The sun rises above the trees in the garden. A sparrow drinks from the planters. I take a sip of my hot tea, shivering at the contact of the cool morning breeze, happily feeling the heat flowing through me. Tears of happiness make up my cheeks; a smile brightens my face, suddenly seized by the memory of my other life in Japan. My Madeleine is a sweet green tea.
At the English bookstore, I forage from shelves in secret rooms, looking for my happiness among the hundreds of books, stories, possibilities, lives, opportunities. I am madly convinced that it is not the reader who chooses a book, but the book that finds its way into the hands of the right reader, at the right time, in the right place. A blue blanket with stylized white birds catches my attention. I take him out of his department, I leaf through him, I read the summary. Orkney, Orkney, the Orkney, the sea… I am transported to my first holiday alone, on the northernmost Scottish islands. This book found me, so I’m taking it on a drive with me.
One step at a time, I walk without a precise goal, along the river until I am exhausted. The Paris suburbs surround me, but often fade between parks, islands, forests and natural surprises at the bend of a bridge or a bend. All I have to do is close my eyes, feel the breeze on my skin, concentrate on the song of a bird, hear the lapping of the water, feel the swirls of memories and draw from within me Patagonia, Antarctica, New Zealand, Ireland and all those great spaces that I carry within me forever.
A few words written in another language, a song, foreign tourists chatting happily, a street art work, a building with original architecture, for no reason even sometimes, I travel through my memories all over the world, reliving the highlights of this nomadic life that has been my daily life for many years. No need for television, distractions, alcohol, drugs or overflowing imagination to go elsewhere and escape, when my travels pass before my eyes and in my heart.
It’s been two months since I left the Paris suburbs. 4 months I haven’t left France. 8 months I haven’t set foot in an airport. It has been almost a year since I returned to France, lost, in search of answers, a balance, perhaps another life. Time flies at high speed when you travel around the world; it disappears in a snap of a finger when you undertake an inner journey. I haven’t written any traveling thoughts for several months, unable to put words to what I was experiencing or feeling. I am not yet ready to do so and even if answers are emerging, I prefer to keep them for the moment, or perhaps forever, as secret treasures that I cherish every day that I coddle to protect them and watch them grow.
I learned a lot about myself and life during this year of semi-sedentary life, probably more than in any other year. It has also been one of the hardest years of my life and I know that the path is not finished, far from it, but I am moving towards the light, I am simply moving forward and gradually finding peace. I don’t know what the future will be made of, no one knows, but for the first time in my life, I let go, I accept the present and I no longer plan my life to the second. And it feels great. I breathe, I move forward, I walk with my head held high and I get to know myself.
But none of this would have been possible without the trip. The journey, my life, my deepest self, my passion, my addiction, my madness, my excess, my drug, my escape, my hope, my happiness, my misfortune, my joy, my sorrow, my insanity, my loss, my blood, my soul… this journey helped me to find and open doors, possibilities, paths to cross. The journey is a heavy key. I hadn’t found the right door yet, or the lock. All that remains is to turn the key, open the door and take the plunge…
So, it is in tribute to this journey, to this magic key, that I am writing this article, a short review of five nomadic years on the roads of the world. Maybe other nomadic years are on the other side of the door, and maybe not. But that is not important. What is important is the present moment, the journey and learning. Learn the lessons of the past, walk with your head held high with confidence, accept, forgive, live today, this second, this minute, this hour, this day as if they were the last, as the most precious moment of a life. The future is to be written, with a lot of keys and open doors, one moment after the other.