365 days later

On 17 September 2014 by From elephants to kangaroos

Bonjour / Jambo / Namaste  / Mingalabâ / Xin Chao / Magandang umaga / Selamat pagi / Sua sday / Sabaidee / Sawadee kha / Hello!

IMG_2785Here we are, 365 days of traveling! Yeah, already… Time flies! I celebrate today my 1-year of my World Tour.
365 days, it’s 12 months, 52 weeks, 8760 hours, 525 600 minutes. It’s also have been to 15 countries, 19 planes taken, hundreds of travellers met, thousands of hours to talk and share the day-to-day of local people, dozens of transportations, 1 wonder of the World, hundreds of beautiful places, some good parties, hundreds of African and Asian and European meals eaten, 9 languages that I tried to learn (at least for the hello / goodbye / thank you), more than 20 000 pictures taken for about 12 000 kept after sorting, a lot of money extremely well spent.

IMG_2309365 days, it’s thousands of good moments that I can’t forget. It’s tenfold because it completely changes you travel emotions. Friendships are faster and stronger, joys are more intense, feelings are fastest, shares are more important, disappointments are more painful but shorter too. It’s flying off to new horizons, discover new passions, learn a lot about yourself, realize that I will never come back the same.

IMG_4699365 days, it’s obviously a importante date of such a travel, a time when there is some kind of balance. Difficult to realize what has happened this year, as I experienced surely more things than some people in a lifetime I sometimes stop to rethink about everything I‘ve lived, all the people encountered. This anniversary has given me the occasion to look into my photos and see, once again, how lucky I was to travel a part of the world like that, to see its wealth. I read some random articles on my website because I have not kept all my travel journals with me but I look forward to come back and reopen them randomly to read some stories or anecdotes, although everything is pretty clear in my mind. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to tell me that all this is real, I’ve done well, I’ve been in all these places and done all these great encounters. That’s a lot of real-life things, so I no longer know what to think first when people ask me what were the highlights.

IMG_8371365 days of world tour, that’s also something hard to talk about. Difficult to say everything, to convey all these emotions. When we are in our “normal” life, some moments are more important than others, the rest of the day at work is less subject to lengthy discussions. But in such a journey, every second counts, every second can be told in a few hours. But it’s hard for me to express myself, to explain how or why it changed my life and my outlook on the world. I know I have changed, I feel it, I do not think at all the same way. But how to transcribe, remote moreover… hard! But regardless, I know that these changes will be seen on my return, in my way of being or acting or thinking.

IMG_8611365 days of traveling, and I can’t tell you which country or place was my favorite so far or what encounter was the most powerful. All the countries I’ve been to gave me something unique. Every day was wonderful and I have no bad memories in mind, I have not been in one place that I regretted. Sometimes it is a landscape that takes you, sometimes it’s a person, sometimes it’s an experience, something that you did, a meal you‘ve eaten. Sometimes a simple discussion allows you to say that you have done well to go there. Of course, times were more breathtaking than others, but I have no bad experience or no bad souvenir. I can talk with the same stars in the eyes of my humanitarian experience in Kenya as tea that I took with the local in Jodhpur in India. I still see these lions approaching our car in Tanzania as I remember laughs exchanged with three travelers on the boat discovering Halong Bay despite a typhoon coming. I can see my diving with sharks in the Philippines like I am there again as I dream of returning to the guesthouse so peaceful in Thailand. I think back to a great holiday spent with my family in Bali or with my friend in Laos. I am pleased to have traveled more than 4000km alone in my van in Australia as I am happy to have shared a conversation with the couple in Burma during a night after a trek around a good meal. In short, you guessed it, the trip was and still is full of wonderful surprises.

IMG_1413After 365 days traveling, hard to imagine myself coming back to France today. I still have three months and I want to enjoy it. I still have no idea about what I will do when I get back, I do not know what job I want to point or where I want to live, or if I’m really ready to find it all. For now on, my life is somewhere else than in my own country. I feel like there are too many things and people to see, I feel that my place might not be there yet. For financial reasons, however, I will surely come back for more than just a vacation at Christmas but it is still far and I do not want to think about it at the moment. I want to think only about the present, and for now my present is in New Zealand, trying to build a very nice life in a small town (though it is the capital).

IMG_1733 (2)However, after 365 days of travel, although I like my independence and my freedom, I am faced with a simple reality: I miss my family and friends. In a different way, a lack which is again complicated to explain, lack does not prevent me going and never stops me, distance that I live very well but I know I would be happy to find them in 3 months, it is for me one of the main reasons for my return to France that will happen soon anyway (and what a good motivation!).

IMG_2417I know these 365 days have not enough yet helped me to answer some questions I had, in relation with my life or what I want to do/how I want to live. I do not know if the remaining days will bring me all my answers, I do not think so, but they will help me for sure. And then what to do with this website also after completion of travel? What to do with my photos? Will they please? And where to go next? The questions are many, the answers will come in as time. I have many ideas and possibilities in mind, I have now realized that nothing was impossible, even if sometimes we must cling to an end.

IMG_4425One thing is certain however after these 365 days of travel: leave on a world tour was by far the best decision I have taken in my life. For 1 year, I’m happy to get up in the morning, happy to go to bed at night, happy to speak English 95% of the time, happy to learn something every day, happy in my encounters, happy to realize I‘m stronger than I thought and that I can manage on my own in any situation. Happy to discover the people and life around me and see that I have a natural contact with others. Because beyond anything seen on a trip, what really matters is not the distance traveled but the encounters we do and that make all the magic of such a trip. I love the image of myself that unknown people have since the beginning of this year and which is not the image I had of myself before leaving. I know I have more work to do on me to open and finally unlock things in me, especially with my family. But I know I am progressing in small steps every day. And when I see how easily I can build relationships with people in the street / in transport / hostels or any other situation, when I see that people are happy to meet thanks” to me and spend good times, when I see that by discussions with some I managed to motivate them to excel and make them have a more positive view of themselves or when I just see the smile on someone as a result of a time spent with them, I think that the barriers no longer exist and that eventually, sometimes in France, I‘m not me, I think that many things have changed and will change when I return.

IMG_5769365 days back from now, my brother carried me on his shoulders at the airport in Paris before I embark on this amazing adventure. Now I have 97 days to enjoy what this world tour has yet to offer to me, and I know it will still be full of beautiful things. I am currently in New Zealand, to work a little in Wellington but I will talk about it very soon. I will then travel in that country for about one month, I’ll leave a few days in Montreal on my way to see friends and go back to some places where I went when I lived there. Then my journey will end by three days in New York, not originally planned in the program but with this detour to Montreal, it was the only way to travel to Europe  (too baaaaaaad) before making a quick stop in London to take my last plane to Paris. The journey is far from over

IMG_24731 year of travel, encounters, wonders, unpacking and storing my backpack, galleys, guesthouses, transportation, steps, kilometers, learned geography, food discovery, new dreams full head and many realized. 1 year laughing, not crying, not getting upset, not being afraid, to make peace with myself, learn things, get up in the morning not knowing what the day is going to offer me. 1 year to find that life is beautiful, that people are beautiful and friendly, that music is more vibrant, that colors are more colorful. 1 year past at breakneck speed, trying to lengthen the days to enjoy more, all the time, when sometimes I was counting the hours in France. 1 year to share that with you on this website, hoping to take you around with me to each of my steps. 1 year to live my dreams instead of dreaming my life. 1 year to live, finally…

The road is not over, either in this round the world tour or in my life in general, but already so many beautiful memories for life absolutely unforgettable… So for all that, merci / asante / namaste / tje zu dé / cam on / salamat / terima kasih / akun / khop chay / kob khun kha / thank you to all. To all persons crossed on the way, to all my relatives in France or elsewhere. I think about you very often. And thank you to you who keep reading me after 365 days of writing!

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One Response to “365 days later”

  • namasta,
    u r very lucky 365 days traveling in continue. and i hope u have many bed and good experince in feeling. i thing u some time feeling long journey lonely and miss u parents and parents missing u very much because every parents worried his child.
    ok i wishes to u growng job and future life and come again ij jodhpur in india with your husband or boy friend…………………………………………………………….by take care

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