Olympic spirit: internationalism, sportsmanship and a competitive streak. Well, you’ll find all of that here, in a new blogging relay organised by Low Cost Holidays.
There are five teams: Yellow, Blue, Green, Purple and RED. I’m captaining Team Red, if you couldn’t tell! The blogging relay requires each team captain to write a post of their three top travel memories, before passing the baton to someone else, trying to build the longest chain and a winning team.
One blogger will even be eligible for a prize including an iPad 2 and a Nikkon D3100 Digital SLR Camera. Now, the other teams are already out of the starting blocks, but I have no doubt that, in true Olympic champion style, Team Red can power past them and perform several double twists and backflips along the way. (You need a bit of self-belief!)
My head is spinning with travel memories, both distant and recent, so it is hard to pick just three; harder yet to put them into any kind of an order. But, like throwing a dart on a map and going wherever it lands (something that is still on my list of things to do) I will ruthlessly pluck three memories as they pop into my mind’s eye.
1st – A Bus in Bolivia
Regular readers may expect this to be something to do with Machu Picchu, but actually, the best travel memory I have comes from a night spent on a bus in Bolivia. There was nothing particularly special about it; I was just travelling from Potosi to La Paz along some very scary roads. But I can remember it with crystal clarity. As I lay in my luxurious ‘cama’ seat, I was listening to the gorgeous Missy Higgins on my ipod and I was looking out the window, the curtain pulled back far enough to let me see the dizzying skyscape of stars. I was suddenly overwhelmed with a feeling of sheer, giddy joy. It’s hard to put it into words, but life at that moment was absolutely perfect. I had seen so much, but I knew I still had a lot more to come. I had barely any money, but I was self-sufficient. I felt powerful, independent, gloriously alive. And I would not have swapped that Starry-Eyed moment, alone on a bus in the Bolivian night, for anything in the world.
2nd – New York City at Night
It was the summer before my final year at university, and it was a balmy evening in New York City. I was standing at the top of the Empire State Building with my two best friends. It was my first time in the USA and it was magical. We’re not used to skyscrapers in the UK, and as the lights went on over the city, I could only stare, my jaw hitting the floor. We had the best holiday, three schoolmates, on the brink of adulthood, roadtripping from New York to Chicago, by way of the Niagara Falls. But it is that first night that I remember most vividly. You may recognise the photo from my @SEtravels Twitter profile. I have thought many times that I should change it to my logo, but it brings back such perfectly Starry-Eyed memories, that I haven’t yet had the heart to.
3rd – Standing on top of the Pao de Azucar, Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro. It is one of those intensely evocative names, isn’t it? It was a place I had dreamed of going so much that it almost felt like a fairytale rather than a real place. By the time I arrived in Brazil, I was a little travel-tired and beleaguered, but Rio restored all my excitement and spirit. I arrived in Rio in the afternoon and, as it was a beautiful day, I wasted no time in ditching my bags at the hotel and rushing to make it to Sugarloaf Mountain by sunset. I took the cable car to the top of the mountain, and there was Rio de Janeiro, in all its tropical, mountainous glory, laid out before me. As people ran around, having their picture snapped in front of the view, I settled on a bench to wait for the sunset. I was joined by two other photographers, a South African lady and a German man, and we chatted pleasantly until the sunset, when we rose to take our pictures, as deep, gorgeous colours bled into the sky.
So, there’s my entry – and Team Red is off! I’d like to pass the baton to the supremely talented Mallory On Travel, because I know he will do an amazing post, probably outshining mine! If you would like to be a part of our team and share your travel memories, please get in touch and I’ll do my best to get you a place. If you just want to follow what’s happening in the relay, just look up #BloggerRelay, where it’s getting quite competitive already!