ISTANBUL, Turkey – I’m four weeks into my 65-day, 12 country journey and the first thing that comes to mind about each place more than anything else when I begin to think back on the first seven countries I’ve been in are the people I’ve met along the way.There’s been days on my trek that I have only said a few words the entire day, and it’s been when ordering food and a beer – and that’s okay.
Then, there’s been other days where I’ve talked more than usual – and that’s saying a lot. I like to talk. A lot.
Each city has provided me with a huge difference in who I’ve been meeting and in some cases, not meeting.
I’m currently in the third of four phases of my trip and that means I’m back with being with someone, my friend Chris Badenhoop for the next couple of weeks and it’s been quite refreshing.
But there’s something special about also being completely alone for a couple of weeks at a time, all in countries that you do not speak or understand a word of.
It makes you think. And think a lot.
For instance, in Copenhagen and Oslo, there wasn’t a single person that I became friends with and I did everything on my own. Just like everything in life, that was good and bad. But there’s no denying that it gets lonely and at times, that makes my drive of indulging myself into each place goes down just a little less because travel isn’t always pretty, as Anthony Bourdain has said, but the good and the bad of traveling is what changes you and makes you a better person.
“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”
And I believe that in places where I’ve left with memories of the places and not so much with people that I still have left my mark, but not as large of a mark as in others, such as Latvia.
Because then after going to the Scandinavia region, I moved on to Riga where I became friends with countless people and there was always a conversation to be had – and that’s where Chris met up with me, so talking was something I was doing constantly.
As I said earlier, this is the third phase of my trip. However, the fourth and final one will be the longest and I’ll be back riding solo for the entirety of those 25 days until I return to New York at the end of September.
Sitting down at a bar and not knowing if you’ll just been looking around the whole time and doing some thinking, which has happened to me quite a bit, or if you sit down a conversation starts that leads to going out with a few strangers for the next 10 hours, because that has also happened.
I guess at the end of the day what I’m trying to say is that this whole adventure is a mystery. A mystery of who will come into my life next and may just become a friend with for a long time. You just never know, but you can never find out without first taking the ride and see what the world has to offer.
Apologies for the delay in blogs, things have been busy in my neck of the woods,