My normal life is like living on holidays. And everybody needs holidays from their normal lives. So, maybe sometimes I need holidays from my holidays? Or do I need normal holidays? Or a normal life? Or no holidays? No holidays from holidays or from life? Oh dear…
Last bike trip gave me a lot of thought, and changed many things. I would say more than ever, but then I would be looking down on the previous one – and all the other ones – for the bare sake of recency. We remember what we ate yesterday, but we struggle to recall last week’s dinner. Same applies here.
But on this post I’m going to focus on what last trip change, and leave the whole general philosophy for some other opportunity.
Leon post it very well: it was the loss of hope what created, and nourished, a vicious circle where a loss of motivation and a lack of beds and shower also took part in. If for my part I have to choose one stage to be the most intense, Liguria was a free suffering with little to learn or foretell from, but those three days from Firenze to Rome were better and worse at the same time. My motivation was at that point already low enough not to give me energies to face the post-trip difficulties – job and housing and so on –, but my stubbornness was still high enough to finish that trip at any cost. So I rushed 350km of mountains in three days, where I got hit by a boar, crossed a hunting field where I saw a partridge bird falling to the ground just aside of me, crashed against the scrubs two times, sneaked into a camping site and slept between the cars, cried for help in a town I got stuck due to a thunderstorm – Sandomierz style Grand Finales – and finally arrived to Rome hungry, dirty, miserable, downhearted, crying for reasons I understand very well but I do not know how to explain.
And Rome, a city I love but doesn’t love me back. Eight years and a half ago, I was there in a school trip for three days; a trip I don’t even list on my travelling curriculum. Yet I was back this summer, once more mistreated: I couldn’t sleep in my room because of a sudden orgy – yes, an orgy – my room-mates had, I got my sport-watch stolen, and I was forced to leave the city even earlier than I ever wanted, due to the ineptitude of the train selling system.
Yet again, from the comfort of my today’s cosy room, I regard those three days as important for myself as those last three days on the previous trip, those catastrophic last three days from Salomin to Kraków. I just now cannot imagine a different trip, and I wouldn’t change a bit. Back then I was sure I would appreciate all of that some day in the near future, I never doubt it was an important deal, and now – from a safe distance –, I love it, it’s funny to story-tell, and beautiful to think it over.
But I needed holidays from… what was it again?
That day at the thunderstorm, I wrote to somebody I once wrote just a few months before that I was proudly not concerned of stability, that I realised what my words meant. I admitted needing a home. A warm place to come back later, as Leon said.
I came back to Kraków, and that’s what I tried hard to achieve. After, like, a bit more than three months “at someone else’s” (César and Maciek, I owe you each a whole pay-check!), I was craving for my space to be alone and just think, just process everything that happened: just like last trip, the amount of memorable moments to register was quite disproportionate and my brain was overloading. And after all that time on my savings, I was quite scared of ended up penniless and therefore hungry. I needed, damas y caballeros, a routine. Holidays from… oh dear that again.
But where is the equilibrium? Routines rotten us, but full time adventure burn us.
Now I’m a hard worker at three jobs, two as a Spanish teacher, and two days a week at the Arteteka, the place I did my EVS last year. My schedule is quite irregular and changing, but it’s organised enough to make it. I take some time out of job to get everything prepared, and I have some free time for dancing, gym, writing, and perhaps reading or gathering some new hobbies I’ll some day talk about. And I’m also a mentor of the new EVS volunteers at STRIM (or their FB) – the organization that made my EVS possible and now is turning 15 years old – which I very much love. That’s my routine.
But hey, my Spanish teaching is quite exciting, always full of new activities and dynamics to learn myself, and a lot of my own language I learn there. Arteteka is almost exclusively in Polish, which is just hard like hell. And the volunteers are awesome, all foreigners discovering Poland and life abroad. Oh, and of course, I’m living abroad! That’s my small cake of adventure for the time being.
But there’s some hunger for the big adventure.
If there was one thing I was already thinking of in France, and just grew bigger in Italy, was the idea that I need to get outside of Europe. It’s not that I have seen everything here, but I’ve seen and heard of a lot of things. And some are starting to feel like all the same. Besides, I love this continent far too much, and if I don’t get outside of here soon I’ll end up being a stupid old bigot – this applies to Leon as well. Also, I need to take Leon to a place were he can finally shut up about Germany.
Leon, for God’s sake, get your bloody travel passport. And some visas.