Travelling, a journey where you have no past and no future. People can only judge you based on who you are in that moment of time. One step after another you continue, following the road of past, present and future. The only thing you carry along is a head filled with ideas, dreams and thoughts, a bag filled with way too much luggage and a motorbike being your white horse, or to be honest, nearly 11 white horses with its 125cc. One event following the other, throwing you off balance and helping you back up again. One life-changing event after another. It is quite funny to realize how few we know about the world we live in. We grow up with this fixed idea of how things are and should be, well, all I can tell you is, we are wrong! Nothing is as one thinks it should be. Every country has its own meaning of is and should. What should you eat for breakfast? How should you dress? What should you do? What shouldn’t you do? Small things we never think about, but that can hit you hard when travelling. It can be hard, it can be difficult to figure out and small things can be challenging, but it so beautifully highlights the relativity of life. Maybe it is the discussion of nature and nurture, maybe it is the discussion of culture, maybe it is the discussion of ethics or maybe it is all these complex topics coming together. For sure it is a realization, a way to question yourself and the choices we make in life. We all grow up in a certain society expecting certain things of us. Whether we like it or not, there is always a right or wrong according to society and people tend to judge based on what they think is correct, or at least what they have been taught to be the truth. Don’t take this the wrong way, I am no different! I suppose, whether we like it or not, we all judge in one way or another, but this realization of the relativity of such judgement helps to question yourself in what you are doing.
I have been on the road for nearly 6 months now and to be truthful, every day more questions awaken inside of me. When you think you start to understand life in one country to a certain degree you move on to the next and enter yet another society with different values, norms and habits. Every place we have been so far has its beautiful side, its annoying side and its wonders. Belgium has many beautiful old city centres, India has the most amazing food, Nepal the kindest people, Vietnam the most beautiful islands dotted along its shore and Laos the most fun dirt roads to discover by motorbike. On the downside, in Belgium people tend to be quite individualistic, India can make life rather difficult for women, Nepal has crazily expensive entry tickets for national parks, Vietnam mainly offers ”pho bo” (noodle soup with beef) to eat and in Laos we were threatened with a machete for getting back what was ours. What an accumulation of events! What a rich life! Of course, these are all personal experiences which in no way are representative for the whole of a country, but I am happy with every single one of them, good and bad. Certain events we call negative experiences and it easy to put all the blame on somebody else, but if we use such opportunity to reflect on our own behaviour and learn from it, it may just be that it isn’t all negative. A personal example is my overreaction to injustice, inflicted on both me and others. It is as if a raging fire starts burning inside of me, my eyes light up and all my muscles tighten as if ready for a fight, or rather, ready for any kind of fight. Sadly, such inner aggression splashing out of every piece of me more often than not simply makes things worse. I easily ruin half a day being angry with the world, I easily get into deeper trouble and without me wanting it, I seem angry with those closest to me. Summarized, it may be unjust, but the way I react to it doesn’t help a dime. I am still not able to fully control my anger in such situations, but I realize it, shut up and leave the talking to somebody else till I calm down a little. It is a first step ready to be followed by another one. Maybe the person trying to cheat me is in way greater need of every penny than I am, maybe the person is hopeless and doesn’t know another way to solve the situation or maybe it is just a greedy, aggressive idiot, but it doesn’t really matter. The only thing I know for sure is that I am the one giving that person power over me. Power he doesn’t deserve. Power to ruin my day and to take the smile off my face. Power that is mine and that I refuse to surrender. Maybe this simply confirms that life is what you make it. Good or bad. Simple or complex. Happy or sad. Some people get luckier than others, no way of denying that, but it aren’t always the people who have been hit the hardest who are most sad. Maybe I should simply end this whirlwind of thoughts with the following: Life is a curious sequence of events, take along what you can, grab every opportunity with both hands to discover, learn and question and don’t be afraid to dream up your own path through space and time.