SCAURI & THE END OF EUROPE

Thinking back to our time in Scauri feels like I’m remembering scenes from my favourite Italian film. For those short four days we were living in a dream. What led us to this small forgotten dot on the map? Not much really, we saw an airbnb apartment in a tiny costal town within our price range and it seemed a good distance between Naples and Rome. These were our four final days in Europe before embarking on a new chapter, and what better way to spend it then completely off the grid in the Italian coastal town Scauri, soaking in the sunshine and swimming in the sea? Plus the description (written entirely in Italian, does it get more authentic than that?!) mentioned there were two bikes! We were sold.

Little did we know we were in for something even better than our wildest hopes.

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The train ride weaved its way through green fields and mountainous terrain, after our short stay in Naples we were excited to be saying goodbye to the city life again and welcoming the quietness of the countryside. Agnese (our host) and her partner met us at the station and drove us to the house. It was such a warm gesture, they gave us a quick tour of the town and showed us the secluded beach right at the end of the street. My impression of the sleepy little town was that it was slightly deserted and especially peaceful. After briefly showing us the apartment, the two bikes in the courtyard and letting us know to pick and eat as many grapes from the vine as we would like (oh my gosh!), they left us to settle in and discover our new surroundings. The house was two levels and the bottom led to the grapevine covered courtyard. Upstairs there was a simple lounge/kitchen that Agnese had kindly stocked with sweet pastries, condiments, bread, eggs, cheese, deli meets, milk and juice! The lounge opened up to the balcony, with a washing line and spectacular views over the quaint town and mountains in the distance. The bedroom was cosy and welcoming, and the bathroom equip with a washing machine. It had everything we could ever need, it was perfect. With the windows open the breeze softly filtered through with the sweet smell of salt from the nearby ocean. My words just can’t do justice to how magical this place was. I’m not entirely sure my pictures can this time either.

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The next three days we settled into a routine. Grab the bikes and ride down the quiet country road until we reached the secluded bay. Spend hours exploring, lying in the sunshine and soaking in the crystal waters to the sounds of waves breaking and wind blowing in the forest above. Ride back to the house with salty skin and sleepy bodies, pick huge handfuls of grapes (the most delicious I’ve ever eaten…) from the over flowing vine in the backyard and lie on the couch eating them with the soft breeze filtering through the window. An evening stroll into town to buy wholesome Italian ingredients, stopping to pat and talk to the neighbourhood bin cats. We cooked simple dinners of fresh pasta and stuffed our faces with pastries for dessert.

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One evening we explored further into town. Stumbling upon locals eating ice cream on the main beach front, a market place closing up for the day, abandoned cottages crumbling in the evening sun and ripening olives growing road-side in abundance. It was both fruitful and slightly decaying, it was completely and utterly authentic, not a tourist-y thing in sight. I finally felt like I was living with the locals.

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On our final evening it was bitter sweet. We were to travel to Rome the next day, where we would make our way to the airport and board a flight to Malaysia. Signalling the end of our time in Europe, the start of our Asian journey and ultimately the beginning of the end. In a sense, we knew travelling towards Asian meant we were on the way home. We didn’t have a date planned to land home exactly, but we would be on the other side of this Earth, a side much closer to where we started.

I set out that evening for a walk in the fresh air to clear my thoughts. I felt both sad, nervous and excited. I walked through the village, over hills and through fields until I found myself at the ocean. I slipped my feet in the cool waters, watched the waves crash to my knee’s and shed a few happy tears.

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I was the strongest person I knew in that moment. I had never been more proud of myself. I had done what I had promised myself at sixteen, despite anxiety, despite money, despite many peoples judgement. Here we were experiencing life freely, honestly, simply, incredibly. Here we were nine months into the biggest thing we had done in our short but meaningful lives and we were about to close the door on one chapter and start an entirely new one. A new culture, country, climate. We had spent nine months in Europe, and they were the best nine months of my life. But we were ready for a new adventure, and with my feet in the ocean, I let go and said my final goodbye.

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3 Comments

  1. Reply

    Gemma

    10/08/2016

    It’s always so soothing reading your thoughts/ experiences be it on your blog or instagram. I feel as if your perspective on life, or at least the one you let online has a real feeling of being content. Something that so many strive for perhaps without realising it. And be it true for you or not, your words speak of eyes that have witnessed the world in a very honest way. I don’t know what I’m trying to say, but thanks for your posts! Keep writing and I’ll keep reading.

    • Reply

      Claire Alice Young

      12/08/2016

      Hi Gemma,

      Thank you for writing such a heartfelt and honest comment, it’s really hit a chord with me. To know that you feel something from my writing really means a lot. I try to be as honest and truthful as I can through these platforms and if you’ve been feeling a little of that I guess it means I’m not doing such a bad job!

      I haven’t always seen the world so clearly. I think the events in my life over the past five years (and especially during our travels), really changed my perspective and especially helped me to see what I want from my own life. I think most of us are just on a journey chasing happiness, and I’ve realised that sometimes I was getting to caught up in that chase… when in reality happiness can be everywhere if you lower your expectations and pressure on yourself. I’m definitely having days of wonderful contentment, I’m loving life more than I ever have right now. But thats not to say there aren’t sad and unhappy days too.
      The most important thing I’ve learnt so far is that no life can ever be perfect, even people with endless money, a supportive family, all the comforts they could dream of… still find themselves wanting for more. Eliminate that desire and constant ‘want’ and then it opens our lives to the happiness that we already have in our reach. Sorry for the rant! Just feeling very open on this crazy life journey at the moment, and wanting to share these discoveries with beautiful people like yourself <3 <3 I just had a chance to look at your website and your work is beautiful! Such honest and raw portraits! xx

      • Reply

        Gemma

        16/08/2016

        That all dawns so true to me! My thoughts are currently a mixed response between your reply and your latest blogpost – When people always ask “What have you been up to?!” I feel slightly ashamed to say that between work I simply clean, bake, attempt to garden, flourish my house into a home, and love those weekends at the produce market. But that slower lifestyle is a form of happiness, as long as you allow yourself to believe that. Being a ‘homebody’ as you call it is the perfect description, and whilst it doesn’t seem fancy and sparkly, it is an incredibly stabilising comfort.
        I definitely used to strive for the stars, and not to say goal setting and dreams aren’t important, but to get caught up in that race to reach the ‘end’ is a whirlwind stumble. Even though it’s brilliant along the way, it takes it toll on the body and mind. And only recently have I slowed down to enjoy the scenery that I pass by. Your most recent post of living in Melbourne is so utterly incredibly normal and everyday. And for that reason I love it. I resonate with it.
        I’ll stop spilling my experiences on your blog post now haha. And once you read this, I hope you enjoy the rest of your day or night! x
        (Also thank you for the photo comment!)

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