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.
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!
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