Jul 30, 2014

Travel Tales: Padstow + Traveling alone

 As I mentioned on Monday, I am doing a small series on stories about travels I've made inspired by my friend Chloe (Read her blog here). Monday I chatted about my trip to London for the Olympics

A little more background on this particular trip. My friend Mike, who had studied abroad in Montana lived in London. We have been friends for quite some time. When I realized I could get tickets to the London Olympics, Mike was my first call. He said, hop across the pond and let's do this, but Mike obviously couldn't take two whole weeks off his job to entertain me. 

Another back story: Going on a trip by myself had always sounded amazing to me. There is something almost romantic about traveling by yourself. Your days were filled with exactly what you choose. You could wander, explore and discover to your heart's content. While being a lady, traveling in foreign counties can be dangerous, I figured 4 days in Cornwall (west coast of UK) couldn't be too bad. So my mini adventure began. 

I said goodbye to Mike at the train station, and headed west to the ocean. 

You can see it was quite a long ride. I finally got off the bus and landed in a little town called Padstow. It is located in the region of England called Cornwall. It is located in the far western peninsula, surrounded on three sides by water, the landscape is stunning and the climate is mild. They are also known for clotted cream!!!  (if you don't know what this is...you haven't lived)

Padstow (upon Mike's recommendation) was so quaint and charming. It had tiny little streets, and everyone knew each other's names.

It took some digging to find the little Bed and Breakfast I stayed in. HERE IS IT. So weird to look at these photos after a couple years. It was just how I remember it in my mind. 

It was raining the day I arrived, so after I checked in, I of course had to make a pot of tea.

I strolled around town and quickly found the path to the ocean.

I still have those little shells on my dresser in my bedroom. 

I headed home as it was getting dark, but tomorrow was a new day to explore...
I woke up and went upstairs to breakfast. I asked my lovely hosts what I should do for the day. I still remember this so clearly, she said "There is a nice little walk along the beach about a mile or so long." DING SOLD. 

So she told me, "There is a hidden path, it will take you along the route to the ocean. I was thinking okay this is awesome. A little stroll along the beach in the morning, and then home for a nap, then I could surf in the afternoon. Plans were made. 

I found the path and began. 

I was about a mile in, still no sign of the ocean... I was beginning to think I was lost.

That seemed promising so I kept going.... Finally!

My jaw dropped.

This place is beautiful. It is the kind of place and moment where you believe in something bigger than yourself. There aren't words to explain how full my heart was at that moment. I was standing there at the edge of the world all by myself, and I couldn't have felt happier.

I was on cloud 9 (again) and then...I realized up ahead...there was a heard of cows that I was going to have to walk through...ummm (yes, this is real)

Here is a lovely video I found that I took, incase I died (yes, that is real too)

Then I realized, I should face my fear. They weren't that bad after all.

I said my goodbyes and continued on my journey.

I couldn't believe the beauty of this place. I finally could see the end of my path. 

I walked down the hill...and realized, I had just walked 12 miles... needless to say I was taking a cab home. I felt so fulfilled and content with my day and with my decision to go alone.

Once back in Padstow, I almost went to find the host and inform her that her 1 mile walk, is a 12 mile hike, but I had a feeling she knew that already...

The next days were spent strolling the cobblestone streets and surfing in Padstow. Then it was time to say goodbye to this place. It will forever remain in my heart. It is such a humble town, but holds so much unbelievable strength for me. It made me realize, if I want to do something enough, I can make it happen. It instilled a small confidence in my own ability to be independent, to not only survive, but thrive. 

I think of my days in Padstow often. In tough times, I remember how high I can feel. How much happiness my heart is capable of and hold on to those memories. 

If you get the chance travel and travel often. It opens your eyes, mind and most of all heart to how beautiful this world really is. 

Love, Rachel xo

Jul 28, 2014

Memory Lane: London Olympics 2012

I went to happy hour with my friend Chloe last week. Chloe writes a beautiful travel blog called the The Paper Airplane (go check her out). We talked about work, life, men and then we got to the good stuff, travel. 

It becomes obvious by her writing, that Chloe is very passionate about traveling and seeing the world. It is one of the biggest things we have in common. We got to chatting about her upcoming travels and told tales of travels in the past. Truthfully, it is one of my favorite things to talk about, it makes my heart so full. 

So our dinner date inspired me to start telling you some of the travel tales that didn't make the blog. Some of you may know, I went to the London Olympics in 2012. I didn't get a chance to write about it on the blog. This was my only recap. (which is funny to me now.) 

I thought I would share some stories in more detail about that trip. So let's start with day 3 (because thats logical) it was our first day of Olympic games. 

We (my friend Mike who lives in London & I) had tickets to beach volleyball. The morning started pretty early for us (think 7am) but we made our way to the stadium. Everything took a lot longer because of the amount of people that had poured into London for the games. 

We finally found our way to our seats and they were...pretty great seats...

So the games began with Russia vs China women's match

Good seats huh?

China wins! 

Now we had a break in the action before the men's match began. I started to look around the stadium and noticed something amazing. People from far reaches of the globe, various counties, and different languages laughing and having the time of their lives with each other. It didn't matter the color of your skin, the faith you practiced, the clothes you wore- everyone was happy. 

It still brings a smile to my face to think of the energy in that city. 

Oh hey Dutch guys! 

Back to the action! Men's match up next Germany vs. Brazil

With a Brazil win, our day at the games was done for today. We were walking out as the sun was setting. It was just an incredible day. I was on cloud 9. The buzz was electrifying. I wish I could go back to that moment so many times over. 

London still remains one of my favorite cities on earth. I miss parts of it everyday. There will be more on that later! Stay tuned for more travel stories coming up this week. 

Signing out from London! 

Love, Rachel xo


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