Sunday, 23 April. Porto, Portugal.
Welcome to the world of unplanned adventure.
It’s messy. It’s unphotogenic. It’s wild-ish.
It’s kind-hearted French tourists warning you that you’re being followed (you know already) and offering to accompany you wherever you need to go (you’re touched).
It’s hastily scribbled hitchhiking signs, crumpled and smoothed out again. It’s sloppy smiley faces in the O’s of Oporto. It’s red eyes after too much dancing in other people’s clouds of smoke, and not enough sleep. It’s aching feet and dirty jeans.
It’s strange people chasing after you in the street to tell you they like your hat.
It is so far from glamorous that any Instagram post on the matter seems discordant.
It’s empty coffee cups and chipped tiles, half-formed impressions flitting in and out of your mind. It’s improvised, individual, and in flux, but not quite indescribable. It’s sauerkraut and beets for dinner, because the Russian supermarket is the only one open on Sunday evening.
It is chaotic. It is alive. It is enlivening.
Welcome to the world of rough, messy, unplanned and unplannable adventure.
It’s not just on the other side of the world (though it’s here, too). It’s in your backyard—as long as there’s dirt. It’s in your dreams—as long as there are dragons. It’s in every crumpled page, wild dance, and imperfect human encounter that appears in the archives of your life.
And isn’t it beautiful?