XLVIII/ Wine is bottled poetry

“Do something instead of killing time. Because time is killing you.”

So this is it, this veeeeeery long and exhausting season is finally coming to an end this weekend… Fuck me, when I look around I only see 2 colleagues of mine out of the 17 who were working by my side since the actual beginning early December; which means we’re only 3 who have made it from the very beginning till the end… I suppose you can guess how tough it’s been… Whatever, I made it. One way or another, we have won.

Still can’t believe I managed to handle 6 months settled down in France… I’m proud of myself I must say, and for once in my life, I’ve got time and money to be spent wandering around.
Eurotrip’14 is about to start fairly soon… Stay tuned. So far I’m still planning to head north, between Germany, France and Belgium but nothing’s really settled yet – so poke me if you’re around!! As my father says; “you must leave room for the unexpected, otherwise it’s not really a journey.”
The world better behave, I’m coming!!

The other day as I was in a train heading to a hospital to visit a friend of mine, I heard a conversation between two teenagers sat right next to me and their main preoccupation was “what will I do after my A-level?? What career shall I pick?!?” Like if it’ll matter… It’s crazy how naïve we can be around 16… I’d gladly tell them that it all lead to the same place and your choice won’t really affect anything. Your real life will start once you’re off school, but I guess they have to find out by themselves like I did, like everyone does.

It’s funny because during that same train ride I was listening to my “Winter ’14” playlist from the last track added to the oldest and it felt a lot like “rewinding the season” and every memory that automatically comes along with… Besides, traveling across places I used to go at with my parents as I was just a kid reinforced that feeling… For the first time in my life I was literally travelling into a memory.

Travelers are often condemned to live alone with their fondest memories – to grow old far away from those with whom they share those unforgettable travel stories since this kind of people will never really be able to settle down anywhere… Sometimes I feel like life is a perpetual game of cat and mouse with my sidekicks across the globe.
What do you wanna do, it’s like this, encounters go by and farewells too.

On my side, I guess that the only thing that may have changed or simply evolved over time is the way I’m sure of my convictions, the way time and experience shaped them, the way they’re sharp and well thought out. Off course I’ll let you try to convince me – and quite frankly i’d love you to succeed from time to time – but in total honesty I wish you the best of luck.

But no worries, I still love the snow as much as I love sunsets. I still believe in the present, in hope and in the red wine. Passion is still what takes me out of bed daily. And when some sort of clear-sightedness tends to make me sad sometimes, I write it all out. Some sort of homemade therapy.
The secret is to know how to take your time. You know, sometimes mysteries are more exciting than explanations.

You don’t make new encounters in your dreams very often, do you? But every once in a while, you do meet someone with whom the contact goes particularly well and even though you are pertinently aware that it’s only a dream when you wake; you don’t feel bitter at your awakening. No you don’t, you’re fairly able to see that person still and you start thinking of what does all that means regarding your real life. Soon you start to smile… because someway somehow you know some great thing is about to pop up in your life shortly.

There’s something about the impending feeling before to set off for a new journey, because deep inside you know that there’s always a “you before” and a “you after” the trip you’ll take. And it’s never easy to deliberately abandon a part of you.
In the end we only regret the chances we’ve missed, the relationships we’ve been afraid to have and the decisions we’ve waited too long to make. Please never forget that a dream plus motivation becomes reality.

It is said that Supertramps never leave… they just continue their Road.

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XLVII/ No ceiling

Your first instinct is always true. Always follow your first instinct. Even if it’s a bad idea… Bad ideas make beautiful stories.

Sorry I haven’t written in a while but I’ve taken so many roads trips on my days off this past month, and I really needed it. Travel really heals me.
Because it’s not that easy to find the right words when you feel locked down, but I’m tired to explain. “Don’t explain. People only hear what they want to hear.”
Just like Spaniards use to say: “Hay esperanza en la deriva.”, “There is hope in the drifting.”
And since “Later is never”, I’ve decided to get a grip on my life and start doing what I feel like I’ve been made for; travel around. So I’ve headed to Italy a couple of times and I’m telling you, I’ve seen more beauties in those few days than I have during the whole season up here…

I’ve travelled the authentic way; a car, some good buddies, staying at hostels, no map, no plans. Just heading towards where our impulsions led us. I never have a plan, nothing can ever go wrong this way.
This kind of weekends away really makes me recover a taste for life. Luck may be provoked – and sometimes – you gotta provoke destiny.
Though there are some risks in picking this way to travel, this lifestyle. Here I can’t help bringing back my good old favorite quote on the table;

“I know that we shall meet problems along the way, but I’d far rather see for myself what’s going on in the world outside, than rely on newspapers, television, politicians and religious leaders to tell me what I should be thinking.”

There’s an adage that says “What begins well ends badly, and reciprocally, what begins badly ends well.”
I find it amazing how it perfectly applies to a trip… Accidents are an integral part of travel. In French we say “you don’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.” I don’t wanna die without scars. All we have is now and travel is never a matter of money but of courage.
How can you be alive and have no story to tell?

For instance, during one of those weekends away, I got sunburned quite badly. How? By standing on a roundabout for almost two hours. Why? Because I’ve had a car collision with some Italian reckless moped rider and I had to wait for the police to get done with the report.
“An Italian reckless driver”, what a pleonasm…..

“Failure is part of life; if you do not fail, you do not learn and if you do not learn, you do not change.”

Work in the hotel field irremediably drives you a slightly misanthrope. Since I was a little kid, I’ve always wanted to have a dog. But quite frankly I doubt now that it is such a good idea; it’d only make me even more misanthrope I’m sure….
The more I see our guests at the hotel, the more I’m thinking that I can never spend vacations in any kind of vacation resort like the ones I work at. I couldn’t help thinking of who’s who among the staff, who shags who, what do they say about me when I’m not around… Besides I’m not a tourist like them, I’m a traveler. The difference resides into the passive aspect of their way to travel. The way tourists are somewhere and have absolutely no idea of what’s the story of whatever may surround them, and have no interest in it. Like Renaud said “their only presence is enough to pollute the landscapes.”
It’s the exact same people you hear complain about anything and everything on a perpetual way. “The snow’s too soft!!” “Why didn’t I get a balcony when my neighbors did??” “Last year was better…” “What’s the weather gonna be like in three weeks?”

Are smart people forced to be condemned to be embittered all their life or are they instead sentenced to surpass themselves by finding a way to be happy in the midst of all those dumbasses?
Or else you can decide you blend into the crowd and do not make waves, at a cost of an eternal self-questioning.

“I don’t stop when I’m tired, I stop when I’m done. Ain’t no rest for the wicked.”

Whatever, I’m off to Italy again heading towards Genoa, Les Cinq Terres, Pisa… Turn up the volume; music is the best medicine in the world, even when you aren’t sick.
“Life is a river. A beginning, an end, a million different ways in between. And no matter what direction or how it’d move or what it’d look like, the point was that the river always moved forward.”

This feeling… You wake up in the morning and you have no idea on what to expect. I feel like I don’t owe anything to anyone and it’s perfect just the way it is.
The scent of the plants down the streets of Genoa, the scent of freedom in Portofino, the scent of beauty in Manarola, the scent of those beautiful girls’ perfume starting to wear lighter clothes now that the winter’s over… The scent of spring. Matter of fact, spring’s always the best because it introduces summer. Colora la tua primavera.

Pieces of heaven must be found progressively, one by one. I don’t see any other way to live life.

Only to stay at hostels… I think I didn’t even realize how much I have missed it!! The good thing is that I could give different answers than usual to the people I met in the hostel. I mean my “life situation” is just so different now compared with what it was the last time I was hanging around hostels, and answering always the same shit to whoever was asking me who I was, what was I doing there and so on was precisely what ended up making me sick of hostel life at the end.
So I feel good, like a renewal wave has struck my life in some ways.

When I’m away I’ve got a sort of permanent smile upon my face and i love it. To cross borders makes my mood up. It’s crazy how inspiring a trip can be to me, how stimulating it is.
Hostels are definitely the best place to meet open minded people and it’s such a great feeling to meet people that are on the same wavelength. Makes me find back the faith to carry on.

“Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.”

Just like a cold wave of nostalgia slapping me in the face sometimes… I miss so many of you guys, you have no idea of who I’m fortunate to meet late at night in my dreams..!
Don’t miss any chance. I know from experience that regrets can cost much for people like us. Trying to forget someone you love is like trying to remember someone you never met. Generally speaking I find it quite sad that it takes longer to call someone your girlfriend than what it takes to call her your ex… Pride will make you strong, but not happy.
Don’t be too harsh to yourself though, it’s not always easy to make the right decision when life is a balance of holding on and letting go.
“You were born with the ability to change someone’s life. Just don’t waste it.”

I think I finally got to the point when you understand that “we have to take love where we find it, even if that means hours, days, weeks of disappointment and sadness.”
Stay hungry, but don’t fool yourself. We live in a world where we have to hide to make love, while violence is practiced in broad daylight. And love can be quite capricious when it comes to show up twice on a row.

“Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.”

Anyway, I still can’t believe I managed to handle 6 months settled down in France… I’m proud of myself I must say, and for once in my life, I’m rich and I’ve got time.
Soon I’ll find back the freedom to change address every evening, what a luxury…
Well it sounds like this is the end of the season up here, and soon enough, our fellowship will be dissolved. Would be lying to say that I’m not happy about it because this signifies that freedom soon will come. The beginning of another end, but every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.
20 weeks of arrivals, 20 weeks of departures, 20 weeks of problems, 20 weeks of laugher, 20 weeks of no nightlife, 20 weeks of solidarity, 20 weeks of stress… In short, 20 weeks that’ll leave me some sort of a bittersweet taste. What can I say, encounters and farewells still pass before my eyes too fast for me to really be conscious of it.

“Life’s like a cycle, to keep your balance you gotta keep on moving.”

And I will soon conclude this part of my blog too… I wanted to tell you that if this chapter was so long, it is firstly because I had really a lot of stuff to share since the time that I had not written, and secondly because I don’t know if I’ll have the opportunity to write some more any time soon because my next journey is about to begin..!

“Throw me to the wolves and I will return leading the pack.”

XLVI/ This could be your last life

I don’t trust anyone, I don’t doubt anything. I keep on walking.
And if there’s one thing I’ve learned over time it’s that there’s nothing to understand and that it’s not good to have a rational brain these days.

Sapiosexual (n.) – a person who is sexually attracted to intelligence in others.

It’s funny how life is full of these small insignificant moments that you’ll wonder one day if they actually happened… This one was real and I can still touch it with my hands.
Love is a force you can’t control.
I know that to turn down an opportunity gives rise to one of the worst pain in the world. A kind of incurable stomach ache, a regret of having forever wasted a chance to have done differently. And even if I’m such an opportunist, I feel like there are still quite a lot of small occasions that I ain’t seizing and this makes me sad sometimes.
A flaw is a quality for which we have not yet found the user manual. Though I can’t seem to remember the last time I’ve seen a mermaid.

“It’s a big, bad world full of twists and turns and people have a way of blinking and missing the moment… the moment that could’ve changed everything.”

Ain’t nothing as peacefull as watching the snow fall from your bed while listening to Florence and the Machine.
It’s insane how memories can vanish, I mean how blurry they get over time… Years after years you can only remember a situation, what it was about but no longer the colors nor the texture of her hand.
Everything goes up in smoke

“Don’t give up. Remember, it’s always the last key on the key ring that opens the door.”

I love to spend hours staring at a world map before to set off for a new adventure, because once I’m on the road i never do it again, i just follow my instinct. So let’s get lost.
Last weekend I took a trip to Como, Italy with a bunch of colleagues; what a great escape..!
Once more I’m back with more visibility, I’m here with one and one only goal, make money to be able to live such life longer than an only weekend, to be able to do this for several consecutive weeks, hopefully months.
I get goose bumps just by thinking of my upcoming road trip… I’m so excited to visit all those new places in Europe and most of all by the revival aspect of this voyage. Going to visit the best friends you made abroad several years after not having seen each other feels a lot like seeing a really good movie for the second time – you know what to expect and you understand the movie better but at the same time, you know it’s still a badass film.

Ain’t no wiser man than the one who’s been everywhere in the world and who has seen every tiny piece of truth.

Days here are longer than what they used to be, makes me feel like i’ve done my time in Montgenèvre.
It’s strange because – even though i still find it gorgeous here – I’m so sick of being stuck where I am now. And as paradoxical as it may sound, somehow, that’s the first time of my life that I feel like the winter’s gone so fast…
Fuck it, in my head I’m already gone anyway.

Went to the supermarket the other day, they already got those Easter eggs… Fuck me, last year i was celebrating Easter lost in the Australian bush with my mates sat around a campfire in the wild… Damn, what happened to us? I feel like it was yesterday…

Earlier through the season a colleague of mine exposed me his whole theory, like everyone was putting his life “in brackets” during a season meaning that he was up for any single crazy shit he was given to do during his time here when otherwise he would have never done those things in what he considered to be his “normal life” back home.
There’s of course a part of truth in this, but quite frankly, after having thought it through, I’ve come up to the conclusion that it was the exact opposite. I mean – to me – I put my social life “in brackets” during a season. Like I put my ego into my pocket in front of the customers, I take a lot upon myself for not going out and save money for my real final goal and I spend my spare time setting up my next move without never really get any sort of actual excitement.
And quite frankly, I’ve reached the point that I’m really looking forward to get my real life back now.

No matter how hard you try, people will continue to come and go, randomly come and randomly go – that’s a fact. The trick is to go with the flow and always make the most of any given situation.
I believe in encounters, i believe in Hope. I believe that soon I’ll be down the road again and nothing else matters.
Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.

The last straight has finally arrived and I take the best of what’s left to be taken of this particularly exhausting season with a smile, because I know that the best is yet to come.

From France, with love.

XLV/ 21 grams

“They say we all lose 21 grams at the exact moment of our death. Everyone. And how much fits into 21 grams? How much is lost? When do we lose 21 grams? How much goes with them? How much is gained? Twenty one grams. The weight of a stack of five nickels. The weight of a humming bird. A chocolate bar. How much did 21 grams weigh?
They say that 21 grams is the weight we lose when we die, they say that 21 grams is the weight of our soul.”

“And I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t
So here’s to drinks in the dark at the end of my road.
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
It’s always darkest before the dawn.”

When I read back my last chapter I can feel a lot of rage. I had so much anger into me. So full of hate having to face that frustrating incapacity to change this world.
“Maybe there is no Heaven. Or maybe this is all pure gibberish – a product of the demented imagination of a lazy drunken hillbilly with a heart full of hate who has found a way to live out where the real winds blow – to sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whisky, and drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind except falling in love and not getting arrested…
Res ipsa loquitur. Let the good times roll.”

Being selfish and detached seem to be the only way out.

It might not be the best timing, it might not be the perfect place nor the perfect moment. It might not last longer than a night, it might not be as good as what I’ve known either but it has the merit to be happening right here right now. And for a minute, I just shut my eyes and I think to myself, damn, I’m alive and I’m thankful I for all the memories I’ve accumulated so far in my life, thankful on how far I got in life until now. The sun may never rise up again, but so be it, I’m alive and I still have dreams.
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.

It’s just that sometimes I feel like I might have put the bar a little too high and it’s tough to equalize my own average level of life intensity. All in all I’m just slightly afraid to understand too many things about life these days.

Everything always starts from a loss of faith or an excess of courage.
Over time I learned that as long as the music’s loud enough not to hear what you don’t wanna hear, it’s not so bad.
Over time I learned that as tough as life can be with you at the moment, it’ll never be so bad that you can’t overcome it. You can only get away stronger from it.
Over time I learned that nothing really is capable to reach you if you keep on matching with what’s within you, your Personal Legend.

Over time I learned that the people you meet accidentally tend to become the most important people in your life.
That people who live mainly by following their hearts are simply the best.
I learned that great friends can become great strangers. But over time and open-mindedness, you’ll realize that it also works the other way around.
That an enthusiastic heart finds opportunities everywhere.
Over time I learned that as long as you’re still capable to love, your destiny still has things in reserve for you.
Don’t give up. Nothing’s over yet. Everything’s gonna be alright in the end, if it’s not ok it’s not end.

I knew all the rules but the rules did not know me.

“Have no fear
For when I’m alone
I’ll be better off than I was before
I’ve got this light
I’ll be around to grow
Who I was before
I cannot recall.”

I completely developed and built myself up during these four years abroad. Everything I know, all that I am and my vision of the world – I clearly owe it all to those years spent wandering around, crossing borders faster than the sun. To the point that today if I met me before the beginning of my travel – the 19 year old me – the nice but simply focused on booze and nights out me – I would certainly not go friends with that person.
My voyage is my resume.

In the end, a season really is like a life summary; people change, whether it turns out to be good or bad, someday you end up discovering their real faces. So many people leave or just disappear (work accidents, abandons) and some new people just pop-up and turn everything upside-down. So goes life.
And thank god I’m still surrounded by a few people who know what they want, people who face life in the eyes with self-confidence.

Spring is here, little by little we begin to lay down our weapons, turn off the heaters, we rub our eyes and everything becomes clearer; the wooden cottages are no longer covered in snow. Life is going in one direction and one direction only, a one way circuit in which we can unfortunately not always choose the speed. So goes life.

Dear destiny,
I’m ready now.

XLIV/ The winner stands alone

“Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin can openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose your future. Choose life… But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life: I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?”

I wanna write. I really wanna write for a few weeks now but I just can’t. It’s terrible but for the moment I just can’t manage to put myself together and put some order in my thoughts. They’re just too many of them in my head and I’m starting to sink under their weight. They’re moving too fast for me to have time to put a word on them. Or maybe I’m just too down?
Anyway, I’ve already abdicated in my head.

Lack of inspiration, lack of action i guess… Loads of questioning too these days… I’ve got things to say, and pretty meaningful stuff even, but i just can’t find the right wording. A sort of breakdown I’d say.
Though I refuse to lose. I guess that this chapter is gonna be a bit disorganized, but fuck it, gotta get up and try.

There’s just too many fuckers out there… Too many lazy, ignorant and hopeless people that exasperate me more and more every day…
I’ve reached my tolerance limit; they went beyond the threshold of my mental resistance to stupidity and it won’t take long for me to tell them their truths.
In short I’m no longer asshole-proof, goodbye.

“Don’t forget that I’ve invented the rules of the game you’re playing.”

Believe me sometimes I’m really one drink away from telling everyone what I really think. I’m a human time bomb and I’m telling you that you don’t wanna be in the neighborhood when I’m gonna explode. But I’ve decided to change instead; I just saved 100% on stress by switching to not giving a fuck.

“Keep going. Each step may get harder but don’t stop, the view is beautiful at the top.”

Although thanks to them – somehow – I got a sort of “positive rage”. The kind of rage that pushes you make all sort of things you wouldn’t do otherwise. The rage to get up in the morning and do things well, the faith to keep on matching to my principles, the rage to keep my head up, the faith to believe in the (near) future, the rage to love, the desire to continue, the rage to win.
To win the right to be upset.
Ignorance is bliss and blessed are the poor in spirit, really. Don’t grow up, it’s a trap.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
A chaque jour suffit sa peine.

These periods are good for the inspiration they say…
Well in my case it just makes me wanna jump in a train and explore new lands. Why is it that every time I close my eyes I feel like I should be anywhere but where I am??
If you knew how I’m dying to hit the road again…
I’ve been thinking it through for a couple of weeks now and here is my conclusion; my good old camera and a ticket to anywhere is pretty much all i need right now.

And since I’m currently planning my upcoming road trip for May ’14 through Europe, I take advantage here to make a short parenthesis about it.
So far I’m planning to head north. To visit Heidelberg, Strasbourg, Neufchâteau, Nancy, Lille, Bruges, Antwerp, Frankfurt etc. Like always, my itinerary IS to be modified according to who I meet and to where the wind takes me. So please let me know if you’ll be on my way or sort of, I’ll be delighted to change my itinerary to see some of you again!!
I feel wanderlust as fuck these days; just bought a one way ticket to Germany on May 1st, everything else remains to be set up depending on you..!
The world better get ready, I’m coming!!

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

In fact, I just want something to happen. Anything that would make me feel alive. Maybe I just need to settle down abroad again.
Because there’s definitely a difference between visiting a country and living in a country.
To live abroad can become a real drug, something you need to keep find life exciting daily, to keep you waking up in the morning with a smile upon your face, something you need to get on going.
And perhaps I’ve reached the limit to the test I imposed myself to come back live where I was from.

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”

Life is simple, it’s the people that complicate everything.
I keep on learning. Trying to find the right path, or maybe just trying to guess where all that is gonna end up. Every decision you make will somehow affect the rest of your life. They call it “The butterfly effect” I heard.

“Breaking a mirror is 7 years of bad luck. Breaking a condom is 18.”

XLIII/ Love by concessions

“A religion is a cult that succeeded.”

For you to understand what follows, I must say that life’s getting tougher at the hotel these days. A lot of accumulated tiredness combined to brainless guests is making some staff members wanna quit… And I’m mad at them for being generally so unprofessional.

All those people who don’t wanna work disgust me. It’s just so tiring to have to cope with such individuals on a daily basis… Their bad mood and their negativity just make me wanna slap them in the face.
All those people that are leaving the boat at the first issue we’re facing are just cowards to me, and I think they should just leave. After all, that’s what some call ‘the natural selection.’ So selfish that they can’t even picture how many people are craving for a job out there. Such behavior simply shows a character trait that is quite obvious; they’re cowards, and I don’t wanna have such individuals in my team.

But I’ve decided not to let some of my colleagues get on my nerves, I’ve decided to pass above all that shit and focus on the future. Gotta match with my own Personal Legend. I’m here to work and make money, not to complain and avoid responsibilities.

“You don’t realize how many people you hate until you have to name a baby.”

And as I was saying earlier – as if it wasn’t enough – guests are particularly awful these days. All from Paris, obviously.
Those people for whom everything is complicated, for whom communication is a constant struggle. Those people who go on holiday to watch television, those who believe that only the ones who live in Paris are French, those people, you know… Hell is other people.

But as one of my colleagues says: “we have to put up with them for a week, they have to put up with themselves all their life.”

Have you lost patience Vinz’?
Yes, cuz another life is possible.

“You’ve got the watches, we’ve got the time.”

I really wanna leave alone again and I want this moment to be soon. Be anonymous and make encounters worthy of the name again.
“Though there are things beyond our understanding, for the most part we are the architects of our own unhappiness.”

And nothing can reach me these days.
So… 3 words, 11 letters, say it and I’m yours: “Let’s get high.”
“The talent is to want to do something.”

“She goes with the flow and follows her heart. She dances to the beat of her own drum. She doesn’t wear a watch. Her days are ruled by the sun and the moon.”

I finally managed to spend time to work on my upcoming voyage. And the more I think, the more I see it divided between a Revival Eurotrip and a well-deserved Canada dream. Roughly one month each, I’m in love.
Germany, France, Belgium & Hungary again – yes – but with a different goal this time; to visit some good old folks I love.
And then I’ll hit Montreal, finally!! I’ve been talking about Quebec for too long for not going there now that I’ll soon have money and time, the perfect combination.

When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.
Risks are there to be taken.

“You can carry a rabbit’s foot for luck, but remember it didn’t work for the rabbit.”

XLII/ Just because I can

It all starts with an open road.

Then you add a drop of magic by playing this track, shut your eyes and dream. Damn I love this song so badly that sometimes I feel like I was born just to find it one day.

“My neighbors listen to good music, whether they like it or not.”

“Just prayin’ to a god that I don’t believe in.”

Sometimes I anticipate and I wonder what’s gonna remain from my ephemeral friendships of my current “mini-life”. I mean who am I gonna stay in touch with and for how long? Who’s gonna sink into oblivion and who’s gonna resurface in my life one day at the bend of a street?
Le vent l’emportera.

Montgenèvre, the only place where you can smoke a spliff in the morning, catch a train and – roughly an hour later – be sat on a terrace and have an authentic Italian Pizza for munchies.
Torino, what a beautiful city. Some covered boulevards made me think of Bologna and some monuments reminded me of the beauty and greatness of Roma. Really gotta see more of this country.

Even though it’s been short, this trip really made me feel good; I missed that pleasure of being abroad and be naively amazed by pretty much everything. Besides, going there with non-travelers and having to use a language which I’m still struggling with made it an even more beautiful experience. Couldn’t help thinking of my first steps abroad nostalgically…

Didn’t think I’d say this one day but I miss living in a town. The diversity of life that emerges from it. All these pretty faces, this love, this anger, this misery all mixed up together. This tasty cocktail of life that you sip on whilst looking at a bunch of gorgeous chicks passing by with a smile upon their faces.
All those things they say in the books you haven’t read.

And what an excitement to visit a town with no map… Just using my instinct as only GPS and my good mood as a guide..!
“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.”
Lovely day trip that made me think things through, and the more I think, the more I see how colorful my summer ’14 is about to be.

“The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.”
This morning I “accidentally” found a very cheap flight for Montreal in May…
Fuck working through the summer season, gotta dust off my backpack.
Tuesday I’m in love.

Of all the options available to me, I choose the headlong rush. In short, it is soon gonna be time to go back to the basics. Just created a “Places I wanna go to” folder on my laptop and now I just can’t wait to book that one-way ticket. Looking forward to get my good old go-getter backpacker lifestyle; to be free as a bird, to be as footloose as an inmate that has just escaped and to change phone numbers faster than a CIA agent between two countries.

I’m never lost, I’m never late, I’m free.

XLI/ 10.000 lives

« Travel is little beds and cramped bathrooms. It’s old television sets and slow Internet connections. Travel is extraordinary conversations with ordinary people. It’s waiters, gas station attendants, and housekeepers becoming the most interesting people in the world. It’s churches that are compelling enough to enter. It’s McDonald’s being a luxury. It’s the realization that you may have been born in the wrong country. Travel is a smile that leads to a conversation in broken English. It’s the epiphany that pretty girls smile the same way all over the world. Travel is tipping 10% and being embraced for it. Travel is the same white T-shirt again tomorrow. Travel is accented sex after good wine and too many unfiltered cigarettes. Travel is flowing in the back of a bus with giggly strangers. It’s a street full of bearded backpackers looking down at maps. Travel is wishing for one more bite of whatever that just was. It’s the rediscovery of walking somewhere. It’s sharing a bottle of liquor on an overnight train with a new friend. Travel is ‘Maybe I don’t have to do it that way when I get back home.’ »

Gosh, I miss traveling…

This week I’ve decided to quote quite a lot of my favorite writers. It’s sort of half-way between “I wanna send a shout-out to those who I’m finding inspiration from” and “I unfortunately have so little time to write these days though I still wanna come up with something that transposes how I feel, no matter who wrote it.”

Allow me to begin with Frédéric Beigbeder – the guy who’s the closest to the truth when it comes to put feelings into words.

“I am fascinated by the extreme voltage, palpable, shaky, which can occur between a man and a woman who do not know each other, for no particular reason, just like that, just because they like each other and struggle to hide it.
The future is the bare shoulder of a stranger.

One might think that this attraction is superficial but there is nothing deeper; we are ready for anything; you accept the faults; imperfections are forgiven; you even look for them with wonder.
After all, we’re never only attracted to weaknesses.

You know you could leave right now with this being with whom you have not exchanged more than three sentences. “To leave”: the most beautiful word in the English language. You know you’re ready to use it. Life gives you a second chance. Your bags are packed, and you know that the past is nothing but a confused mass lying behind you that we must try to forget, since you’re just born.
You know what is happening is very serious, and you do nothing to slow down.”
Love lasts three years, Beigbeder.

So as I was saying earlier, I’ve been an assistant director here at the hotel for a couple of weeks now and I sorely lack spare time.
It is a very demanding job in terms of involvement and time. It’s a lot of stress, short nights and accumulated tiredness. A tiredness that sleep sometimes doesn’t heal.
The amount of things I’ve been postponing since I started with that job is just ridiculous.
To sleep?? I quit.

Nevertheless I really love this position. I love it to do things my way and give directions to the people I manage. To do it in a smart way, mixing up all of the best things I’ve seen in each place I’ve worked at previously.
I guess you must have had several bad bosses to become a good one someday.

Remember that “everything shits for the best“?? Well today on my weekly day off, the weather sucks. I initially planned on going for a massive ski session today, or else go and visit Torino that is literally next door. But it’s all foggy and snowy outside. Maybe it’s just an omen telling me that I should rather stay home today, rest my head and write a little during these few hours of peace that I’m for once given.

So today I’ve decided to take a well-deserved break to treat myself and do what I love the most; wander in the snowy streets of the city, drink red wine and write for want of travel.

I’m still such a kid when it comes to mess around with snow. Simply love to watch the snow slowly fall from the sky on a silent night, right in the heart of my mountains, this very moment when all the stress you may have accumulated simply vanishes into that white magic. I love to contemplate the face of people who see the snow fall for the first time. They always express that beautiful mixture of purity and innocence in their look.
Add to this a drop of liquor and I’m outta control. I don’t have many days off but when I do, be sure I make the best out of those privileged moments.
Getting drunk is like borrowing happiness from tomorrow.

The secret of longevity is to have ten thousand lives within one. You’re not one only person but several. You’re as many persons as you wanna be. We’re all free to move and reshape a new character that we’ll embody at the next place we’ll decide to settle down for a while. And each one of those characters will somehow live forever in the mind of people you will rub shoulders with during that new phase of your life.

You are unique, yet not immortal. You gotta move fast if you don’t wanna be caught up by the boredom of an ordinary life. You gotta learn to bounce back quickly if you wanna keep up your ten thousand sides. We all like to shine but don’t confuse your speed with the turning of the earth.
Do not have a specific address, have several; one step ahead & ten thousand lives.

« Esta eres tú, los ojos cerrados, bajo la lluvia. Nunca imaginaste que harías algo así, nunca te habías visto como… no sé como describirlo, como una de esas personas a las que le gusta la luna o que pasan horas contemplando el mar o una puesta de sol. Seguro que sabes de qué gente estoy hablando… o tal vez no. Da igual, a ti te gusta estar así, desafiando al frío, sintiendo como el agua empapa tu camiseta y te moja la piel, y notar como la tierra se vuelve mullida bajo tus pies y el olor, y el sonido de la lluvia al golpear las hojas. Todas esas cosas que dicen los libros que no has leído. Esta eres tú, quién lo iba a decir… tú. »

XL/ Nothing’s ever locked

“The irony of life is that airports have seen more sincere kisses than weddings and hospital walls have heard more sincere prayers than churches.”

I never mentioned it but I got a new tattoo earlier this summer  when I was still in Portugal to celebrate the beginning of my fourth year abroad.

The tattoo says “Not all those who wander are lost”, quotation borrowed from Tolkien.
If I’m talking about that it’s because for Christmas my aunt offered me a T-shirt with that exact same quote on it. The funny thing is that so far, she didn’t know about my tattoo… Destiny strikes again.

Whatever, henceforth I’ve got part of my favorite quote ever tattooed on my leg. Tattoos are the only thing you take to the grave and this one is most likely the most meaningful, symbolic and personal one that I have.

“The biggest criminals wear ties, not tattoos.”

There are some ups and downs amongst my colleagues at work and quite frankly I’m not really surprised. It’s sort of part of the job when you work in the hotel-restaurant field.
Most of those arguments are about meaningless things such as jealousy, lack of maturity and other childish stuff.

If I brought that on the table it’s just because one of my colleague made a point saying that if you step back a little, if you take some perspective, you’ll realize that most of the time, what you dislike about someone is necessarily a reflection of something you do not like about yourself. To be meditated.

“If you want the rainbow you gotta put up with the rain.”
Peace begins with a smile.

Maturity isn’t about waiting for the moment when you’ll have the best team ever, it’s about the ability of dealing with any one given.

Besides, because of those arguments I’m doing sort of every job in the hotel, like waiter, bartender, receptionist (…) and thanks to this, I just got promoted front desk & accommodation manager in my hotel..!!!!!!
So here we are lads, all the hard work I put on is finally paying off, step by step I climb the ladder and I’m now number 2 – just one step away from being hotel manager!! WOOP WOOP!!!
Damn, when I look back, all I can say is that a year ago I would’ve never pictured my life the way it is now.
Miracles happen everywhere.

“Don’t let them bother you, keep on walking your way big guy. Keep on changing dreams, keep on rocking your own world and be inspiring. Keep your head high and don’t look back.
Work hard in silence and let your success be your noise.”

Makes me think of a good one:
“Of course, foreigners steal your job. But maybe, if someone without contacts, money or speaking the language steals your job, you’re shit.”

Anyways, my 2014 gets off to a great start. Once again in my life I feel like I’m going through great things these days. It’s like all those times when you actually surprise yourself. You know, like when you find out that this girl you’ve loved for so long turns out to love you too or when you finally reach a position you’ve been dreaming of for years. Or simply when you spend hours under a starry sky with some good folks. All those precious and ephemeral moments. When you’re like “fuck me, my eyes are open and this is happening.” Rare are the people capable to realize how crazy-good life is at a given moment.

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.

“The very last person you think about before you fall asleep. That’s who your heart belongs to.”

XXXIX/ Over the hills and far away

Dear radio stations, you do realize there are more than just five songs in the world right?

A man who has good taste in music cannot be a complete asshole.

Sometimes when I drive at night I ask myself the question Tyler Durden asks in Fight Club; “if you died right now, how would you feel about your life?”
And I come to the conclusion that I’m not afraid to die, I’m afraid I haven’t lived enough.

After Erasmus, after the backpacking… here I’m integrating a whole new community; the seasonaires. Seasonaires are always at the place to be; at the beach during the summer and in ski resorts over winter time. Just go with the flow mate.

So I’m now working as a receptionist/bartender in a three star hotel in Montgenèvre, lovely ski resort located right next to the border with Italy in the French Alps. A great career bounce-back I must say.
And I’m currently writing to the sound of my Belgian colleague’s piano that is set in my bedroom. Beautiful.

After a long while spent traveling meeting new people daily, one develops something quite bizarre. It’s an unexplainable phenomenon that makes you associate any new encounter with someone you once met in your life, whether you’ve been close friends with that person or not. It’s just a matter of a face, a laugher, a character trait, any little thing that is for some reason forever engraved in your memory when you think of a person in particular.
Sometimes it may also come out as a mixture of several persons you already know, it’s like this, you don’t really control how it goes.
Hope you know what I mean. For instance a new colleague of mine is the perfect combination of my aunt, a quirky girl I met last summer in Portugal and… the mother of my childhood’s best friend that I haven’t seen for over ten years.
Or else my new boss; she’s got the exact same voice and temper as one of my corporate communication teacher back in the days. I’ve got to say that the way they talk is actually so similar that when my boss first called me for the job I really thought it was a prank from my uni…
You know that impression of recognizing someone in the street when abroad?? Well it’s kind of the same thing on a daily basis when you’re a nomad.

The other day one of my colleague said something quite true; “each week’s like a mini-life here.”
We’re all pretty much living on the fringe of our lives during a season. And poof, in a blink of an eye you surprise yourself by confide in strangers about private stuff of your life – things some of your longtime friends don’t even know.

“Traveling is being unfaithful. Be it without remorse, forget your friends with strangers.”

Few weeks ago I met a bunch of new people and as they introduced themselves – telling me about their boring life like they’re in a prestigious business school and so on – I realized that I could barely remember my own business studies… So much water has flowed under the bridge since those years that I can only perceive it as a slowly vanishing memory now. The University of Travel taught me so much more… it’s ridiculous.

Ain’t nothing like a massive “loud music resourcing session” after a good day’s work. When you can finally listen to what you want instead of customers’ complaints your ears have suffered from all day.
I, by the way, have a whole new way to listen to my good old playlists. Instead of going all nostalgic over a good old song that reminds me so badly a period of my life, I just play it, see what it reminds me and then I picture everything I’ve been through since that stage of my life, everything I’ve accomplished… A much better way to analyze the memory believe me.

“The world didn’t get worse homie, your eyes just got wider.”

Brace yourselves; here comes Christmas times, when one gathers with one’s family and takes stock on life. Work, love, friendships – no worries, everything’s gonna be put on the table. Time to put on weight and feel no guilt about it.

And here we are now. Once more I find myself exactly where I wanna be – with whom I wanna be – doing what I love. I do realize I’m lucky but I also know that it ain’t all about luck either; I don’t forget all the hard work I’ve put up to get where I am now.
What a priceless feeling to be appreciated for what you do and loved for who you are. Life’s beautiful.

“Sometimes on the way to the dream you get lost and find a better one.”

Soon it’ll be my blog’s first anniversary and I just meant to thank you all for reading it; 5.000 views since I started last January, that’s well beyond my expectations.
“Either do something worth writing or write something worth reading.”
You guys have no idea how good this passion makes me feel, that awesome feeling of serenity I get when I finish a chapter, like I can die peace now – everything has been said. Until the next one.

I write to empty my mind and to freeze beauty. Art is the only thing that will outlive us. When love is gone, where does it go?

“A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on its own wings. Always believe in yourself.”