The first day of my trip comes to an end. While writing these words, I am under the free sky, writing in my travel journal. I hear crickets and light laughter in the background. The only source of light comes from a candle that we put in an empty beer bottle, Charles Bukowski style.
I am in the middle of nowhere with people who a day ago almost strangers to me, we talk into the night about our feelings and our dreams, but also about our insecurities and what we are afraid of.
When my friend, who looks like a real-life version of Broly from the surfer’s movie Point Break, asked me to join him and his friends on the canoe trip I, at first, had some doubts if we would get along.
But lately, I try to be more spontaneous and decide stuff more by my “Hell yeah” or “F*ck No” philosophy.
Only a day has passed, and this group already has come together and spoken openly about topics that are important to us.
My friend and I exchanged crazy travel stories, stories where we had to bribe the police or had psychological breakthroughs while vagabonding.
Two stories stood out for me, one was my buddy telling a tale where he travelled through Chile in his hippie bus with a big ass hallucinogenic cactus in the trunk, and he almost got caught by the police.
Another one was, where I was so sh*tfaced that an angry mob of machete-wielding yakuza’s wanted to get my a*s on an island in Thailand.
Travellers luck, I guess. Funny how crises and total disasters become funny later.
Today was our first-day canoeing, and I am blown away by the nature of the Mecklenburgerische Seenplatte.
The combination of doing the same paddle movement for hours and letting your eyes discover an entirely new world feels like meditation. It is unreal how fast you forget here about your own life, about your daily hassle, your must-dos, your obligations.
You unplug instantly out of your everyday trance. It was fascinating to me that I was only a couple of hours of road-tripping away from diving into a totally different world.
Being in the presence of such nature really makes you question your aspirations, your drives, your addiction to external validation because here, everything works just fine without you. You feel small, but in a good way. Like, it is ok, life will go on without you, and your problems are not the end of the world, so why stress so much.
After some hours of canoeing through the fairy-tale landscape, I feel like my arms will soon fall off, so we aim for an island where we can snack and take a swim in the lake. Swimming in a cold lake is really like somebody infusing you with a big portion of happiness and life.
As I swim there freely, my friend yells ”look a whale” and dives into the water in such a manner that his butt stands still in the air for a second, and we get an incredibly deep insight into his rectal anatomy. There goes the romance, I guess.
After some swimming, we sit down at the shoreline and snack on something from the forest.
Being a psychology nerd, I tend to ask weird questions all the time, and we end up talking about what relationship constructs we like and dislike.
Some of the group were all about monogamy, while others preferred something more poly. This was really fascinating to me, love is a big part of life, and having a custom made relationship model is somewhat of a necessity, in my opinion.
The Price Of Being A Vagabond
I realise how many things I still have not figured out in my life right now, how unsure I am whether or not my path is the right one, and what the life of a vagabond will really cost me.
Some time ago, I decided that for the current phase of my life, it is not possible to have a traditional mono relationship. I felt that, somehow, life is going to take me on an adventure, and this adventure is for me, and for me only. In consequence, I broke up with someone who was very special to me. Being in nature really opens you up, and I realise that I am still grieving about that loss and that I have no clue how to deal with this.
I came to the conclusion that everything has its cost.
A decision for something is, at the same time, a decision against something else, and some time ago, when I realised that I am not the typical 9-5 person, I did not think that that realisation would also come with a price. It seems that my decision to become a vagabond is not only shaping my external life but also my inner one as well.
Being a nomad means, to a certain point, that your curiosity outweighs your settledness. You move on from good things, from great things even, because you want to experience life as a whole.
And, I realised that this philosophy will also bring me restlessness, pain, discomfort, and even loneliness. As I talk in the forest with my new found friends about what we miss in love, I am eased by the fact that I am not alone in this human thing, and that to a degree we are all sometimes have no f*cking clue what we are doing, and that it is ok to feel lost sometimes. Crazy how everybody is living a life that is as complex as your own.
I know one thing, however, that I have an entire planet and countless adventures ahead of me, and that maybe if I search long enough, I will eventually run out of things to mess up, and that at the end of my journey I will come up with a custom-made life, in which I find peace, maybe even partner in crime who has the same values as me.
So fellow weirdos, my message for you today is that you need to stop pretending like everything in your life is cool. Come to peace with the realisation that life is not all great, and there are things that just plain suck.
It is impossible to avoid pain and discomfort all the time, go deep and ask yourself what is bothering you right now.
Feeling pain and grief sometimes is not abnormal; it is an indicator that you are a beautiful person who is capable of loving people and caring about stuff, and feeling sh*tty. When it does not work out for a bit, it is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of you being human.
Stop Bullsh*ting Yourself
On the contrary, on my podcast with Tash from Port Joana, we shortly talked about grief, and how it is more abnormal if you feel super happy when something happens to you that hurts you.
Incongruent emotional reactions, like pretending you are not hurt when a relationship was not working out, or you did not get that dream job, is not a sign of strength, it is a sign that you are too hurt feel those emotions. Not giving in quickly to those emotions will only put you playing whack a mole with yourself. If you do not deal with those emotions, they will pop up somewhere else.
Those emotions if not lived out, will not go anywhere. Maybe you will overcompensate at work, you dive into a new relationship with a person you really should not be with, or for some it is drugs, and for others it is depression.
Be 100% real with yourself guys; otherwise, you are bull shi*ting yourself.
It is now time for me to sleep, the candle is about to die, and tomorrow I have got a new adventure ahead of me.
As always guys, thx for reading and go live a kick-a*s life.