Greece to Italy - IMG_2647 It’s been 520 days since I embarked on a life-changing journey. Back then all I had was this vague idea in my head about taking a year off and backpacking through Africa, about how I would return with some cool stories and new energy to start the rest of my life. I would return and find a job to pour my heart into and have a family – things you should have done by your mid-thirties. Little did I know that somewhere along that journey I would catch a serious bug.

It was around the time I sat on an antique train to Tanzania I realized that I had been infected with the travel bug.

  • Spend five hours waiting for a bus all the while hearing the driver say: ‘We’ll leave in five minutes’? Bring it on!
  • Hop off that bus in the middle of nowhere with 35°C in the shade, laying your life in the hands of the next car that is willing to give a hitchhiker a ride? Bring it on!
  • Arrive in a spot I’ve never been to with little money, little food and no place to stay? Bring it on!
  • Go into an eatery and order the only thing in the non-existing menu? Bring it on!
  • Jump into a camel through that is fed from a sulfuric spring because that might be your only chance to wash for the week? Bring it on!

Once I realized I had the travel bug I embraced it wholeheartedly. I was still naïve enough to believe that this would be ‘the time of my life’, and that once I was back in Berlin things would go back to the old normal.

It has been 200 days since I returned and the infection persists. Every decision I make, every thing I buy, every breath I take starts with ‘When I get back on the road…’

‘When I get back on the road …will I need this?’
‘When I get back on the road …will this help me?’
‘When I get back on the road …I want to see…’

On my Africa trip I accrued quite a bit of debt. So reality has it that I will have to base myself in Berlin for a while, have a job, make money. I am a project manager so in order to not forget all the things I learnt about backpacking the unknown I started a ‘brain dump’, jotting down all the tips and tricks I learned, from the people I met or through my own experiments. But then I thought: ‘Maybe others would be interested as well?’ During Africa 360° I had kept a blog where I loosely chronicled my adventures. ‘I wouldn’t go to Africa’ was a lot of fun but didn’t seem quite the right vehicle to use if I also wanted to write about what happens when I’m not ‘out there’. After having built or maintained a few websites on the WordPress platform I didn’t have to think twice about building my own. I did, however, struggle with finding the right name at first. Until I recalled a book I had read on the road. In it Eckhart Tolle points out:

“The German word for breathing – atmen – is derived from the ancient Indian (Sanskrit) word Atman, meaning the indwelling divine spirit or God within.”

My indwelling God is a travel bug. And I breathe him. Life itself is now the life-changing journey I am on. Godspeed!

Why should you follow

  1. Because it has all kinds of useful information to get you started on your own journey and to keep you going.
  2. Because you can join me on my personal adventure. I will use the coming 12 to 24 months to make some money and go on shorter trips that require less than few financial resources. Right on top of the list are a multi-day walk (I don’t hike) to the German coast and learning French on the wine harvest in France. So stay tuned…

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