Seguir – Gustavo Santaoalla


I’m leaving. I’m finally leaving.

I’ve been waiting for this for so long. And suddenly, it’s real.

I am so full of so many emotions right now. The excitement, the fear, the sadness, the joy; all of this is making me feel so alive. I can’t wait to take that big step, to throw myself into the void. The cold shower, where suddenly everything you’ve ever known isn’t there anymore, where everything’s new and challenging, where you can say goodbye to your old comfort and habits. It’s like saying to life: “fuck it, I have no idea what I’m doing but I don’t give a damn, I’ll just trust you to bring me where I need to be”

We are not the 30th of May 2015, but indeed the 1st of August 2019. However, those few words written on the eve of that departure, the one that inaugurated this blog, resonate loudly in me. Those words that still knew nothing about everything that was waiting for me, about all the lives I’ve had the chance to touch. What is waiting for me, this time?
I may have done it before, I may have grown and changed since, the same emotions still go through me today.

It is not easy to write the text that will mark this departure. It seems so important, maybe as important as the one that happened four years ago. Maybe all departures are…

At the time, I had chosen to stay concise. Except a quote on traveling, a song and a little ‘I can’t wait!’, I didn’t write anything else. That was a few days before leaving. The same day, I can still see myself post an article intitled ‘D-Day’ from my friend Camille’s car, as she took me to Geneva airport. I had written a few cheesy words, that were mainly trying to express the gratitude I felt for the people I loved and for the opportunity that presented itself to me, the one to leave the past behind and to throw myself towards the wave I was so impatient to learn how to navigate.

Today, I post it once again on the way to Geneva airport, by train this time. Curiously, my first stopover turns out to be in London once again, as for my trip back then. The wave, I am a bit more afraid of than before. I know it can be wonderful, but also that it can hit. It can hit so hard, that it made me go back home for two years so that I could get over it.

And this time, just like that time, I tell myself that it’s a definitive departure. So necessarily, the implications are a bit more marked than for a trip of a few weeks.

The difference, this time, is that I have a plan. Well, more or less. I know at least what my life will be made up of for the next year. An entire year. That, I hadn’t felt since I left with a vague two-month plan, four years ago.

It’s not the only thing that is different. At the time, I was leaving tormented, desperately running away from an oppressing reality; today, I feel at peace. I don’t have the impression that I am running, only moving forward, one step after the other. So admittedly, four years don’t seem like much. But you have to understand; for me, those four years have changed absolutely everything. Sometimes I think about it, and I feel like those four years have been a lifetime. I can’t even start to count the insane number of events, encounters and emotions I have experimented since.

I feel really different from the person I was back then, and I don’t think that it is only due to traveling. It’s age, as for everybody, but also universal life experiences, the relation to death, to my body, heart and soul aches. I have known grief, closely, the kind that changes a life. Today, I cannot deny that I am taking it with me, in my luggage, conscious that it will probably be forever one of my biggest strengths as well as one of my greatest weaknesses.

Therefore, I dare to admit that I am a bit more scared today than I was then, but that I have decided it won’t keep me from throwing myself in the water, come what may. I have decided and this decision is a diziness, that I have no other choice but to face right at this very moment.

Gosh, I feel so alive.

Those last few days, the notes of Gustavo Santaolla have accompanied my states of mind. Melodies mixing the lightness of hope and the desire for elsewhere, to the strength to move on and the sweet melancholy inevitable to life, that remind me of the simple beauties of the world. Of the Way.

The Journey

I am leaving, I am finally leaving my friends. I am leaving not because I don’t have affection for you anymore; on the contrary, it is my fuel. My gratitude towards you is even greater. No, I am leaving to go see what I will find at the end of the way, there, a bit further. In this case, it is taking me to the Carribean, for a 10-month mission in sustainable development. I hope I can learn a lot and bring my contribution.

And then, I will go even further on the Way. And maybe I’ll write another article like this one, and I hope I will still be in awe in front of the beauty of this ephemeral instant, at the crossing of possibilities.

“There is nothing more beautiful than the moment before a journey, the moment when tomorrow’s horizon comes to visit us, to announce its promises.”
― Milan Kundera

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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