About travelling

I happened to read a blog post about travelling by an old good friend of mine. She left an incredibly tough question in the end of the page; ‘What does travelling mean to you?’

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When I lived close to Paris, I really loved all the metro and train trips – got some time to think, travel in mind.

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Ways of travelling – tuktuk in Bangkok, Thailand

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Ways of travelling – a flight to a foreign land
Fra Airport, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

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Tradition of travelling – by camels in the desert
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Travelling is a word, meaning usually ‘to move from one place to another’, as in my previous pictures. But there is so much more to it, it’s both a physical and mental life-changing experience.

At the moment, travelling is work for me, in a literal way. Long distances became my office and far lands home. When you are far from home physically and culturally, you really need to feel inside you and search your peace, your history, culture and values. Only by knowing first what I am made of, I can start learning from others.

Deeper inside we are not so different. Cultures, religions, traditions and history have made us act differently. But we all have same feelings, we need love, we want to understand the world, we get angry when something doesn’t work as we are taught, we forgive when things are settled in a respectful and constructive manner.

Travelling means meeting the world and through acceptance learning to live the world. At first travelling was mainly physical for me, but as it became mental and spiritual, it became home.

Enjoy the life you want!

In the previous post, I wrote about changes around us that we can’t have affect on. But there are many things that we have a possibility to control in our lives, even more that we believe.

In the western cultures, the common belief is that we have to go to school, through universities or other possible schools, apply a job, work for a company, get married, have one or few kids, get a house (or an apartment), retire, take care of our grandchildren at some point, and die happily to be sure that we have done our part of this world.

Jumping out of this circle, or in some cases trying to stay out of it in the first place, is a brave decision. You may not go to schools and instead start working early age. Or you may start your own company. Instead of one career you may have many, or you may work for a while and travel for some. You may not get married, nor have children. You may retire early age. Or of course, you may do everything as most of the people and enjoy that experience very much.

The point is, whatever you end up doing in life, it should come from your heart. Of course, there are responsibilities and necessities in this life, we all need food and shelter. The rest is up to us to decide how we want to have it all.

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In prison, but of my own free will. Ghost view of San Francisco from one of the most famous prisons of all time.
Alcatraz, San Francisco, California, USA / January 2011

There might come a point, when you realize you need a change, even a little one. You feel stuck with your life somehow, it can be the situation in your relationship, your job or the country or culture you’re living in. It takes courage to jump, to possibly lose some of the safety net that you are used to have. A jump is always a risk, but with the risk you multiply your possibilities to get the life you really want.

The first big jump I probably took was when I left away from home, to create my own home without my parents. Other jumps that I had courage to take, were a break from university to live one summer in Italy, a trip around the world without knowing anything of the following future, and moving to France and now to Germany just because I wanted to explore, improve the languages and find a piece of me on the way.

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A jump in the Pacific Ocean, on my trip around the world.
Mount Maunganui, New Zealand / February 2011

In all these cases, I received lots of ambiguous comments. I got admiration of my ability to jump without fear. But then again, all this was taken down by the judgement of being too free and not taking care of responsibilities, such as continuing the family and having a safe future career. As me talking, I know I took risks and so far I think they were all worth taking.

It is obvious that at young age, or when you’re deciding only for yourself (so to say without marriage and/or children), it is easier to travel, to change the direction of your life. But any change of the present and future can be made at any point. It is the attitude to changes, the positive openness towards possibilities that counts the most.

Little changes can be huge in one’s life. They can lead to fighting for your own happiness, fighting against some traditions. When you jump, you create something new. You create a new piece of you. And you create new culture around you.

Lots of courage to us all, to enjoy our lives as we like!