I’ve never had so many strangers wish me “Happy Birthday” before. It was an indescribable feeling; On the one hand, I had to keep cool and smile at each of them graciously while shaking their hands over the counter one by one, but on the other hand, my heart was beating excitedly and all I wanted to do was pull every one of them into a bear hug and share my elatedness.
“Pack light, baby.”
After receiving that phone-call from him, I had sat on my bed and worried about having to be at the airport in two hours. In that two hours, I was to have packed for an overnight trip, called my mum to inform her of this impromptu decision, texted my friends to cancel the dinner we were supposed to be having that night, left behind instructions on how to feed my cat, flagged down a cab at rush hour, and arrived at the airport looking all fresh and cool like I’ve done this all before. It was like a glamorous Amazing Race.
It was the first time I went on a trip without any preparations, without any agenda, without staying awake all night thinking about the trip. Four hours later, I was teleported from my familiar little room to a foreign and decidedly unglamorous hotel room. And that was where we spent the night.
Roaming the streets the next morning, I took in everything until all my senses were fully satisfied. The sights of the skies, the smells of the sea, the taste of the foods, the language of the people, the salt on my skin… If only I could bottle them up and bring them home with me so these memories will stay with me.
But then again, I think I did.