Saturday, April 3, 2021

C is for a Cypriot honeymoon and other Coastal Curiosities #AtoZChallenge

"...expectations are like the wrapping that prevents us from seeing the gift. Once we've freed ourselves from them, the present offers itself to us in all its splendor."

-Quote borrowed from The Book of Ichigo Ichie

When I planned my honeymoon (using Fodor's Travel guide book) in 1994, I  jotted down every detail  in my diary. I was 23, he was 25 and we'd saved up for six months to afford our honeymoon in Cyprus.

Our ideas of what a honeymoon should look like matched perfectly, too.

He was thrilled to drive a 'foreign' car in a 'foreign land' on smooth, smooth roads which were free of traffic for the first time in his life. I was ecstatic to visit all the places I had underlined in pencil in my well thumbed Fodor's copy. 

He drove. I enjoyed the sights.

However, after visiting monastery number 2 on the 2nd day, he stood by the parked car, under an olive tree and told me clearly: "If there's anything unusual in there, describe it to me when you come out. I'll wait for you here."

The sky was cerulean blue and I didn't mind leaving him with his Subaru.

As a 23 year old, I couldn't bear to miss out on any 'sights'. Planning was crucial and following the planned itinerary was imperative for a successful holiday, honeymoon included. The holding of hands on beaches, stealing kisses at sunsets and the lazy mornings could be achieved at home, when we could do it all for free. We'd paid for this holiday and I was going to get the most out of it. Plus, his love for his rental Subaru helped a lot.

There are more photos of the car than of us in our honeymoon photo album. 

"The car isn't coming back with us." was his valid and logical justification when I asked him why.

I didn't know it then and I've only recently started realising that any kind of planning always comes with its insidious side-effect: expectation. And as soon as expectation appears on the horizon, joy tends to leave the party. Frustration and anger are never far behind when expectation is around. 

Of course, a lot of life's stuff needs to be planned but should our leisure time be bound to a time-table too? Can we give chance a chance when we're on holiday and let go of control?

Fast forward to 2019. 

Apart from picking the destination and a place to stay (sometimes that has been left to chance, too) I avoid planning my days when we are on holiday.

The internet helps with this laissez-faire attitude. We can be free because we are connected. Ironical, but true. 

And, surprisingly, the experiences we've enjoyed in open expanses of unplanned days have been beautiful and sometimes even surreal.

Early June, 2019: Day 1 of our much awaited trip to Cape Town dawned cloudy. Rain was predicted for the rest of the day.

We decided to drive up to the coast anyway. We couldn't walk in the downpour, but we could certainly drive. (Note: His love for driving on holiday continues to flourish. Yay!)

And keep our senses open to the magic that was unfolding all along the way. All we had to do was pay attention to the unplanned, un-orchestrated moments. Instead of disappointment (nothing was planned so nothing got disrupted) caging us indoors, our day (despite being wet, windy and cold) offered us many treasures I cherish even now as I look back at the photos and videos we took whenever the rain stopped or we did to breathe in the fresh coastal air.

Have you ever let the day unfold its mysterious magic onto you when you've travelled a long distance to see a new place? And has such an un-planned adventure made you smile? Leaving you with some remembrances of just such a day in June 2019.

The moody seascape was achingly romantic.
Clouds create fantasy:
shrouds and half-hidden doubts
add intrigue to any landscape.  


                                  Butterfly wings and other Curiosities we came across on the
coastal drive to Chapman's Peak,
South Africa in June 2019


On our way back we drove under this mountain ledge--how amazing is this!

Thank you for being here.
Tomorrow is Sunday, rest day.
See you with delightful 'D' on Monday.
Please keep safe and healthy.

If you'd like to tingle your taste buds with last year's 'C' post, then here's the link:

This year, I'm participating in #BlogchatterA2Z  powered by theblogchatter.com 

26 comments:

  1. I plan my holidays to the t..I have never really had the courage to just go and take it as it comes...maybe post covid I will try it..

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  2. Lovely place for a Honeymoon travel (plus holidays of course!). I agree, unplanned vacations are the best ;)
    Quilting Patchwork & Appliqué

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  3. I'm a planner when it comes to even stepping out of the house. Unplanned have their charm, but I like to plan the unplanned stuff (you know, have enough backup just in case). :)
    Beautiful pictures of the sky! Love them.

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    1. Thank you Srivalli.
      I've started enjoying the 'un-planned' days a lot more recently.

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  4. Capetown is heavenly. I still remember the beautiful drive around Chapman's Peak. At the end of the tight sight seeing trip, I went and sat in a public park next to the beach. Best moments. I am a total non planner, my husband is the itinerary maker. I am a believer in JOMO the Joy Of Missing Out on a few things while travelling. Lovely read.

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    1. Thank you so much for this lovely comment.
      I wish I could address you by name:)
      I love JOMO (new term for me but fits me to the tee). Cheers.

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  5. This must be nostalgic, pictures look lovely. All the best for AtoZ https://poojapriyamvada.blogspot.com/2021/04/chutzpah-newnormal-a2z.html

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  6. Joyful was this read, felt like watching a Time Lapse video in jiffy from 1994-2019.
    “And as soon as expectation appears on the horizon, joy tends to leave the party. Frustration and anger are never far behind when expectation is around.” ~ Accurately expressed.
    Ignorance is bliss as they say, when we knew little we experienced more unexpectedly and can I say were more adventurous too, as time passed by, certain comforts took over certain adventures. Our journey started as an unplanned adventure, now has become more planned! I choose the destination and he plans / researches. My favorite line to him always is, ‘ Having no expectations, is an expectation too!’

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    1. Very true Vidya.
      The Idea is to be free and let the day seize you rather than be in control. Just the thought of how meticulously my travel planning used to be, exhausts me now:)

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  7. Hari OM
    Oh yes, that 'expectation'... such a setter-upper for disappointment!!! I like to plan insofar as I research - I will research the heck out a place before I go there. Once there, other than, perhaps a map, I will not make plans. Just wake up, check the weather, pack accordingly then see what there is to find! Some of it will be what was researched, but a lot will be from interacting with the residents - shopkeepers, busdrivers, dogwalkers... YAM xx

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    1. Gosh! You are my travel twin Yamini. Ditto to all you've said. I love to research the places we plan to travel too.

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  8. I like everything planned. Because it's easier to tackle any surprises. But, on the spur of the moment, unplanned activities is where actually all the fun lies; of course, if everything goes well. Lovely photos.

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    1. I reckon if there is a term/state called 'prepared freedom' --then that's how I'd describe my current ethos-- be sensible about the essential planning and then let the un-planned seize you:)
      Thank you for stopping by Pradeep.

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  9. I think you've found the secret Arti, because you clearly have the most marvelous and intriguing adventures. Actual travel arrangements and possibly accommodations are as much planning as I need.

    The car being the star of your honeymoon photos makes me laugh.

    Such gorgeous photos. And that mountain ledge "road roof" is incredible.

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    1. That 'road roof' was truly magical Deborah. As long as it lasted, I was in Middle Earth:)

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  10. I have had unplanned adventures that have brought unexpected delights but I haven't been able to fully embrace the unplanned vacation. I went to New York City about ten years ago without a plan and nothing worked out - we'd arrive some place as it was closing, or just miss an event by a few minutes. We ended up seeing very little other than the Nintendo store. Not my idea of a successful vacation. Since then, I've actually stepped up the planning - however, within that plan I do try to leave time to let things just unfold but at least I have tickets for that boat ride, or arrive to the museum on a day that it's open. It's a good compromise (at least for me). Maybe someday I'll plan a less structured vacation, but I'm not quite there yet. Glad you have found a travel style that works for you and that your husband still likes to drive. Mine does too - and it works out great.Weekends In Maine

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    1. I hear you Karen. This un-planned state of travel is recent and has everything to do with the fact that as I've grown more patient, our children have become adults too. So, the holidays are more or less a 'couple' affair again. This makes it easier to go where the mood/day decides.
      Happy to read your husband likes to drive too. Lucky us--we get to enjoy the views:)

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  11. What a beautiful transitioning story from honeymoon to silver jubilee. A picture of that Subaru would have been good ;). I am lucky in case of traveling where my husband takes care of every tiniest detail. While he would know everything about the place, I would keep it as a surprise for myself to go and explore the place as I arrive. I let things unfold at their own pace....that is fun for me but probably because I am rest assured that everything is taken care.

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    1. Yes, after reading some of the comments, I did think I that Subaru would've liked to be featured here--maybe, another post this month...
      You're lucky to enjoy the 'planned' surprises:)
      Thank you for stopping by. Hugs. xx

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  12. Gorgeous photos! :)
    I am a meticulous travel planner. My husband is the opposite. I like it that he convinces me to just relax and wander and see what we can find. It helps my anxiety tremendously :D

    The Multicolored Diary

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    1. Thank you.
      Looks like your husband and you benefit from each others qualities. Good planning plus relaxed explorations -- perfect formula for happy holidays:)

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  13. Wow Arti such a lovely piece... The description the narrative the pics... Felt like soaking in every word you wrote there. It also reminded me of many of our planned unplanned trips... Yes unplanned trips do have a charm of their own. Just like you for a very long time even I used to plan and plant to the last bit so that I ticked everything in my list in that place of vacation... But now, with time I plan less and I also plan to include some leisure and day off for unplanned stuff. But I am yet to try a completely unplanned long trip... Short trips I have tried and enjoyed thoroughly... It's the long ones that I am still wary of going unplanned!

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  14. So very true....let the journey be the unforgottable experience rather than hurrying to the destination to tick a box! We have come across such hidden gems just walking aimlessly through the lanes and backstreets in unknown cities.....they have made those travels so much more memorable

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