Tales From the Road: Pippa Marffy
Pippa Marffy is a Zimbabwean born New Zealander who now lives in London, but feels fully at home all over the world. She can be found wondering or wandering, always. Wondering where to eat, what to cook, read, wear or do. Wandering streets, gardens, cities, the world. Pip shares her travel secrets with us..
What are the three things you never travel without?
- My camera
- A notebook or pieces of paper and an ink pen (to scribble directions, names of places, inspiration etc)
- Snacks (must avoid getting hangry at all costs!)
What has been your most eye-opening travel experience?
I think probably Morocco. It was absolutely fascinating and I would love to go back someday soon. The people are so kind and so generous - even when they have so little. The culture is rich with tradition and I love that craftsmanship is still such a huge part of their being. Their baskets, rugs and market goods are beyond beautiful. Just one walk through the twisting, winding lanes of the Fez Medina is enough to alight your senses for eternity! Colours, sights, smells, sounds.. so magical.
What is it that you love about travelling? Have you noticed a change within yourself or do you see the world differently since you've been exploring it?
People and culture and the feeling of waking up in someplace new are the things I love most. There’s a quote by Bill Bryson that I love, and I think sums up the feeling pretty well… “I can't think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything.”
Food as well! I luuurve food!
I think that the more you travel, the better you become at being compassionate… well I feel like I have become better at it anyway, and I think that’s a good thing.
Was there a particular catalyst that pushed you towards a life of wandering, or have you always had itchy feet?
As a family we grew up going on lots of adventures - very lucky. So I think it definitely started from a young age. The major turning point I think would have been when I went on university exchange to London - it was my first time travelling on my own and doing what I wanted when I wanted. And as soon as I finished uni in NZ, I was back over to Europe. Even now, people say “Oh so you must have done most of Europe now”... I’ve been living in and around Europe for three years, and there is no way I have done it all! So much more to learn and see and try.
What's your favourite place you've ever travelled, and why?
Is this not the hardest question ever!? For me I think Africa - in particular southern Africa, it will always be a favourite place. I was born and grew up in Zimbabwe until I was ten, and as a family we’ve gone back every few years. There is just something about Africa.. You step off the plane and you can feel it and smell it. It’s the slower way of living, it’s the ‘not everything works and a lot of things are broken - but everyone is happy and everything is fine’. Sunset drinks whilst covered in dust and surrounded by the sounds of the bush, watching a larger-than-life fiery sun dip beneath the horizon. Favourite moments for sure.
Best piece of advice you would give to another traveller?
Take your time. Far too many people spend far too little time in each place. I know it’s hard with so little holiday leave but I really think you get more out of a place the longer you can stay in it.
Where to next?
I am home in New Zealand at the moment, so the next plane I’ll be boarding is back to the UK (where I currently live), but our next trip planned is for Sicily, Italy in early May. I simply cannot wait to be back in the land of pizza and pasta and over-excited Italian hand gestures!
To see more of Pip's adventures, check out @wander_pip