the journey


ph_priv, Praia do Moje, Florianópolis, Brazil

‘I started travelling like a mad thing. The great lessons I learned had been precisely those that my journeys had taught me. (…) When I complained that I never stayed in one place for very long, people were horrified: ‘But it’s great to travel. I wish I had the money to do what you’re doing!’ 
Travel is never a matter of money, but of courage. I spent a large part of my youth travelling the world as a hippie, and what money did I have then? None. I barely had enough to pay for my fare, but I still consider those to have been the best years of my youth: eating badly, sleeping in train stations, unable to communicate because I didn’t know the language, being forced to depend on others just for somewhere to spend the night.

After weeks on the road, listening to a language you don’t understand, using a currency whose value you don’t comprehend, walking down streets you’ve never walked down before, you discover that your old ‘I’, along with everything you ever learned, is absoluteley no use at all in the face of those new challenges, and you begin to realise that, buried deep in your unconscious mind, there is someone much more interesting and adventurous and more open to the world and to new experiences.
Then there comes a day when you say: ‘Enough!’
‘Enough! Travelling, for me, has become just a monotonous routine.’
‘No, it’s not enough, it never will be,’ says J. ‘Our life is a constant journey, from birth to death. The landscape changes, the people change, our needs change, but the train keeps moving. Life is the train, not the station. And what you’re doing now isn’t travelling, it’s just changing countries, wich is completely different.’source: ‘Aleph’, written by Paulo Coelho

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