Mountains & Castles – A Road Trip in Romania
Mountains move, but so slowly it would take you a few million years to notice it. In the meantime they attract us, strongly, with their mysterious magnetism. I grew up on the side of a mountain in Canada. Living in a house my father built, on the very last street. I spent countless afternoons hiking through the mountain, slipping on its soft trails, with crustless sandwiches carefully wrapped in my backpack. My world was small. I knew nothing of the other countries, nothing of the other cultures. When I look at it today, my mountain was more of a big hill and my treks to the top were probably not more than 20 minutes long before I sat on a fallen tree to eat my sandwiches. I was small and my world appeared limitless. My sense of freedom existed in a very, very small place compared to our planet, compared to the Universe. But now I know how important and how silly my adventures were. We need to remember how small we used to be and how small we still are. We need to understand that one day will come when we’ll see a bigger picture and expand our sense of being and let go of our limiting beliefs. We’re meant to expand. It’s our purpose, it’s our journey.
Coffee & Updates, A Diary Vlog
I haven’t been making videos in a while. My main camera, my Sony 6500 was at the repair center, and my smaller camera, my 5100 has water damage, which incidentally makes nicely looking blurry clips. I feel sort of tested by the universe when I put lots of energy on something and I’m then forced to put it aside for a while. It is quite a challenge to build a YouTube channel. It’s a very very slow process for most and you need to stick to it like crazy glue. I just reached 100 subscribers last week and I’m super grateful for it. It’s a very insignificant number for many, but for me it’s not. If I think of 100 people gathered in my living room, I mean it makes quite a nice party, doesn’t it? Last weekend Nicole and I flew to Bratislava for a few days, my first trip to Slovakia and hopefully this is for another diary vlog. I’ve got a bunch of nice castle shots to share! And a bunch of notes from my little black book. I hope you’re well, wherever you are, and as the Fall slowly slips in, I’m making escape plans for the winter. Speak soon!
A Tiny Story of Chasing The Unknown, The Philippines
Last February, Nicole and I left cold Berlin behind and embarked on a long journey ahead to reach Manila in the Philippines. Through my travels I’ve surely learnt to enjoy flying, but I’ve always loved airports. Somehow they make me feel safe. They never sleep, never stop. Their hearts beat to the never-ending steps of fearless travellers who chose the sky as their road and a flying machine as their mean of transportation. How brave. Flying is a fine manipulation of time and space. Picking up pieces and people and moving them to a new location, precisely, without them having to make any effort. It’s a clever cheat on our mammal nature.
Manila was all about streets and people, loooots of people. The smoke, the food, the cars, the noises, the fruits, the music, the parks, the traffic jams. After a few days of colourful and chaotic input, we decided to fly down to Cebu to seek calmer and wilder places.
As a kid, I was scared of new places, scared of how big the world was. As if I would never understand it, as if I would always feel lost in it. Eventually that fear shifted, when I first started traveling by my own. Suddenly there was so much beauty in the unknown. I was finding out that this was my right place, my center point. Surrounded by the unpredictable, seeing for the first time, the moment where your life becomes an adventure, simply because you go where you’ve never gone before. It’s in those little moments, those raw moments, that we feel alive in a way that cannot be described.
It took us almost a month before we made our way to Palawan. I realize now that we should have gone there first. We found silence there, true peace of mind. I’ve rarely felt so relaxed in my life as for the time we spent at Erlittop in Sibaltan, an hour away from El Nido. It felt like a memory of a past life, or something esoteric like that. But it felt so real.
I don’t know what the next destination is. I don’t know where we will end up. But I know it’ll be new, a new chance to feel different, to see the world in all its beauty and complexity without ever seeing its totality. A new chance to transcend the fear and fall in love with the unknown.
We Are Explorers, A Short Voiceover Journal Entry
When I meditate at night, I picture myself floating in space. I try to imagine how it would feel like, to be looking at the earth from above. The sense of being displaced, but also of being at home, right where I belong. Can we really be lost when we live inside the very thing that created us? Our fears were designed to push us to go explore the unknown, not to keep us safe. We are explorers, not fence builders. And like the Universe, we were meant to expand.
I Am Much Darker, An Unwritten Journal Entry
Exploring the idea that I’m probably much darker than I let on. A spontaneous talk about introspection and creativity.
On The Cycles Of Life, A Journal Entry
Here I share a journal entry reflecting on the seemingly never-ending cycles we encounter in life. Slowly discovering that they are spirals and truly have an end.
On The Cycles Of Life
The cycles of life are my traveling route . Wide and endless, narrowing my freedom to simple existence. I am only free to exist. A never-setting sun guided by its own light. I follow its appeal like a moth craves the fire. I follow the mirage of reaching the edge of the world.
A cycle is none if its self-obsessed nature is unknown. So I blindly travel with innocence, ignoring the deja vus, guilty of my own knowing. Innocence is blind to its own nature, therefore it’s the one who sees it that bears all the guilt.
I am envious of the ease, of the natural, of the soil and the bark, of the humid air. I am envious of the skin of the young, of its perfect weaving. Intertwined threads of pure ecstatic life. Reflecting light with pride. Imposing its refined texture as an undiscussable truth. I am jealous of the mindless living.
Yet I know the secret. I know something the cycles won’t tell. I know their hidden flaw, their deepest worry. I know they aren’t what they are called to be. They are spirals and there lays my hope. They hide a core and there lays my destination. Armed with patience and brainwashed by the recurrence of all things, I travel light.
Go Find Yourself (A mini ad with nothing to sell)
Here’s a mini ad with nothing to sell but your own knowledge of yourself. #gofindyourself
Awakening From Emotions
Emotions are at the center of our lives. We’ve become obsessed with the illusion of finding purpose in them. We’ve reinforced our identity with their expression and repression. They are the ultimate sign of our great lack of mental hygiene. Emotions are simply our ego’s way of interpreting sensations in the body. The ego is a master at storytelling. It will connect the dots and explain every single mouvement of energy in the body with a well scripted drama rooted into our past.
Without time, emotions can’t exist. What remain are the simple sensations you are feeling. Those are real, meaning they are without filters, they are direct, alive, now, but they don’t need a name. Emotions are customized labels with heavy consequences. They are stories of the past you don’t have to tell and re-tell yourself anymore.
Awakening from emotions brings us out of the victim state. We let go of the “story of me” by catching ourselves in the moment. We observe the ego while it’s working on validating and organizing our sensations, as a triage center, dragging us out of the now, out of what is actually happening, of what we are actually feeling. Being a true observer of that twisted manipulation only for once is enough to ring the alarm. Enough to get you to develop the “reflex of catching yourself”. It’s like pulling a camera out of your pocket and instead of looking at the situation with your own eyes, you start looking at it through the camera screen. That shift in perspective is the key. It’s the pause button on life’s relentless scenarios that allows you to clearly feel and see what is really going on.
Our technologies have developed so much, our lives have radically changed in the last centuries. But what about our minds? What about our behaviour? We are still struggling our way though life carrying an antique behavioural system clashing with this new reality. It’s time for an upgrade. It’s time for clarity and awakening.
A Tiny Story of Temples & Fruits, My Solo Trip to Thailand
After being back in the Berlin routine for 1 month, in November 2016, I realized that the summer workation had left me with a constant desire to escape monotony. I decided I’d spend a few weeks abroad again before the end of the year. I was still approaching my future with a big blurry question mark and Nicole being unable to join me for that adventure, I thought the solitude would certainly help to bring some clarity.
But the main question, an important one, was: “Where to go?”. I followed my hunch (and my hunger for exotic fruits) browsed the best deals online and bought myself a ticket to Thailand. In the meantime Nicole surprised me with a weekend trip to Bucharest. I actually got to know the destination, on the day of departure, at the airport, at 5:30 in the morning. I was super excited about it. The trip was relaxing and simple, we chilled in parks and chased expensive raw vegan foods around the city. But that’s for another story.
Where was I? Yes, so two weeks later, I was on a plane heading to Bangkok. The few days before I left, I experienced sort of a light anxiety. The last time I had truly travelled alone was more than 5 years ago. I had left my solitude somewhere in the Moroccan desert, between two dunes. Was leaving again a good idea at all? Old fears were resurfacing, knocking at the door of my mind, first thing in the morning.
After a long but fairly enjoyable 20h trip with a lay-over in Doha, Qatar, I finally arrived in Bangkok. My first impression was just great. Something in me felt very much at ease there and I loved the generous dose of exoticism. And the heat, well, it was hot. The little room I had booked in advance was super cheap and rather funky. Travelling around the country was so enjoyable. My two main attractions were temples and fruits. Both found in infinite abundance in Thailand.
I started wondering what it was that made traveling so appealing to me. Was it a way to take a break from my life, or was it just a way to put myself in such a different context that I could feel alive again? Away from what’s predictable, away from what is said to be “the way”. I didn’t want to become what I can predict, I wanted to become what I don’t know. I wanted to be surprised. It’s too easy to follow the guide and do exactly what people expect from you. No, actually that’s pretty hard too. Nevertheless I tried to remember one important thing, and it was: “Look through the stranger’s eyes. Everyday, everywhere.” And that’s what I did. I kept the vision fresh and new. And it might sound weird or new agesque, but it helped me reconnect with an old friend. A kind of self-compassion, even though it’s not quite the word. It’s more like knowing that whatever happens, you’re never truly alone. There’s this self-perpetuating presence that cares and takes care. Has always been. Your own best friend.
A Tiny Story of Change, My Workation out of the Musician’s Lifestyle
I started 2016 by working on a music project of mine, an album called “Annie”. I formed a band with which I went on tour in Germany and Switzerland during the spring and I officially released the album last October. But early in June, one thing happened. One thought. After 10 years of making half a living as a musician I realized I didn’t enjoy it anymore. I was deeply unhappy with the lifestyle. I realized it was time for me to quit. So I bought a little black book and started brainstorming, writing everyday about what else I could do. A new project, a new medium, what would be my next thing? I pushed many new ideas like starting a blog, I started making YouTube videos but somehow nothing seemed to really do it.
In the meantime my girlfriend Nicole and I left Berlin for a workation of 2 months on the mediterranean sea. We started in Rome, visited Naples, spent a month in Sicily and went traveling through Croatia and Montenegro. The locations were amazing, but my obsession was still peaking. What would I be doing with my time? And it went deeper, who was I now that a big chunk of my life was left aside, to drift away. I had a huge identity crisis. I started questioning, everything. What was my mission? What was my purpose? At the time I was waking up at 5am every day to write in my little black book while Nicole was still well asleep. Quietly sipping my coffee while sitting on the porch of our apartment in Naples, or on the dock near the house, waiting for the sun to rise on the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro.
One thing I came to realize was this: I was 2 persons at the very same time. I was this guy traveling with his girlfriend in beautiful territories, living an adventure, and I was the man who was scared to be missing out on his own life. A strange paradox.
At the end of the trip we flew back to Venice for a few days. I had not found any valid answer to all my questions, neither I knew what to do next. But I had accepted my state of mind which could only lead to a deep transformation. That, that’s what I believed in. At least I knew there was a transformation happening and I was just getting excited to see the outcome.