The picturesque island of Capri (off the coast of Naples, Italy) has no competitor. The island is small, but its cerulean waters, nectar-sweet limoncello, and natural wonders are unmatched in Europe.
When I came to Capri, it was part of an Amalfi Coast trip that I had taken with my friends. This was to be the best decision we made all summer, and one that I will be thankful for and laugh about for many years.
Yes, someone always had to have pressure on them as the navigator of public transit or local deals; like when a taxi driver lied and told us the trains were on strike (for once they weren’t), and said he would drive us wherever we needed for a set price. Turns out, he hadn’t expected our destination to be so far, and we were the ones who got the great deal in the end, not to mention door-to-door service.
So when we finally made our way to the boat that took us to Capri from Sorrento, we were relieved to be headed in the right direction, but unsure of what to do when we got there. We were then handed a flier promising boat rentals for up to nine people (we had nine people in our group) for a couple of hours for around twenty Euros each. We thought we would check it out when we got there, because with the off chance that it was true, it would be an awesome experience.
There was no catch after all, and after being handed an ice chest, a map of the island with a verbal warning to stay away from the cliffs, and a five-minute driving tutorial, we were off. There was no driver or course or direction that we needed to follow, just nine of us making it up as we went, waving to the other boats passing by and laughing at invitations from old men to come onto their yacht and drink whiskey.
We got to see the incredible sights such as the Blue Grotto, with its iridescent, almost eerily radioactive-looking blue waters, but perhaps the most memorable part for me was sitting on the boat with my friends and laughing as we bumped over the waves, knowing that I had found the perfect travel buddies—ones that aren’t afraid to try something new or ask the locals what the real deal was, while also having a great time and not worrying about being sandy, sunburnt, or late.
I am definitely not the only one of my friends to think this, but even better than the Blue Grotto was our experience at the Green Grotto. We anchored our boat, hoping that it wouldn’t drift away as we all jumped off and swam through the less crowded, quiet grotto of clear and green water. There was something about just deciding on a whim to stop and check out the stop that made this one of the most surreal experiences of my travels.
I truly believe that experiences that come by chance are the most valuable ones. If I were younger or older, I might have to travel with people I would need to be accountable to, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but I would have never been able to travel as spontaneously as I did. Taking initiative from those small nudges while traveling always produces surprises that will stay with you forever.
Article written by AJ Kiyoizumi.