Once again my naked feet is being tickled by beautiful golden sand, I look around and see it, listen to it and can even smell it, the Ocean. It is a special day, is the 15th of October, but now we are in 2015.
Exactly 2 years ago, on this day, I boarded on a one way flight to Mumbai. That was the beginning of my journey and of a new life.
And as I am here, trying somehow to analize this second year on the road, I can tell for sure that this is no longer a long journey or a big trip. This is my lifestyle. This is how I live life now. A combination of endless Saturdays filled with the aspects that I love the most, between checking some stunning building or Mother Nature miracles, meeting new people, go for a swim in some paradisiac beach or get into my usual trouble – haven’t been arrested yet YAY, and of course, always chasing sunsets and waterfalls !!!!
I actually have tears in my eyes while I am writing this, because I have memories of me as a child dreaming about seeing the world. About following the footprints of my ancestors, explore and discover new places and new cultures. And here I am now, 730 days (and 51 countries) later still living THAT dream which is now a reality.
I cannot tell that many things have changed since last year, when I wrote you on this day ( 365 Days of Saturdays ). Ultimately, I did accomplish more bucket list items, had more dreams and goals achieved, another thousands of new friends, and I am forever grateful for all the adventures on beautiful beaches, the majestic creations of both man and Nature, the beautiful sunrises and stunning sunsets, because they have helped shape the person I am today.
And I have changed. I can see and feel that change because I have learned so much. Being on the road made me go through so much, both amazing and terrible things. All the tears and laughs, the chats with different people, the stereotypes that I had to let go of… all the mistakes and struggles I overcame, all the inspirational people and the heroes that showed me a new reality, the culture shock…the unfairness I witnessed…the kindness that would give me a boost…all the emotions I went through, especially missing my family and friends which was truly painful and still is every day… it all made me a better person. I am far more smart, aware, open minded, intelligent, educated, clever, wiser, and most importantly more grateful than ever. I appreciate things on a different level, and never have I been so proud or happy about my roots as a Portuguese/European young woman, because this trip is proving me once again how fortunate and lucky I am just for being born in a certain place and how can that completely shaped me as a person.
However, there is a new thing that I can tell you that has forever changed: I used to be a little bird that lived on a cage, a beautiful cage and I was fine, I didn’t really knew how was life out of that cage. But now I have been out for a while. And I no longer wish to get back in. Little bird is growing into a eagle and no longer belongs in cages. And thats what I want. I want to inspire more birds to leave their cages and become free and powerful eagles. Thats definitely a goal that I wish to pursue. I am just too happy and want more happier people surrounding me, so I will do anything to help those seeking to be free.
I have received hundreds of messages so far of people that I don’t even know personally, but that have been far too kind with me and have been supporting and following my Footprints in the Clouds. Same goes for my family and supportive friends. So, to all of those that have been around, I decide, instead of doing a photo collage like I did last year, to challenge myself, and for over a week, I have been working non stopping on a surprise for you.
I have decide to go through dozens and dozens of hours of footage from my GoPro and iPhone (I can hear some of you screaming Alleluia LOL) and pick up some of the funniest moments of the trip and do a compilation of it all. Now, it will be overwhelming, chaotic, fun and messy, but you know what? That’s exactly how my trip has been so I hope you like and feel like you are part of it, because you are.
Also, if you enjoy the video, please please help me sharing it! I would be very grateful =)
To finish, I have been asked several times where I have been, so here it is, those are the countries and places I traveled for the last 730 days – 24 months in 24 countries:
India: Mumbai, Aurangabad, Jalgaon, Omkareshwar, Mandu, Ujjain, Sanchi, Orchha, Chanderi, Agra, Delhi, Jaisalmer, Thar Desert, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Pushkar, Jaipur, Bharatpur, Varanasi, Kolkota, Chennai, Mamallapuram, Madurai, Varkala, Kerala, Kochi, Hampi, Goa and Bangalore.
Malaysia: Sandakan, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur and Malacca.
Hong Kong: Hong Kong
China: Guangxi (Guillin, Longji-Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, Yangshuo), Yunnan (Kunming, Dali, Shaxi; Lijiang), Sichuan (Chengdu, Jiuzhaigou, Songpan), Hainan (Sanya), Guangdong (Fusham and Guagnzhou), Hunan (Huai Hua, Fenghuang, Wulingyuan and Zhangjiajie), Shaanxi (Xian), Shanxi (Pingyao), Beijing and Shanghai.
Thailand: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Koh Phi Phi Don, Koh Samui, Bangrak, Bophut, Chaweng, Lamai, Koh Panhang, Baan Tai, Koh Tao, Chiang Rai.
Laos: Huay Xai, Pak Beng, Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, Vientiane, Pakse, Si Phan Don and Don Det.
Cambodia: Phnom Penh, Kep, Kampot, Sihanoukville, Otres, Battambang, Siem Reap.
Myanmar: Yangon, Inle Lake, Bagan, Mandalay.
Japan: Tokyo, Fussa, Yokohama, Yokosuka, Shizuoka, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Miyazu, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Nagasaki, Kobe, Himeji, Matsumoto, Nikko, Hakodate, Sapporo.
South Korea: Seoul, Hongdae, Gangnam and Busan.
Philippines: Kalibo, Borocay, Cebu, Oslob, Bohol, Mandaue, Puerto Princesa, El Nido and Manila.
Vietnam: Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh.
Portugal: Guimaraes, Braga, Porto, Gaia, Vila Real, Lisboa.
UAE: Dubai, Ras Al Khaima, Jabal Al Jais, Jabal Hafeet, Al Ain, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi.
Jordan: Aqaba, Wadi Musa, Wadi Rum, Petra and Amman.
Iran: Tehran, Isfhahan, Kashan, Badroud, Fahraj, Yazd, Shiraz.
Oman: Muscat, Seeb, Wadi Shab, Nizwa and Jabal Akhdar.
Sri Lanka: Colombo, Hikkaduwa, Mirissa, Tallala, Ella, Nawara Eliya, Kandy, Pinawalla, Negombo.
Indonesia: Bali (Kuta, Seminyak, Denpasar, Canguu, Sanur, Lovina, GitGit, Pemuteran, Ubud, Nusa Dua), Gili Tranguan, Kupang and Jakarta
Timor Leste: Dili and Atauro
So this was it. Next year there will be more, for now, I just wish Happy 2nd Anniversary on the road to myself and once again, thank you all for following my Footprints in the Clouds. I keep my promise to keep spreading them so feel free to join and follow.
And now, another couple of beautiful friends of mine are arriving, one straight from the airport so she can drop her bags and we all go Party.
Hope to see you on the beaches of the World 😀
Much love from Bali