The more I travel, the lighter the bag I carry with me, although the knowledge, the emotional connections with others and myself grow bigger and bigger.
My favourite way of traveling is backpacking. Sure, I stay in less comfortable hostels, I occasionally meet bedbugs or a cockroach rushing across the room. You are right, toilets may have to be shared, hot water is not always available and there is no 24-hour room service.
But there is so much more to it than that first impression. The richness of these places can go unnoticed to the most distracted. It is the people you meet there, the ideas you share, the foreign words you catch by overhearing an overwhelming farewell of two lovers that were once complete strangers who crossed paths in that exact country and are now returning home, in a different continent, miles and miles away from each other.
And so I feel honoured and truly blessed by the people I had the opportunity to meet so far along my journey.
Maybe I am childish and too much of a dreamer, but I believe that among the infinite connections of neurones inside my brain, some synapses are reserved for the wise words I am told during these brief encounters with other globetrotters. And while my brain functions at its full capacity, it will ensure I recall just the right advice to face each new challenge.
Today I am leaving the place I called home for the past 7 years. And my brain did not let me down: I recall with so much detail this crazy nomad from the other side of the world and the words he said to me when I first got into his car…
“Never forget, you are only truly happy if your entire life fits in the back of your car”.
I do not have a car, but I am certainly arriving much lighter into the next chapter of my life.