Stood on another curb under the same hot baking sun, we waited. We spoke to a toothless man and his dog, wandering along the road smiling. And then we got our next pick-up. The passenger lowered their window and simply stared at us, until one of us finally said where we were going, and they said the name of a place near there that they could drop us. Their car was already full of stuff but we squeezed in, our 10kg bags on top of us, with a small gap through which we could reach each other’s hands.
I definitely didn’t think today I’d perch on the edge of the world and contemplate my own death. Sit there, with my legs dangling over a weathered cliff giving thought to my immortality… But what else do you do in these situations? Luckily today wasn’t to be that day. I was very much alive, breathing, feeling, seeing and letting that salty air inflate my lungs. With a 100-metre drop into the sea, my heart beats a little faster and I am thrilled to be experiencing this place.
About 25 years ago, Dutch explorer Arita Baaijens quit her job, bought camels, wandered off into the desert alone and never looked back. “I wanted to disappear and experience the void,” she said. I’ve had a tiny taste of that delicious void. I walk alone a lot. I’ve walked alone through cities around the world. When I arrive in a new place, I ditch public transport and meander down streets, read in parks, turn down interesting alleyways on a whim.
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Published in the November 2015 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)