“I do not wish in any way that anyone adopts my way of life, I would like on the contrary that each one take great care to discover what is his way of life which suits him in his own way, then take the necessary actions to pursue it in practice, rather than copying that of his father, mother or neighbor.” Henry David Thoreau
We are may the forth, it’s thirty past ten in the morning, clouds are gathering in the sky above me, forming abstract figures. They appear blurred to me but are easing my mind. Time just stopped. A feeling of absolute lightness is spreading through my whole body, from tips to toes. The sensation is unutterable, to grasp it, you have to imagine leaving everything behind : your apartment, your job, your things, your friends and family, everything stays while you go into the sheer unknown. Strangely it is not uncertainty that I feel, but rather a strong confidence in my choice, as if I always knew this is what I was meant to do.
In before diving into the destinations, I wanted to write a bit about the true reasons for my departure. Overall I consider myself to be really lucky, I’ve always had everything I needed both materially and immaterially. I have great friends, a supportive family, a good job and more stuff than I really need. So why quit everything and take a one way ticket into a blurred future ? Well, even though I am not living an existential breakthrough, something was always amiss within me, something unutterable. Some kind of unquenchable thirst for the unknown, it is hard to put words on it, but I’ve always felt a relentless need for discovery. I constantly crave for something new, but it has to be immaterial though. Somehow I am still this kid running around with an unconscious mindset, seeking for explorations and adventures, not being too serious about tomorrow, because tomorrow is unpredictable and will happen no matter what.
All in all, it was never really my dream to travel, it’s just something that feels right for me, some kind of inner quest without a final purpose. I’ve always liked the idea that I might just stop anywhere I like, settle for a bit, experience a new city and then just move on if I feel like it. To me the real dream is this absolute sens of freedom that doesn’t involve any strong commitment.
To be more pragmatical, this voyage is an opportunity for me to fully release my mind by drawing my thoughts, capturing new ideas, learning from what is really out there in the prospect of sharing it as vividly as I can. In that regard, I won’t necessary make lists of the best bars but rather share an experience or a thought on a city, a place or someone I met.
Homage to my homeland
It is with a heavy heart that I leave this place I’ve been loving so much. Even if I am probably not coming back, Alsace will always be a place reminiscent of my best memories, a place I will forever call home. Solely because to me, places are strongly bounded to memories, that’s this very relationship that get us so attached to our natural habitat. The more we know about a place, the harder it is to leave. Except if the desire for a change is set higher than the sens of belonging. In a way, I think we all need both punctual changes and a place we can call home.
In that regard, my home region gave me so much more than memories. It gave me a taste of what diversity looks like and I love it for that. I had a greatest variety of playgrounds : mountains, plains, vineyards, lakes, rivers, European cities at arms reach, Alsace is an amazing place to explore, because it is in the very middle of Europe. Then again, why would I leave if everything is so great ? Well, it’s a matter of perspective. I am literally pushing myself outside because to me, memories can be so deceitful that they can bind you to a place you never asked for.
I mean, I understand how proud one can be for one’s region, but in the end, aren’t all the places on earth worth to be proud of ? Again, the reason we are so proud of our region or country is because we are bounded to it trough memories, our language and the culture we had to follow.
And so it begins
At first, I wanted to show that it was possible to go to the other side of the world without taking any plane. Only using trains, buses and ferries. But human greed and stupidity caught up with me and quickly proved me otherwise. So I swiftly replaced the tanssiberian part by a plane from Helsinki to Bangkok.
The map below is depicting a rough itinerary of my voyage, every destination is approximate as I will improvise a new itinerary on a day to day basis, based on people feedback and advice. The total duration will be at least six months, but I am not willing to set a hard line on it. I am planning to split the journey in two : three months in Europe and three in Asia. To this day, China and Japan are still closed due to the pandemic, so if it doesn’t open in the next four months, I planned to stay longer in south-east Asia and explore islands like Malaysia and Indonesia.
As I said, I am open to any suggestions regarding things to see or places to go to, with a personal preference for nature spots, treks, parks, museums and architecture. It can even be a town or a city on the path, I’ll take it all ! So if you really think there is a great place I might miss on the way, don’t be shy and leave me a comment. Cheers.
LUXEMBOURG : Luxembourg
GERMANY : Bonn, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Essen, Hanovre, Berlin, Dresde
CZECHIA : Prague, Brno
POLAND : Katowice, Cracovie, Wrocław, Łódź, Gdańsk
LITHUANIA : Kaunas, Vilnius
LATVIA : Riga
ESTONIA : Pärnu, Tallin
SUEDE : Stockholm, Sundvall, Umea, Lulea
FINLAND : Oulu, Vaasa, Pori, Turku, Helsinki
MAY : 04.05.22 – 11.05.22
MAY : 11.05.22 – 31.05.22
JUNE : 31.05.22 – 12.06.22
JUNE : 12.06.22 – 26.06.22
JUNE : 26.06.22 – 03.07.22
JULY : 03.07.22 – 08.07.22
JULY : 08.07.22 – 15.07.22
JULY : 15.07..22 – 07.08.22
AUGUST : 07.08.22 – 18.08.22
THAILAND : Phuket, Hua Hin, Bangkok,
CAMBODIA : Battambang, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh
VIETNAM : Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Da Nang, Hanoi
CHINA : Zhanjiang, Macao, Hong-Kong, Chenzhou, Changsha, Wuhan, Zhengzhou, Beijing
SOUTH COREA : Seoul, Gwangju, Daegu, Busan
JAPAN : Fukuoka, Kitakyushu, Hiroshima, Okayama, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Fuji, Tokyo
AUGUST : 18.08.22 – 01.09.22
SEPTEMBER : 01.09.22 – 11.09.22
SEPTEMBER : 11.09.22 – 25.09.22
OCTOBER : 25.09.22 – 16.10.22
NOVEMBER : 16.10.22 – 30.10.22
NOVEMBER : 30.10.22 – 27.11.22
What’s next ?
So this is the first article of a long series. I planned to release an update each Monday evening on this blog, every destination will be a new chapter and I will try to summarize as much as possible. Also I will fill up my posts with pictures, because they’re less boring and everyone likes them. Oh, one last thing, for practical reasons, it will always be written in English, (sorry mom) but you can bypass it by using google translation, if you really want to read it in french or whatnot. The only trick is that you have to decipher this whole paragraph properly in order to know that you can translate. You’re very welcome.