…when thoughts go their own way
Sitting here, on the top of this cliff, high above the Atlantic Ocean, at the end of this tiny island of Ngor, I am experiencing one of those rare moments, when it feels like life and the planet have stopped for a moment. All I hear around me is the incredibly loud sound of waves roaring underneath.
I have been away from home exploring life and this planet for three months…. Wow, I actually haven’t realised that – a few days ago it was exactly three months! The fact that I’m not paying attention to dates shows that even though I am in touch with my friends, family and the world out there by several means of communications, including being online probably a bit more than needed, still, despite all that I have managed to disconnect.
During those three months of exploring the world, I have come across many new experiences, people, events, moments… But this particular moment is a rare one. I wish I could write and express myself better, to be able to describe what it feels like being up here, right on this spot. No matter how loud my mind was this morning, no matter how many thoughts were playing games while running around in my mind, it seems that the constant roaring of the waves has silenced them all. It is far from quiet up here with the incessant rolling of the ocean beneath, but it actually feels SILENT. STILL. PEACEFUL.
In moments like these when the wind makes space in my mind, I am suddenly flushed with different kinds of thoughts… this time about travelling forever, about blogging and why we (I) do so, about taking photos and why we (I) do so…
Why do we have this urge to post photos on social media (not everyone does it, but still), why do we have this need to share our experiences with others by describing them, sharing our perspective, thoughts? I am reminded of the movie “Into the wild” and of the KEY finding of its main character, Christopher, while tramping throughout the United States and Alaska: “Happiness is about SHARING”.
Is this the reason why we write, take photos and share them? Or are there other reasons? Travelling forever? Being able to work remotely or earn one’s living in a way that allows you to travel for ever, to keep on moving, to have no home, but actually call this whole planet your home.
A few years ago I met an interesting guy who was living the life of a “nomadic hacker”, even giving up a permanent home for a few years. Short-term rented apartments via Airbnb, hostels and sofas of friends around the globe were his home. Home was wherever he would drop his computer and his backpack. He was spending a few months a year moving around Europe, while in the other months, when it got too cold in Europe, he would explore different parts of Asia.
One day, during his “wandering around the world” period, he sent me a link about someone who was travelling forever. I still remember opening that link with lots of scepticism, finding the idea odd, weird, way too much out of the box. I guess at that time I wasn’t yet at the right “frequency” 🙂
I would have probably forgotten all about this link, if it weren’t for my cousin who you have already met in my previous posts and who is a travelling “junky” (oops cousin, I just gave you a new nickname – I have no idea if you are even reading this post, as it is not really your cup of tea 🙂 ), and a friend, that amazing girl responsible for the existence of this blog, who is one of the most intelligent, creative and inspiring people I know. Both of them, at different times before and during my travels shared with me links to various blogs of travellers, who are making their travels possible by blogging, writing, taking photos and publishing them…
Since social media and our “dear friends”, the search engines, these days follow smart algorithms, as majority of you know, this means that the moment you start following or liking something, they start suggesting more of the same… As a result, I keep on being surrounded by posts of bloggers and travellers, whose lifestyle could be described as travelling-full-time, working-while-travelling or living-in-different-countries-for-awhile … To name just two of those: Goats on the Road and Tourist2townie.
You can probably already see where I am heading, right? Exactly, my mind started playing with a specific idea… Could I become one of those bloggers, could I adopt this lifestyle of being home everywhere, yet nowhere, moving around doing things I like, trying out activities I have always wanted to, in quantities that “normal” life from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, no matter how much vacation days a year we get, simply doesn’t allow to. Maybe I should not be so honest about these thoughts, since this is a public blog and my bosses could reading these lines :))) I actually count on the fact that this post will be too long to read for most of the people :)))) I know by now that 90 % of my followers just quickly check photos, and even those, mainly on Facebook 🙂
Anyway, some of you might say I should be happy with these three and a half months, or as one of my friends put it: “This trip of yours is already more than the majority of people will ever experience”. I fully agree, but still….
Why limit yourself, if it is not necessary? Why say “This was great, but I have ticked this off and let’s go back to being “normal” again”? Why settle for only this, if I am the living proof that if one wants to do something strong enough, one can do it?
There are still so many things that I would like to try and do… Full-time yoga training for a month or two, learning how to kite surf long enough to actually achieve a decent level (something, which the 8 days at the end of this trip will simply not be enough for), a longer volunteering experience, that will allow more concrete changes and not only “spice up” the lives of a few kids, a looong cycling trip with no concrete destination in mind and no agenda, no deadline ahead… travelling with a motorbike – because cruising the Phu Quoc island on that small scooter gave me an incredible feeling of freedom that I want to experience again some day, but not only for a day or two…
Do you know those old VW vans (called also Kombi or a Bulli or a VW hippie bus – depending on the region)? How cool would be to hit the road for six months with one of those (like Bus Junkies)? And then a few months more of intensive language classes, either Spanish from scratch or continuing with French…. There’s a girl in Guatemala that has been my protégée for years and maybe it’s time to meet her. And the list goes on and on.
But mainly, I would like to immerse myself into different cities and countries in a way that I have done here in Dakar, when I was no longer a tourist after a month, and definitely not an expat, still living in a comfort zone on the side lines, but more of a “townie”, as the Tourist2townie Gareth calls them. And most important, just simply move around with no pressure, no dates, no agenda, going with the flow, one thing at the time…
Could this be possible? If it is possible for so many travellers out there, could I do it as well? Would a one-year trial be enough to see if I could create a blog that would attract enough followers to be able to support my travelling lifestyle through advertising? Would some courses in creative writing bring my writing to a “sufficient” level? And most of all, would I one day have the courage to say good-bye to the comfort of a decently paid job, the nice and cosy environment of an international company, where even though the days are too often too stressful, in the end I enjoy working there and meeting new colleagues from all around the world? Would I be able to leave my friends behind? Even more, would I be able to leave everything behind for more then just three and a half months? Maybe for a year, to start with? To push the boundaries of my comfort zone even further and climb over them to somewhere I haven’t been before, even though I have lived out of my comfort zone quite often?
Yep, those kinds of thoughts are swirling around my head, taking on a more and more concrete shape, as I sit on this amazing spot. I am not the only one stirred by its incredible creative and inspiring energy – not surprisingly, many Senegalese artists have settled here.