La Gomera – A Thousand Shades of Undisturbed Green

Tendrils of moss eerily sway in a non-existent breeze. A constant drip of moisture, rolling banks of cloud that create sudden blankets of fog, ruined bits of abandoned buildings that reach up to the sky.

A strange and mysterious place, filled with silence and sudden changes of temperature. A relaxed atmosphere that is untouched by humans, a location left to its own devices and growth rhythms. Barely any cellphone coverage. Can a place like this still exist?

la gomera

I’ve never been interested or attracted to the Canary Islands. I’m not a huge fan of islands in general, having lived a quite a few years in Mallorca. I find islands to be claustrophobic. No way to escape.

Everything started with a photo. I relied on my good friend Google to find images of forests, as a certain someone seemed to have never been in a proper forest. (He keeps calling a bunch of trees a forest…) I can’t even remember what I typed for my search. In any case, up popped the most incredible forest I have ever seen.

la gomera

What was this place? Where was this place? How do places like this still exist in our world? And that was how the story of La Gomera began. We’ve now been back for less than a week and I still miss the silence.

We stayed in a lonely house overlooking the ocean. We rented a car, stayed for a week, covered the entire island, walked among the forests. Cavorted inside banks of clouds, watched dolphins and whales from a sailboat.

la gomera

The island is mercifully bare of tourists. They congregate in two of the five towns on the island. We walked and / or drove for hours without bumping into anyone. La Gomera is a place to relax, to reconnect. To search inside yourself and feel. To look outside and connect with nature. It was glorious. Curiously enough, the calm continues back at home. My pace is slower, more thoughtful. I can still feel the trees, the green, all around me. It was a welcome relief from the stress that has been going on this year.

La Gomera seems to be untouched since the beginning of time. You can almost imagine dinosaurs roaming around. There is a certain air of “Lost” going on, of mystery. Strange edifications in ruins, bits of columns and broken walls, corroded by salt and wind.

la gomera

It almost seems impossible, in our hectic and technological world, that places like La Gomera still exist. I want to find more places like this. Next stop? Iceland in June, which has been calling to me for some time now. I want to see the wild places. The mysterious, magical, growing places.

Going to Japan? Breaking the Myths

Going to Japan - Vera Ciria - Toyko Neons

So, you’ve decided to take the plunge, you’re finally going to Japan. After years of dreaming about this magical trip, the time has now arrived. You have planned and investigated, you have contacted a local guide, bought books, watched documentaries. Probably learned a few words, just in case. Done research online. You have a pretty good idea of what you’ll be doing there. You’re excited.

A strange phenomenon occurs when you say you’re heading to Japan. It seems like EVERYONE has been there and, of course, EVERYONE has lots to tell you, advice, recommendations and opinions. Even if you don’t want the information…

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The Aftermath – Dealing with Stress in Buenos Aires

Stress in Buenos Aires

Yes, this is Argentina, Mar del Plata to be exact. I’m still trying to recover from one of the worst trips I’ve experienced in my life. The stress in Buenos Aires is epic and very difficult to deal with. Thank goodness I’ve only had two bad vacations amongst all the lovely experiences. Between the craziest weather extremes, stress and noise, stroppy in-laws, too much food, a constant sense of lack of safety and losing my phone, among many other issues, this was not relaxing. I’ve been three times now and every time it just gets worse. But to those who have never been, Buenos Aires and Argentina in general, offers much to be appreciated and loved, without a doubt. The contrasts between ruin and beauty are amazing, to say the least. I don’t regret going, but I think I’ve had my fill.

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