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Manu | 4 December 2012 | 3 comments

What remains of my bed…my last piece of furniture

So here we are! It’s exactly 11 months since I found  the ad about Vikings Across Africa back in January, I have been talking and dreaming about this for more than 330 days, organizing everything of my preparation, and now, just according to what I planned, everything is happening…for real!

I left my house last Thursday, and that was the  biggest step. I feel so much releaved for that. I was starting to get tired of it, of bills, rent, flatmates, problems and fixing problems. It was tough to organize the moving but when I went out of that place, with my lasst 3 bags I suddenly felt I did it, and since then Africa started to sound much closer than before.

My world in my suitcases

It feels good not to have to much anymore, again. It helps to get ready for Africa and to get the strength to understand how I am going to make it. Of all the feelings I ever experienced before, I think this is the most difficult to describe. I simply feel good. I have dreamt of it, planned it, organized it, and now I am getting ready to live it. For months I replied to so many questions, sometimes the same from different people. How didI find this trip, What amI going to do after, Am I scared, Am I crazy and so on. I heard people telling me they envy me but they could never do it, people being scared of just thinking of a place where you cannot shower for a day, people who could do this only if it was in 5 star hotels , I heard the most stupid comments but thankfully I also shared this great year of preparation with amazing people like my friends who always reminded me how lucky I am to be so brave to do this,who always supported me, making me forget any doubt or uncertainty, sharing my happiness and hiding the sadness of my departure.

It has been an amazing here of story telling, of dreams and imagination, and now the dream is getting true.

Packing Amsterdam

I am happy until now my plans have been following the way I wanted . Everything has been cut and left. My house, my bills, my Dutch insurance, my phone abonament, my gym. I am currently only in possession of few bags with clothes, my camera, my laptop, a couple of tickets, one to Rome by bus and one to Iceland by plane. I don’t own anything anymore and it feels great. I am free. That’s how and why I have been able to travel around the world for so many years, living every year somewhere different and exploring so many amazing and unknown places, because I didn’t have anything, no possession. You must be light if you want to travel. My 4 years in Amsterdam have been amazing, but I was starting to get too much here. Few more years and I wouldn’t have left anymore. The more you have the more you cannot leave without. While if you let   yourself a little bit of freedom and independence by the material things, you would discover how life is not only much simpler but also much better. Your mind gets the power to enjoy the rest. And the rest is what you, we, never consider, usually.
When the people ask me about the motivation of such a trip like Africa , wondering how I am going to survive without a hot shower twice a day, I always reply saying that’s the reason why.
When this trip will be finished, simple things like a hot shower, the warmth of a house, the electricity, the light you get

Io e gio, I and Gio, one of my Amsterdam amazing friend!

in the darkness with a simple button, all these things will seem to me amazing and I will probably appreciate them not only much more than before but also much more than the people who keep asking me these stupid question. For me this is the richness I expect to get from this trip. But this is something some people like my boss  simply can’t get. For them Africa is a 5 star hotel vacation with a safari watching the lions while I couldn’t care less of the lions and all this at all. Just an abyss between me and her from a human point of view.
I am leaving Amsterdam. I know it, now. I am realizing the time I have been waiting for all year is actually this time, December, when I could finally pack, close everything and go.
14 days left in Amsterdam, and then another page of my life adventure is written. I will miss this town and my friends badly, but it’s now time to go further. I was already planning to leave two years ago, then things happened in my life that forced me to stay, as not strong enough to handle a moving at that time. Maybe it was the destiny, maybe I was waiting for my big chance to get my dream becoming true. And that chance, that dream is here, next door. It has never been so close, I can smell the scent of freedom in my nose, I can almost touch it, I can sense it through my skin and watching it around me. It’s finally happening and I a finally ready to live it at the fullest.