It happened one morning just after sunrise. The beach was entirely silent, all but for the slowly rising tide and the birds flying above us. We were huddled together in the brisk morning, still in awe from the break of dawn. We locked eyes and broke into hysterical laughter having suddenly realized that we had spent the entire night sitting by the shore talking crap and dreaming big. It was that morning that we both recognized the amazing potential between us. We gathered our things and began walking back into town, shoes in hand.
Later that day, we joined a group of friends on a tour to the west coast of the Algarve where we spent the afternoon on the edge of the world. For those travelers on a quest to find the most beautiful scenery our world has to offer, I must recommend this coastal drive. Sagres Point is located on the southwest tip of Portugal in the Algarve region. You can find an absolutely breathtaking view from the lighthouse located at Cape St. Vincent, just next to the town of Sagres. Quite literally, this coastal line is where the world was once thought to end – back when the world was flat. I could believe it, too, if I didn’t know any better. Standing on this 75-meter-high cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, it was hard to believe there was anything else out there. Joe and I strayed from the group and took a seat on the edge. Staring down at the waves crashing into the rocks below was such an awakening moment. There was something magical about staring out at a nearly 360º panoramic view of nothing but the ocean’s horizon. I was suddenly struck with the realization of just how unfathomably huge the universe is compared to us; we were two tiny specs of dust sitting on the edge of the Earth, and it was beautiful.
We talked about what an accomplishment it would be to see the entire world, to spend your life wandering down all the unmarked dirt roads. Together we could find peaceful isolation in both the outskirts and the very depths of the world’s wonders. I told him about my dream of moving to a remote island in the French Polynesians to open an intimate hotel and he agreed it would be a wonderful adventure. We had talked about our idealistic dreams of living off-grid many times before, but the next morning the idea really came to life. We were discussing our separate travel plans; how he was planning to spend the summer in Europe before moving to western Canada, and I was meant to be working in Greece until heading home to continue my studies in September. I was absolutely dreading going back to reality. We were caught in this fantasyland of simple living and the van life movement.
“What if we just did it?”
We threw our plans out the window and went for it. We committed to each other entirely and agreed to give it our all. People so often dream of things they think are “unrealistic” but the tragedy of that is that it’s really quite a simple step to take, you just have to do it, dive in, embrace your wildest ideas and make them your reality. Squeeze every last drop of beauty out of the world and bask in it while you can.