Hello From The Sahara

Posted On 9 Oct 2018

Hello From The Sahara

9 Oct 2018
Hello From The Sahara

Our WHV competition winner Ella Crowley shares her experiences in Europe and beyond…

Anyone will tell you how invaluable travel is, how far it will stretch your mind and how much you will learn without even realising. It’s hands-on schooling that is ceaseless.

I’ve been travelling now since mid-July and it’s undoubtedly been the learning curve I’d expected. For that, I’m incredibly grateful. The mix of urban and natural landscapes I’ve passed through, the continuous exchange of culture and ideas, the long meandering transit periods that provide so much time to think… it’s all allowed space for self-inquiry and the opportunity to take a step back and reassess. For me personally, the timing is opportune; I begin university next year and I’m hoping to dive in with clarity and inspiration. This trip has offered up more inspiration than I could have dreamt. Clarity, on the other hand, ebbs and flows!

We began in Holland, riding bikes through the water lands and navigating the canals of Utrecht and Amsterdam. We then explored the lush Polish forest, hiked the most picturesque route through the mountains and rivers of Slovenia’s Triglav National Park and dipped into the abundant natural pools of Croatia before witnessing the dry plains of country Spain and the spectacular Portuguese coastline. Most recently, we’ve stayed in the peaks of Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains and in small agricultural Berber villages nestled in the valleys. We’ve learnt phrases in tens of languages, perfected the art of communicating in charades and shared and heard countless stories.

I’m writing this blog post from the Sahara Desert. We’re working on building a guesthouse for a nomadic Berber family that has settled at the desert’s gateway in Tagounite. It’s quiet out here and despite there being little to do but read or work on the house, days pass swiftly and flow into each other. The dunes are as foreign as a dry underwater world and the soft whistling of the wind mirrors the hum of the ocean floor. We watch lightning curl in on itself for lack of striking points and we hunt for fossils in grand expanses of rock. It is calming to feel so humbled by earth’s majesty and unyielding power.

I’m slowly beginning to itch to return to a routine and incorporate my learnings. The past couple months have been as bountiful in opportunities for self-development as London was generous in her practical learnings (especially for it being my first move out of home). But for now, I’m focusing on the day-to-day, simply striving to learn and enjoy.



A few photos from my travels…