Have you ever felt such crisp freshness your face is actually glowing in golden morning light? This has been me, this exact feeling tingling my skin after the first early swim of the day. I’ve been road tripping in Northland for a week now, and I fell in love as soon as I opened my eyes the first morning, seeing the water shimmer with desire for my sleepy body to dive in.
This has been my vanlife morning routine: I wake up before sunrise to pee and watch the remaining stars, then I open the boot, letting the day softly slip into my van as I pluck the last dreams from the night sky. The sun comes up and brings the heat. With my eyes half open I grab for my bikini and run to the ocean.
That first swim. Oh baby.
That first gasping for breath when the cold hits you.
Better than six espressos at once. You just know the day is going to be great after a refreshing morning dip. And it has honestly been one of the most magical weeks of my New Zealand life. It had been so long since I travelled by myself, and I love how I so easily fall back into the little pleasures of solo journeys.
No plans made, just going where people I meet recommend me to go. Lots of talks with locals and fellow travellers. Meeting incredibe people doing incredible things. Brothers who hike the entire length of New Zealand, an 80-year old man who travelled the world, a bunch of backpackers living in community on a beautiful farm. When plans fall away, time and space for impulsive adventures open up. Spending gorgeous days on the beach with your camping neighbours, visiting them in their home and feeling like long lost friends.
There is so much magic in travelling, and especially (for me) solo travelling. It creates time to gently do what your body wants to do. Early morning swims, long days on the beach with new friends, softly healing the heart, writing love letters, indulging in nature and late night conversations.