[photos were taken at my winter/spring destinations: Iran, United Arab Emirates, Oman and the Canary Islands]
‘Aren’t you afraid?’ That is one question I get quite often, from friends and family back home as well as from strangers on the road. Am I? The short answer is: No, most of the time, I am not afraid. I trust. That may sound weird at first. I feel that in most of our societies, trust is a rare commodity. We are stingy with our trust. The go-to-mode is to distrust someone first and check whether (s)he is trustworthy before buying in. Better be safe than sorry. My months of cycle-touring up to now have taught me lessons that are quite different from that. And I have started to believe that the world might be a better place, that human communication might become a lot more human indeed, if we changed our perspective on trust. Here are the three lessons I have learned so far: trusting others, trusting yourself and trusting the universe. For me, these make the world shine in a new way.
This is my first (and likely only) post for which I deliberately use next to none of my photos. I have gigabytes over gigabytes of them, no worries. But they might distract from what I want to say. (plus my internet connection is awfully slow, so I would not be able to post many photos anyways…)
It is Dec 31, the last day of the old year. I am lying in my bed in Bandar Abbas at the Persian Golf, trying to get over an upset stomach, pretty tired and pretty exhausted. But before I vanish to Qezhm island and will likely not have internet access for a while, I wanted to write down some thoughts about being. Just being.
I had thought of other things to share, but after the terrible events in Beirut and Paris, this would feel off to me. What I do want to share with you, though, is a statement that occured over and over again during my journey, in particular during the many days that I spent cycling and walking along the Tajikistan-Afghanistan border: ‘We are no extremists.’
When you are travelling alone, nobody sets any rules for you. Still, some travellers decide to set rules for themselves, in particular when they are on the road for longer. One rule I encountered among cyclists is to cycle every inch of the way, for example. Others set out with the aim to only hitchhike. And really, it is totally up to you which flavor you want to give to your journey. Or maybe which challenge you want to tackle. Maybe even more so when you are travelling solo. Upon encountering other people’s rules, I started to think if I wanted to have any. The inner debate did not take long.
My main rule is: there are no rules.