“Sometimes, I wonder what I am doing here. The darkness catches up with me, I look for meaning, I feel a bit distraught. But I put things into perspective: I have felt that way for months before leaving, it is normal that it comes out from time to time. It’s part of the process. I don’t try to avoid it either: if I felt good all of the time, then it would be an escape. And I am not escaping, no, I am moving forward. I don’t want this blame anymore, that invades me every time I call my parents and I feel their disappointment not to hear me say: “Okay, I’m not with my whim, I’m going home”. I know they still believe in it, and it tears my heart to cause them so many worries. However, I cannot let this keep me from following my path. I would like them to understand that, even if it’s not easy every day, I am much happier this way. I am already lucky enough to receive their precious help and their uncondition support, but I would like them to be at peace with all of this story, so that I can be too. I love them so much, I don’t want them to worry. Here, I am starting to be a bit sick of the look in people’s eyes. I feel more and more constantly judged, when I am walking around alone with my big backpack. I know that here, people are not too used to strangers, but it is heavier than elsewhere, I know that I am being looked down on. I am also tired of feeling assisted, like the other night with the bus controller, or yesterday in the train, when an old man asked the neighbour to make my bed for me, because I am from ‘Schvizaria’ and I thus naturally am not able to do it myself. It comes from a good intention, I know, but it is unpleasant. How do people imagine I’ve gotten so far if I can’t do anything myself?!
Anyway, even if I appreciate this country a lot, I am starting to reach a certain limit when it comes to its people. The other day again, I got yelled at by old ladies selling fruits because I only wanted to buy a part of a huge raspberrie basket and not the whole basket (let me tell you I left without buying anything at all). It’s a good that, after a short visit of Krasnoïarsk, where I am going to couchsurf, and of Baikal Lake, I will finally find myself in Mongolia in a few days. Things are looking good!
All of this was before my incredible stay in Krasnoiarsk, which completely remotivated me and reconciled me with Russians and their strong character…
27.07 (Thought for my friends Nicolas who is celebrating his birthday in Indonesia)
This train ride is very quiet, it’s good for me. Almost no one talked to me, I thus haven’t had to justify my absence of knowledge of the Russian language. No wide eyes staring at my pictures, no old man getting angry for not being able to communicate after trying for the 10th time. It gives me time to think again with joy about the wonderful people I met in Krasnoiarsk. I was supposed to meet Anya, who is also a friend of my friend Ekaterina (who comes from here) but being absent the day of my arrival, she swiftly organized for someone from the city’s Couchsurfing group to welcome me. This is how I found myself in Nikita’s home, a man of rare generosity with whom I got to have long conversations about everything and nothing. He took me to visit a few beautiful view points of the city and eat local meals (while systematically refusing for me to pay for anything, which reflects Russian hospitality)
With this same group, we visited Stolby’s natural reserve, made of volcanic rocks. I even got to push my limits by climing to the top of one of its rocky mountains, with no security. I thought I wasn’t going to make it out alive a few times, but the view from the top was splendid and much worth it. And in such great company!
The trail to get there took 03h30.. add an hour to climb up the mountain!
The next day, I met up with Maxim, who was with us on the walk, and Anya who joined us for a barbecue on the lake side. It was magical.
Maxim used this time to do a little photo session… 🙂
That night, those two and Nikita accompanied me to the station to take my train to Irkutsk. I had the feeling that I was leaving long time friens, my own ‘crazy Russians’! Those peoples were all of an unbelievable kindness, I wish with all my heart to see them again one day. Those encounters give meaning to what I’m doing and gave me a burst of energy for what’s next. It is thus with a huge smile on my face that I write these lines, despite my crushed knee (I inadvertently hit it violently against the metallic door of the train and it is still hurting badly after a night, I am a bit worried).
Last night, many diverse thoughts were crossing my mind. I was thinking about the difference between this life and my life in Switzerland, and why I am much more serene like this despite circumstances that are a lot more agitated and unstable. As far as I can remember, as a kid already, daily life didn’t satisfy me and I spent hours everyday inventing stories in my head, imagining myself living crazy adventures. I would tell myself: “One day, I will accomplish great things” and I never really aspired to follow a ‘normal’ path the ‘studies-work-family-retirement’ type. Music has always allowed me to escape for precious instants in that world of fantasies, where everything is beautiful, everything is poetry. Reading and writing did that too, theatre also, and other things not as healthy. But something was always missing, without really knowing what it was, because ‘reality’ always made a point to bring me back down to earth, to implant in my mind that in ‘real life’, people are rationnal and my dreams were the ones of a little girl, like at the time where I would tell anyone ready to hear it that “when I grow up, I want to be a pirate!”. And I felt it all so strongly, so intensily, so many emotions constantly went through me (and still do), but I was told to hide them, that it was a mark of weakness. So I resigned myself, like so many people around me. I saw them live passions through love, believing so young that they had found the man or woman of their lives. I fell into the same trip several times, tearing our hearts apart for illusions built entirely in our minds. But I understand now, it is the only domain where it is still alloed to draem, to believe in fary tales, sometimes the only way to gie a goal to our dull existences. It is an escape like any other, like the one that consists in going out ever ek-end to put yourself in dangerously stupid states, what I have done also.
But one day, I left. I left and I arrived in Africa, where everything is different and new, sounds, odors, people. Where you live in the present moment. My journey continued elsewhere, and I opened my heart and my senses to those unknown worlds. And for the first time, I understood. I understood what true happiness way, I lived it. Like a second birth, and that lasted 5 beautiful months during which my dreams of adventure became reality, where despite difficult moments, I was fully alive. And then, the dream came to an end, I came home to slowly fall back into this lethargic state where I endured my life rather than enjoy each precious second on Earth. With new eyes this time, and with a much more conscious and critical look on all the incoherences of our system that ‘masses’ seem to accept without seeing the need to change it. Until the day when, in a string of events that I don’t believe to be pure coincidence, I asked myself: “Why not?”.
It hasn’t been easy. My reason and some people around me persisted in trying to bring me back down to earth, to do what society expected me and my hyperemotivity to do. But I chose. I chose to listen to my heart, chose to follow the call for the good, for the just. I chose happinness. Ever since, my life is the adventure I dreamed about, and it isn’t temporary anymore, no, it is my new reality, and I don’t feel the need to escape it anymore. Therefore, everything takes on a meaning, all of those years of distress, incomprehension, difficulty to find my place. It simply wasn’t there. Now, I am exactly where I am supposed to be, even if I won’t be there anymore tomorrow.