasing each year we were fortunate to visit, and still do. At times between work trips being able to join my parents at Villa Meliana, a place to where my mind will often wander. Precious shared time, also with my Aunt & Uncle in recent years, long lunches, bottles of rose, my Dad sitting in the distance at the end of rugged stone jetty reading his paper wearing his sun hat, laughter, tears, falling out (as families do!), shopping in St. Tropez market, having a cold beer at Popeye, my Mum’s favourite little bar, salade niçoise at the L’Ancre D’Or, my Dad heading out each morning to get croissants and baguettes, ducking my Mum in the sea (even in her 70’s which seems slightly cruel but believe me she too remains very able to duck her strong youngest 48-year old daughter so no sympathy required!), falling asleep in the sun in the afternoon watching my parents strolling back to the guest after a wine or two.

Sri Lanka, the place where I had my first experience of yoga and thank God I did – it is keeping my mental health in check, and it has done since my 1st downward dog.

I went to Ibiza for the first time in 2014. Surprisingly as someone with music in my veins I’d never experienced the clubbing scene in Ibiza so when I went the first time with my sister and her family I had (wrongly) perceived that I’d be too old for Ibiza. I loved it! One of the most chilled places I have experienced; music everywhere from the coolest chilled beach vibes to taking my sister into Ushuaia at 2pm one afternoon whilst her husband looked after the children. For those two hours we were immersed into a euphoric atmosphere. Evenings watching beautiful sunsets at Benirras Beach or just chilling by the pool.

I returned to Ibiza a couple of times since 2014 but most memorably in 2019 to YogaRosa. I wanted a week of yoga in Europe and my expectations were surpassed – by the location, the people, the food, (an unexpected delicious vegan diet), the progress with my yoga, (not difficult!), the ability to learn to meditate, having been the last person I would ever have thought could sit still and clear my mind, and finally but most importantly meeting Rosa. What a wonderfully kind angel on earth – wise, welcoming and gentle in her ‘firm’ guidance of what I was there to achieve, or at least aspire to achieve. I had a session that was a cross between a massage and physio – one of the two most extraordinary experiences I had during that week and the second, a session in the sea where for a moment I was convinced I was a mermaid! The weightless freedom of the water and walking out onto the shore with the biggest smile that has ever been on my face. Thank you Rosa for this experience.

Then La Residencia in Deia came into my life. Up in the hills in Mallorca and well known to one of my sisters. Being able to visit there at various times over the last 15 years, either with my Mum and sister, my brother-in-law might have joined us or I’ve taken myself off alone to just be in a piece of heaven on earth. Being welcomed like you’re a long lost family member by Ulisees the Hotel Manager and his amazing team, Sasha welcoming us with a glass of cava and delicious smoked almonds, the tempo of breathing literally coming down 10 beats in the most magical location surrounded by mountains, lemon & olive trees, the most divine setting. Walking into the village, up to the Church, stopping for a cold beer, popping into a local supermarket, or pottery shop or spending time with my precious Deia friend, Cecilie.

Cecilie moved to Deia with her husband, the Artist George Sheridan. Cecilie, an Artist herself, would offer walking tours around artists homes in Deia, educating those that would follow and arrange exhibitions at La Residencia. I was fortunate to join one of her many ‘walks & talks’ over the years and our friendship began. One of life’s special people, a lady who has seen the world, travelled, had her own adventures and over the years we have always taken the time to ensure a catch up takes place when I am fortunate enough to visit. Introducing me to her family and sending me off one year with one of her husband’s paintings inscribed on the back. A treasure, the painting and dear Cecilie.

There were eight years in Iraq, a place that now feels like a second home to me. Difficult for some to comprehend but over such a period of time it had one of the greatest impact on my life for too many reasons to write. Developing professional local relationships where you are made to feel like a ‘sister’ as your intentions are visibly positive, and being able to contribute in some small way to a country that has experienced, and still does, so much hardship. Respecting the local culture, and my local colleagues changed me as a person and it shall always have a place in my life.

I started 2020 wanting to visit somewhere new, but not too far away as my work has had me flying regularly. I went to Iceland, having always wanted to see the Northern Lights. The day I arrived was the first snowfall of winter. Off I went with a guide, in search of the Aurora Borealis. I can’t pretend that I saw a rainbow of colours but I did see shades of green dance across the sky which was magical and somewhat out of this world. I loved Reykjavik – friendly, very sociable and the most amazing cinnamon bun I ever, ever tasted!

We can’t thank Bex enough for sharing her stories, and hope she continues writing about her adventures.

Feeling Inspired?

Share your own memories via email, or messaging us on Facebook or Instagram. experienced.

Be sure to read a fond memory of Iceland by our client, Claire, and the trips we remember now travel has been taken away and the first part of Bex’s travel journal.

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