“I love you like this.”
“Inspired. Alive. YOU. It’s awesome.”
My man was right. Ever since we’d come around that treacherous Amalfi Coast bend to Positano (if you’ve ever visited, you’ll know what I’m talking about – let’s just say HAIRY is a pretty apt description) and I’d caught a glimpse of the glittering seas below, I’d felt myself slipping back into my body. I could feel the energy. The spark was… sparking. The switch: back on, bay-beh.
Before we left for the trip, I’d been feeling a little jagged. There had been some delayed emotions around leaving the corporate world – not in the sense of missing the work, more in the sense of diving straight into my biz without time to recalibrate, and going at it hammer-and-tong – and it was most definitely time to “chill my balls*” as my beautiful (funny) friend Mel would say.
In Positano, I felt my cells expand again.
I’ve written in my journal from the day Ramai declared I was “back:”
I feel like today was the massive mental shift I’ve been waiting for. The tap has been turned back on. The inspiration is flowing. I can feel with every fibre of my being – not just my head that thinks I should feel inspired 24/7, 365, but ALL layers of me – that I’m ready to:
Shine brighter. Recognise, then release what doesn’t work for me. Make an effort, style-wise – there doesn’t need to be an occasion for dressing up. Do it for me, purely ’cause it feels good. Set audacious, big-ass goals. Write. Write. Write. Get my butt out of retreat mode and reconnect. Be in the world. Move more throughout the day – walk outside. Breathe in. Do that often. Read fiction to lose myself in stories, for fun. Embrace adventure and weird stuff. Love every minute of it.
I credit Positano and its 1000’s of steps, turquoise waters and gorgeous, chilled vibe for reigniting that flame o’ inspiration in me.
Read all about it below.
* FYI, I don’t have balls. Ha!
Colour. Positano: you’re doin’ it right. From the over-sized lemons (the region proudly champions its Limoncello), the pastel hotels carved into the hillside, the flowers and the looks-Photoshopped-in-real-life ocean, there’s no denying this town is a spectacular place to snap a few gazillion photos. It looks different every day.
I think John Steinbeck said it best in the 50’s when he described Positano as “a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone”. I wholeheartedly agree with that. She’s a total charmer, and I know we’ll be back.
A few recs for you from this time ’round:
We stayed at Palazzo Marzoli, which was a fab boutique-y hotel, and given it was quite high up, had awesome views (awesome views = lots of stairs to walk, so take note if you’re looking for somewhere to stay and you’re not a fan of steep steps. Seriously though, your butt will thank you!)
On the eating front, our best find was the gorgeous cafe Casa e Bottega. I’d been craving a smoothie and a salad and this place delivered, not only with great food but with stunning decor and super-friendly owners. Oh… and I can’t go past mentioning the gluten-free choc mud cake. Divine.
We also had a lovely dinner at Ristorante Mediterraneo where the gregariousness we hadn’t come across in (who we found to be) the more reserved Romans was ever-present.
The place was pumping and the manager brought Prosecco to our table as we arrived and bid us farewell with a shot of Limoncello. A lively muso belted out Italian love songs as we ate, the atmosphere was light ‘n’ right, and we spent most of our dinner laughing with (and… kinda, at) the ultra-tanned, super-OTT Candy and Bruce from Texas who were celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. Bruce looked like he was straight out of Miami Vice and Candy, Studio 54. Picture it. Yesssss.
Delicious food and bold colours aside, our favourite part of the stay in Positano was definitely walking The Path of the Gods.
We decided to catch the bus to Praiano to start our walk because we wanted to finish back in Positano, and once we were on the track, we knew we’d made the right choice as the views facing back towards town were seriously incredible.
The Path of the Gods hike is BREATHTAKING for two reasons:
(1) The jaw-dropping views.
(2) It’s straight up. Stairs, a vertical path. You will puff in parts. You will get high in ze sky.
This ancient pathway dates back to the Middle Ages and was used by mules to transport goods between villages. Halfway up you’ll find yourself at the abandoned 16th century Convent of St Domenico, where the caretaker supplies fresh lemonade and you take a breather. Continuing on towards Positano, you’re literally ‘in the clouds’ as the mist zooms quickly up the side of the mountain from the valley below.
You actually can’t capture this kind of magic on camera. None of the shots you see above and below do it justice, so if you go to the Amalfi Coast, I highly recommend taking a day out to do it. You won’t be disappointed.
On the way home, we were meant to stop at Nocelle and get a bus back to Positano, but somehow missed the sign which meant descending 1700+ steps, and another hour walk around the sides of the bendy road (there is barely enough room for cars, and no such thing as a “pedestrian lane”)
We arrived at the hotel tired and hot, but deliriously happy.
As I lay in bed that night, somewhere in the abyss between fully present and dreaming deep, I kept feeling myself walking the trail. I was up very, very high and everything was magnified. Huge. Much bigger than reality actually, a ginormous expanse. It was not dissimilar to that feeling you get when you’ve been at a theme park riding rollercoasters all day, and when you get home and you’re lying in bed, you feel like you’re still on that rollercoaster (know what I mean?)
Freaking loved it. There’s just something about mountains.
We caught a bus to Sorrento on day four. Here’s how it went, in short form.
Lemons on steroids.
Lots to see with no shortage of shops to pick up a a kitschy souvenir (or a designer something).
Loads of Aussies.
It was raining the day we went, so hard to make a fair comparison but I think would be the perfect place to base yourself if you wanted to “be more in the action” but we thought Positano was the more picturesque of the two.
For those that have visited, what do you think?
I’d been wanting to try stand-up paddleboarding for ages.
“Experienced?” the lady from the hire company asked with an arched eyebrow.
“Oh yeah. Yep. Totally,” we both nodded, although, in truth, I’d never attempted SUP before and Ramai had only given it a crack once (granted, he surfs) but on the scale of ‘challenging activities’ it ranked pretty far down the list. Piece of cake, no?
Uh, yeah. We found out why she asked when we got down to shore. Massive. Dumping. Sucky. Shorey-wave. And choppy seas. FUN!
The first humourous thing: trying to get out into the water without being chewed up and spat out by the shorebreak. Look natural, Rach. Just glide into it ever-so-casually… Errr.
The second humourous thing: trying to, y’know, stand up (we gave up eventually and perfected the art of “sit down/ knee-boarding-with-a-paddle” instead because the water was too freaking cold to fall in to time and time again).
Last (and least) humourous thing: getting back to shore while 5 local surfy looking dudes watched the ‘experienced’ Aussies wrangle massive stand-up boards, paddles and that hideous dumping wave with aplomb. Or not. Grateful my bikini top didn’t go flying off and hit one of them in the face, just to add to the hilarity of the whole experience.
Dolce Far Neinte. The sweetness of doing nothing.
One day, I spent from early morning to night reading (two) books in bed (when I’m onto a good thing, there’s no stopping me). Another I sat silently watching the marching band from the balcony, and that night, marvelling at fireworks with a wine in my hand and my man by my side.
When you’ve been living from to-do list to to-do list, there is something so extraordinary about slowing down the pace and practicing the ‘sweetness of doing nothing.’
Thank you Positano for reminding me how powerful that can be.
There you have it! And now it’s your turn – have you been to the Amalfi Coast/ Positano? Thoughts, experiences, fun times? Share below!