After my studies it felt too early for me to start with the world of work. I had this strong feeling that I needed to experience something before having an 8-5 (or maybe 7-7) job. I started off with hiking the Camino de Santiago, volunteered with Syrian, Afghani, Iraqi and Pakistani refugees in Greece, hiked close to the top of the world …
(from: Rather Go Where there is No Path)
After Greece, I went to Nepal, and hiking to Mount Everest Base Camp was another huge challenge for me; I reached my limits for several reasons, e.g. the weight of the backpack, the rain, the low oxygen at the high altitudes and food poisoning, but it was a ‘one of a kind’ experience and taught me that, as a woman, you have to be alert wherever you are.
During my time at the Nepalese hospital, I learnt to adjust: to the incredible heat, to the attention of the locals, to the rodents sharing the room with me and to the monotonous food (rice with lentils twice a day). Humans are very adaptable and I’ve learnt to adjust to anything which will come my way; our mind decides whether or not we can overcome an obstacle, so we just have to control it (sounds easy?).
I had thought about travelling through India for a very long time, but I wasn’t very sure about doing it alone. While trekking in Nepal I met three Indians so I had a reason to visit and I was with locals.
Many times it doesn’t finish with the staring – no, people took pictures of me – sometimes in a very hidden and sneaky way (e.g. pretending that they are taking a picture of themselves, walking with their phone in the hand and clicking a selfie while passing by, etc.), or sometimes they ask for a picture, but they really don’t take NO as an answer.
When I said no, some became really rude and wouldn’t leave anymore until they get their photo. Initially, it was somehow interesting and new for me, but soon it became annoying since it happened on a regular basis (what a crazy life celebrities must have!). I just had to be harsh and say NO, even though that’s not my character.
Although when children or women asked, I did say yes, because they simply seem very excited about it. This I will probably never understand but it is somehow comparable with me wanting to take a picture of a very local traditional Indian person and he/she might probably also wonder: “Why is this woman taking a photo of me?”.
I also learnt so many other things – India is incredible and a never-ending spiritual journey of self-discovery and self-creation and the most intense and fascinating country I have ever visited. After all it is the land of Yoga, Ayurveda, Kamasutra, where chess and the numerical system were invented and much more …
The motorbike trip on the highest roads of the world, in Ladakh, was a dream which I felt was written for me a long time ago and which I was blessed enough to live out. It was the most amazing adventure, because I felt free and I lived out my natural self. The feeling of being connected with nature at all times, feeling free and secluded from the outside world (there were very few people around) was just fantastic.
Sitting on a bike, only me, the engine and the sound of nature was priceless and I recommend every nature lover to do this. Ladakh is the perfect mix of Buddhist and Tibetan culture, breathtaking countryside, lovely people, awesome hiking places, fresh air and so much history and diversity. It opened a whole new world to me and left me speechless. Sometimes we would drive for hours and not see a single human being, only surrounded by the Himalayan mountains, listening to the sounds of the hawks, wild deer, horses and yaks.
Living with nomads in the desert of India gave me a proper insight into village life, their customs and regulations. It showed me the difficulties of life in the desert, of living with less than one dollar a day and of not having a toilet, running water or a door anywhere.
A usual day looks like this: milk the cow or goat first thing in the morning, clean, make a fire, make your own bread, cook tea, get water from the well, cook the rice, eat, clean and repeat again. In the afternoon there is a free time window for women to concentrate on themselves and beauty matters; applying make up, nail polish, combing and putting oil in their hair and then they dance. The men did some occasional jobs in cities nearby. The village people, especially the children, were very nice, but there were also some downsides to it which you can read in my upcoming articles.
And last but not least, studying Alternative Medicine, among them Ayurveda – one of the oldest medicines in this world, is great, as it offers me a totally different view to Allopathic medicine. The major difference between alternative medicine and allopathic medicine is that the latter focuses mainly on treating the symptoms of the body, whereas holistic medicine emphasises on the harmony between the body, mind & soul and, therefore, aims to find out the origin of the symptoms (disease). There are many more differences, which I will will write about soon …
And now, here I am, still moving from one place to another with my backpack and my books. This adventure or temporary lifestyle really is like a roller-coaster and indeed the most eventful time ever. I have dreamed of this often and I made this dream come true – and I am so grateful to everyone who made it possible for me and believed in me!
So what do you think, are YOU ready to break your chains and live out your dream as well?
P.S.: Stay tuned for my next article, revealing the disadvantages of living “The Nomad’s Life”!