I took my surfboard on the London underground yesterday. People stared at me and as I dragged it up the longest escalator I have ever seen in my life I heard one guy mutter "space craft".
Yes, I have somehow found myself in London. It's colder in the middle of summer than the middle of winter ever really gets at home. I'm in a warm bed eating nutella out of the jar after spending the morning walking the canal and ordering breakfast with extra all types of cheese.
Bread that's crunchy but soft simultaneously, good coffee, no sand grinding in my teeth. Gosh I nearly died.
It's funny how living without all the extras makes having them again, once so normal, now such luxury. I can walk down stairs to the shop below my friend's apartment in East London and buy salted caramel icecream and whatever the heck else I want. You should have seen my reaction to rice milk.
Anyway, I left Tofo on Sunday morning, it was a wild departure, as it always seems to be.
How do you adequately say goodbye to people so used to their friends leaving that they barely blink an eye-lid? How do you say goodbye to the people that have been next to you at your most catastrophic moments and in your moments of ultimate bliss? How do you say goodbye to the people that have given that to you?
It's this element of travel that we rarely talk about. We talk about the incredible views, the days of road tripping through the desert, the perfect waves or the nights that rapidly become mornings spent watching the sunrise over the sea. But rarely the tragic beauty of repeated heartbreak at having the best, most intense friendships for just a minute. How it can make you so happy and so sad at once.
I cut my foot on my fin when I was surfing a wave up the coast from Tofo the weekend before I was supposed to leave, so spent the week unable to surf despite the waves being all kinds of delicious. This flipped me into some form of full party mode, and my last Friday night was spent baring souls as the sun crept above the rooftops and Saturday took its place. It rained and I had to pack, I couldn't find my passport and spent an hour lying on the step outside my door thinking I was locked out, when I had the key the whole time.
I showered in the middle of the night and washed the shit of my tiny ginger cat who doesn't know how to properly care for herself yet.
My foot hurt, my head hurt, my heart hurt.
I was a human shaped disaster.
I took a nap in a bar while my friends drank and left at five the following morning. A full day travel the next, then Jo'burg > Cairo > London.
So here I am, still feeling like I can sleep for a week in the biggest city I have ever been to. Double-decker buses and big coats.