Sunday, September 15, 2013

what I have learnt

The other day I read my friend's facebook status, it was something like: "this is what I know by now". After reading that I felt inspired to (attempt to) write a few thoughts and well, this is what I have learnt (or not) so far during my time on the road:

I have learnt through hitchhiking...
that there are still good people in the world. Basically I learnt to trust people. Maybe too much I may add. I've hitchhiked all over Europe, Central America, Mexico, Colombia and Ecuador and never, NEVER had a bad experience. Alright, I had a bad one: when my brilliant travel companion managed to get all our shit stolen.
Since I'm a shy person, HHing helped overcome my shyness. Given the situations I get myself into I've become a more resourceful person. 

I have learnt that friendship... 
is when true friends will be there regardless if you talk to or see them often. Last time I was in Guate it was so disappointing that the vast majority of my "friends" couldn't even take 30 min (or even less!) to say "qué putas vos serote?" Only one took an hour of his time to have a coffee with me. A very few other hung out with me, hosted me, helped me (after being robbed of all my material possessions), to you my friends... a HUGE THANK YOU FOR BEING MY FRIENDS!
I have closer friendships with people I met only once  or with people that I have recently met than with those I have known for years. 

I have learnt...
how to leave my comfort zone. My first time in Europe I didn't hitchhike, I didn't even know the existence of CS, had no idea of what the fuck rideshare meant. I flew, I took trains and I stayed in hostels. 
That was then. This is now: I don't give a fuck wether if I stay in someone's couch or if I have to squat the small house (?) where the bank machine is. I always, alright not always, but 95% of my transportation within Europe has been done by hitchhiking. One thing is true: never flown inside Europe but I'm not counting connections to get to my final destination (I flew from Paris to Oslo and from Reykjavík to Brussel). I dumpster dive now.
I've become more persistent after being turned down for rides and having so maaaaany bad looks when I ask for a ride. I've learnt to be more tolerant for the same reason. And patient for the same reason.

When it comes to my romantic relationships... eeerr... hmmm
I have learnt... absolutely nothing!!!
I will keep making the same mistakes. Hhmm, they were not mistakes, maybe wrong choices? At the time didn't seem wrong...  So maybe, unlucky? One thing for sure is that I will never learn. I crossed the fucking Atlantic Ocean... twice and both times didn't work out but I'm sure I would do it again. Thank God my survival instinct is very much alive (now) and is preventing me to do dumber things. I still do dumb things. 
No, wait. I did learn something: take a hot shower and finish it with a cold one... but it's much nicer with her beside me.

I have learnt...
to be more patient. I had no other option. Once I was stuck for 12 hours in the same petrol station, although 6 of that half day were spent sleeping. Now I have a more positive attitude. During those 6 hours all I was thinking was that I didn't want to sleep in the bushes again!

I have learnt...
that karma does exist and it sucks!

I have learnt...
to never trust the police. I didn't trust them one bit before but in Colombia they were very nice so we left our shit at the police station in the beach town of Taganga and they kept my laptop and the girl's camera. It was broken but for me had more sentimental value and besides, I was going to fix it once I reached Guatemala.

I have learnt...
to become detached of material things. Not that I'm going to give you something I use but if I can live without it, then it's your! A guest gave me an awesome bicycle and 5 seconds later I had someone in mind to give it to. Never crossed my mind to sell it.

I have learnt...
not to plan. When I started traveling that was my main goal, go with the flow. I tried to stick to it, so far I have been successful except in two occasions, I will try to not have a third one but then again knowing me...

I have learnt...
that people is more important than places. To explain this I will use quote I used before that is actually one of my favorite ones because is so true! is from the movie "The Art of Travel" and it goes like this: "the only thing that matters in life is the people that you love, the hugs, the kisses (...) the actions we don't think about".

I don't know what else I have learnt and the song that I'm listening to right is not letting me think what to write. Well, I guess that these are the main things I have learnt.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

happy place!

Last year, in December I was writing about finding a state of mind (wonderland) and/or a nice physical place I like to refer to it as "my happy place".

I think I finally achieved that. Wonderland has finally reached my head and it will stay there!

I also think that I might have found my happy place. It's been under my nose for almost a year but it was not until a few months that I realized that Estonia might be indeed my happy place! it's funny because I always said that I never saw myself living here. Fuck, spend another winter in Tallinn? Alright, I wouldn't mind spending winter somewhere warm where I could swim naked in the ocean but I definitely don't mind staying here.

Estonia and Tallinn had become the country and city I've stayed the longer, surpassing the USA and Prague. I stayed in the US for 6 months and in Prague for 3 and a half. I have been in Estonia for 7 months in total and Tallinn for 5 and I'm looking forward for more!

Yesterday someone asked me how would I rate Tallinn in a scale from 1 to 10... I said 11. Why? Because I've met some wonderful people here. Because I keep meeting amazing people here.Because I've done some crazy shit here. Because Tallinn is one of the most beautiful cities I've been. Because I love the sound the snow makes when I'm walking. Because I love the long summer days. Because I love the autumn colors. Because I love to see a frozen Baltic Sea (and walk on it). Because Tallinn have a prison that held parties now and then. Because Estonia has beaches with pine trees instead of palm trees. BBecause the list could go on and on and on.

Wherever I go in the future, no matter how far I might end up, I will always come back to this place. Actually I've done it before. I was in the Southern Hemisphere last year, alright I was just a few hundreds kilometers South but still! now I'm 800 kilometers from the Artic Circle.

So here I am in Tallinn, Estonia a month short of being one year in Europe (this time) and about two of being 4 years on the road.

I'm actually really looking forward for the winter...