Every time someone asks me why I want to do this trip I immediately know the answer and the conversation tend to end up in a monologue, muhaha. Certainly more difficult is the question if I´m not scared of travelling for one year, especially nowadays. What an interesting question actually. Setting the focus on “nowadays”, I argue that everything can also happen right next door in this very moment. Additionally, today the circumstances to travel many countries are so advanced that it is very easy to book flights (back home if absolutely necessary), arrange hotels, get information and meet other travellers in forums and stay in touch with friends and family. But, as you maybe also notice right now, I have a little problem with the “scary” side of travelling. What is it exacly, what should be scary, I asked myself sometimes before going to sleep.
After nearly 5 weeks, I found some answers for this question and also strategies to handle these challenges for me.
- Farewells Saying goodbye to family and closest friends felt like a sudden detoxication and I broke into sweat every time. Without them, I sometimes feel soo lonely and insecure because there is nobody who protects me when I feel weak, nobody who talks when I don´t feel like talking and nobody who makes me smile when I need a positive vibe. Without Adelia, I probably hadn´t decided to travel for one year and she is my sunshine of corse! But what starts to scare me is that I realized that there is not THE farewell. While travelling I appreciate every person I meet and feel comfortable with- maybe even more as if I meet german people at home with a similar backround that I have. Being out of my comfort zone, my perception of also most usual situations with others is sharpened and I get sad leaving a city and its awesome people behind. And this is actually, what we will do during the next months: get to know people- and leave. Get to know more people… and leave. So this is my scary moment #1: saying goodbye every 2nd or 3rd week and leave really good people behind, with whom you just started to feel easy and on the same level.
Identifying what I like about the people (not everybody of course, but the special ones), may it be a trait, a strengh in behaviour or just a common interest, helps me to ease the sadness. Because then I try to also apply this feature on my further way and this makes me still feel close to the beautiful women and men I meet and I can still honor them this way!
- Chaos: Organizing stays for only 2-3 days at a time, spontaneously deciding routes, transports and other unforeseen human factors like the spoky guy in the metro at 2am can be stressful. Sometimes, things go very wrong and I am close to panic. Or in situations where I feel missunderstood or where I would really like to be happier but can´t I need a hidden escape for some minutes to gain new enery. Then, it is M-U-S-I-C that keeps me going! For me, there is no greater power than hearing my favourite songs, my running playlist or a song that reminds me of the people I love. Doing so, I can create my own world for some time where I can think and relax and recover and decide the next move. Or just sing a silly song out loud and feel relieved. Or just remember a good memory and feel energised by the emotion I felt in this moment. The same effect also comes along with running for me by the way but unfortunately I cannot run around for one hour in every difficult situation I experience. Haha, but I should try :oP
- Loneliness: Unless you don´t hurry from one monument, museum or event to another, you have lots of time to think while travelling. Actually, this is so valuable and inspiring… but sometimes it can also lead to strange, isolated trains of thought. In addition, while entering a new city, I often feel lost the first days and wish for some familiar faces to appear in the crowd. Well, I dind´t figure out the perfect strategy yet and Adelia and I are a really good team:o)) but I can imagine that this will be more challenging in the upcoming months. What helps me in these situations is to open up to the people I meet. Revealing stories or emotions that I would normally not tell or that I feel a little weird about helps me to feel closer to my environment and to stay open for the new impressions. So I can only feel connected to new places by integrating the people around in this process… what lead again to #1 :-O
Okay, this is maybe not the answer, what people expect when asking about my fear of travelling. But, call me naive, I don´t want to spend too much time about what could happen- unless it happens. Probably then it will be the running-strategy ready to be applied I guess! But this is also, what travelling is about: making good and bad experiences but feel alive and let it happen!
This brings me to my closing monologue:o)
To get to know new places, habbits, behaviours and beliefs means a steady progress for me and my character.
So far, I could not experience the right balance between nature and human development in Germany what I need to figure out for me and hope to find on my way in the contries I visit. To see people living well-adjusted and frugually with what they have is my dream and I will search for that on our trip!
This is the biggest motivation I have to travel one year:o)
If you have any more strategies to fight the challenges while travelling, let me know!