Ten years! Ten years since this blog started! Can you believe that? I hardly can. It was May 20th 2010 when I boarded that Qantas 747 in FRA and took off to the other side of the world and the trip of a lifetime.
Back then I was still pretty much a boy, albeit almost 30 years of age. I was lonely, often angry, and generally lost in life. There were plenty of reasons to go and see if the grass was greener elsewhere.
Australia, that year down under, changed me a lot. I was suddenly confronted with a year of freedom. The freedom to do what I want, to go where I want, and to spend time with whomever I wanted. And when you have that kind of freedom, you need to deal with the questions of what you want to do, where, and with whom. A year to think about that is a lot.
In many ways, Australia was still pretty sheltered. A country culturally very much like my own. When I left the continent in 2011 and set foot on Asian soil, that’s when my horizon really started expanding. That was when I first started asking myself why there were more smiling faces in some shit-poor dirt hole than in my filthy rich home country.
I got a lot of ideas in those two years and that made it in a way harder to fit back into normal life in 2012. Employed life, 9 to 5. And it’s safe to say that I didn’t do the best job at that. I got drunk most nights of the week, shagged around, and my workplace behaviour oscillated between brilliant and passive-aggressive.
So in many regards, it was a good thing that I once again packed my bags. Even though part of that was always a running away. Running away from myself. Which is a bitch, cause I always caught up.
The third year of backpacking added even more to the story. Added another layer of experience. The time in the Middle East for example gave me great appreciation for the courage and endurance people can show – but I also saw things that will haunt me for the rest of my life.
Once I had returned from that last trip in 2016, it was more than a trip coming to an end. I had nowhere to run anymore. Didn’t see any outs any more. And I broke down. Got right back into getting wasted most nights a week, just to avoid looking at my inner self.
Fortunately, I had the balls and the common sense to go into therapy. And that started a new journey. One inwards and into the past. That journey took over two years – it is in some way still ongoing – and I learned as much about my inner self as I had previously learned about the beautiful world out there. It got me to a point where I had my shit together to a reasonable degree and was willing to take responsibility for my life.
Today I am not anymore the boy who set out to discover the world all those years ago. I am older now. And also more mature. I know what I want. I know what life I want to live, and what I want to get from it. I make much fewer excuses these days.
It took over 30 years, but I am finally at a point where I don’t feel all alone in life any more. I have arrived at a state of mind where I can connect with others on a deep and honest level. And as unexpected a destination as that might be for a long journey, it really is a beautiful place to end up at.
While I am still deeply in love with the planet and all that grows and walks on it, I won’t be a nomad anymore. And with that, this blog will come to an end.
I will write in another place about the topics that move me today. Philosophy, psychology, modern masculinity, and how it all fits together.
Thank you all. Those of you who provided shelter for me. Those of you who shared their food with me. Those of you who accompanied me on this journey. Those of you who followed the stories in this blog and encouraged me to keep writing. Thank you!