I’ve finally found a bit of time to write before setting off in my last journey here in Peru’. I’ve managed to get a small room for 40 soles a day: there’s no heating, no hot water and the electricity sometimes goes off. Please do not be worry about me I have a comfortable bed and even a desk where I found a notebook and a pen. Somebody must’ve left them here for the next solo traveller to pour down emotions that we are too afraid to lose on the way. An English writer once said that every great traveller sees more that he can remember and remember more than he sees, so I carry this little book with me jotting down random thoughts and reflections.
This is what I love the most about travelling, especially travelling alone: nothing is taken for granted. We’re more aware of the surrounding and even another church or park looks different in that context and we feel the urge to take a picture. Talking to strangers does not feel dangerous at all, your instinct is more alert and acute; something is telling you that person is to trust.
We’ve all travelled long distance for diverse reasons: love, money, sightseeing, volunteering, sweet escape. But we all had one reason in common: life experience. You know what’s funny? I barely remember the names of some of the people I’ve met, but I can tell you all the details of their personal stories. When you meet another traveller they don’t formally ask for your name they wonder: “Hey man what’s your story?” “What have brought you here?” “What have you seen?” And it’s incredible how sometimes a stranger can sees you more than you see yourself. You share your story, and then you take a different path.
A few weeks ago I’ve read somewhere that The Director Alfred Hitchcock had a morning ritual to remind himself of the precariousness of life: after drinking tea he would throw behind him his cup letting it crush on the floor. Well I have not experimented that yet, but I only now understand the point of this bizarre idea.
My friend, I’ve hiked hours to reach the top of a temple to watch a breathtaking sunset only to spend the same amount of hours to go back. I’ve travelled 10 hours on a bus on a bumpy road to see crocodiles under the starry sky of the Amazon forest. I’ve shared intimate moments with someone special to then say goodbye. I’ve stood still under the fresh rain because I could not stop staring at the Machu Pichu mountain and then I rushed down to see that nature had found peace and painted a rainbow.
I have not made peace with myself though. I’m still travelling and now more than ever I feel the need to free myself from old taboos and mental schemes that keep me slave of the illusion of permanence.
“Life is the train, not the station” Paulo Coelho once wrote. We should all get on that train, no matter what your destination is, real fulfilment comes only when we tune into our inner direction.
From Peru’ with Love,