3 months ago, I set off to rediscover THE WORLD. It's now time to rediscover HOME and the next journey
Story published on
May 6 2019
Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Singapore, The Philippines, Japan and China. In 78 days, I’ve slept in 23 different beds. 23 homes in 20 cities or villages across 6 countries. In less than 3 months, I feel like I’ve lived full years. It’s time to go back home and take my things out of the backpack for a while. and prepare for the next journey. This is what I go back home with:
In Sri Lanka, I’ve seen what it means to have a country in a desperate hurry to burry its tragic past, even at the cost of leaving the wounds unhealed.
In Cambodia, I watched how a country struggles to keep alive the gruesome lessons of its recent history, all brought about by people’s inaction and submission to fear.
In Singapore, I witnessed how a place can truly be made great from nothing, all with visionary politics – and by trading a degree of liberty.
In the Philippines, whose people took such good care of me in a moment of need and vulnerability, I saw a country fed up with corruption and drugs. So much so, that it’s willing to accept anything, in the hope that tomorrow will be cleaner, safer, better.
In Japan, a former warrior country converted to a peace apostle, I was fascinated by how this people embraced defeat. I discovered here a whole new world, one where tradition, rigour and respect are most cherished.
And then in China, a colossus with the potential to rule the world, I saw what a true police state looks like and how people are kept into perfect submission by an ultimate trade: a modern and capitalist lifestyle, in exchange for hopes of democracy and freedom.
When Tiananmen Square is only a playground
The Good World
I’ve seen luxury and its best and poverty at its worst; deep-rootted traditions and a hunger for modernity. Everywhere, though, I’ve met decent people, human beings who only want tomorrow to be better than today. I’ve watched children playing, trying to imagine the adults they’ll become. I’ve witnessed amazing women bearing the burden of three on their shoulders. I’ve observed people’s moments of happiness and ocasional outbursts of rage. Regardless of the politics, history, culture and economics, I’ve seen good and hope everywhere I went.
Schoolgirls surround a man and his baby daughter, at a temple, in Kandy, Sri Lanka
The journey and stories to come
I walked these new roads overjoyed by the feeling that my mind was expanding, that the line on my horizon was not as flat as before, not as easy to put into a geometrical life box, but grew more subtle, with all the nuances that travel has taught me to see and appreciate.
In less than three months, I’ve discovered and rediscovered this part of the world many times over. I’ve lived full years condensed into 78 days. I have a hard drive full of stories waiting to be told. My head is spinning from all the memories and mental notes I hope I can keep and pass on to you, those who share my fascination of the great unknown, of the world that lies farther than our eyes can see.
After all this, though, it’s time to return home for a bit, that wonderful place where everything feels familiar, where there are shelves to put your things on and familiar faces to knock on your door. It’s time to prepare for the next continent, the next journey and the next stories.
At The Great Wall of China
Want to see more? Subscribe to my YouTube Channel!