Well, it’s a declaration of love to yourself and to the rest of the world. Travelling has no rules. It’s about doing things the way you feel it.
We all look for different things throughout our journey, but very often one result is similar for most of us, openness. No matter if you’re looking for something in particular or not, no one stays insensitive to a foreign environment, a different culture, new colors and smells, different approaches of life. I believe those kind of experiences always create something positive in us (even if we don’t appreciate it on the moment.)
I believe that travelling is mesmerizing and empowering. No matter where you would go in the world, it’s always something to discover about people, life, and of course yourself. I come from France, and as many Westernizers I kind of thought that we were the belly button of the world. I soon realized I couldn’t be more wrong. We have one vision as human of what should be our personal growth and our life, but the path towards it drastically changed from one place to an other. French people are very different from Germans, North Americans or Scandinavians, nonetheless we are sharing similar mediums and codes. It is the same in Asia, Indians are way different from Chinese or Indonesian. Here Peruvian are distinctive that Chilean or Colombians for example. The world is rich, super rich. We could be 6 milliards of identical persons but we all are different. I believe there is our main quality as humans. It offers wideness and many possibilities to be inspired by differences, and to create our own vision and approach of life. The funny thing is whatever the culture you’re sharing, the education you were alienated into, sometimes you feel closer from someone who grew up several thousand kilometers away from you than your own neighbor. That is also part of the journey, understand we simply are human, with fire, fears, and beliefs inside us that make us different but strong. Travelling is a “conscience opening” journey. It makes us aware of the beauty of the world and the people living in it. It makes us also aware of our personal strengths and weaknesses.
When I was a child I wanted to be and to act like the others. I was afraid to be different, and i was looking for patterns that were making me similar to my friends at school and in my neighborhood. I though being different was being “abnormal”, stupid. Bottom line, we all look stupid from time to time, but now i understand that one of my (ours) strength(s) is to be different. Travelling is one of the best thing I have ever done for myself. Most travelers i’ve met (and it’s been quite a few) would comment something similar about their experiences, with different words and senses probably, but we would all conceived with pleasure that it allowed us to grow, to be more open and more sensitive to the others. Travelling is beautiful, surprising, and definitely empowering. It is many ways to speak about travelling but as said each of us has a different approach and distinctives goals while travelling. More than reproducing one experience, create your own.
Seriously, Travelling is a beautiful adventure with yourself and all the people met on the way. You’ll cross beautiful inspiring souls that we’ll make you stronger, and have wonderful memories for ever that ‘ll me you fell that “Life is Fantastic.”
When it all started
I feel it all started nearly 15 years ago. I was still a student in Social sciences, and with a couple of friends from Uni, we just wanted to get out of France for a while, travel. I don’t remember why but India was the most appealing to us, without knowing nothing about it, we booked our tickets to get there.
A couple of months after this decision, we landed in Mumbay. I remember, it was nearly midnight, hot and very humid, pissing rain (Indian’s monsoon). The road from the airport to the center of the city was slow and impressive. The taxi-car was very old and the driver was even older. He had one tooth left, and he was getting his harm out at each traffic light, to swipe with his hand the water dropping on the car’s windshield. What really shocked me was all those people living in the street, mostly kids, women and elderlies. Rain was pissing all over their heads and they had nowhere to get shelter. If i do remember well, it was about 40k from the airport to the center, and for most of the way it was all those people forgotten and living in the street in absolute misery. We arrived in the center after midnight, it was pitch black and looked abandoned. This night, it was hard to sleep for the three of us. It is alike suddenly we all realized that we had no plans for our journey there, and the first impression was far from the heaven we were expecting. We were caught back by reality.
The next morning we had a stroll around the center, and the cultural shock was slapping us even stronger in our faces. Cows shitting in the streets (funny), street kids begging for money and fighting over a nearly empty Coke’s bottle (way less funny), harassing street sellers, stinky odors, weak electrical cables tangled per thousands. We hoped on a taxi. The Silk driver had approached us to give us a tour of the city but his point soon became to bring us from one clothes seller to an other, and also to show us and insist on the misery ot its people. I still remember it clearly, It was brutal. Suddenly everything looked huge and demolished. I remember one of my thought about Mumbay during this day. I felt alike the city most recent investments were over 40years ago and that nothing had changed since. In one moment, the weeks we had in India seemed to me that they would last forever. It’s been hard on all of us. I personally hated it, and I thought, “Fuck, I must go back home straight away.”
Then, we decided we needed to get out of Mumbay as soon as possible. On the same night we hoped on a bus towards Udaipur, in the Sate of Rajasthan. The next day, the night bus left us in a unction in the middle of nowhere where we had to wait a couple of hours before to take the bus that would drive us to Udaipur. We were in a small town in the desert. Everything was dry, rough. I left my friends to the bus stop and went for a walk with my white face and my big backpack. I started to walk in a narrow street where was a mix of small basic one floor houses and slums. I was surrounded by dozens of Indians, mainly men. I was not feeling that confident. At this moment I thought about a book I had read few months before, « The Celestine Prophecy ». One part of this book is about how to control and spread your energy level into a positive form, and what it creates around you. At this moment I thought deeply about it and decided to have a very open and positive body language, to smile and spread somehow something positive. It worked (but mostly because those people were amazingly simple and “welcomy”.) I think I hadn’t done more that 200 meters before I started to be surrounded by smiles. People were curious but super friendly, and I was soon invited to share a meal with a group of men that were having lunch. They naturally smiled at me and shared their food with me. I was mesmerized. I was not speaking much of English at this time. I was a stranger who looked to have a very easy life compare to them, but they didn’t give a shit. They’ve seen I was alone and “kind of lost”. They greeted me with open arms and warm generosity. It lasted for a moment, a very sweet moment. I’ve thanked them warmly for the meal, giving away all the smiles i could, but somehow they did manage to look happier than me to have share their lunch in my company. Few houses later, two other men invited me for a traditional Chaï tea. Once again they open their arms and treated me with the best Chaï tea I ever had at this point in my life. It was so simple. We couldn’t really exchange words due to my English level, but smiles and body languages were sufficient to understand each other and have a great time.
This couple of hours were a turning point in his journey and in my life. First I was falling in love of India and I knew this place was “for me” and that nothing could happen to me there. I also understood that travelling would be important for me, and most important, spreading a positive energy was worth pursuing as a human guide line. I came back from this stroll, strong, faithful, and with stars in my eyes before the journey ahead of us.
All the rest of this trip in India would strengthen my soul and my love for life in general and the world. People met along the way were unbelievably generous, simple, and open. It was amazing, empowering, and it would dictate my life from then to now. It changed it all. I’m so thankful for it. I still have goose bumps remembering this moment.
About me & the blog
I’m Quentin, 37 years old. I’m kind of a nomad but I’ve been living for the last 4years in South America, most of the time in Cusco where I’ve been working for about 3years to develop a Hostal & Creperie called “La Bo’M”. Empowered and highly motivated by this experience, I believe it’s time to build my own adventure, and I’m looking at different options here. New projects are coming to the horizon.
This journey started mid-2013 when i left London where i lived for the last 5years before this round the world trip. It opened it in China, then Nepal and a part of India. Later in Lao and Myanmar, with many stops in-between Chiang Mai and Bangkok in Thailand, and a short stay in Cambodia mainly to visit the astonishing site of Angkor Wat. It was followed by Indonesia and New Zealand (mostly Southern island), before to land in Peru a bit more than 4 years ago. I’ve been living in Cusco principally since then, touring a bit around South America, in Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile very briefly. I also had a long stay in Colombia, one year overall, visiting different places in the country while based most of the time around Medellin and its region, which is a place that i particularly appreciate.
This blog was created 5years ago but I’ve abandoned it for a long while. It’s time for a quick reshaping. Unfortunately notes have been lost and memories are sometimes confused, which means that i’m not able to be super detailedly, or to recommend many places like restaurant, hostels and such for the places where I’ve been but I still love to share some past experiences and photos. This blog is more about expressing briefly my feelings and to recommend some places that are in my opinion a “must-go”. Still, I’m very open to speak widely about places such as India, Peru or Colombia. People with questions about those places, feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and i’ll give my best to answer it promptly.