Just Another Beach

I have tons of beach photos in my digital albums, but I’m always able to tell which combination of sand + waves + blue sky is from which place.

This one is from Cape Verde, and to be more precise, from the island of Sal.

Trying to capture the essence of a wave. Sal, Cape Verde (2008)

I was lucky enough to spend a few days lounging about on this windy, but pretty, beach. Besides the beach, an assortment of desserts being served throughout the day acted as my only distraction, really… the only reason to sometimes stroll back to the all-inclusive hotel where I’d left my belongings in a room with a hairy spider in the closet safe.

Not only did I get to travel to Cape Verde for free, I was actually paid to go there! This was, obviously, back in my flight attendant days.

At the time, I’d been listening to a lot of Cesária Évora, so I was thrilled to find out I was visiting her home country. Cape Verde also used to have a pirate history. And that’s about all I knew of the place when I landed there.

I barely had any cash on me when traveling to Sal (which was, after all, in Africa!) because my employer was paying for everything – and I hadn’t had time to pick up any euros or US dollars with my hectic flight schedule preceding the trip. 24 hours before Cape Verde, I had spent the day in Copenhagen, Denmark, visiting the Tivoli amusement park with my colleague while we waited for our services to be needed. Just before that, I’d been to Thailand. Before that, I don’t even remember. It was a bizarre thought to not have any money on me, but luckily I didn’t really need any.

Tivoli in Copenhagen, Denmark

Many years later (i.e. quite recently), I read from Indah’s blog about all the amazing underwater life I could have seen while visiting Cape Verde. But it’s just as well that I didn’t know about it, because flight attendants aren’t allowed to dive on their layovers anyway: the pressure changes could be dangerous when you’re about to fly again. And during the layover you’re technically on standby. It was too wavy for snorkeling.

If I’d been there privately, and not for work, I would have done a short trip to Senegal. Travel agencies arranged them and it would have been interesting. As it was, I stayed on Sal for several days, close to a week if my memory serves me, and just hung around. Sal was basically an island of sand, with dunes stacked up high by the wind.

Sal, Cape Verde

Every trip is different. Even if you don’t see everything imaginable that the place has to offer, you always pick up something to treasure afterwards. I remember standing on that beach, snapping away with my camera to get an interesting picture of the waves. I didn’t quite get the photo I was looking for, but what I did get was my photo. My memories.

Besides, how many people can say they traveled to another continent without bringing any cash?

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39 responses to “Just Another Beach

  1. Hehe, excellent. See, you’ve been spoilt. Once you’ve change jobs, cashless continent hopping came to an end and you think what you had was the norm! 😉 My, what a job that was too: trying to take your photo while on a beach and on call to fly to another destination. No wonder you’re missing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not missing being a flight attendant, actually. There’s a time and place for everything and that time passed already. It’s the travel industry in general that I miss, because of the like-minded people working there, being absorbed in travel thoughts all day… and obviously the discounts 🙂

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  2. What an enjoyable read! I like to hear of your flight attendant days, it was my dream job once. But I just never grew tall enough 😉 I have never been overseas without cash but once I went to Lapland and left all my underwear at home!!! This resulted in having to shop at the small local grocery store and all they had was what one might call granny underwear. 😂😂

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  3. How lucky to be able to sample the place for free! I think I always had the impression that flight attendants never really got to see the places they flew to because of the hectic schedules. I’ve never been anywhere without cash but my mother once forgot my entire case. Luckily, I was only three so was able to get away with running around in my vest until her friends joined us a week later and brought it!

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  4. I was just watching a programme on TV last night about Tivoli. It looked like a lovely place to visit. Gorgeous beach photo. I can’t imagine travelling without any money, but i guess as a flight attendant, everything you really needed was provided.

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  5. I always enjoy reading your posts.
    The photo you snapped of the waves looks just perfect to me even though it wasn’t what you exactly wanted! Cape Verde, what an exotic destination 🙂 I cannot imagine being in three different continents within a week?! But that must have been normal to you as a flight attendant back then 🙂

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  6. Funny, whenever I’m browsing through photos I am also taken back to wonders of the time that travels have brought me. It’s amazing, It’s like you feel the winds once again in your face, blowing your hair, you feel the fine sand against your feet,and the smell of the ocean…and the things you wished you had done in that place…memories indeed.
    Lovin’ the approach you do with nostalgic writing. These photos are perfect for any postcards. Would be great to print them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your kind words! Most of my old photos’ resolution isn’t that great – good enough for online purposes but not good enough for print. It kind of bugs me, though I wouldn’t be printing anything anyway….it bugs me in a perfectionist sense, I guess. Oh yes, I’ve noticed that nostalgia really is my thing, my way to get inspired to write! And anyway, it’s the whole point of this blog 😄

      Like

  7. Great wave shot actually!! Plus you got the rocks in the background that the natives refer to as the lion that watches over the island – when you get closer it looks like the head and body of a sitting male lion!

    Liked by 1 person

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