LXXVI/ Where the trail ends

« Because I don’t live in either my past or my future, I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. You’ll see that there is life in the desert. »

It’s funny to realize how over time it gets easier and easier to distinguish the people that are useful to your life and those who aren’t any longer of any use. I’m aware of how brutal it is to say such a thing although this is merely a truthful statement. But just as harsh as that may sound, it doesn’t make the action taking process any easier for so much.

I remember back on the road how – in order to keep moving – I used to ask myself ; “are you happy or just comfortable?”, and the answer always was : “comfortable, not quite, but happy yes I do.” Today the answer would be “both”. And I love it. I love how ironical this is.

Life is a balance of holding on and letting go. We are what we don’t throw away.

How do you know you’re finally putting down roots somewhere? Your bunch of keys is getting heavier and heavier each day, and you secretly kinda fancy the sound they make in your pocket. Makes you feel like you matter somehow.

Pretty funny what’s going on to me these days. Months go by and I realize I’m kinda throwing myself headfirst into sedentism. Like crazy. It’s just too good to catch up with long term buddies. True friendships and priceless bromances that have survived over time.
Yet every once in a while I get to meet new people too. And let me tell you one thing, the most beautiful encounters are those that weren’t meant to happen.

All those beautiful peeps I for once have a chance to build something on the long run with – as I’m back for good now – and most of those people will most likely hang around for a while. Damn, when I think of it, I see myself evolving every day a little, my vision of the world is gradually shifting again. And it’s good to realize Life will never cease to surprise me. That sedentary life I used to irrationally fear is now doing me more good than I would have ever imagined it could.

And fellow nomads, you’d be amazed at how the easiness of a routine within your comfort zone can be a slippery slope to people like us.
People that never knew what comfort truly meant, people that always had issues with the sense of belonging, people that never really had a chance to build anything on the long run one way or another.

Day after day, rock climbing is gradually teaching me humility, patience and perseverance. And that’s a good thing. Good values and pretty awesome folks to be met at the end of a rope. So desperately in love with anything that is remotely close to the mountains. Trekking, rock climbing and soon skiing. I feel like I’m kinda overcompensating my usual “lack of elsewhere” with outdoor activities. Generally speaking I’m good when in the mountains as they always manage to put me back in my place, to remind me how small I really am and how humble I should be.

So yeah, I guess one can say my little rehab is going pretty well. There’s just something about that sense of belonging to a community, of being genuinely welcome and your presence being truly appreciated. To feel like you matter to my surrounding.
If you want to get somewhere in life, think, dress and act like you’re already there. Be important, be the difference.

Day after day, I’m gradually building up self-confidence. Desperately looking for my personal launching ramp as I’m convinced my life is about to take off any minute now.

After Brexit and that election, anything is now possible. A world is falling apart in front of our eyes. A vertigo. But still that desire to believe in it somehow.

I went off traveling, looking for answers, for that epiphany… It didn’t come… until I returned.
Today I realize that I used to carry hate in my heart. The reason to that is because over the course of the different steps on my trip, I simply wasn’t taking enough time to let love in, as I’ve pretty much always been on-the-go.

I was just too accustomed to say farewell. Always unconsciously making sure I’d never get too attached to anyone around me so I would never have to leave a place with so much of a heavy heart… Today I realize this self-defense mechanism of mine is the very reason of all my commitment issues.
It took me a while to figure out that all that is not given is lost. I am serene because from now on I no longer dream of elsewhere but of the very life I lead instead. Here and now.

Inner war breaks out over frustration. Inner peace begins with acceptance. Took me quite some time to realize that if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. Needed time to process and accept the fact that maybe – and just maybe – I explored all the possibilities of the world of travel and it was time for me to move on.

You know there’s no turning back when you wake up one morning and suddenly realize your current sedentary life is much better than some of your nomad sessions. Well done Grenoble, sounds like you got me back for good this time.

« There’s no better feeling than setting a courageous goal for yourself and defying the odds to achieve it; jumping headfirst into the unknown with an open heart and an open mind. »

Now I get it, nomad is good because you get it all right away. You’re just your own God who’s will is king. Sedentary is different, it’s beautiful because everything takes time. But on the bright side, there’s all the time needed in the world for you to daydream about your next move, a whole panel of ever-evolving possibilities lying ahead of you.

Here we are boys, I am definitely out of a game and entered a whole new one where everything is yet to be discovered – little by little – every code, every rule and every challenge.

It’s insane how the things that originally do not appeal to us all that much have the potential to fascinate us all the more if we end up getting hooked, probably because we had no expectations whatsoever from the start.

It’s only recently that I realized that when you travel, you are merely walking through others’ constructions but when you settle down, you actually start to build your own things. I am not mad at myself for it took me so long to get there because I know I could have never been that relaxed and clear-headed if it wasn’t for all that traveling that’s been leading my every move for the past six years.

To my greatest enchantment I’m beginning to see and accept that there is life in the desert. As innocent as it may sound, this may very well be the discovery of the decade to me.

I had to learn to fully open my heart in order to let new vibrations in, learn to lower my guard and assume all the risks that such behavior entails. In this very moment I realize I’ve been living in seclusion for quite some time, never really opening-up just so I could never be hurt that much. And it’s been working okay so far in the sense that it has kept the heartaches away but only today I realize that it’s also been keeping love away as well. By “love”, I’m referring to the broad meaning of the term; friends, colleagues, everyday happiness and so on. Damn, how could I not grasp this sooner?!

« She scares the hell out of me and calms my soul at the same time. Maybe that’s what love is – a total contradiction that somehow balances. »

And we’re so firmly convinced that it only happens to others… For the first time in a long while, I have something to lose and I am happy about it. To tell you the truth, it is as freaky as it is pleasant.

One’s gotta go with the flow and play along. Free yourself from your usual beliefs and let yourself get caught up in the game. Let go and forget all notion of control. We will never only control what we believe we are in control of. Believe me, the juice is worth the squeeze.
Only with great risk that a great reward. And today, because tomorrow is not promised.

« Life is being in bed with you, everything else is just waiting. »

I had to let it happen, I had to dive into uncertainty. I had to give myself the means to overcome that decisive life transition. I feel like I’ve been blind for years. Like my wanderlust addiction was keeping me from seeing the sick potential that my hometown had. There’s a fire burning in my heart and it’s doing me good.

« Sometimes, there is no next time, no time-outs, no second chances. Sometimes it’s now or never. »

It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.

There’s no denying it, something big is changing in my life these days. I had to get a grip on myself in order to get over it. I had to make peace with the system in order to overcome that rather brutal change. I quit fighting. If you can’t take down the system, then change it from within. Know the rules well so you can break them effectively. And you know what, I knew all the rules but the rules did not know me.

“You are honest. You know how to lie. I like that.”

Despite the fact that the temptations to fall back are (were?) all over , these days I’m on top of my game and I have such a lust for life, a determination to win that I’m convinced is gonna take me right where I wanna go. Work hard in silence, let the success be your noise. And quit believing everything you goddamn hear. Shit, believe in yourself. Because if you don’t, then who will?
You know my dear, when there is a will…

Damn, at long last I’m feeling alive at home and I’m so desperately in love with my life. It may have taken me a while, cost me efforts and required the strongest perseverance, but I eventually made it. It’s like things are just too comfy and daily-rewarding in my freshly-built bubble that considering leaving it now is just not an option.

It’s only when I stopped fighting that “initial global slowness” that I began to find it charming. All I had to do was to set up a life I don’t need to escape from.
And as paradoxical as it may sound, that new lifestyle made me hyperactive. Rarely got so many things done simultaneously on different fronts. Given where I started from, it gives me a certain sense of pride. You know, we’re all a little stronger in the broken places. It’s all about feeling alive, remember ?

Thus I start to value things that take time to get. It’s like my good old “I want everything, right here and then” seems a little childish to me now. Work, love, relationships… how wonderful is it to take time to see these things gradually grow day after day? Damn, I’d never thought I’d say such a thing one day. Only that in itself is enough to make my point I believe.

In the end, rock climbing has taught me to fight. To fight for what I truly believe in, fight for what I genuinely want in life, fight as to protect my investment. And I’ll never be thankful enough for that. And you know what, every step was necessary, even the temptations to fall back, the doubts and whatnot. It all contributed to get me where I am now, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The turns of life aren’t always where we expect them to be. So I chose life, running around like crazy, trying everything new. I chose to see the glass half full instead of half empty, and it’s actually been a long time I made that decision.

« I know these will all be stories some day, and our pictures will become old photographs. We all become somebody’s mom or dad. But right now, these moments are not stories. This is happening. This one moment when you know you’re not a sad story. You are alive. And in this moment, I swear, we are infinite. »

I’m no longer healing, I’m healed.

Je voulais régler un vieux contentieux avec le temps. J’avais trouvé dans la marche à pied matière à le ralentir. L’alchimie du voyage épaississait les secondes. Celles passées sur la route filaient moins vite que les autres. La frénésie s’empara de moi, il me fallait des horizons nouveaux.
Je me passionnais pour les aéroports où tout invite à la sortie et au départ. Mes voyages commençaient comme des fuites et se finissaient en course-poursuite contre les heures.

Il suffisait de demander à l’immobilité ce que le voyage ne m’apportait plus : la paix. »

« I had a score to settle with time. I had found in hiking a way to slow it down. The alchemy of the journey thickened the seconds. Those spent on the road were running slower than the others. The frenzy took hold of me, I needed new horizons.
I used to find airports exciting, as places where everything invites to the exit and departure. My journeys used to begin as an escape and ended up in pursuit against the hours.

All I had to do was to ask of immobility what travel no longer brought me : peace. »


Bonus :


17 thoughts on “LXXVI/ Where the trail ends

  1. Very thoughtful and well written…
    I really like your honesty here and the inspirational thoughts. I often have the feeling, that in those times people are not reflecting that much anymore in general. On things, on thoughts, on life. And suddenly you are old and realize – that was just your life…
    Was fun and inspiring to read you post, thank you for sharing – happy new year!

  2. You sound like you are in such a good, happy place now! This was very uplifting to read. Normally people blog about needing to get away, it’s nice to see that settling down is just as good for some 🙂

  3. I’m glad that you finally found your place. I am still lost and need to travel to finally find the place I would be happy to settle. I think it’s not a bad thing because the journey is exciting and teaches one a lot of things. You have asked yourself a great question that if you are happy or comfortable. Both are important because I was at a place where I was comfortable but unhappy, so it was time to move on. I’ll pay more attention to it from now on. I also like the thought that if you are the smartest person in the room you are in the wrong place. Surrounding yourself with smarter people is a great way for self-improvement. Nice post.

    • Thanks a lot for your comment Agnes, I’m glad you found my post constructive. Hope you’ll soon be both happy and comfortable – wherever life is gonna take you..!
      Have a good one,
      Cheers, Vincent

  4. My eyes are welling up with tears…. it’s the message that I needed to hear. I’m no longer healing anymore, I am healed. I’ve been abroad for the past three years living and working in what has become an endless cycle of grief and exhaustion and the only way out is where I first began. To hear some validation in this message, this is just beautiful. Thank you for articulating my thoughts. ❤

    • What a heartfelt comment you just posted right there, I’m moved!
      However how you may feel about that at the moment, I assure you that there is something that awaits you after years of traveling. And you’ll see, this new lifestyle is defo so full of surprises..!
      All the best for you, thanks for reading me.

  5. Pingback: LXXVII/ Life happened | [ Journey Of A Lifetime ]

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