Every time I venture over to Rachel’s place, I make sure to curl up comfortably with a piping hot mug of tea and I just… lose myself in her writing and travels for a bit. Her blog boasts beautiful photographs of her globe-trotting adventures, witty descriptions of off-the-beaten-path places she has visited, restaurants she’s dined in, and mouth-watering regional recipes she recreates in her own kitchen. If you don’t follow her already, do so immediately. I am so very much looking forward to meeting this beautiful blogger over the weekend when her travels bring her to the Big Apple! Find her on Twitter here:
(If you would like to be featured in the “Finding Love” series, please email me at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you!)
We huddled against the side of the hill, playing backgammon on a tiny travel set, using the groundsheet from our tent to shelter us – and the game – from the winds. Beside us on the slope, our bikes lay on the ground, panniers heavily laden with food and clothes and sleeping bags. We’d have to get back in the saddle soon enough, but I was praying the wind might drop a little while we rested.
We’d just started to hit the mountains of the north, cycling and camping around Iceland, just over a week into a six-week trip. A trip which was, by one reckoning, our first date.
Not that we hadn’t had other dates beforehand. In fact, by the time we hauled our bicycles to Heathrow and onto the British Airways flight to Reykjavik, we were living together, renting a semi in a lovely quiet village. But at the very beginning, before we realised what was to come, it all sort of started with a telephone conversation that went something like this:
Andy: Have you ever been to Iceland?
Me: No, why?
Andy: There’s a road that goes right around the outside, I was thinking of cycling around it.
Me: Careful what you say – I’m the sort of person who might invite myself on a trip like that.
Andy: You could…
And that had been that, more or less. It was the next summer, after I finished my final exams, before we actually managed to get there. Other dates came and went, I moved across to Gloucestershire, but I was still waiting for that first date to finally materialise.
So there we were, sheltering against the side of a mountain. Not many people would suggest an adventure like this one, not many would agree to go on the trip, and I guess even fewer would decide that the best thing to do in a minor gale was to curl up on the ground and play backgammon. We knew this was how things were meant to be. And besides, if you can live together in a two-man tent for six weeks without wanting to kill each other, that’s a pretty good start.