Episode 9: Portugal

Chasing dreams while sitting

New Old Life

Picking up the old good people after being gone for 3 years. One by one. Took me about 3 months. New people may come now! How will that happen?

Meanwhile ripples kept coming at me from my journey, making me sure I did not just dream it – people visiting, visiting people.

Twist it

New habits, new environments, new people.

Some I had to force myself into, some came naturally. Picked up new habits like yoga, talking to strangers, going to cafés, walking everywhere, new local adventures.

Flashbacks and ripples: Trippin’ again but short rounds: Holland, Stuttgard, Prague, Ljubljana, Ozora, take a break from my job for 2 months, hiking around, finding waves among the ripples, then a little trip to Rhodos, paragliding, Istambul, coming back with a big batch of nice teas. Short trips to bring me out from day to day and remind me of the road.

Coffeehouse love stories

My favorite café became my living room and office for a while. Working from home revealed how others have social needs fulfilled at work, which I did not have, hence my time spent in public places.

And one day talking to a stranger turns into a love story. Fast forward 2 months and I am sitting in an offbeat village in central Portugal.

Have love, will travel

I had enough of Budapest anyways, I was thriving for something new. Living in a village, isolated, taking the days one after another in a green place with a view, no distractions, is something I have been wanting to try for a long while, with a person I care for. I had it all.

As the world went onto full lockdown my life was just as I wanted: going on long walks and runs, doing yoga sessions alone and being free of distractions of the world. The quarantine helped with the FOMO too: Noone else was doing more than I was doing.

Five months slips by then back to the start.

Episode 9: Portugal

Episode 8: Budapest

20190212_142620The Big Come Back

Time

The person who started writing this a few years back is not the same, nor completely different from the one writing these lines. Imagine climbing into a time capsule and climbing out 3 years later. From anyone else’s perspective this is what’s happened. For me it has been another life.

Moving around for this long, feeling that I always have a hard limit – the day my visa expires in that country – “enforced” the cycles I lived by. Three months can be long but I could not get myself too comfortable. I knew I have to move in the foreseeable future. It can be exhausting on the long run, I craved for staying put for a while, without the constraint of having to move. Enough wandering for now, back I came, it was time.

Space

The streets look familiar, no need for maps, some new buildings, little changes, taking buses, trams, observing. Walk around, notice new details: “were they here before, just never noticed?”. A smell hits me, one that I did not feel for many years, is this only here?

Moving back started with a big cleanup. Getting rid of even more stuff than I thought possible before – little overdoing Mari Kondo. I thought I was thorough when I left – but I had to realize I was still holding onto meaningless stuff. Or maybe meanings shift with perspective. Either way…

In a room, starting from scratch, cherry picking the things I thought I was missing. Catching up. One by one. Creating new, healthy habits, finding what to fill that space with. Embrace the emptiness.

A trip where the goal is to redefine what makes me me is like pressing reset. Trying to be more present and looking at my former life as someone else’s. Did not just rush back to my old self. Easier to observe deep triggers now. Still takes practice, but distance and space yields perspective.

People

Different stages start to unfold – most move on, somewhere forward, few stuck in loops. I started out wanting to be different. Different from what? Easier to find common ground with the loners and the ones “like you”, who also broke off the conventional way, moved to other countries, changed profession, lifestyle, challenged the status quo and themselves.

Almost midlife. “Golden years”? Was I living someone else’s dream? No, it was mine. Finally. It wasn’t better or worse than anyone else’s, just different.

Only better, if you wish it was you.

Home Alone

Trapped by my own mind – as the cliché goes.

Loneliness has risen again – just like in Malargüe – as I was sitting on a bench in an abandoned park at 11PM Sunday night after a semi-shitty movie in the cinema. I feel really alone. Like really-really alone.

What am I missing?

Finally arrived in my new life, why is it so uncomfortable?

Well, we have been down the other roads and here we are again – at least tried doing something about it – so a new method now: let’s just embrace the feeling again.

“Do not reach out to anyone!”

That was the urge I was having and what I used to do. Instead, just sit tight, listen, observe: let the winds of loneliness tear off pieces of my face as I stand still in the midst of this storm.

Now

If a tram was to hit me in 5 minutes, I’d be content with my life. It feels mine already. But the feeling of the uncertain future and how it will be from now freezes me on that bench.

All this “contentiousness”, gained freedoms and experiences are in the past. They do not help me much if I feel stuck here and now.

Things have to be moving around me with a good enough pace. I need new people around me who motivate me, who challenge me, who love me.

Humans then. A deep desire of wanting to connect, feel understood and appreciated is pretty essential for most of humans. This comes at me when I feel I do not have my tribe. I do not belong.

Free Will

The problem is choice – as the architect put it.

Part of humanity tend to believe that they are in control of the world around them, though their choices. Others think it’s all written. My view is that I can increase or decrease the probabilities of what happens through my choices.

Some interpret this probabilistic nature “the beauty of life”. If I have the illusion of complete control, I start to be suspicious about where is the fun that I am missing out on?

Yeah, FOMO of the things I do not know exist.

2019

Was a year of experimenting, playing, challenging myself, letting go but not running away, have a new take on a familiar environment, conquering my fears by doing uncomfortable things, maybe they yield me with new insights. They did. And the meantime, enjoying that I do not have to move in 3 months somewhere.

New people, new beginnings, brave new hopes, brave new dreams in an old setting.

Episode 8: Budapest

Episode 7. Peru II

20180617_120202_head.jpgTime is limited. Accept it.

The Feeling

By then I have been floating around South America for about two years. Arrived to Lima but did not find my place there, still not being able to interact with people the way it felt enough – it hit me: it is time to go to a place, where I do not have the language as an excuse for not being able to connect. My little Eastern Europe turned to be more interesting. New glasses. But before…

Volcanoes and The Medicine Man

One last Erasmus Session where I just sit around and dive into whatever’s surrounding me. It’s really time to move, but staring at three volcanoes is really fun for a month or two. Also now, that I had the determination, returning took some preparations, like selling my bike left in Cusco, some planning and thinking about how can I reduce the reverse cultural shock?

Hospedaje Inka the third time, chilling with Will, polishing my cooking skills. Simple life in room 8. Seeing someone’s motivation found after a life that you could already consider pretty full is pretty nice, especially when it’s something like guiding people on their journeys.

La Poderosa

An object that takes you through 17000 kilometers of wilderness gets attached to you. It was more than just a bike, it was a dream that I never dared to believe possible. I was staring at it after it took me though it. Our epic journey together has come to an end. A reminder of everything in life. It became a memory. With actual tears.

The Plan

Browsing through airplane tickets I accidentally imagined arriving in Budapest’s airport terminal and it was so disturbing that I had to take the rest of that day off walking bluntly on the streets of Cusco. Most of the long traveler’s blogs and books have prepared me that it will be hard. Better come up with something. The idea: do a soft landing and have a solid plan for “re-integration”, having things to do and avoiding “sudden change”. Lima-Budapest direct is clearly a bad idea.

New York then…

Cheap tickets from Lima on the 11th of September, and it’s on the way. Never seen it, Jungle 2 Jungle. Never before I felt being such a no-one renting a hole for 50 bucks a night. Back in Cusco I lived for a week for that money.

Everyone is going somewhere, fast, determined. They all seem to know what they are doing, being driven by something. Quite the opposite of me at the moment and the last three years. Not many ways to be slow there… Would I be able to fit?

From there, California sounded like a good idea, creating a full circle, going back the way I came, so I can pick up some of the breadcrumbs I left on the way. Meeting the team I have been working with for two years, then hanging some time back at the construction, where the jakuzzi got hooked up.

Arrived to one conclusion: I really want to go home now. A brand new Dreamliner takes me over the ocean again as if the universe was just throwing me all the worn out clichés there are.

Fish, chips, cup of tea

Stepping into the airport, the feeling of Europe strikes me – there is a joke in there somewhere. All the people, suits to bums (more of the first), sitting on the train. Already feels like “home”, even though England is kinda England. When you stand in the EU Citizen line – and feel part of something bigger than you. Maybe most “citizen” has this with their own “countries”. Over two years in the wild west.

Meeting a friend from the past in a very different environment than we were back then – still being very familiar, seeing how he is doing in this new life, getting used to whatever there is to get used to. Preserving parts of the old self, developing some new, not yet really feeling home in this different setting. We both were lost in our own way and that made us even more connected. It felt like going inside on a cold autumn day to the house, setting a fire, making yourselves comfortable in the warming room, feeling cosy in the world together.

Home with someone.

Drifting back

No more planes for me, let’s just enjoy the fact that trains run around here: hitched one to Amsterdam, Berlin, Dresden, Vienna: visiting people I felt like visiting. Last nights out.

Budapest Keleti train station. Sat in a pub to acclimatize with my freshly acquired chocolate snail. And here it comes.

What do you think you’d miss if you lived somewhere else for 3 years?

Episode 7. Peru II

Episode 6. Ecuador

galapa
The Optimist Ocelot states: “when it’s like shit, it’s actually good, because it puts everything else in perspective.”

Full Circles

Finishing my little trip through the desert had it’s magical effect drawing a pretty bold line in my journey.

A year before, I was just starting my new life. All the excitement, dreams to be lived. A year, 16 000 km, and a bunch of amazing new experiences later I had a new set of questions. I was ready to get a hint. Will told me, “if you’re good with yourself, Ayahuasca generally shows a way you can go forward”. I meditated for a day and tried to recap feelings and events that formed me through this journey. It went so well, that it said “I will not bother with that, let me show you the source of the problem: why are you still just floating?”

The core program of yours – put there by evolution – may be suppressed by culture and your environment, but it’s still there, always, and comes up in forms of feelings. Question is, how much you understand that and how deep you are willing to go to find where they come from… Riding solo for over three years seeking for these answers I can tell you: there is a never ending line of new questions. Be opened to things that may be the complete oposite that “defined you” before.

The Inka provided this “special place” feeling, as always. I have visited Choquequirao with a friend, went for some small motorbike trips, then visited the town of Puerto Malabrigo with Will to practice sliding on my belly with a surf board since standing up requires skills that I do not posses. Backpacking North then.

Hippies

Every hostel in South America has a Ranking Argentine Hippi. They usually volunteer in that place and know how to stay cheap, occasionally doing tattoos or selling handcrafted stuff, mostly jewelry made out of magical stones, wires and strings.
They also know “the other places” around. This is how I ended up in Chambalabamba, an interesting community. People were present from the extremes of the Jedi scale, determining faiths from stars and not liking you based on your zodiac. Whatever.

Living with them however proved to be quite a lesson about how belief forms our perception and how the connection to our own subjective realities define how we feel. My simple take on it: just listen to people more, even if they are seemingly uninteresting at first, their realities may have an answer for a mechanism in our brains that you find valuable to understand.

Darwin

One month living on a tree was enough, so I took my first official holiday in a long time: flew to Galapagos, where I was hanging out on a boat for a week, staring at all the special animals that ignore you. High life with the homeless sea lions.

Do you think you listen more than you talk?

Episode 6. Ecuador

Episode 5. Argentina

Lemma: You do not just leave your country for a trip like this, when you feel “everything’s cool” back there.

When I left, I did not feel like having a home, I did not feel that I belong. Not having a return date opens you to a completely different catch on time.

Taming loneliness

I was sitting in Mallargüe in South-West Argentina, having a really bad day, staring at airline tickets to anywhere in Europe, when I realized: wait a minute, I have felt this before, in Budapest. On a lazy day when I was just scrolling through my phone’s contacts asking people if they want to grab a beer with me and no-one was available. I know this! This is a weird kind of Loneliness. I did not have a way to deal with that yet, but connecting the two feelings made me realize, returning home would not solve my problems, so instead of buying the ticket I was staring at, I decided to take a deep-dive into this new-old feeling.

Erasmus Sessions

It came down to a need: having meaningful relationships. This ain’t happening on the hostelhopper course that often. I seek non-conventional conversations, they seem to happen totally random. The strategy I picked was settling somewhere. Mendoza then.

Staying in a place doing “ordinary” things. I chose to go into a shared office that yielded some of the missing pieces. Three month fast-forwarded and it was enough. You may play with the idea whether you’d stay in the place if you met that someone? I call that the “fairy tale scenario”. You imagine, give it a try and when things go South, the reflex kicks in: you do the crabaway…

… and then: Desert

If you ever had emotionally difficult times here is a recepie to deal with it: pick a spot on the map, at least 3000km away, get a tent, get on a bike that does not go faster than 70 and kick it! Plus point if it’s in a desert – it expands your space. It’s like a silent meditation course, just you fight with the elements, enjoy the scenery, sing songs really loud, have glimpses of the Gauchos riding their animals. Converts your problems.

This time again the attractive unknown takes over, giving you space for the new.

Do you have enough space in your life for The New?

Episode 5. Argentina

Eastern-European Legacy

eastern-europe-2.jpgEmpirically you can tell that which world you are in by the airport taxi queue. If the engines are running while they are waiting for the fare you are in the first world. If they switch it off while waiting, but when the line moves they switch it back on, you are in the second. In the third world they just push it forward by hand.

[I did not google who observed this first]

Origins

Travelling for an extensive amount of time in other parts of the world inevitably provide a very different perspective of your origins. First you acknowledge how others do their stuff – thinking that “this is worse/better” than home. Second, you start to realize that certain cultural highlights or shades can not be isolated from the whole. Step three is when you can look at your own culture as an outsider. You realize, that some things what “everyone does” are hardly “the standard” everywhere else. All the cultures have their rarities. The Peruvians replace their teeth with green weird looking stones in a golden/silver frame, the Argentinians do not eat dinner before 9 PM, the Chileans developed a weird fetish for hot-dogs with guacamole and mayo and they call it Italiano, and the polish confess to their priest that they are taking birth control. All these behaviors do not seem weird for locals. As a traveler, you capture these and ask yourself: so what is weird in my culture? Well, some Hungarians put ketchup on pizza.

Ketchup on a Pizza?

Judging your own culture is a difficult task. No matter where you are from, you are biased. I do not claim for a minute that I know anything about my own culture. What I have is my little unimportant story. If you are in a second world country, you might notice some resemblance.

Everyone is equal, but some are more equal

There is an existencial tension within communist systems which simplifies to this: we have a natural instinct to survive as an individual, just as species. Communism tried to model this by declaring: community first, then your individual needs – looking at the big picture – vs. the capitalist system, in which you first, then community. I do not think we can make a correct order there…

Gulyás Communism dissonance

No one likes when someone decides over their head, especially when it comes to our own life and some people just decided that you have to give way too many fucks about community and ignore all your personal needs. The problem with this idea is that humans do not work that way. We do not eliminate our needs for an idea, especially for something as fluid as community. So here is a system, which rejects you if you can not think and live by ideals, and thinking about yourself first, which inevitably creates a very large group of people (technically everyone), who reject the system. Not to mention, that the reason they could win elections at all was because the Russians backed them with tanks in the post-war chaos. People adopt – so they can not openly be jerks to each other, because the system tells that’s uncool and a big black car comes to you to convince you to think differently by beating you up in secret – they will not express their thoughts in any ways, but they try to play the system the way they can: it becomes a way to survive. Silent resistance, in which the enemy is the very system they live in. Familiar?

The result, is simple: people do everything as before, just under the table. They say to your face: “no, you can’t do it” – but they are doing it behind everyone’s back. This opened dissonance becomes a deep part of the culture in 40 years…

…And Then The Wall Fell

I did not have many ideas about all of this, until I went to the US into a very little village for a high school year. One day a trainer came and showed a can with an “I” written on it with a simple message to all the kids in the school: you can do it. I looked around with some horror and thought to myself: no, they can’t. I missed a very important point back then: not making an enemy of yourself. I did not see that, because I grew up in a world, where the norm was that you say different things than what you do. I was a smart kid. And every time I wanted to do things, I encountered with “no, you can’t” – while they simply meant one of the following: “I could not do it, so you can’t”, “if you do it, I will envy you” or “if you do it, I will judge you”. While all these bummers are told they can? What’s off?

The Twist

If you grow up in a world, where people feel, that they do not have enough, you will feel, that you do not have enough, ever. You will feel, that you are not enough and this affects every part of your life. These fears overthrow your life and create a scarcity mindset, in which you can not see a way out.

I was born in a country and age, where this mindset was the norm. Yet, I feel lucky because that way I can feel that breaking away from this is one of my biggest achievements in life so far.

That’s the ketchup on my pizza.

Eastern-European Legacy

Episode 4. Chile

araucarias_egoose

The footsteps of Ernesto

On The Road

A little emotional roller-coaster of feeling alone and lost, but most of all: undetermined. What would you expect when your goal is to be alone without an actual destination? Dumb me…

Quick recap on how did I get here: I “failed” at living the conventional life so I quit my job, then after a couple of month being unemployed flew to a wedding to the other side of the world, then bought a one way ticket from San Francisco to South America without actually having money to fly anywhere, thinking that “what could possibly go wrong?”. And I am sitting on a motorbike called “Megszentségteleníthetetlen” heading South from Cuzco.

Separatists

Exploding a trash can back in high school was one of my first acts of misbehave, only downhill from there. From those times it was obvious that I was not much for the rules, so standing on the Bolivian border with an unregistered motorbike trying to get it through a couple of years later did not come as too much of a surprise. “It went smooth.”

Undetermined Abundance

Freedom is like money. None of those make you happy by themselves. It is just a goal as any other: once you have enough of it, you start dealing with a new set of problems. Most of us never really experience the abundance of these things, so when we accidentally get there, we are paralyzed. As you might have heard, there is only a limited amount of time you can spend on drinking mojitos on a Utopian beach…

After a while, you start asking, what is it that you really seek. The funny thing is, that if you come with a one way ticket without a date back, the answer to this gets funky. I have noticed, that the reason I am traveling for changes about every 3-5 months.

Anyways, I still have some undetermination to deal with… Whatever, just pick a spot on the map… Patagonia will do.

Han Went Solo

For some reason, we are conditioned by people around us from early age to believe that loneliness is bad. Of course, if you’ve always been among people, it will feel weird and awkward at the beginning, but as you get used to it you start hearing your own voice better and you figure out that having constant company can be as addictive as heroin (never been on heroin, so this is just an assumption, replace it with your weapon of choice; tv series, scrolling 9gag/insta/pinterest/random page on the internet with infinite scroll, news reading, masturbation, or chocolate ice cream).

It can feel really terrible, especially when you are in need and no one is around to help you. Whether you get robbed, get ill, or just realize that you do not have anyone to share your terrible day with. It teaches you to take life as it is. Deal with shit without laying it on others. It makes you a better person. (Or, you just post it on social media, so that your former friends will instantly feel sorry for you – congratulation, welcome to today’s society of instant gratification.)

It also makes you realize, that some of the things you were doing before are programmed by others (dressing up as Mammoths, throwing occasional conventional wisdom in your face). Were you always relying on someone to make decisions in your life? Your mom, your dad, your boyfriend, your boss? Who drove your life before? A little bit of every one of them I guess. So what now? You are to take full responsibility for your actions. No one to blame for your unfulfilled life anymore. A scary point to achieve, but delightful – my hope is that these lessons get me to a better spot thinking about my life on my death bed…

Goals to be made

Sitting in a café on Plaza Brasil in Santiago de Chile, an image popped into my mind: two years before university traditions got me sitting on a coffin of notes heavily illuminated right before my graduation ceremony after seven years of suffering in engineering school, when a friend pointed out, that we are living the collective dream of our seven years ago selves. Back in the café, it felt even better, since finishing school was not really my own dream to pursue but traveling the world felt much more like it.

Meanwhile…

Did I just taste… TRUE FREEDOM?

Most of the times, when we feel trapped, we are in an invisible cage crafted by our own mind – with the help of cultural constraints, common wisdom and social pressure. So this was going on? Chances are that when you judge someone for behaving the way he/she does, you are just playing a culture-spreading droid and/or are actually reflecting on your very self. So who do you judge and why? Why do you think you are better? What are the rules they are not following, which you think they should?

I checked into a semi-obnoxious hostel in Pucón, where I met a fellow biker dude from the states, whose second day there was solely about drinking a bottle of whiskey and binge watching a show in his bed. I caught my self judging him, so I asked myself why? Because he did whatever he pleased to?

Not sure if that had anything to do with what was coming, but I did buy a bottle of nice wine and opened it at this incredible wild camping spot, staring at the three volcanoes poking through their little cloud skirts in the background as the sun was setting behind them revealing the star map hiding in the blue with it’s reflections on the surface of the still, cristal clear South-Chilean lake.

Here I am, on a motorbike in South-America, with this nice Eastern-European “you can’t do it” background realizing, that “I fucking did it!” I am no longer in an office asking myself every day that “what am I doing here”, I am no longer earning in the second world, I do have savings, every day I wake up and I do not think of the future further than that day, I do not have to worry about food, no more scarcities of resources. I am there, in the present, I am living an original dream of mine and I am acknowledging with loving acceptance, that the very state of mine is the result of all the people discouraging me all my life, my semi-miserable childhood, my broken relationships and all the “mistakes” I have made – they all were leading me to this very point in time and space, which I would never trade for anything. I have just arrived, feeling amazing… and something even more, that I have never felt before:

I feel that I am enough.

Episode 4. Chile

Episode 3. Peru

a bunch of llama

Carroting. A non-existent English word translated from a Hungarian engineer subculture. Double fail. The definition pretty much goes: doing nothing, while there is plenty.

Cool, now I have money to buy airplane tickets, said Bendegúz sitting on the side of the jungle in Colombia’s coffee region, when he heard about that his friends are planning to do a three month trip to somewhere on the continent. “It can not be that far…”

Around seven months passed from taking off from Budapest airport – feeling as my real life is just starting, drifting closer to good-old dreams to be manifested, I got on a plane in Bogota to fly to Cuzco to see some friends and ruins.

More Inka (Inkább)

Went on a hike to the Ausangate trail which ended at the Colored mountains then did all kind of ruin explorations in the footsteps of Angelina Jolie.

After doing the anti-mainstream stuff, did the mainstream stuff too, then found the best hostel I needed for reevaluating a lot of bad-wired stuff in my head. We formed a little community of drifters from all around the world, hanging out in the community kitchen of Hospedaje Inka, sharing our quests and talking about the big things. (I highly recommend hanging out with people with a philosophy degree.)

Hippies and The Jedi

There are two kind of questions in this world: existencial and causal. Existencial questions are open ended: they are of great mystery and most likely will never be answered because their essence is deeply linked to our very existence. Questions like why we exist, is there a god or what is the meaning of life?

Causal questions follow a much more grounded breakdown: the red object is red, because it filters out photons in a range of wavelengths, the ice floats on water because it’s crystal structure makes it less dense than water, etc.

And then, there is belief. There are those people who believe in invisible forces, energies and all kinds of Zodiacs determining your line of life. What they taught me is that you can believe in whatever, your happiness is not necessarily related to the facts the world works by. Someone’s Jedi scale spans from being a totally science centered person who does not make any statements without the necessary amount of data and always carefully finishing with “as our current knowledge goes” – to the point when their bad day is evoked by the wrong angle of their “energy stone” next to their bed.

Some hippies have a great sense of knowing the limits. Others tried to convince me to talk nice to the frying pan if I do not want it to mess my pancakes up.

My Brand New Life

Sitting among the hippies, extending my worldviews, I was in a very inspiring environment. I got to the point where I am able to realize my dreams I never dared to  believe possible. I was at the foot (technically above) of one of the world wonders a long-gone civilization has left behind, seeing things none of my friends have seen, being further from my birthplace for the longest time ever, following up on a bucket list item, with a sustainable way of living on the road, without the scarcities and limitations my former self had. Someone calls this…

Freedom

You do not have an office to go to, your needs reduce. Limits are being pushed down, you take cold water, you take cheap places to stay, you can go without a shower for an extensive amount of time, as you start tasting the freedom of the minimalists. This feeling from the -1 dollar account emerged into the greatest freedom feeling I’ve ever experienced. I had enough. A world just opened up: I can and will see and do whatever I want here. I can experience South-America, as none of my fellows have done it. Being almost the first in my little community, someone, who tried to break away from the conventions the environment tried to force him into, but managed against all the (projected?) odds.

New Plans

The first three months were about coming up with a plan to not to get back to an office. The second three months were about getting to sustainability and not living from one day to another. By the time I got to Peru, it was more about “okay, I can sustain this, what’s next?” – It was time to define some new goals for myself.

What’s on the menu?

Lone travelling, which I was kinda doing already before, but it did not really feel that lonely since I was not really “travelling” and I always found my little group of people who I got stuck with for a couple of weeks-months before, I never really did the hostel-hopper backpacking thing. That was the plan, until…

The Footsteps of Ernesto

… I met Ana, another drifter, who we watched the Motorcycle Diaries with. Looking at my not-so-sad account made me explore the option of buying a small used motorbike. I said: if it can be done under a 1000 bucks, I am doing it. It was. Next question: how does a motorcycle work?

Meet Megszentségteleníthetetlen who actually got it’s name after La Poderosa.

megszentsegtelenithetetlen

Han goes Solo…

 

 

 

Episode 3. Peru

Episode 2. Colombia

pereiral

As my Spanish knowledge was limited to Hola by the time I landed in Bogota – what was just the tip of the iceberg – I started feeling pretty lost. That did not change much ever since only the subject shifted from the language to something much more abstract.

I headed out with a simple goal: getting away from whatever I felt locked in by. The method my subconsciousness chose was systematically closing any opportunities leading to a safe fallback plan. First you get scared, then it becomes your everyday life. This numb feeling crystallizes in your mind with a more and more pressing urge to do something about it.

Unexpected motivation cycle

Second round volunteering was not as good as the first one, there were no long-term people to make friends with. The unknown and the feeling of being lost was overwhelming. No more distractions with people you can just grab a beer with.

Out of nowhere, the universe gave me Steve, a friend who has been living this gipsy life for 7 years and is much more experienced in floating than I am. He translates stuff to English from all kind of languages as he is a freelance translator. We both liked weird abstract stuff. So we decided to move to rural Colombia together.

Browsing flats all around Armenia and Pereira was quite a challenge, but it gifted us with the best rooftop terrace Pereira had to offer. We rented a room, bought two matraces and started calling the place home for the next couple of months.

Just let everything go…

As my account slowly reached minus one dollar, I was fairly motivated to do any kind of work I could find online and since they do not really want to hire you without reputation, you just work for 3 dollars an hour until you get enough for survival. After a couple of small projects I landed a longtime contract which is still keeping me alive making me very happy by giving me means to keep moving.

My second Erasmus

Our lucky streak was on. The local German exchange students found us yelling at us on the street that “hey gringos!” – From there, the next 3 month was settled. We went out hiking every weekend, I was living from 400 bucks a month with all the food accommodation and beers, so it was perfect to shape my sad numbers on that problematic account of interest to less sad ones. I found my new way of living.

Expat life. Living with a bunch of people for the span of that period of time, exploring, learning – it was the very beginning of a brand new life, my brand new life. I managed to get away, I had the means to realize not one, but at least two big things on my bucket list: living in different countries, and not sitting in an office for making a living. Now we are getting somewhere!

My second Renessaince.

Meanwhile, Desmond

Desmond the Moonbear: he ends up on the moon asking himself the rhetorical question: “How did I get here?” – Which indeed is a similar question I was asking myself when I actually assessed the situation I got myself into. These “moments of clarity” kept hitting me in the most unexpected times from the very beginning i.e. “Okay, I am walking in Muir Woods, California” or if I was in the middle of a coffee farm with a bunch of strangers in Central Colombia or just simply realizing, I am sitting in a glass workshop where they make glass dildos, playing rock music, and cooking pizza in the glass “cooling” tanks. It is the sudden realization of that my actual state in time and space is a result of lacking determination back home right before I decided to change something for the better. It is when I realize I was not anticipating this, because I could not even have imagined that I will be doing anything like this even remotely. Desmond is drifting and ends up on the moon, I just happened to end up in South America.

Fair enough.

Episode 2. Colombia

Episode 1. California

ferde2l

Weddings. You get together with a bunch of people cheering for the two special one deciding to link their lives. Even if you are very satisfied with the decisions you made along the way, you just can’t help yourself thinking of the different lifelines others take. “Where did I go wrong?” you might ask. You did not. It is just a lottery. Dumb luck. Or “You just did not want it yet.” But you wonder about it anyways.

There can be one thing funnier than observing a semi-conservative family merging with the Californian hippies: locking them into a green tortoise bus for 4 days after travelling through the country for a national park rapid course. It was a truly hilarious experience while sightseeing some really beautiful regions of California and nearby: parks like Yosemite, Death Valley and Yoshua tree.

We dropped out in L.A. with my friend Daniel, who was on a similar trip as me, being recently unemployed and heading for some adventures experiencing his new freedom.

10 years earlier…

Chester, Illinois, two states right of South Park in a little town, little Goose getting the name The Goose reminding him every time that it is the character who dies in every movie [citation needed]. Having the hearth of a rebel he did not like being in custody of the host grandpa who in return did not like him painting over of the lines [forgive me for these literal translations]. Found a really nice family taking in little Goose into their life with three awesome triplet kids showing the symptoms of a semi-developed ADHD.

They were my saviors.

They happened to get out of university they highly disliked and ended up in L.A. chasing dreams. The week we dropped by they just had finished their first studio album. I hit them up and we hung out for a night in West Hollywood where we were beerponging with 10 years for fast-forward story telling about how it all came to this point in time and space.

After sleeping in their batcave where the wind took out the electricity (bill) we headed south to San Diego to see the weird life of USSuburbia and spent some time with some other friends who rented a car from San Francisco to see Tijuana’s very weird world.

Workaway

Headed back to SF on #1 to my first volunteering experience after seeing the sea lions in their natural form of laziness, envying them a bit for not having any existencial anxieties about doing nothing on the shore of the ocean as a major obligation.

I met a really cool math professor from SF State University, who needed some help with house renovation. I manifested a little practical order in that space having occasional conversations about jak shaving and the maximum time necessary for a given function to complete a sorting task with different algorithms. We did go a little abstract some times. After proving my theoretical points on the subject, I was in charge of the “organization”.

Stayed there for two awesome months. In the meantime I did all kind of things around, flew down to Vegas to see the Grand Canyon, did some sightseeing in Berkeley, San Fransisco, Oakland, worked in libraries and cafés trying to break into the silicon valley job scene. It was good for an interview, but the US immigration bureaucracy hell would have had me waiting more for a visa more than the employer was willing to. Plan B.

My other hobby in the meanwhile was to figure out how not to take the plane back home. Loving what I was doing in that half-ready house I started browsing Workaway opportunities where I could benefit my “construction” skills. Found a place named like this: “re-purposing an old hotel to a co-working co-living space”. I only checked the continent later. It happened to be in Bogotá, Colombia. Bought a one way ticket there for my last dollars to take the challenge on.

Did not know any Spanish. Did not know anyone. The vast unknown leveled up.

Another airport again in an elevated emotional state, with the “strategically not well though out” face, giving my finger to the monster with a three fries short of a happy meal smile. [Thank you, Richard Dean Anderson and 10 years of Stargate]

You’ve Been Down That Road

Before I left Budapest my mom gave me the pep talk about how life is: “You know, there can be usually three major things that give you the feeling of stability: a flat, a job and a girlfriend.” – kindly pointing out, that I do not posses any of the above. Thanks mom.

In retrospect, the decision was inevitable. The feeling of not being enough, not being worthy, being a nobody with great dreams, who failed his expectations miserably. Those were the prospects of my projected return. On top of that starting with asking the same questions all over again knowing that I can’t do it any other ways. (These ideas though did not form to a whole back then, the only thing what I could feel, that “something is off”. It really needed a perspective.)

Not knowing a safe resolution to the problem, getting naked on the arctic circle seemed like a better idea. Fear of the unknown, you seem less scary, here I come!

“You are doing it the hard way” said Attila, the broom, while I was struggling with the US visa situation and the job market. I realized I am not having A plan, but I have many plans, which not only vary in the type of company I am looking for but the continent they are on. Looked all around Europe, South America, North America, and by the time it was time to leave the US, I realized I had mixed feelings about that car oriented weird world, which certainly is better than the mid-west, but still is the US, and without a job, my remaining dollars were only enough for the junk in Subways. Sugarmummy smuggled some real food in me (Love ya!) and gave me a tough time when it came to say good bye, making me ask the repeating question from back home: why am I leaving when I am feeling “pretty fine” about where I am at right now? Always dissatisfied?

I figured that “pretty fine” was still lacking maintainability. House renovations were fine, but the only thing I proved to myself that I am pretty efficient in reducing chaos into less chaos. On the other hand I really started sliding down on the side of the Maslow pyramid (It truly felt like a slide as I was staring at my depleting bank account). Not seeing how to form a statement of the need of the capitalist appreciation, drifting was the only way which did not leave me with obviously played out no-s.

Wild Romance

One way tickets are fun. Especially when you can not buy another one to a place you already know. You get rid of all the opportunities you had in order to make place for the new ones to come, moreover, forcing yourself into the situation where you have to start dealing with it. Would you let your fears prevent you to take that bold move? Nah. California dreaming! Clean slate. From real zero.

Good bye Comfort zone!

Episode 1. California