“It’s my birthday in a few hours. I know, it doesn’t much in the end, but for me, it matters. It makes me emotional. I have to say also that the last hours have been full of twists and now, by a combination of circumstances, I have to leave for Budapest in ten days or so. It’s the university that I want to do that is asking this from me, I have to be in Europe before the 1st of September if I want to register. That is why, a few phone calls and reservations later, I am leaving for Budapest soon. I haven’t had the time to catch my breath, I just came back today from my five-day horse trek in the company of two great girls. They are French, Laura and Mélia. Our views of life and the world are very similar. It’s nice for me to spend time with such people. I would almost say that it gives me back my faith in humanity, but it would be a bit cheesy, and also, I already have it, despite everything. Tomorrow, with their partners, they are going to initiate me to paragliding if the weather allows it. It’s really nice of them. It will be good to spend the day with them, because it’s the kind of day where I my loved ones more than usual. Furthermore, I think that it’s the first time that I won’t be in Switzerland for my birthday. Last year, with friends, we went camping, and they offered me a bungee jump. I can’t believe it has been a year… So many things have changed. And now, I am in my little wooden cabin, all alone, in Mongolia. I am not unhappy, on the contrary. But I am alone. Actually, to be honest, I enjoy that, because it had been a long time since I hadn’t found myself completely alone. Atle is a very cool person person but it was time that we parted, I don’t think I am made to stay with one and only person for more that a few days. Not with anybody, anyway. So now, I am alone and the time has just changed, I am officially 22 years old.”
“I feel happy. I feel so, so happy. It feels so good. I needed to express that. Yesterday, I had a great day. I filled up with very interesting conversations. It started with a French guy who has been travelling for over a year; he understood that spending your birthday that way can be experienced in a weird way. It makes you philosophise in your mind more than usual (because yeah, when you travel, you philosophise almost all the time). We thus talked about all of that, our choice to leave, the difficulty to get back to your ‘old life’ when you return, the incomprehension from others, to not feel like you belong in the norm, to not want that life. Those conversations always help me tremendously because, unlike at ‘home’ (with a few exceptions), I feel understood. It’s one of the things I love about travelling: you meet people animated by the same motivations as you, that went through the same questionings, the same states of mind. And so, you are not the one constantly dreaming about new horizons, who feels in constant mismatched with everything and everybody. No, you are where you need to be, among your own, among the big ‘backpackers’ family. And it continued, all day long, I chatted with a girl who set out without a diploma, another who left a stable life and a job in publicity because it wasn’t in accordance with his values. There is something we all share in common, and there is no need to travel for that: the rejection of established norms of society, to not want to keep fuelling the infernal machine that is the capitalist system, to not want to lie to ourselves anymore. To believe also, believe that things can change, and that for that we have to start by changing ourselves. To not want a good job, a status or money to be the motors of our life, to be motivated by compassion and love, a loved so infinite for others, for our beautiful planet and its creatures. It is not random that I had so many conversations of this type that day, they came on my way to reassure me, to confirm to me that I am on the right path, to remind me that the illusion of security that I sacrified would have never made me happy the way I am today because we are not made to be slaves of this inhuman system. We are made to be free. I am free.”
Change, by Tracy Chapman
The little girl of the owners of MS guesthouse was celebrating her birthday the same day as me. They thus invited me to participate in the celebration prepared for her; how generous! I have been so nicely treated. Thank you!