Back in 2014, I was a complete mess: I didn’t have any clue, what to do with my life, what are my goals and where I am heading. I was biting the bullet from Monday to Friday in a job that I wasn’t even remotely interested in. Travelling seemed as a good way to escape from this reality and start something new. So I did.
I wandered for 18 months: from the westernmost point of Europe to the South of Asia. I volunteered in Croatia and Portugal, taught in India, climbed Elbrus in Russia, walked Camino de Santiago in Spain, hiked in Nepal, travelled in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and Montenegro. I now reached a point, then I decided to press pause for this kind of lifestyle. At least for some time.
I’m fed up with, what I call, „volunteering tourism”. That is volunteering basically anywhere, in order to get food and shelter and doing crappy stuff you are not interested most of the times. For a lot of backpackers, volunteering became just a cheap opportunity to travel. I’m actually one of them. In order to do something meaningful you need much more dedication. Volunteering in a refugee camp in Croatia or with children with disabilities in Lithuania was close to that.
I’m not fed up with travelling, that’s for sure. But I started to feel that I miss some self-realization in my life. Travelling is not enough. I need some challenges to occupy my mind and release all the creative potential that is burning inside my head.
So how did those 18 months change me? First, I became more self-confident. Then I just started blogging, it was even scary to share my blog on Facebook. Now, I’m not afraid to be vulnerable, to look stupid or receive criticism. Not only in writing, but in the other fields as well.
During this period of travelling, my passion for writing revived. There was a time, when I didn’t write anything, because my motivation was lost somewhere between 8 to 5 job and boredom. In those 18 months, I wrote more articles, poetry and all kind of material than in the last few years. I’m not sure, where it will lead me, but I just love to do that.
I learned that life can be very simple – all you need easily fits in one backpack. As probably most of the people, I felt that my thinking pattern was trapped in a small box. Thank you school, thank you university, thank you society, which systematically trained us not to be ourselves! Now I feel some weird inner freedom that can’t be expressed by the amount of money you have or by the masks we wear. On the other hand, it’s really hard to express all those streams that are floating inside my head and vanishing waves attacking my brain cells. I met hundreds of people and visited so many different places that my brains are still squirming like a toast.
I know that I will be travelling all my life, that’s my biggest passion. But I have some other passions and plans that are waiting to be implemented. What started as an escape from everything, actually, made me more mature and showed a blurred vision of the person I want to be. I’m a way different man than I was before and the most important part is that I’m finally enjoying my life. I might sound as a Paolo Coelho fan though (which I’m not, oh dear, Lord).
At least once in your life, quit everything and start to wander. That is the best thing I did so far.