The dream dies until it lives again

I’m not explaining myself here out of a guilty conscience, but rather I want to take you along on my journey, when big decisions are coming up, into my world of thought on decision making as well. Some will understand, others will say “I would beg to differ.” Both are perfectly fine, but this is my life.

Ever since I was a child, I’ve dreamed of discovering, meeting, getting to know each other and traveling. A few years ago, the idea of traveling the world on foot manifested itself. My wife could not imagine coming on this trip, let alone enjoy it. But it gave me the freedom to live my dream. For this, my very deepest thanks to her! She herself struggled for years with herself, me, and her fears about coming along for a bit. Finally, she jumped over her shadow and came along. While for me the aspect of not knowing the end of the journey plays an enormously important role, for them it was clear that the adventure would only last a few days, weeks or months at the most. After that, she returns to her usual safety. Accordingly, we planned, calculated and traveled like this. She always kept the option open to return at any time. This was important, because without this option she would most likely not have come along.

I don’t think anyone would have trusted her to last longer on this journey, physically and mentally, least of all herself. I always thought that if she liked it and wanted it on her own, she was capable of anything! But only if she wants it and not because of me, not even just to be with me.

She came along and she ran 1,100 km to the Mediterranean. In doing so, she had to go very often, very far beyond her limits. Be it walking through city centers in hiking gear, not being perfectly dressed, in cold and rain, pulling up steep, long hills, a 40 kg trailer, walking endless straights without shade in over 40 degree heat, sharing shower, sink and toilet with a thousand other people at campsites, to sleep in the forest despite great fear, to go to the “toilet” at night in the forest, to wrestle space from the fast oncoming cars on narrow roads, to be addressed by strangers in foreign languages, to have no spatial distance from me and no real privacy,…

She did all that and more, and never have I seen her so happy for any length of time. Of course she also cried, of course she would have liked to give up more often and she also had the opportunity to do so very often. But she went on, always on, step by step and finally found pleasure in it. Enjoy being on the road, traveling, not necessarily running all the time. But even that would have been preferable to her returning to the safety she had so needed in the past.

We put it off as long as we could, but then the time came when she had to go home. There she suddenly felt totally out of place, what should she do in the apartment, why does she need these full closets, there was no one with whom she could really share her experiences, because everyone lived understandably in his world. But the effervescent impressions of the last months wanted to be processed. She was unhappy, stressed and very sad in no time.

Already on the first day, when I kept running, I felt how much I miss her, how much I like being with her, how nice it is to be able to share these experiences with her. I would have overcome all of that if she continued to live her life happily at home, as previously thought. But now I always have in the back of my mind that she is unhappy and would like to be on the trip. So I struggled with myself for a very long time and thought about what I was doing. Because this is also about my life, about my dream, which I wanted to live, I was really looking forward to India and Indonesia and everything was arranged as it is at the moment.

Sure, I could say, come back here, we’ll walk on together. But that would be very short-sighted, because the finances were calculated differently.

In many phone calls we talked about different ways of traveling and since we don’t have much money, one travel option crystallized and we agreed on it. That was the easy part, now we need to find ways to fund this next trip long term. We have ideas, but we don’t know if they will work, and even if they do make some money, it will take a long time to make a living. Only one thing is certain, we will continue to travel together and try everything!

Nevertheless, I have been very unsure for the last few weeks whether this decision is the right one. Besides Johanna, there are four other people in my life who are the most important thing in the world to me. On the one hand, there are the two most important ones, Lilly and Anton, my kids from my first marriage, my big brother Thomas, who is always there for me, and Eddy, who unfortunately has been protecting me from above for two years. Anyway, in our last phone call, when I told her about my thoughts, Lilly said, “I think it’s hugely great that you’re not stubbornly following through with your dream, but are being considerate of Johanna and making such compromises.” After that, at the latest, the penny had dropped for me and the decision was now beyond doubt.

So I let this current trip out slowly for now, go about 10 more running days to Genoa and go from there, with the Flixbus to Johanna. There we will work at full speed on the start of the new journey and especially on the foundation of its financing. Thus, the question is also clarified for me, what do I do in the winter =)

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