How this trip has been changing me?

South America
April 28th 2014
Published: April 28th 2014
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At one month before finishing the first part of my journey, I have a lot of thoughts going into my mind and I would like to share them with you.

Every day during my trip, I am changing a bit more. Before leaving to Africa in January, I wasn’t afraid, I was excited to discover so many new places, I was just afraid of getting robbed in some unsafe places. Well, now, even being robbed is not making me afraid anymore. Do you know why I am not afraid of it? It’s simple: getting robbed is just losing money, losing something material but getting robbed will never take away

- the state of happiness I have been feeling almost every day for months now

- my joy every time I am in front of an amazing place and will sit down for some time just enjoying the purity of the place

- the nice memories I am forming every day

- the contact I can get with local people

The other reason why I am not afraid of it anymore is that I have found peace and happiness now and this serenity in my mind is stronger than the bad things, which could happen to me.

Some days ago for instance, I forgot my mobile phone charging in the hostal and I noticed it some minutes before taking my night bus to the next place. Well, I wasn’t pissed off or sad, as I had been the last time I lost my phone. For sure, I would like to get it back because it’s expensive but I decided that even if I get it back, I’m going to sell it. Why? Because, this trip taught me to disconnect from such immaterial things. I don’t want to spend time in front of a computer anymore, while there are so many amazing things to do outside, while I could spend that time chatting with local people, try local food, see amazing scenery, walked hours through the mountains.

In Brazil, someone stole my money, it was earlier in my trip, so I was a bit more upset because the amount I got stolen was like a week of travel for me, which was huge, but still I wasn’t angry against the person who did it. I thought that this person might need this money more than I do and I only felt sorry for this person to have to steal and to live with this shame. I was already free of bad feelings and such thing is amazing because bad feelings or angriness aren’t sane for health.

This trip has also changing me in the fact that I have been pushing my limits to their maximum: I am hitchhiking without fear, I am able to camp anywhere, I can subsidize for my own needs, I am cooking in such places as in the street next to a market while it’s raining without any problem.

I learnt to plan for food and water for the next days as I never know whether I will have access to water or to food soon, while I am going to remote places.

I also know that I don’t need anyone to feel happy anymore. Happiness has to come from inside me, from my appreciation of a gesture, of a place, of a food I am eating, of a person I’m going to be meeting. It won’t depend from someone else anymore. In the past, I could feel sad because of guys for instance, I know now how to get totally detached from this feeling.

I also learnt one important thing: to live in the present, to enjoy the scenery in front of me and to stop planning too much ahead. I am still young and I want to enjoy the present as much as possible. I don’t want to plan where I will be in a week, in a month. All those things will depend from where I am now and how I am feeling in that place. For the 1st part of my trip, I have a fixed return date, which is making me plan too much ahead but for my next trip I will definitely not do that. I will just have my departure ticket and then I will feel free to stay as long as I want in each place to enjoy it the fullest, to feel free to volunteer in some places without feeling the rush of moving on and even stopped in a country to work, if I feel the need of money. The only date, which will stay forever important for me to come back home will be Christmas as it’s the moment, I love the most to spend time with my family.

I have also been learning to enjoy the little things: I can now spend nights camping without problems and when I am camping surrounded by nature, I am happier than ever. I am 100 times happier sleeping in my tent in such a place than in an hostal in the middle of a city. The most important for me is the place surrounding me not the bed, the hot shower or the access to toilets. The next time I will get access to toilets will be an exceptional moment for me and even better if I have access to a shower –not even talking about a hot shower-. Cooking every day for myself with the little kitchen I have with me –thank you so much Ignacio for this gift!!- is an amazing moment for me. It’s a moment, when I can get a real meal with vegetables. It’s also a moment, which sometimes brings me even more: it enables me to meet new local people, who are curious about the small kitchen. For instance, yesterday, while cooking on the grass with view over the lake Titicaca, some children from the village came to us and we talked for a while. We offered them some food, they could eat a bit until their mothers came and unfortunately told them to leave us…

The last weeks, I had been travelling with Ignacio, a fellow traveler and hitchhiker and I learnt a lot from him too. Everything about cooking everywhere without problem thanks to his portable kitchen, preparing our tea at the most unprobable places and eating mainly from markets (cheap cooked meal or vegetables that we will cook), I learnt it from him. It’s funny because while meeting each other, we both thought that the other one was the most adventurous and we in the end both learnt a lot from each other.

However, travelling with him, I also saw that I need to improve on one thing: to learn to travel not always alone. This was a new big challenge for me as I am used to travel alone, to decide alone where to go and when to go, I am used to wake up early to go to the next place. During the weeks, we travelled together, I had to adapt my way of travelling, to try to not be too decisive in my choices, to let him also decide, so that we could both enjoy it. It wasn’t easy every day and sometimes I said things, which weren’t normal for a team like “if I were alone, I would for sure sleep in that place”. However, as I said, I learnt a lot from this experience and I also thing that we had a great trip in Bolivia because each one added the places one wanted to visit, which made a great 2 week trip around the country. Moreover, sharing the amazing sceneries with another person has been an amazing experience for me and there will be some things that we will both remember years from now.

So, I would advise anyone to go travel and first to go travel alone: it will be a life changing experience for you and coming back, you will see lot of things from a different way!!


30th April 2014

I had a similar realisation when I was travelling in my youth and it has stayed with me into my older years. I love being "on the road". All my senses seem to be enhanced and every day is a joy. Thank you for reminding me.
4th June 2014

My pleasure!
Hi John and Sylvia, I am glad it reminded you your former travelling experience! I hope I will never forget those things I learnt during my trip. Keep travelling and enjoying life! Natacha

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