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Archive for March, 2014

Will we make it this time?

The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying; the only thing more impossible than staying was leaving.
― Elizabeth GilbertEat, Pray, Love

I love flyingSome of my friends think I am absolutely crazy. Some of them envy me in that friendly way. Some do not even pay attention. And others wait for me to come back… I am not sure who is right of course, but I just know I cannot stop it. I just move around the world and cannot seem to find where to anchor my restless heart…

And every journey is like a new love affair. I am all excited at the beginning, having butterflies in my stomach as the date for my flight comes closer. I am full of excitement at the beginning, all happy and giddy, and every thought of Him makes me all smiles. And then as time passes, troubles come – after a while, the days start blending together and all the excitement changes to habit or boredom. Maybe, I just get tired of his exacting nature, or just maybe what he offers is not enough for me. Or yet again, maybe it was just perfect but there is that return flight hanging above us and we have to separate with broken hearts… In any way, I board that flight back with heavy spirit, all chewed up and spit out from this latest love affair, and all I want to is get home and hide in my bed for a couple of days… until I get my strength and courage back to open my heart again and take on the next journey…

Tsunami_Around_The_World_by_E_Roub

… First was Boston which lasted almost 2 years but after a bad fight i set off for a string of quickies all around the world. Then Boston took me back, but that didn’t last long and in spite I jumped to New York for an eventful summer. Tired of the American love, I thought I would find my happiness with London. He was not ready for something serious though, and after 4 months I ran back to Boston to search for consolation… I know, how stupid, right?! One and a half years and that relationship ended forever with a crash and burn (to specify, I did not burn anything, I just could not get a work visa). Then I got introduced to Paris by a common friend and got lured into his embrace for about 2 years. Now, that was a tumultuous relation! It definitely did not start well, but i thought we will get through it, then there was that sweet patch, and finally I ran away screaming… back to London’s arms. I should cut it short, I guess – after a year in London and a few transgressions across Europe, I realized that this time it was me who is not ready, so I jumped in bed with the 2 beautiful brothers Sydney and Melbourne. That was meant to be short and sweet, as was also my next affair with Los Angeles… a few more one night stands across India, and I am back to London wondering whether we will make it this time… and this knowing that last night I was in bed with Barcelona and tomorrow Marrakech is waiting for me…

London dream

Still, I know that we will end up together some day… London and I are just meant to be. Maybe I just have committment issues, or maybe he does. Maybe in order to be happy together, I need to go through a few more bad decisions… but tonight it doesn’t matter… London is here now, waiting in my bed in the next room and I should just go and enjoy…

Goodnight!

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Where is my adventure?

I jump up, woken by the deafening silence. Looking around, I realize I am home. My London home! The window is open and the crisp air is creeping in my room. It feels so different and so quiet. I close my eyes, searching in my mind, what is missing.

beep-beep-and-honk-honk

And i hear it…

Beeep, beep! Honk! Beep! Honk, honk, honk!

Just last night I was in India. Mumbai. Bandra West to be more specific. I was staying with a good friend from back in Boston that I hadn’t seen in more than 3 years… I so love those meetings with long-lost friends, catching up on life in some random place where we had never thought we would enjoy a beer together… but I digress!

My friend’s new roommate just recently moved to India to work for a local company called  Reality Tours. Reality’s business model is just what I call a social entreprise  – one that creates value for the business, the tourists and the community. And their signature tour of the Dharavi slum was the highlight of my stay in Mumbai. It revealed a completely different face of India and broke all stereotypes about Indian slums – rather than a depressing and sad environment, I saw a place bustling with life, alive with small scale industries and high community spirit.

reality-tours

Aaaaaaand I got distracted again!

So clearly I am somewhat of a groupie now. And not surprisingly when my hosts suggested to spend my last evening in India having drinks with the Reality team, I was quite excited. And the reason for the gathering? (not that we need one) We were all going to paint over a tuk tuk! And that tuk tuk would then make the 600km journey to Goa… or so we hoped!

Blessing of the tuk tuk

This amazing idea was the baby of two guys volunteering with Reality as English teachers in Dharave. So there we were, about 10 people hanging at the parking lot of their fancy-ish apartment building somewhere in Bandra West, with the Reality CEO leading  the blessing ceremony by breaking a coconut in the ground for good luck… that they would definitely need for that journey!

And then started the real fun – the actual tuk tuk customization. Cans of spray paint were lying around after we had finished coloring the fenders in pink, painted the Indian flag on the back, and scribed the guys’ names and hashtags (but of course) on the sides of the tuk tuk #GOAhardorGOAhome 🙂 Oh and don’t forget the pink moustache on the front and all the accessories brought along by supporters – a big horn (absolutely necessary in India) and a pair of dice to hang from the rear mirror.

#GOAhardorGOAhometuk tuk moustache

Finally, Asim (as they named the tuk tuk, don’t ask me why) was ready and had to be moved for the night before the launch of its journey the next morning. That was not as easy as it sounds, but it took only a few engine stalls and a crash barely avoided while backing up. People around were already making bets how far would it actually get when finally the tuk tuk passed through the gates of the parking lot and into the traffic.

Everyone was cheering, laughing and wishing them good luck when I felt this strong emotion rising in my heart. Suddenly, I felt an enormous pang of jealousy. There they were, leaving for this amazing adventure, why I had just finished mine and going back home… and my adventure did not include a road trip to Goa on a tuk tuk! I wanna do it too, I wanna go with them! I do not want to go back to an ordinary life in London.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love London, and I had been looking forward to going back after 8 months away.  I had responsibilities too –  taking classes, then graduation, and a job waiting for me around the corner. But is it really worth it? Do I have to do it now? Where is my next adventure?! Can’t I just get a gap year to travel? And then another one maybe?

….

Well here I am right now, awake in my bed in London in the middle of the night listening to the silence and searching for the honking of that one beautiful colorful tuk tuk with two crazy boys somewhere on the road to Goa.

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And then I remembered my own crazy road trip with two good friends along the Croatian coastline – we slept in the car for three days, missed the last ferry off an island, got stopped by trafic cops… And there was that time when a friend and I crammed on a windowless old bus somewhere through the Kerala countryside being poked by a local for 2 hours (in a completely appropriate manner, should innuendos about bananas and cocos be ignored). And that time when my friend and I were hosted somewhere in New Orleans by a crazy girl who randomly disappeared, leaving all our belongings in trashbags on the front porch with which we later on checked in a 5 star hotel. And that time when…

I laugh. Yes, I did have my own adventures too.  And will have more. Soon. Maybe in Israel or Jordan. Or somewhere in Australia… And I fall back into a sweet sweet sleep, thinking about where my next adventure will take me and who would be the lucky adventurists to come along for the journey… and as a friend said, those tend to be a certain type of people who would go bungee jumping or eat street food! 😉

adventure awaits

Update: The guys did make it to Goa!

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