6 AM and I awake to the sound of the horn of the Volkswagen Kombi and voices calling my name. Still groggy, I open the window, rub my eyes and feel bright sunlight on my face. I'm unbrushed, still tired, trying to understand what is happening, and my two best friends seem excited and tell me to pack my bags, we're going on a road trip.
I still don't understand what is happening, and I pull back my hair to ask "What?" They repeat, "Move it, quickly, pack a bag and let's travel." As I'm on vacation, I laugh awkwardly, and pack a bag so quickly I didn't even know it was possible with such speed.
I put on my black pants, sandals, a crop top and go downstairs to meet them, with my hair tied back. They ask for my bicycle, and I say it's in the garage, they enter with my keys, get it and hoist it into the Kombi. I just let the situation run and even smile uneasily and embrace the randomness of that sunny Monday morning.
On the radio, a post-punk Russian song plays and I find it agreeable and feel the urge to dance. "Where are we going? I ask. "To the next city, and then the next, and so on," is all the information I can get. I just nod and allow destiny to lead without so much as questioning what is happening: after all, I'm with people I trust, so I will lay myself open to the events of life.
The mapless drive out was fun and we talked about so much randomness that it wouldn't all fit in a travel log. In the first city, we saw all the tourist sites, we took photographs, we tried the local cuisine, and we stayed there for three days. Now in the second city, we took advantage of the night life and danced like there was no tomorrow: also we were too connected in the present to think about the future.
In the third city, I had a headache and took tea and natural beverages to relieve the pain: I love these things. I got better and we rode our bikes. There was a river there and we dove in, fully dressed. Life was intense and present and nothing more was needed to be there.
In the fourth city, we swam in the ocean at night and saw a local band that let me sing out of key during their performance. Maybe there exists a recording of the moment, or maybe not: our only objective was to be there in entirety, and we fulfilled it with perfection.
In the fifth city, we joined a funeral march of a person we did not know and I wrote a text about the finality of life. We cried for the loss of that unknown person who must have been someone's love and seemed so beloved in that city.
After we cried for the sorrows of that unknown person (all emotions are valid), we decided it was time to return. And we went back. We stopped along the way only for lunch, dinner, and to take baths at bus stations. I felt a mixture of calmness, tiredness, and euphoria.
I was alive. How good it is to be alive.
I returned home with tired and happy eyes. I hugged and said goodbye to my friends, as if that moment was unique – because it was. I took a hot bath, then I lay in my bed and slept thinking how many more undiscovered pleasures there are in the world. How many experiences await to be lived. Life doesn't need to hurt all of the time.
Morganna Lôbo is 23 years old and lives in Salvador, Bahia, Brasil. She is an Arts and Theatre teacher. She graduated in Portuguese Literature and is studying for her certificate of Theatre. She has been writing ever since she can remember. She published the book “no caos da minha mente” (in the chaos of my mind) and has had poems published in various anthologies in Brazil. She won the "favela revela" (the favela revels) Prize and 3rd place in the "Literatodxs" (Literature for Absolutely Everyone, inclusivity) Prize. She lectures at schools talking about Literature and its relevance. She also works with performance and theater and believes in the importance of the Arts to change the world and to know oneself. "Freedom is Our Flag." Image provided by author.