Walden — Hendrik David Thoreau {Book Review}

When Tim Ferris packed his stuff to vagabond around the world, he took two books with him. The first one was Vagabonding by Rolf Potts, the second one was Walden by Hendrik DavidThoreau.
Tim Ferris was one of the guys who inspired me to found my own psychology podcast.
The 6$ that I spend on this gem, are easily in the discussion for best investment of my life. And I believe whole heartedly that this book has the potential to enrich if not change your life.
I started to read Walden when I was flying towards Portugal and I finished it while watching the sunset in a small village near guimares.
In Walden Thoreau writes about his experiment of living in the woods near Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusets in solitude for two years. He lives there completely self-reliant, in the shack he build, as simple as possible, and supported by no one else but by himself.
The timing could have not been better for me to find this gem. At the time of my discovery of Walden, I had the biggest financial trouble of my recent memory, and I was on the summit of brokeback mountain, surrounded by a large storm of horsecrap.
The stoicism that is depicted in Hendrik David Thoreau’s Walden not only gave me a new perspective but made me realize that the things that matter to me most cannot be taken away from me, ever.
As long as I have the people I love, my orange backpack, my blog, and my dream I have everything that I need.
That I am free.

What is the Book Walden About?

In Walden, Thoreau writes about his experiment of living in the woods near Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusets in solitude for two years. He lives there completely self-reliant, in the shack, he build himself, as simple as possible, and supported by no one else but by himself.
In total, he spent for his cabin just 28 Dollars. In order to sustain himself, Thoreau grows and sells vegetables, mostly beans. His day to day diet consists mainly of rye bread, salt pork, rice, beans, and potatoes.
Thoreau`s Idea was that in the midst of modern society and within day to day ordinary life can one lose his or her true identity.
Thoreau moving to walden is a radical experiment in order to see what remains at the core of the human soul if one eliminates variables such as possession, social connections, career and external validation.
Henry David Thoreau was motivated for this experiment by his Mentor and Role Model Ralph Waldo Emerson, and I would think that they belong to the school of transcendentalism, which assumes that there is a true self to discover.

Thoreau goes into great detail about his observations about the nature that surrounded him in the forest in Walden. The Book Walden is not only a book about self-discovery and stoicism but it is also about mindfulness, minimalism, gratitude and our spiritual connection to nature.
In Walden Thoreau shows his great love for numbers, and he goes into detail how much he spends in order to build his cabin in the woods and how much money he spent on salt from 1845 to 1847. To us, this may seem weird or trivial(2) but to Thoreau it was important. In his opinion modern society with its blind devotion to consumerism, technology and hedonism is enslaving the human soul with its dependencies and is ultimately robbing us of our most precious gift: our freedom.
According to him, we create our own prison.
He spends however not the entire time in his little cabin in the wood on working on his little farm that he build. Thoreau spent only as much time on labor and work as was necessary in order to sustain himself.
He went into the woods to think, to feel and to observe nature.
You can see that he had little to no respect for material things and possessions.
Thoreau was proud and fascinated by how little he spend, and how little he actually needed. He spend less money on building a hose and living there than he had to spend studying in Harvard.
Thoreau was a true free spirit, he even refuses to acknowledge the days of the week or month, he was only guided by the season that changed slowly in front of him.
After two years of living in the forrest, Thoreau left Walden. Thoreau announced that his project at the pond is over on September 6, 1847. He felt that humans live many lives and that his life living at the pond was finished. He then admonishes us to meet our lives, and live fully.

Who is Hendrik David Thoreau?

“Henry David Thoreau was a philosopher and writer best known for his attacks on American social institutions and his respect for nature and simple living. He was heavily influenced by the writer Ralph Waldo Emerson, who introduced Thoreau to the ideas of transcendentalism, a philosophy central to Thoreau’s thinking and writing. In addition to Civil Disobedience (1849), Thoreau is best known for his book Walden (1854), which documents his experiences living alone on Walden Pond in Massachusetts from 1845 to 1847. Throughout his life, Thoreau emphasized the importance of individuality and self-reliance. He practiced civil disobedience in his own life and spent a night in jail for his refusal to pay taxes in protest of the Mexican War. (Thoreau was opposed to the practice of slavery in some of the territories involved.) It is thought that this night in jail prompted Thoreau to write Civil Disobedience. Thoreau delivered the first draft of the treatise as an oration to the Concord Lyceum in 1848, and the text was published in 1849 under the title Resistance to Civil Government.”(1)

 

3 Lessons That I learned From Walden

The Importance of Self-Reliance

A clear theme in the book Walden is the importance of Self-Reliance. A huge influence for Hendrik David Thoreaueu was the writer Ralph Waldo Emerson, and in particular the essay Self-Reliance, is one of the finest pieces of literature ever written in my opinion. One could say that Hendrik David Thoreau’s experiment to live without money in the woods for 2 years was motivated by proving the ideals of Emerson that are depicted in the letter self-reliance of 1841.

“Man is his own star; and the soul that can
Render an honest and a perfect man,
Commands all light, all influence, all fate;
Nothing to him falls early or too late.
Our acts our angels are, or good or ill,
Our fatal shadows that walk by us still.”
Epilogue to Beaumont and Fletcher’s Honest Man’s Fortune

In Walden, Thoreau explains that a person needs financial independence more than the neediness that millions live by in our hedonistic societies that only aim at acquiring more material wealth.
Thoreau goes into great detail on how much money he spends in his experiment, he even mentioned that the amount of money he spent 1845-1847 on salt. To “normal” people this may be trivial, to Thoreau this meant control. Controlling his own finances and not be dependent on banks, jobs and other people is ultimately the ability to control one’s own fortune and life.
Thoreau’s experiment to live in the woods is not only an experiment to liberate himself from the strings of the capitalistic cravings that are mandatory to live in our society, but he also aims at cutting strings with his social life. He very rarely was visited by other people in his time by the woods.
And if he was visited by friends, they were most likely also poets or thinkers.
This was a deep lesson for me. Being Independent and self-reliant means to be in control. I believe psychologically three things among many others, are causing depression.
Perceived lack of control over one’s own life, financial scarcity, and our craving for external validation.
By eliminating the need for those three basic human needs, Thoreau gives us a uniquely different manual of how to deal with anxiety and depression in my opinion.
Our brain is an overreactive Son of a b*tch. Every time one of our bills is overdue, we fear social exclusion and starvation.
Thoreau goes to extreme length to become the boss of his own life, something we all should try to be. And it seems that the psychological benefit of feeling in charge is fundamental when it comes to preserving our sanity.
Walden has taught me that in order to battle my depression and anxiety I need to feel more in control. Limiting our dependencies is a liberation of the soul.
The second benefit of being more self-reliant is to stress less about things that are not in your control.
The identification and separation of matters that we can influence is key. There are many things in life that we can influence and change, and by all means am I an advocate of striving to become better and doing everything we can. But there is a lot of stuff that we can not change. From accidents to illness to losing a loved one.
By focusing on the things we can not change we dig our own graves and invest in our anxiety.
What we always can change however is the fact of how we deal with things that we can not change. Our attitude and emotion towards misfortune is in our control. Always.
Even if you are suffering you are in control of what coping mechanism you choose. Years back I interviewed  2 brothers. Their father died of severe alcoholism. One of them became an addict as well. I asked him why he thought  that he was so vulnerable to addiction, and he hinted that he had no other choice because his father lived this way. And that he inherited those bad habits.
The other brother was doing fairly well in life, and I asked him why he was doing so good. He gave me the same answer. He told me he was doing so good because we wanted to be the opposite of his father and learn from his mistakes and not bring the level of pain and suffering into the world.
We all need the feeling of control. If you feel overwhelmed in life, focus on the little things that are in your power.
Often we underestimate the power of the culmination of doing tiny things on a regular basis.

The Value of Stoicism

In Walden Thoreau dedicated an entire chapter to the idea of simplicity. Thoreau depicts the idea that humans in our capitalistic society have a tendency to be dissatisfied with one`s possession.
Something that is true for most of us. We are all in some way in the process of creating the means of getting more.
There are two ways according to Thoreau of dealing with this dissatisfaction. We either acquire more, or we reduce our desires.
Thoreau goes to extreme lengths of reducing his desires, by living alone in the woods.
From building his own shack to having a simplistic diet. To him, the devotion of acquiring luxurious extravagancies is not only unnecessary but a real liability and empidment.
It is crazy how these ideas are still relevant 150 years later.
We work our asses of to get a house that is to big for us, with money that we borrowed from the bank, drive a car that we don’t really need, work a job in order to buy stuff that we not only could easily live without but is actually hindering us of becoming happy and fulfilled.
Thoreau goes as far as discussing if humans need shelter at all because he believes our skin is enough of a tent.
This thinking deeply liberated me in times of financial struggle. That my worst case scenario is actually not that bad.
Stoics would go as far as to practice misfortune on a regular basis. By training our brain that the condition that we fear most is actually not that bad we liberate ourself from fear and anxiety.
Gary V, for example, visualizes his worst case scenario(the death of his loved ones) every morning. I know this is crazy. But he believes that this is the source of his level of gratitude.
Stoics don’t aim at devoting their life to acquiring more, but to become the best person they can become.
This is of extreme importance when it comes to how we see ourselves, and how we judge ourself and others.
What do you appreciate in yourself and in others? Who do you respect and why?
Do you respect people who are kicking ass in their career? Do you look up to people who are financially successful?
Or do you respect people who are doing good? Who is adding value? Who puts a smile daily on other peoples faces?
We live in the society where we only value performance, we worship people in power, and we do not pay attention to kindness, love, and happiness.
So I urge you to go into introspection. What do you value yourself for?
Often people have a value paradigm that ignores beautiful qualities.
If you only value people in power, people who are “successful” and you are not this person yet you are digging your own grave and create self hate and self doubt.
Do not forget to praise yourself for the things that really matter. Are you a good listener? Can you make other people smile? Are you a devoted person? Can you be happy for others? Are you patient with your parents? Are you there for your friends when they truly need you?
In my interviews with depressed people, they often speak about how much better the world would be without them, that they can not do anything, and that they have no skills.
By scaling down and praising yourself for stoic values, you not only gain happiness, but you gain clarity and truth. Because you are a beautiful person, you may have just not yet realized it because you use the wrong template to evaluate yourself correctly.

Everything is Ephermal

So if possession, achievement, social validation don’t matter, what does?
This very moment does. Now matters.
In my last article, take the road less traveled by, I talked about how overrated feelings are.
And that more often than not, we over-evaluate the importance of feelings. A the end of our emotions very often is nothing.
I had this insight while watching the endless panoramic view in Guimares, realizing that if everything is ephermal, there is no need to stress about the future or the past.
Depression, is often an obsession with the past. Anxiety on the other side is the fear  of worrying about everything sh*tty that might happen to us in the future.
This leaves no place for the importance of the now.
A great mentor here is Marcus Aurelius.  One of my favorite stoic thinkers.

“Run down the list of those who felt intense anger at something: the most famous, the most unfortunate, the most hated, the most whatever: Where is all that now? Smoke, dust, legend…or not even a legend. Think of all the examples. And how trivial the things we want so passionately are.”Marcus Aurelius.

While I read Walden in Portugal I felt liberated. After receiving some major bad news, I was super anxious and felt like dog sh*t.
It made me think. How many times in my life did my bitchy emotions tell me that the world was going to end, that I will not make it, that everybody will hate me, that I have no future?
How often did the world actually end?
Yup, not one time.
We fail exams and we think we just lost our one and only shot at success. We fight through a breakup and we believe no one ever will love us again. We see a dream not work out and we feel like we just lost our one and only shot at happiness.
Yet still, lifes goes on. Whether we like it or not.
The seasons in Walden, that Thoreau describes so playfully showed me that life is going to go on.
Always.
And as I realized in Portugal, we matter a lot less then we are willing to admit.
This is a good thing. Nihilism can be liberating. If nothing matters and everything is trivial, why not do what the f*ck makes you happy and stress less about things.
Whether you die, or the president of the united states, the same thing is coming for both of you. So why stress out so much.
Take it easy, live life fully and be open for the endless beauty that this world has to offer.
Thoreau believed that a human lives many lifes.
As he left the forest that he lived in for two years, we felt that the life he had to live near the pond of this forest was over.
The same goes for you and for me. What life are you living right now that is coming to an end?
What life do you choose to live next?
You decide.

Who recommended it?

Tim Ferris.

What did I not Like?

His writing style is contrary to his simplistic philosophy. If you are not a native English speaker, this gem is going to be really hard for you to understand.
I had my fair share of trouble with understanding Thoreau`s Walden.
His sentences are very long, and complicated in times. Besides that, I have nothing to argue about. T

Call To Action

1) What is your biggest fear? And Why?
2) What is your worst case Scenario for life? And Why?
3) What would your life look like if you would not devote yourself to seeking external validation and materialistic possessions?
4) How much money do you spend on food in a month?
5) What things do you buy that are not necessary for you to survive or be happy?

Want to read more? Sources!

  1. http://www.sparknotes.com/author/henry-david-thoreau/
  2. http://transcendentalism-legacy.tamu.edu/authors/emerson/essays/selfreliance.html

The Art Of Choosing What to Give A F*ck About- Porto Part 4 {Travel Journal}

This year I was drunk in 8 different countries. Not the most elegant statistic, still noteworthy I thought.
I remember cannonballing into the sea in West Sweden at 5 in the morning. I remember playing flunky ball in the middle of the night in Aarhus with two girls from Texas.
I remember finding out that a quite night out in Krakow means to Pilger from one pijalnia wodki to the next and only drink vodka shots.
I remember dancing with my friend in the rain in Barcelona in the middle of the day. I remember seeing showers of shooting stars in the Mecklenburgerische Seenplatte.
And I remember drinking vino in Paris in the middle of the longest first date of my life (6Days).
Drinking Portwine in Guimarães with my friends in a villa will be a memory that I will keep with me.
It is Friday morning. I am having Natas for breakfast. Again. Natas are basically tiny pudding cakes from Portugal. I realize now that I am not only having Natas, I am having a good year.
As I am writing this, my brain feels like it was deep fried yesterday in a microwave. I hate hangovers.
My gang and I kicked it yesterday in Porto till 7 in the morning. I am horrible at finding an ending.
So genuis me lost all of my pals. It is about an hour to travel back to the village where our villa is.
Yesterday my iPhone battery died, and with it the address of the house where we are staying.
My sense of orientation is laughable.
So my ravaging night was rewarded with 4 hours of hiking through the mountains of Guimarães without a second of sleep and without success. So I went to a hospital asking them to charge my phone. After some bewildered they asked me if I am ok. I said that I am not but this is not why I am here.
After calling my friends from the hospital with my freshly charged phone I finally managed to get a taxi to drive me home. Turns out I was not even in the same district.
In order to find some learning in this mess I stood in front of a psychological decision. What do I choose to give a f*ck about today.
Do I focus on the awesome night that I had, or do I focus on the hangover?
Traveling taught me that I am the editor of my life. That I can decide what moments to remember, and which to forget.

How Traveling Has Taught Me What To Give F*ck about

Traveling has also taught me what to give a f*ck about. I want to talk with you today about the power of focus.
Although we are not always in control of how things develop, we are all in control of what we focus on.
We are all in control of what we give a f*ck about. How we deal with the unchangeable. How we deal with the fact that there is no time machine yet, and that we have to accept things.
Psychological focus has been something that fascinated me for years. A classical phenomenon from clinical psychology is for example that people with depression tend to focus more on the negative and on the things they can not change.
For years I had a superpower of seeing problems where they were none. Or in different words, I choose poorly what I gave a f*ck about.
While successful people on the opposite focus on what they can do to change the situation.
A fundamental difference in two groups who choose differently what they give a f*ck about.
It made me think about what group I would belong right now. So I asked myself: In three years, what moments will I remember? If I would watch a movie of my last 5 years, what scenes will I edit out, and what will I leave in?
Is the scene that I am stressing out over right now, really that bad that it needs to be in my movie? Will it make the final cut?
This trip is teaching me that I need to do a better job of creating custom-made values for myself. Each and every one of my friends, of the people I met here in Portugal have their own way of walking through life.
Every moment of traveling is teaching us something. Whether we like the lesson or not. From communicating without speaking the same language with locals to realizing that even the wide world is not enough to escape from yourself.
And as I sit here, tanned, wrinkly as an old avocado, with little to no money, I realize that I am in charge. I decide what to give a f*ck about today.
And years from now I will not remember me whining about a little headache, I will remember setting out into the world with my little orange backpack, my blog, and my dream.

As always thank you for reading.

Alone With Everybody — Mecklenburgische Seenplatte{Travel Journal Day 5/5}

The car is moving at 50 miles per hour. The window is open. My hand glides through the air. There rings on my fingers. My friend has an old iPod that accompanied him all over the world. It is his gem. We listen to Noah and the whale.
It is 36 degrees outside. The car is overheating. We don’t want to blow the engine, so we drive slow. Much to the disgust of everybody else on the high way. We don’t care.
We are driving towards home. There is no rush, it is not going anywhere. My friend is reluctant to go back. He just became an engineer, and he needs to start working soon. He is not happy about that.
We talk about what traveling means for us. He tells me tales about tramping through South America. We come to a mutual consensus that planning is overrated. Adventure is found in the unknown.
He tells me a story. He started traveling in Chile after finishing his university there. He decided that he wanted to go to a city in southern Chile. He was picked up by a stunning woman headed in the same direction. Instead of going to his original targeted city, he went with Valentina. That was her name. To this day the most intense romantic and painful experience of his life.
Journeys where we are guided by randomness, really make the best stories. We are in a weird emotional state of nostalgia. Longing for something that is both behind and in front of us.
The topic shifts to regret. How stupid decisions sometimes show us most what we really want. What we don’t want.
Mistakes for me often equal deep personal discoveries. I learn through failure. And oh boy, do fail a lot.
I think I had a crisis on every continent so far. Bribing the police in Africa. Being chased by yakuza in Thailand. Driving straight into Australia’s biggest hurricane ever. Overdosing in Columbia. Losing all my credit cards in Cambodia. I could go on for hours.
Every time I thought I messed up to a point of no return. Life continued anyway. I believe that real understanding comes through failure. Something that I never shied away from. And to this point, it has been everything but boring.
Yesterday night, was our last night. Because of the thunderstorm, there were no clouds all day. The chances of experiencing another starry night were high. What I did not expect was a profound spiritual experience.
After another day of canoeing, we exhaustingly arrived at our final camping spot. A hill in a forest where we could oversee the calm lake. The floor is covered with acorns. Since I have no sleeping pad, I know I am in for a rough night.
I need to write. So I get away. I walk away from my friends. I get the canoe and drive to the middle of the lake. Alone. I can let my guard down.
Nobody is here. I stop paddling. The lake becomes a mirror. I start writing.
I think about my journey. I feel Emotions of strange wistfulness about upcoming events. The people I travel with were a couple of strangers just a few days ago. In this short time, we created a temporary place of warmth, friendship, and contentment.
It is too quiet. I hear only my heartbeat. It is too loud. I don’t like it. It sounds like a clock. I am weirded out by own urge to get away. I wonder why I feel most alone when I am with everybody. I seem to have an inexplicable urge to push people away. Close friends, people I love even. My anxieties bore me.
I wonder how many people right now are having the same thoughts. Seeing the same thing. Living the same life.

Wishes

The sun turns golden. I want to head back. I am hungry. I paddle back to the shore. We eat on top of the small hill. We are entertained by the sunset, passing over the calm lake. Slowly vanishing behind the acorn forest. We eat pasta. For the 4th day in a row. It is starting to get dark. We light a candle and my friends drink beer. We laugh and make memories.
We decide to sleep at the lake today, counting stars and talking life. We move our sleeping bags to the footbridge next to our canoes. We cuddle and wait till it gets pitch black.
As the sun goes down the moon comes up. I am a city kid. I always loved watching the stars. In the city, however, you barely see any.
As we lay there together on the wood of the footbridge, stars appear everywhere. Our head is just at the edge of the wood of the lake. We can see the entire Milkyway. The thunderstorm of the last night took all the clouds with him it seems. We see satellites passing over our heads. Mars is blazing in a red flash above our heads.
Showers of shooting stars journey through the sky. We make countless wishes. They will all come true. One of the girls says that this trip changed her. I agree. They asked me what I wish for I told them, more muscles. They think I am joking. I am not. We talk where would want to be in a year from now. I say maybe, Harvard. Instantly regret using the word maybe.
My friend says that in one year he wants to be happy. I think that happiness is overrated. He gets up and pees in the lake. We laugh. The moonlight shines on his chalky behind.
Mosquitos are having a feast. We fall asleep anyway.
I am in doubt whether or not my journey of becoming a wandering psychologist will be successful. I know however that I will do it anyway. I have no plan B. Plan B’s are for wimps. I am not a wimp. Only sometimes.
As my eyes close, I think about a question. If I could make my dream come true right now, would I do it? Would you do it?
I want to finish today’s post by borrowing the words of Allan Watts. As always thank you for reading following me on my weird journey.

let’s suppose that you were able every night to dream any dream you wanted to dream, and that you could for example have the power within one night to dream 75 years of time, or any length of time you wanted to have.
And you would, naturally, as you began on this adventure of dreams, you would fulfill all your wishes. You would have every kind of pleasure you could conceive. And after several nights of 75 years of total pleasure each you would say “Well that was pretty great”. But now let’s have a surprise, let’s have a dream which isn’t under control, where something is gonna happen to me that I don’t know what it’s gonna be.
And you would dig that and would come out of that and you would say “Wow that was a close shave, wasn’t it?”. Then you would get more and more adventurous and you would make further- and further-out gambles what you would dream. And finally, you would dream where you are now. You would dream the dream of living the life that you are actually living today. Alan Watts

Reconnecting With Nature — Mecklenburgische Seenplatte{Travel Journal Day 3}

Solitude

As I write these words, I am alone on my canoe, watching the burning sun vanish slowly behind the pine trees. In my hand, I have my pen and my blog, I am writing. On the surface of the, I see the reflection of the gloaming sunset, it looks like there are two horizons, and I feel like I am flying.
Although I had an extraordinary day with my friends canoeing through the nature parks, I needed some time for myself. I wanted recharge and manifest the profound experiences that I made today. Although I seem very extroverted, at heart I am a loner, and being around people too much to a degree is also exhausts me.
Today I learned many things, one of them is that apparently, mosquitos are really into me, good thing malaria is not a thing in Europe. Sleeping on the floor is really a different experience from sleeping in a made bed. My core intention of this trip was to liberate myself from materialism for a few days and to practice poverty.
My thinking was to internalize that the worst condition, which is for many is to have no money and no house is actually not that bad. I am a person who is very driven sometimes, but also very anxious. For me, understanding that the very condition that I feared so much is actually not that bad liberated me to a degree from a process of inner turmoil and fear that was buzzing inside my head for far too long.
The reason that I started to write was that I wanted to portray my weird journey around the world of trying to get my stuff together. I was just tired of messing up and I wanted to start my own pursuit of investigating unhappiness. I wanted to share my findings with the world in order to add some value this way. Hence on this Blog, I will write about habits, tools, books and real-world case studies and adventures that helped me to battle depression.
So while other travel bloggers might focus on the best spots to party, I want to gather natural antidepressants. I want to engineer myself away from lethargy and depression and towards happiness, contribution, and adventure. I feel that If a weirdo with my background manages to overcome his demons and make his dream come true of becoming a digital nomad that this will show others that transformation is possible, necessary even.
Sleeping hungover in a tent however as stoically romantic as it sounds has also its price. Waking up I feel a bit like the guy from full metal jacked who was beaten by the other soldiers with socks full of soap.
My inner demons particularly love mornings, and voices of self-doubt and fear are the loudest when my body is the weakest. For some time I was looking for morning habits in particular that help me to keep those voices in check, or at least turn the volume down a bit.
So I was walking around the camp, looking like a zombie from the walking dead, lethargic and moody.

Freedom

My friend spots this and insists, that instead of showering I need to swim in the cold lake first thing in the morning, naked, free willy style.
I have no choice he tells me.
As my friend pulls down his shorts he walks/dangles into the lake majestically. I told u guys in the last article that my buddy looks like Patrick Swayze from point break, and I don’t know why but everything he does looks kinda cool. I am the opposite. If there would be a goof scale I would be the end of it.
So I pull down my pants also and run giggly like a little girl(a 2m and 105 kilos little girl) into the cold water.
What follows is a profound experience of freedom. My body and mind are refreshed, renewed even. I am unable to think, I am just there.
I decide to backstroke slowly, and as I dip my head into the water, I unplug. As I dip my ears in the water and glide slowly backwards, the only thing that I hear is the lake, my own breath, and my heartbeat. It feels like I am floating in space.
I am fascinated by this simple but deep experience. Diving into a world far away from my normal daily trance of paying bills, worrying, and stressing out about if other people like me or not.
As I float in this lake my eyes wander around the all surrounding pine forest. I feel at home. I can’t help but think about the many people who are plagued by pain and depression that could be healed here. What if the epidemic of global unhappiness is founded by our lost connection to nature.
What if the missing puzzle piece for treating depression and suffering lies in nature. Modern psychological medicine is always looking for new ways to treat people. But what if the direction is wrong, what if we need to look backwards.
As I swim in the cold lake, I dive into the green water, I stop breathing. My Emotions stop. I am just surviving. There is no conditioned mindset in my brain anymore today, I am free.
 
 

How To Take A Broke-ass Road Trip — Mecklenburgische Lake Archipelago {Travel Journal Day 1}

Derive

There is a French that describes spontaneous and unplanned journeys.
As I write it is 00.36 on a Monday night, all my roomies are asleep, in the background, I listen to a song from Xavier Rudd. Tomorrow I am heading of to another adventure, and I only had a few trips in my life who were as unprepared as this one today.
At the weekend we threw a house party at our dorm and I reconnected with a friend of mine and he asked me casually if I want to join him for a 4 day Road trip to Canoe around the Seenplatte in Mecklenburg Vorpommern(German is really the most beautiful language in the world haha). It is basically a unique lake archipelago in north Germany, and some of europes finest natural reserve parks are to be found there.
In my last blog post, I reviewed the book vagabonding, by Rolf Potts. And one of his core missions i to eliminate the mental fallacy that traveling is only reserved for the rich.
At the moment my university is eating up all my money and the only thing that stops me from regarding myself as broke is that I stopped checking my bank account. x)
However, I thought that this might be a perfect opportunity for another experiment.
Is it possible to travel so cheap that you actually save a bit of money?
Right now I spend about 15 dollars a day for food(jab those gains cost me a lot actually) and I need to buy tickets public transportation which is about 5 bucks also.
So on the next 4 days I plan to do a badass road trip, and actually save some money while doing so! Renting a canoe costs 5 euros a day, we sleep in a tent in the woods, so that’s no money, and we have to pay for gas for the car. All in all for 4 days It will be roughly around 20 for canoe and 25 for the car so 45 total. For food I am going all minimalist on you guys in the next 4 days; Kidney beans, sardines, and rice is on the menu. Jab this is going to suck a bit, but hey do you want to eat a pizza or do you want to travel.
The point I am trying to make guys is that working more is not always the answer, spending less can be just as efficient.
So my plea for you today is: reevaluate your excuses.
What is it really that is stopping you from getting or doing the things you want. People think they don’t work out because they have no time, but they watch 2 hours of Netflix in the evening, others think they can’t afford travel because they don’t have enough money, while in reality, it is that they are bad at finding where they can spend less money on bullshit they don’t really need.
Traveling does not start when you book a flight, it starts with a conscious decision in your everyday life. Evaluate your financial habits, where can you save some money? Do you have some stuff that you don’t need anymore? Fcking Sell it. You got an extra room that you don’t use? Air bnb it. Do you spend too much money on restaurants? Go vegan for a month and only eat healthy greens. U love going out with your friends? Make a party at your house so you don’t have to play club entry. I think you catch my drift guys.
Being a vagabond is not only about traveling, it is about mindset and habits. The psychology of a traveler is different than from somebody who does not know what he wants in life. And from personal experience I never regretted a shitty job that I had that enabled me to fly around the world, and I never thought back on a unspectacular meal that I had and regretted it. We are in the business of collecting moments, not things guys.
So fellow crazy people, thx for reading and write in the comments what sacrifices you make in order to travel.

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