LVII/ We are what we don’t throw away

Ladies and gentlemen we’ll be boarding the flight number TS193 to Montreal in a few moments. Make sure to have your ticket and passport ready for inspection. Damn I can hear it coming more than ever now, I shiver just to think of this lady’s voice that’ll soon set me free again. It is about to happen, I can feel it in my veins.

There are clearly two kinds of people in this world, two very different schools.
Those who love coffee and those who put sugar in it. Those who love French fries so much they could have them for breakfast and those who think they’re just greasy insipid potatoes. Those who are sexually attracted by intelligence and those who rely on nightclubs’ darkness.  Those who use at least ten different tabs simultaneously on their computer and those who just shut them down without even asking when you lend them your laptop to play a track over Youtube. Those who love to take their daily selfie in mirrors and those who’d never even consider using their phone as a camera. Those who are systematically broke on the 5th of each month and those who understand the concept of budgeting. Those who have a visceral need for music daily from dawn to dusk to get going and those who like to listen to the radio every once in a while. Those who have a plan and put on shit loads of work in order to finance and fulfill their dreams and those who work to pay the car that takes them to work. Those who use dating sites and those who’d rather die alone with pride.

“Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.”

Behind my bar I may be quiet but I see things. I see long-term couples facing each other with depression in their look, I see envious husbands staring at the next table’s lady, I see bitter old folks that seem to be mad at the entire world for they chose the wrong one far too soon, I see kids that have kids… but I never see myself in any of those people, and all the better.

You know you’re on the right way when looking back does no longer sound tempting.

So as I said a year has gone by, a year that I’m dreaming of this upcoming trip to North America, a year that has most probably be one of the toughest, but how many things have I learned during those 12 months?
I’ve become a manager, a bartender, I’ve learned endurance – mental endurance mostly, perseverance, I’ve learned that the world is full of dreamless people who are just getting up every morning without an actual goal. Wait, nope. I knew that already.

During this year I regained a financial and a physical health, but at what cost? … My patience has been tested severely and even if it doesn’t seem so, my mental health is seriously damaged.
Too much taken upon myself, too much patience shown, too much deprivation, too many idiots on my way, too many sacrifices, too few beautiful encounters…

If I had to summarize the season I just spent @ La Tranche sur Mer in a few numbers I’d just say;
Number of times I’ve wanted to throw one through the window : 120
Boredom rate : 120%
Number of Joe Six-Packs* per square meter : 120
Crime rate : 0,0120%
Average age : 120 years old
I gotta get my ass outta here : power 120 thousand!!!

*Joe Six-Pack is the best translation I found for the French word “Beauf”. The definition of this very particular kind of people is yet to be found on Wikipedia;
“Beauf [pronounced /bof/] is a French term describing a man perceived as vulgar, unintelligent, arrogant, uncaring, and misogynist, without any taste for etiquette or good manners. A beauf will typically be prompt to jump to conclusions and have strong views on complex social issues, based on an insufficient analysis of the facts, but presented as being plain common sense.”

The day when “highbrow” has become an insult, we should already have started to worry.

I’ve learned that despite what we tend to think, there ain’t no common sense, no logic proper to everybody and nothing is acquired for everyone – not a single thing. Matter of fact nowadays manners, education and respect seem to have disappeared among a certain fringe of the population. The 21st century isn’t it? And still, humankind don’t even share a common base of principles. Some will forever make you struggle with their stupidity and if you’re stupid enough to enter their game, they’ll drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

I feel like if I forced myself to study so hard it was only in the goal that one day, I would be able to swim against the current and bypass all the crap I hate about this world. To be a better soldier of my own cause.
I’ve learned that sometimes, you have to be your own hero.

“You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it’s better to listen to what it has to say.”

But better move on with all those assholes; “Holding a grudge is letting someone live rent-free in your head.”
Besides, one needs those punks to appreciate good peeps. Remember, nobody can cause you any harm without your permission.

“It’s the beauty, not the ugly, that hurts the most.”

All my best friends are now wanderers, vagabonds, nighthawks, and daydreamers. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Life leaves us the choice to make it an accident or an adventure.

“I don’t need anybody because I learned to be alone and anywhere I lay my head, boys I will call my home.”

Life is moving fast, life is discoveries, life is multicultural, life is exchange, life is different smiles, life is music, life is unexpected, life is a journey. We travel no to escape life, but for life not to escape us. I don’t wanna earn my freedom, I got it.

“We are all mortal until the first kiss and the second glass of wine.”

One day you wake up and you get to an age where when you find a girl, it’s probably the good one – or at least now, it is supposed to be. No more messing around! Well in fact that’s most often what your surrounding would like to see. But you can’t say that this eventuality hasn’t crossed your mind though.

An age where you no longer bother try to hide your vices, drugs and others. If you get caught, fine, you’ll pay your fine, end of story.

An age where, one by one, all those insignificant and pretty lame couples around you eventually put on a suit and make commitments. Remember that particularly good old buddy of yours that you’re progressively less and less hanging out with since he found that weird chick a couple months back?? You know, the one that was always like “Duuuude!! Fuck marriage really, dafuq you’d even need this for?!” When he first started to sorta ditch on you because of her jealous behavior you were like “Yeah nevermind, it’ll pass, it’s never gonna last between them anyway, he’ll be back someday like he always does once he dumps one of his girls..”

Well yesterday you bumped into him, something was kinda shinning around his left ring finger and guess what?? He’s gonna be a father soon. Game over dude. I want you to know that I really enjoyed growing up by your side, see you never I guess. Another kid having a kid, what a tragedy; this world’s definitely not on the right track to raise the bar. And while we’re at it, it’s funny how this takes us straight back to the very beginning of this post; “There are clearly two kinds of people in this world.” No wonder where that Joe Six-Pack generation is issued from…

Once more, people get married, have kids and all and I’m like “which part of the world am I going to next?”

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.”

 

 

 

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LVI/ Amores Perros

“Soda becomes vodka. Bikes become cars. Kisses turn into sex. Remember when Dad’s shoulders were the highest place on earth, and your Mom was your hero? Race issues were about who ran the fastest, War was only a card game. The most pain you’ve ever felt was when you skinned your knees, and goodbyes only meant until tomorrow…
And we couldn’t wait to grow up.”

One last look to understand that it is too late. One last smile to understand that you have to let her go. One last hug to realize that it is maybe the end. A final goodbye but still this desire to believe in it. For a moment, nothing moves. No emotions. No tears. No sensations. Apart from this great void she has left into your heart. Regrets, yes. What if the word happiness was flying away along with her? For one last time you would like to hear her laughter that had you run so much. You would like to feel her close to you one last time, before to try to kiss goodbye. There will always be a song, a place, a thing that will remind you how much you loved her and yet moving on is the only thing you need. You will find her back, I promise. Forget the pain that being away from her causes and persuade yourself that life does not end with this event is the only thing to do. It’ll rip your heart into pieces but live, live yourself to death. Enjoy every second. Think of you. I cannot promise you that your tears will cease to flow, but I promise you that your story is not over.
There are people that mark our lives, even if it only lasts a moment. And we are no longer the same. Time does not matter, but some moments are forever.
Summertime sadness.

“Never love nobody fully, always one foot on the ground.”

It’s no good to hang on your old dreams; it keeps you from growing up. All you can ever believe in is now – this moment – because in a blink everything can change. I should have ran, I should have fought back, I should have made a pact with the devil… But instead I just took it upon myself – one more time – cleverly holding on my own set of principles and most specifically, holding on a soon-coming greater project. Not all those who wander are lost.

“I am a lost woman, fearing changes with the same intensity I fear routine. Today I am a woman torn between the terror that everything might change and the equal terror that everything might carry on exactly the same way for the rest of my days.”

In some way, I know how lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. You know I don’t wanna have to turn all this into a memory. Neither that I want anything to fade away even though I’m aware that Time has undeniably already started on its work. I’d like to think that, despite everything, all those little secrets of ours will always be engraved into our memory in this gigantic universe full of stars. I’d like to promise you that Time will never betray what our “us” once have meant but let’s face it – we both know that there’s a complex duality between love and love of travel.
Traveling is trading stability and comfort for the thrill and the appeal for the unknown. It’s like saying; I’d rather risk myself out there in this unpredictable wild world looking for adventure than stay safe in that overwhelming environment that I only know far too well – even if that means I might find myself locked out forever. The greatness of the eventual reward that you’ll come across is worth the potential losses you’ll make along the way believe me. Going after a dream has a price. But however costly it may be, it is never as high as the price paid by people who didn’t live.

“If you stand for nothing, you will find nobody against you, and nobody for you.”

Today I realized that human beings are forgetful – but I didn’t know that it was to the point that they could forget all what one has done for them and what they have gone through together… Today I realized that if human beings can forget memories, maybe they might as well have never been able to love, thus some scandalmongers could whisper that all was perhaps unreal and just an imagination of what one would have liked to see.

The future is the bare shoulder of a beautiful stranger.

Love is a risk; but as far as I know, risks are there to be taken. Another season, another slice of life. And what is the first day of the rest of your life when you have thousands of them?

I like to be fast asleep when I lie down. I like the idea that as soon as I close my eyes, my next minute of consciousness will roughly be seven hours later. I like the idea that I’m spending a little third of the day being switched off from this world to drown into the dream dimension where everything’s possible, anytime.
Though I like to believe that the reason why you can’t sleep sometimes is because you’re awake in somebody else’s dream. Such a beautiful way to disguise your insomnia.

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed working in hotels is that people are trying so hard to be considered as “regulars” on their holiday place… When instead, I’d do anything I can to remain unnoticed and anonymous wherever I travel… How proud they are to tell you “they’ve been guests here for 24 years!!”…. C’mon… Twenty-fucking-four-years… Twenty-fucking-four summers they could’ve spent exploring new places but they deliberately did not… I guess this is the difference between a tourist and a traveler. PS: I’m not anti-social, I’m anti-idiots.

I miss that feeling you get on the road; that life is just beginning and that anything is possible. All I do now is to watch the ocean – towards my next destination – so eager to leave and explore a new continent. Staring into nothingness, both eyes pointed at these so promising Western lands, hoping my future will be bright on the other side.

“It should not be denied that being footloose has always exhilarated us. It is associated in our minds with escape from history and oppression and law and irksome obligations, with absolute freedom, and the road has always led West.”

It is said that the quietest people have the loudest minds. So in the meantime I do my job. I do what I gotta do and eventually I’ll just leave and never see these people again. Knowing that I have my ticket booked heals me. When a flight ticket becomes your mental health insurance. As I said, I keep on running my own race, and guess what, I’m in a good position and ain’t not many laps remaining until I hit my next reward check point..!

Anyway, the “way back home” period of my life is soon to be over. I’ve come back, picked-up what I had to pick-up and I’m soon to be free again. One year… One god damn year – I made it. Though I’m not sure “home” was the right word; people like us don’t really belong anywhere, we just pass through.
One of the hardest things to explain to someone who has always lived in the same place is that sensation of not belonging anywhere.
Because no matter where we go we take ourselves and our damage with us. So is home the place we run to, or is it the place we run from?

“This is why once you’ve traveled for the first time all you want to do is leave again. They call it the travel bug, but really it’s the effort to return to a place where you are surrounded by people who speak the same language as you. Not English or Spanish or Mandarin or Portuguese, but that language where others know what it’s like to leave, change, grow, experience, learn, then go home again and feel more lost in your hometown than you did in the most foreign place you visited.
This is the hardest part about traveling, and it’s the very reason why we all run away again.”

“Trust those who seek the truth but doubt those who say they have found it.”

LV/ When in doubt, travel

“Beliefs don’t change facts. Facts, if you’re reasonable, should change your beliefs.”

[LYON => MONTREAL] [October 14th => ONE-WAY]

So here we are at last; this year, the day following my birthday I’ll be seated in an aircraft 10.000 feet above your heads heading towards my personal Into The Wild.
My plan is to take a massive road trip through Canada for several months, going after Northern Lights spots! And once I’ll be done with that, I’ll probably go down to the States for a while, see where the road takes me. I’ve got time, money and absolutely no intention on working next winter. So let’s go out there and explore America till a new project takes shape in my mind.

This is the way I wanna start my 25th year on this earth, probably the best way for me to celebrate my first quarter century – doing precisely what i feel like i was made for. I’ve been building this project for a year now, just can’t tell you how it feels to finally have purchased my ticket..!
When in doubt, travel.

“Find what you love and let it kill you. For all things will kill you, both slowly and fastly, but it’s much better to be killed by a lover.”

If you can’t say anything nicer than the silence then you better keep your mouth shut. This is most likely the reason why I’ve been so silent those days. But fuck it, I just decided that I have the right to be angry.

Because I’m starting to realize that we can sell our time but we cannot buy it back again. Because now is much better than in an unsure future. For it breaks my heart to be surrounded by dreamless people.

Because I’m tired to always have to hang on words and my keyboard. Sometimes online convos and researches are no longer enough for quench one’s thirst. Because at some point it is no longer enough to be dreaming of better days – one has to go ahead and make it happen. Because after all that time spent at the safe harbor I’m slowly drifting too close to being too desperate to feel something, anything.

Because I have the feeling that I just don’t belong here. I belong to foreign communities. Because one must know how to take risks and I’m so done living in the past. For each day to have a new and different sun.

Because we are from those who can actually feel the seasons pass before our eyes, because we are from those who can spend hours in the rain yet not get wet.
Because you never bothered to keep a glass in your cupboard; you’ve always been from those who drink straight from the bottle when it’s too dark for anyone to testify.

Because basically you’re just like some kind of a Dexter working on his evil plans that respond to a very specific logic of his own – misunderstood by all – condemned to act in the shadow forever.

Because knowledge may be a powerful weapon but it also is a painful teardrop rolling down your cheek that not many people can see. I am not pretending that I know everything but guess what, you don’t have to know everything, and you want to, believe me.

Never apologize for what you feel, it’s like saying sorry for being real.

“Don’t look at the money that comes and goes as the bird, look at the days for they go and never return.”

All those things I’d do if I didn’t have a heart…
Even though I keep on learning useful things here, this season’s being quite boring I must say. And one of the most important learning I’ve done lately is that I’ve got to keep on working my way up in this business in order to take control and to no longer have to deal with such immature kids.

“Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone.”

Some people were born to face life alone, and this is neither good nor bad, it is simply life. All in all, we all are alone. The best way to apprehend it is to accept it and understand it. If most people hate loneliness and would try to avoid it per any means, it’s only because it’d force them to think things through. Nothing nor no one lasts forever and we shouldn’t be putting our lives and illusions between anyone’s hands. We have to keep control on our lives. The fact of being accompanied does not guarantee safety.

One day you run into one of your childhood best friends you haven’t heard of in ten years and he’s pushing a pram, one day you get an opportunity to become a cocktail master and you make it your new job, one day a friend of yours tragically loses his fiancée and it makes you reconsider everything… Damn, this season is being such an unexpected journey…
Well what can I say, I keep on running my own race, dancing to the beat of my own drum. My mental disorder and I wish you a pleasant read.

So let’s take it one dream at a time, shall we?
So yeah, as I just mentioned, I am done working behind the reception, the perpetual customers’ complaints, done being a simple waiter; I’m now a bartender. Basically I created a bartender position at my hotel and I named myself to fill the job. As simple as that. So far, no one was officially working behind the bar and every waiter would pour the drinks he was ordered on his tables but I found it just so messy. Plus I’ve always wanted to be a bartender for real with all those crumbs of experience that I’ve acquired all along the way in the different places I’ve been working at so far, picking up stuff here and there to one day make it my new job and this was the perfect opportunity. For if there is one thing I have learned over the past years; if you want to get somewhere in life, dress and act like you’re already there. And it works.

So all by myself I spent hours and hours learning all of the classic cocktails by heart, and I even invented some new ones. My “cocktail of the day” thing works wonderfully and makes so much money when I think of it.
I make cocktails just the way I make food; you tell me what we have in store and I find a way to mix it all up. Never really been much of a recipe follower and never will! Which ingredient goes along well with what, how will I call and promote this mixture to make people wanna try it? Just love it, actually it’s some sort of an art between cooking, being creative and a touch of marketing, just what I’m good at!

So yeah, moving on one more time, learning a new job, leaving some other stuff behind… The cycle of life right?? Sometimes happiness is just right there, standing by your side, but your dreams prevent you from seeing it. But really, when I see all the crap that is going on around me these days, all those people that lose their beloved ones, those parents that have to bury their own sons, now more than ever I just think to myself that every single opportunity must be seized, no time for doubts.

“Nothing makes the past a sweeter place to visit than the prospect of imminent death. Though an awareness of death encourages us to live more intensely.”

I’ve had my fare share of darkness too but really I’m thankful for the difficult people in my life for they have shown me exactly who I don’t want to be. I’ve learned that what you dislike about a person is evidently something you dislike about yourself. I don’t regret the painful times; I bear my scars as if they were medals. So please color my life with the chaos of trouble for the storm soon will strike and it’ll feel so damn right.

“Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.”

LIV/ Intuition is an exact science

“A child has no need to write, he is innocent. A man writes to throw off the poison which he has accumulated because of his false way of life.”

For some reason they turn off all of the public lights in this city after 3am… I guess it’s only in order to chase the drunkers away from the city center when it’s late or maybe just to do some power savings. But the other night I figured; damn, this is awesome for stargazing!! Silver linings, silver linings everywhere!!

I hope it’s true what they say in the movies – that if you stare at one star in particular, someone you love might be looking at the same star at the same moment wherever this person is in the world right now… Sounds cheesy I know, but it’s only to remind you how important it is to tell people how much you love them when you’re fortunate to be by their side. Because once you parted ways, it is another story… Live in the present for Life’s sake. Damn, I feel like this winter season’s just over and I’m already immerged in my summer work place… Damn, those ephemeral communities that I build everywhere I go are starting to kill me… It’s getting hard for me over time, what a poisonous addiction… Just like they do with cigarette packs, one day they’ll write “Loving strangers kills” on flight tickets.

“If you make friends with yourself you’ll never be alone.”

So get up, stand up and dream! A smile costs nothing but is worth so much. Everything I know about hope I picked it up along the road. Always going for the most comfy and the safest is renouncing to life.
“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.”
So be deliriously happy about the present moment, whatever it is like.

“It is possible, if you forget all the reasons that make it impossible. Nothing lasts forever. Pain and troubles included.”

When I turn things over in my head, I realize how many dreams I have in store, how many targets I’ll hit one day or another. Like to see the Auroras in Canada, like to start a new life from scratch in Spain, like to experience zero gravity and so on… No matter what you think, I won’t be always working at places I could never afford. There are objectives hidden behind all that.

“On your journey to your dream, be ready to face oasis and deserts. In both cases, don’t stop.”

Unconsciously I sort of started to list all people that I would take with me on my Noah’s Ark if worst came to worst. I’m not so sure how I feel about that. It isn’t so many people in the end, but wow… I can tell you one thing; those whose names appear on this list gave me chills… They’ve actively contributed to my life, and some are simply a part of me, whether they know it or not. For some reasons, life doesn’t always allow you to lay all your cards on the table with your friends. Ego, love, strategies… all these bullshits that distort what comes out of your mouth, your behavior. It’s sad I know, but sometimes you just gotta avoid being a “sucker with no self-esteem”.

It’s just the price to pay. The price to pay for living life so intensely. Because there definitely is something magic in nomads’ life. Something that goes beyond most people’s understanding. Something that most people don’t even suspect the existence of. But you’ll never know that this thing even exists if you keep drowning in your loans, your commitments, your open-ended contract, your home-made prison.

What’s wrong with you?! Aren’t you tired to have all that’s left of your life chucked on the backseat of a car, to be packing up your stuff on and on?? No I’m not. A regular life all set up in advance with a highly boring office job would tire me so much more believe me. Just the idea to know what tomorrow’s gonna be like is much more tiring to me than to ignore in which part of the world I’ll be landing next month. Wake up boy, no one took your dreams away from you, you just left them aside at some point. Nothing’s over until you decide so. So stop whining like a little bitch and get back on your horse, commonplace things can wait.

“Getting married before the age of 25 is like leaving a party before 10pm.”

 

 

LIII/ Sunsets never get old

“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.”

So my summer season ’14 just got started, at some pretty awesome 3 star hotel down on the French west coast – also known as a great surf spot by the way.

The studio they got me for free is pretty cool I must say… So far I always believed I could never live by myself given the “unusual places” I’ve lived at until now… well let’s reconsider this; I could never live by myself for over a season..! It just feels so good to have my own space with an independent kitchen and all…

Besides, as I mentioned it earlier, where I am is a pretty wicked surf spot… So few days after I arrived, I didn’t really think twice and bought myself the full equipment… Cost me much but fuck it, it is a worthy investment and ever since I left Australia I was dreaming to surf again one day… This day has come, and I get to surf almost daily now.

Damn, it’s unbelievable how much I love these kinds of moments… When you just got nuts and think to yourself, fuck it, we only live once… This sort of indescribable well-being that ocean may procure me. When the sun sets and you’re right there at the right moment, at the right spot. When the sky goes all shinny orangey and even pinky at some point… When absolutely nothing else matters. I don’t watch TV, I travel.
Sometimes you just gotta suck it all up. Sometimes all you need is the air that you breathe.

Surf, cook, work, sunset. Repeat.

So I finally got back to some sort of healthy lifestyle, and it feels damn good. Thanks to that tendonitis I do much more things now that I’m back on my two feet. I realize how good it is to be in a good shape, how limitless life can be.

I really like it here, I mean everything. Even work doesn’t bother me at all, for every day I learn something new at this hotel.
And since it’s a real 3 star hotel with high standards and the means to do your job well, I don’t have much concerns coming from work, everything works just fine. Everyone does the job he’s assigned to and the owners are really respectful regarding your private life –for once. So as a result I get much more time to consecrate to more important things, things let aside up to now.

Like I just got a new passion; go down at the beach at sunset and just photograph people. I find it interesting because of the challenge it implies. I mean the actual sunset time may be counted in a fistful of minutes; these specific last few minutes before the sun disappears, when you feel like you can actually see the sun moving down so it is quick. And you better be quick too because no matter what you do, you’ll never only get five minutes a day to hit your target. But it is endlessly fascinating because you never know what “models” are gonna be out there today, for every day you find something different to be exploited under a new lightening.

A pregnant woman, fishermen, lovers, joggers, a wild dog, old couples… Of course the trick is to have a good zoom so thanks to the distance the people you take pictures of most often don’t even notice what you’re doing. First you don’t offend anyone and second, they continue to act naturally – which is one of the major keys to a great photo. Some locals have already given me a nickname for seeing me and my camera out there almost daily; “the sunset hunter”. I like that.

After all, what if it was the last one?? I wonder what my last sunset’s gonna be like… Better be good.
Matter of fact each sunset is different, just like each day is. I believe each day has got its own unique sunset so as some sort of tribute to all the different things that may have occurred in the world during those seventeen hours of daylight. All those tiny insignificant miracles.

“They’ll accuse you… to enjoy yourself in the country of the serious people, to be free in the land of chains, to be alive in the land of the dead.”

LII/ Tell them that I just don’t know

“I’m not talking about those who just like that, I mean the travelers who feel the visceral urge to move, those for whom – almost to maintain their mental health must go.”


First I must warn you, this chapter’s gonna be rather special; different than usual. It’s only because I wanna pay some sort of tribute to the beautiful people I’ve come across during this incredible month on the roads of Europe.

So I made it to Gent for what seems to be the last step on my trip – staying at the hostel that won the Hostelworld oscar of the best hostel in Belgium!! Let’s see what surprises this city has in reserve for me..!
It’s funny how many things I’ve realized during this trip, how many times all of my beliefs have been remodeled. It’s funny to see how good it feels to have your convictions put upside down. So many insignificant things I never paid attention to before. Did you know that during a trip, train rides are actually the only moments when you get a chance to rest a little? Well now you know.
I only realize now how much I was suffocating this winter stuck in that lost mountain…

31 days, 1 backpack, 16 train rides, 11 cities, 1 tendonitis, 4 couches, 138 beers, 1 custody, 3 beds, 2 liters of Mexican tequila, 1 shaky bunk, 7 car rides, 1 month, 18 bottles of wine, 3 dorms, 1 dream… and far too many beautiful people and surprises to be counted!!

“Life is like a camera, just focus on what’s important and capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if things don’t work out, just take another shot.”

There shouldn’t be any logic in the way you travel, your two feet and your instinct are way enough. Ain’t no wiser man than the one who’s been everywhere in the world and who has seen every tiny piece of truth. In an environment that gets darker every day, blessed are the cracked minds because they let the light through.

“I am in competition with no one. I run my own race. I have no desire to play the game of being better than anyone. I am simply trying to be better than the person I was yesterday.”

The best always comes out from the most hopeless situations and I’ll leave no recipe follower tell me otherwise. You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it.
I’ve been told I was someone full of passion, I’ve been told to fuck off. I’ve seen sunrises, I’ve seen sunsets. I heard that the nicest journey is always on the way home.

You can only be hurt by people you love.

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”

So now please make room for a new concept of mine that I might use again next time I travel; I’ve baptized it “What’s hot??”
So the concept is pretty basic, anywhere I go, I always find out something new. It goes from videos to comedies, passing by some brand new wicked tracks..!
Some sort of hall of fame for the spots I pass by!

So, what’s hot??

What’s hot @ Heidelberg?
This track from Lykke Li!!

What’s hot @ Cologne?
First, this place is where I found one of the two best finds of the whole trip, check this out!!

Just makes me wanna go to Thailand so bad now…!
And also there was this wicked video clip!!

What’s hot @ Strasbourg?
The sitcom called “En passant pécho”, though you must be fluent in French to be able to enjoy it!

Also one of the latest track of Eminem ; « Bad guy »

What’s hot @ Neufchâteau?
The band named “Orange Blossom”:

And this track form Dilated People:

What’s hot @ Paris?
Basically there I’ve rediscovered the band called “Rudimental”, so here I’ll give you my 3 favorites:


What’s hot @ Bruges?
THE ONE FIND OF THIS TRIP, I’m sure most of you have seen it since it’s been such a buzz but if you haven’t, it is definitely a MUST SEE!!

What’s hot @ Brussels?
Zap de Spi0n. Well I haven’t really discovered it there but I’ve watched so many of their 200 episodes when I was there that it almost feels like it! Basically these are compilations of fails and awesome stuff too. Watch out from this trap though, once you start you can never stop..! Here’s one of them:

What’s hot @ Antwerp?
The sketch of this unknown humorist about booze:

What’s hot @ Gent?
And to finish off with all those great finds, in Gent I discovered the band called “Son Lux”, just love it!! Here are my two favorites! Enjoy!!

Found thanks to this really wicked trailer! So I guess I’ll just use it as a final credit here! Enjoy!!

And so finishes my wicked Eurotrip’14… Just meant to thank everyone I met during that incredible month – both old friends and new encounters.
Many thanks to Caroline, Marcel, Rémi, Vincent, Marie, Bas, James, Pierre, Dennis and Georgia.
Thanks for your laughter, your company, your differences, your lust for life… This is all I needed really. Just thank you for being such awesome citizens of the world, citizens of my world. And again, remember, the people make the places.
Love.

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

LI/ Europe is definitely my favorite fairy tale

“The goal isn’t to live forever. It is to create something that will.”

I feel like I’m going through great things these days, great realizations and it is good for me. Many things are changing in my life and all the better. Needed something to happen, I get pretty much everything happening all at once… So many important people of my life are suddenly coming back up all at the same time – not only talking about the people I visit here – and I guess this is one of the reasons why I’m currently realizing so many things. Thanks to this trip I get a chance to compare my life with my friends’, the paths we’ve taken, I collect anecdotes, I have time to think through, to think about what do people from my generation have become over time during all those years we haven’t had news from each other, mostly in terms of career, love and lifestyle. Some sort of reboot session I’d say. To take stock on our lives, to take stock on life.

“It’s a new day, it’s a new dawn…” you know how the lyrics go right?

I start to have a new vision about what I wanna do with my life, new great projects. Like to settle down in Spain again and find something once I’m there. Most of all I feel free, totally footloose and that’s the best you can ever get. All in all I travel just as I lead my life, one-way only please. Ultimate freedom.
Maybe I just gotta stop overthinking in the end. I mean my situation is not that bad, it’s even rather good actually. I’m gonna let go. Let things happen and see.

“Your 20’s are your selfish years. Old enough to make the right decisions and young enough to make the wrong ones. Be selfish with your time-travel, explore, fall in and out of love, be ridiculous and silly, stupid and wild. Be 20something.”

Bruges, 6.50pm; just starting to get rid of that insane hangover… I guess mixing up Mexican tequila, French wine and Belgian beer wasn’t the brightest idea…
Too bad, I’m starting over in a couple of hours. Gotta love being back to my beloved good old hostel life..!

“And I shambled after as usual as I’ve been doing all my life after people that interest me, because the only people that interest me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing but burn, burn, burn like roman candles across the night.”

Step 8; well arrived in Brussels!! So here we are now, staying at a badass hotel that is closed to the public, downtown Brussels. Basically a friend of a friend got it as a legacy and he didn’t mean to make it a regular hotel but rather something like a community hotel where only long-term guests can live pretty much all together for really cheap as long as it remains secret.
I hear Aziz from Dikkenek lives here from time to time…. Things are getting more and more wicked as I keep on going, each step on this trip is making an eventual return to reality more and more inconceivable to me…
Life is awesome, and Europe is definitely my favorite fairy tale.

Over time I learnt that we cannot avoid pain, but we can prevent it to control our life. I learnt that not knowing whether to wait or to forget is the worst kind of suffering. Over time I learnt that the only thing that makes people weak is their need for validation and recognition. All your life you’re gonna come across people who live in cages they bought. Every once in a while an angel dies, and this shouldn’t sadden you because ain’t nothing you can do about it. Never forget; everything happens for a reason and everything shits for the best, always.
Sometimes, when you feel like everything had been written in advance in your life, you just gotta sit down and take time to rewrite it all.

“We can sell our time, but we can’t buy it back again.”

I know from experience that Beauty never travels in a group. I know from experience that at some point, your best friend becomes your backpack. The creative adult is the child who survived.
I’m a lone wolf and a vicious one, but if somehow you manage to catch my attention, I’m willing to offer you everything I have.

“I like to eat for real, to drink for real, to kiss for real, to chat with good friends for real, to fall in love for real; and when you put so much in all those things, nothing’s more normal than getting away from it full of scars.”

So somehow I could manage to get myself outta Brussels that was far too dangerous for me in terms of nightlife (…) and I’m now in Antwerp. And even though I know it’s one of the last steps on my trip, I still find awesome things to be done around here. One month Eurotrips are definitely too short.

“Travelling is like flirting with life. It’s like saying, I would love to stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station.”

I’ve seen a free access piano in a Parisian train station. I’ve been to the European parliament and I’ve attended to a barbecue where you don’t actually eat meat but only get hammered instead. I saw a street magician stop the hiccups that a friend of mine had just by doing a quick but impressive magic trick. I tried over than twenty different beers I never heard about so far and I fell in love with Bruges. I’ve seen wind mills in city centers and I’ve stayed at really unique and secret places.

The 8th wonder of the world is wherever you want it to be, it might even be down the street around the corner. Over time I realized that you just gotta get out there and go for it. Improvisation is the key to happiness.

“I bear many scars, but I also carry with me moments that would not have happened if I had not dared to go beyond my limits.”

‘Ain’t no love in the heart of town’ they say. Over time I also realize that I really prefer smaller towns than major cities, and by far. Human-sized places have so much more tales to tell than any of those impersonal megalopolises. You get to meet more open-minded people in smaller places, people that have guts to go where not everybody go, the guts to get away from the safe trails, people that have listened tips from their fellow travelers. That is probably why I had the best time in Bruges, Antwerp, Strasbourg and so on.

Anyway I would have accumulated enough beautiful memories to dream of until my next adventure and I’m grateful for that. I healed the wounds I had in known territories and I feel like it’s time now to move and conquer some places I’ve never been to, just like a need for wide spaces. For sure Canada will do..!

One love, one heart.

 

L/ It’s always summer somewhere

“It’s a big and beautiful world. Most of us live and die in the same corner where we were born and never get to see any of it. I don’t want to be most of us.”

It’s insane how much I can love the feeling to be surprised during a journey. It’s insane how much I can love the feeling to be surprised in life. The thrill of the unexpected. These days so many people are no longer curious, no longer impressionable, no longer unpredictable… Too bad for them, I still love improvisation so damn much and I’m not ready to change. I am not most of us.
‘You don’t seem mad at all’, she said. But I am. And I want to continue being mad, living life the way I dream it, and not the way other people want it to be. The more you love your decisions, the less you need others to love them.
We all have two lives, and the second one starts when you realize that you only have one.

“No one day is like another, each tomorrow has its special miracle, its magic moment in which old universes are destroyed and new stars are created.”

Today I’m near Nancy, in a small village where a friend of mine lives, right in the middle of nowhere I’ve got to say. The kind of place you go ONLY if you wanna visit someone. I guess I’m the only traveler that has deliberately made a stop here in the past decade.
Anyway, I just randomly wake up, it is 2 in the morning and I suddenly love life again. This is the first time in this trip that I feel such thing. This morning I woke up from the heaviest hangover with my pal and he lit up a magic stick roughly 5 minutes later. Then we’ve been in this kind of “yet only half built house” where some dude I don’t know pretends to live. We drank so much homemade liquor from dusk to dawn that I passed out around 10pm, 5pm in my brain… Just woke up from an unexpected nap, feeling more cheerful than ever.
You see, even the most unexpected stop of my trip, life has its way to get awesome.

“I remember the many occasions on which help has come from people whom I thought had nothing to add to my life.”

Sometimes all you need is some good buddy and a bottle of tequila. Somehow it provides me quite a lot of positive energy after that endless season in a cave… We only glow at night.
“What we do here is booze destruction; we just smash bottles till we’re smashed. What goes around comes around!”
I feel like if life didn’t offer me a brother, it’s only because I’m destined to find him on the road.

What I haven’t told you last time is that not long ago karma has cast a pretty dreadful spell on me. By dint of walking around everywhere every day in Strasbourg like the eternal curious wanderer that I am, I got an ankle tendonitis… Right in the middle of my trip, fuck my life right? At first I couldn’t even walk at all, especially not with my backpack on… I’ve even considered stopping the trip, but I removed it from the options I had quite fast.
Now I perceive that tendonitis as some sort of test to my willingness to travel. So fuck it, it may be painful when I walk and painful also to make shorter sightseeing sessions in the cities to come but it’ll never be more painful than the bitter feeling you must get with a half-finished Eurotrip. Not this one, not now. Not giving in. Damn, you never realize how beautiful life is when you’re in a good shape. But again I guess that it is just like everything else, someday I’ll laugh about it.
So I do what I can and as a result I now find myself in Paris – the most visited city of the world and I spend my time writing. Love it anyway.

“In dire times you can lose joy, but you can’t lose hope. Hope is your guide.”

I mean I cannot end this trip right now, I love it just far too much! I’ll finish it in a wheelchair if I have to but I won’t give up before I’m done.
“There is only one way to learn. It’s through action.”
The great lessons I learned has been precisely those that my journeys had taught me.

“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.”

It’s quite hard to put words on the greatness of the trip I’m currently taking. Each second day I get to do some sort of a total immersion into someone’s life. Those “someone” are all friends of mine that I all met in different corners of the world, in different contexts and that I haven’t seen in ages. And even though it might seem a bit intrusive somehow, by traveling this way I also meet most of my mates’ friends. And I find it so interesting; all the different accents, the different habits, the different lifestyles and so on. Besides, it also obviously feels so damn good to see my pals again and down a couple of pints together talking about what we’ve been up to during all those years we haven’t met.

“The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.”

The most beautiful discovery friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart. Time doesn’t make you lose friends, it only makes you realize which are the true ones.
I also make random encounters on the side too. For instance the most unexpected thing happened to me the other night in the Parisian subway. I found myself in the same wagon as a girl who was in high school with me, someone I haven’t seen in 10 years… Sort of my own midnight in Paris I’d say..!
Traveling definitely makes life spicy and I’m grateful I chose not to have a permanent address.

“Life is the most difficult exam. Many people fail because they try to copy others – not realizing that everyone has a different question paper.”

I met optimistic people, I met scandalous people. You know, you need a bit of everything to make your life a beautiful rainbow.
“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”
And as I continue to move on, I keep on learning. Sometimes people cry, not because they’re weak, but because they’ve been strong for too long.
And when I see those people completely devoid of personality – spending their lives taking selfies in mirrors and adding about two hundred hashtags to this – I just think to myself that the drama of their life is that none ever actually happened to them.
If you spent less time bitching about your life you’d possibly enjoy it more. There isn’t a way to happiness, happiness is the way.

Open your eyes kid, there won’t be a next time nor even a next life. There’s only one god here on earth and that’s you. If you don’t like the world, make one you like better and leave no sorrow make you get off your cloud. Fortune smiles on those who smile on her.

XLIX/ Life does not look back

“On the road, the best is to get lost. Once you’ve lost your way, projects make room to surprises and only then the real journey begins.”

So I’m now half way through my trip. Currently taking a break in Paris in order to write while drinking red wine; Hank moody would be proud of me. And even though I’m not a big fan of this city, I find this place quite inspiring I must say.

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”

I’m sure y’all know these periods of life when among your friends you see several long-term couples breaking up all at the same time for no apparent reason. It’s crazy because during spring, you’d actually expect the exact opposite, the nice days are back and you’d think people would tend to start relationships and new projects but they ain’t. In fact, all I see around me these days are people breaking up. So goes life I guess.

Sometimes life doesn’t follow our plans, but as far as I know it doesn’t mean that you gotta passively endure what life is trying to impose on you. No matter what the situation is, there’s always something that you can take advantage of.
The value of a man is measured in his ability to bounce back from any given situation.
Too many people don’t understand that life is not about being perfect but being happy. And some will struggle all their life swimming against the current. Let go and let yourself go, the most damaged people are the wisest.
Fear does not prevent death. It prevents life.

“Welcome to the real world, where people lose things they love.”
So of course, someday you’ll wake up and all your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth. And yes, this feeling of sudden emptiness may make you feel like someone had pushed off a cliff when you least expected it. Only you do not feel crushed down at the foot of the cliff – but you’re no longer standing on top of it either. You’re just there, hanging in the air and you think to yourself that maybe, life is giving you a second chance.
Life leaves us the choice to make it an accident or an adventure.
One must forgive, and forgive oneself in order to turn a page.

Open your eyes kid, nothing’s ever over and sometimes you need to get slapped in the face in order to move on. This kind of difficult separations happen to everyone, though it’s not so dramatic as long as life carries on. Sometimes you just gotta stop living in the past. Sometimes you just have to cast off the moorings in order to set off again with a lighter heart.

“After closing the door that leads you nowhere, throw away the key. Because our tendency is to look back and regret.”
Real contemporary love stories take place on railway platforms or in airports and they are measured in latency between two text messages.
We’ll meet again, but not now.

“I wanna cry and I wanna love but all my tears have been used all.”

It’s terrible how I no longer believe in those things given what I see around me. Whatever, I’m not giving in. To me, everything happens for a reason, and everything shits for the best.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

So far in my trip I’ve been to Heidelberg, Cologne, Strasbourg, Nancy, Neufchâteau and I’m now in Paris. And Belgium is coming up soon..!
Sometimes you just need to swap landscapes. To stay is to exist, but to travel is to live and because if we were meant to stay in the same place, we’d have roots and not feet. Ain’t nothing easy in the fact of leaving, but there’s everything to be gained.

“Life is a train that stops at no stations; you either jump abroad or stand on the platform and watch as it passes.”

I have changed address so often, I have lost my hopes and landmarks, but I have many friends. And some of them are with me. The frontiers are my prison. Though it’s been a long way already, and sometimes I fear that there’s no promised land. Due to several intense conversations with different great friends of mine that I’m currently visiting, I find myself in some new self-questioning period. I mean, where does all that is gonna take me?? When and where is it gonna stop?
Because it got to a point where I definitely find it easier to go ahead and start over from scratch every day than to stay somewhere and fight. “Another day, another challenge”; this is pretty much how I’ve been living life those past four years but I’m starting to doubt now, isn’t that beginning to be a bit of a coward behavior?

“Ignoring your passion is slow suicide. Never ignore what your heart pumps for. Mold your career around your lifestyle, not your lifestyle around your career.”
I know I can never completely get done with travels; it’s become a part of me over time. Besides, it’s raining job offers these days. After having had the choice between several tempting offers, I finally picked a hotel on the French west coast for this summer. Let’s make more money before I set off again to Canada..! My life is such a contradiction I know.

For one road you take, how many other do you leave behind?