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The Way Is The Goal

Category: Hospitality (page 2 of 4)

Roaming freely

For more than a year I was looking forward to this month. The 7th of August 2009 was going to be the best hitchhiking day this year, I had this feeling in advance, but in reality it turned even better than expected.

First of all, I picked up a fellow traveler from a petrolstation rigth behind Krakow in Poland, 24 hours after a non-stop travel from Amsterdam. Being completely tired, only two rides further we were invited by a Polish family for bed and dinner.

Some days later and many rides and crazy adventures including a round trip through some Ukrainan mountains to get to the rainbow festval, we arrived for the 789 festival in Odesa just in time (3 at night), thanks to numerous people, including a zen driver and two angels.

Things didn’t stop amazing me during this trip. I did not have any real plans, and so a week later I found myself back in Berlin, at a house that resembles the casa in Amsterdam very much. After having spend 10 days here, making new connections and helping to sustain the community, I now plan to go south again by tomorrow, heading to Italy. And who knows what is next.

Life really is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

Back in Amsterdam

City of bike-lanes and water, my small town, I am back in your streets again, smiling. It took me five years and some months, but I am surrounded by ‘my own’ four Amsterdam walls and roof-top. Por fin! Yes!

I am back loving it, I feel this is where I (well… for the moment at least) ‘belong’. There are no palmtrees here like in Barcelona, and the beach is pretty far away (1,5 hours by bike…!) but it remains one of the better places in Europe to live. And what matters most: I feel at my place and happy here.

From where I live (for now, it’s a temporary place for half a year), I bike to the center in 15 minutes. At the same time it is on the edge of town, close to the Amstel river. It takes me five minutes to be in nature, cycle along the riverbanks, to feel space or to wonder around in the forest.

So, you know how it works: feel free to come along and please stay as long as you want. Just send me a nice pigeon before you come and clean the dishes when you leave.

Fainting in Romania

From a bike in Romania, back by plane to Holland. Happy I was, cycling from village to town, over mountains and rivers, coming to places where no sane traveler would ever come, finding myself on that same very day, just after sunset, bleeding and scratched, fainting and screaming for help.

Three weeks ago, I was in this small town close to Sibiu in the Transylvanian region of Romania. It was a marvelous day, with great blue sky, big white clouds and a warm sun. I was cycling just by myself, enjoying one of the nicest tours of my life, while my travel-partner was out on a museum-day.

As I was cycling through a beautiful countryside with hills and greens, I realized yet again how priviliged I was. Passing through the numerous small villages where hardly a stranger ever comes, I was greeted by many. I waved back and asked how to avoid the high hills, as I explained I am from Holland and that I like flat land.

But these events soon turned differently and my laughing turned into crying. A man send me up a different road and an hour later I had to walk up a hill with bike in hand to find my way home. Seeing the sun going down, my pace increased as I went down the hill on the other side.

I lost track when a big hole in the ground appeared in front of me. Breaking turned impossible to avoid falling so I jumped high and landed well. But I couldn’t avoid falling as I landed in yet the next hole and I had to dive, away from the bike, towards the ground.

That hurts.

I deny the pain and get back up the bike again, only to faint 3 seconds later. I look for help when I wake up and spot a horse with some people slowly driving away from the scene. I call out for them, without result.

Thanks to a stranger that appeared, a taxi driver who was his friend, some villagers and an older lady, I got to a hospital an hour later with my travel-partner and our hosts who were able to locate me after a phone call and a long search. The doctors took away the pain and told me to get straight back to Holland.

Three days later we were on a plane, a particularly funny event when you know your travels are over. At the hospital here they explained me my collar-bone was dislocated. No operation was needed. All I need to do is rest and relax…

Bonestructure

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