I left Germany on 19th October 2016 with luggage of about 15 kg and eight months later on 11th June 2017 I came back with 18 kg. It didn’t change a lot as I didn’t buy many things during my trip crossing nine countries. However, I brought a lot of memories with me.
Before I left Berlin, I knew I would learn something about myself travelling alone for months. Nevertheless, I didn’t just get to know myself better, but I see the world different. Mostly not because of the places I have visited but because of the conversations I had with the people of the different cultures. In my very first post of my series Worldlust (Travelling alone for 6 months) I already said “Deep within myself, I felt that for me it is more important to talk to people in person, to share special moments with them than to see a nice panorama or do something spectacular.” I want to thank each and every one of you who changed my trip to the most amazing journey of my lifetime. I want to thank all of you for the laughter, tears (happy or sad), interesting conversations we shared and all the great moments we had together! I want to share some examples of the things I have learned from all of you.
Alper. An honest hug from a person you know can help in the darkest hour – thank you.
Anastasia. Love and accept yourself for who you are and enjoy the life you have, no matter what.
Alvin. You will always look for your roots and try to figure out where you come from. Sometimes it needs a shock moment to wake you up and let you live the life you choose as the best one for yourself.
Mama Loca. Have fun during your work no matter what you are doing and the people will feel it and give joy back to you.
Ferdi. Muslim culture is incredible interesting and the basics are not different to any other religion. You should never give up on your dreams!
Leo Club Bali Shanti. There is no price for the laughter of orphans when you take your time to play with them.
Meliana. With time passing you might change your mind – even about marriage. HHH Bali forever, on on on!
Wayan. Every living human or animal has a soul and we shall respect and cherish all of them.
Rafting-group Bali. You will always meet at least twice in your life, sometimes even on different islands.
Martin (left), Mount Batur. Small trips are better than none. Even in 100 different smaller travel tours you can get to know the world like in one big one. So, just take your time as you can.
Markus. Traveling the world and jet setting is not always fun. It can get very tiring as well.
Luke. Don’t give up your own dreams for somebody else – it can’t be worth it.
Ketut. Happy people who are playing barefoot with local children, smiling people who help out wherever they can, they do exist and one of them is Ketut, my savior!
Fifin. Some women in our world are not allowed to dress or live the lifestyle they would prefer. I wish that one day all men will understand that we are as human as they are.
Max (Ng Yin Teck). Death is coming sooner than you expect it – live life to the fullest! I want to encourage everyone to take a moment to think of what YOU want in your life and if you are working towards that goal right now. If not, please change your life. Because it can end in a second. Life is too short and too valuable to be wasted. Do more of what you love. Always live right here, right now – don’t wait for tomorrow. On our earth, we experience too many deaths because of all kind of different reasons. So, use your life to find your inner happiness and share it with as many people as you can!
Anan. We should be all one big family and help each other in need wherever we can. On our difficult long walk, you became my little brother forever!
Bayan. Take hard work one step at a time, just keep on getting forward and you will finally reach the finish line.
Noe. Sometimes there are no words needed. Just the presence of another human being can give you the strength to carry on. I can’t thank you enough for being there for me in my darkest moment of my life, Noe!
Florian. There are nights, you just can’t sleep and it helps to simply listen to the breath of somebody next to you to realize that you are still alive. Thank you for your unconditional presence in that very first night full of silence and emptiness inside myself, Flo!
Sue. Two girls (Tess & Elli) on four paws can be the best therapeutic running companions.
Josh. Everybody has a different perception of life goals.
Ariane & Asher. As much as taken life can hurt, as much can new born life bring joy. Welcome to this world Isac Nathan.
Howard. You don’t need to be The Tallest Man on Earth to be the greatest friend and best road trip companion – I will be forever grateful!
Jeff. Taking the time for someone who needs your help no matter what you are doing, that’s what really counts in life. Thank you so much!
Paul. Do what you love and you will be successful. Be happy with what you achieve, you just need to impressive yourself with your music and poetry. Nobody else can ever judge you for that! You are amazing regardless what anybody else would say.
Julie. You can’t get too old for physical activities. Just follow your dreams!
Scott. From the first plan to the final product is a long way… But once it is complete, never forget the beginning. Everything starts with one first idea.
Dean. We love people for who they are and not for who they think they might should be for us.
Nicole & Matt. If you keep in contact, you will meet your friends once a year around the world. If you can’t manage to meet within Europe, you might end up meeting each other in Africa or Australia!
Daniel. You can try to turn your life upside down and express your emotions through music but in the end what really matters is to live the moment with people – even walking towards the beach with snake alert.
Zissi. The love of your family can heal your heart and soul. Sister-power forever!
Douglas. The ideas of participating in the Mongol Rally 2018 and traveling the mysterious country Iran are growing.
Pieter & Raewyn. Having an own house with a big farm full of animals like yours, is a dream and who knows, one day it might be reality.
Dor. Some people wear a scarf when it is cold, some people wear a cape when they want to have superpower and according to Dor, I wear a carpet and it looks ridiculous. Well, it seems that I never had a very established fashion style… ^^
Sam & Regan. While playing cards together you can learn so much about different cultures and laugh together till the fire burnt down in the fireplace.
Scott. Not everybody understands the hospitality of CouchSurfing…
Katha. If you are living and sharing the small space of a car for three weeks 24/7 and are still happy together – then you know, you are really good friends!
Wolfgang, the jungle man Tarzan. At your place in the middle of the rainforest I learned about the outdoors, an ecological healthy lifestyle and that living outside without any walls with the animals and plants is freedom. Our earth is beautiful and has so much to offer. So that it can stay that way an ecological lifestyle is necessary. Love, a bed with a mosquito net, a river for hydroenergy, a place to grow your own food and some leftovers to earn money from time to time is everything you need in life.
Carina. Better spend a penny more than not experiencing things in a place where you probably never will go back. Everybody brings us joy: Some people when we meet them and others when we can say goodbye.
Michelle. Having children, working hard and be full of joy and happiness is possible. You are an inspiration as a woman!
Wayne. Starting a new sport and participating in competitions is not a matter of age but a matter of focus and determination.
Nicole Ba. Not everybody is born to want kids. There is so much more in life to enjoy.
Ben. Learn things to do on your own so that you are more independent like fixing a bike. Also learning the rules of rugby and football is very helpful for small-talk with orthopedists. ^^
Prof. Martin Richardson. You are never done learning in life. What 10 things have you learned today?
Prof. Richard De Steiger. Take your time if you are operating on a patient, also if you do that operation already for the thousands time. Because every patient is different, it is always another life.
Mike & family. “To be disabled” is a label in our society which seems to bring more joy than a lot of us think…probably a lot of other people are “the disabled” ones for the lack of happiness.
Thach. Being friendly, smiling and kindness are universal. If you understand and use that universal language, you can communicate with everybody.
Surj. If your name is Surj, you might be born with superpower! You are impressive and there is nothing you can’t do like training at midnight after operating the whole day, operating for free, watching an Australian football game before operating again, right Audrey?
AJ. Somebody exists whom you confide your biggest secret after a few minutes of getting to know each other, with whom you have amazing conversations for hours without noticing the time passing, but at the same time don’t have any conversation at all because you don’t need to, with whom you laugh out loud, with whom you can be just you because that person will understand. You meet each other for a reason even though that sometimes you don’t know the purpose right away. The stars don’t create our future but they unite us and can lead us to where we want to get. Moreover, God can be everywhere, even in a drawing. You will have a very special place in my heart forever.
Lalo. Take a day off, explore your surroundings, meet people – just be.
Dr. Jason Chan. Usually there exist also unconventional ways than the straight way of studying to work in the field you want to.
Brian Devitt. Giving people the helping hand who want to learn from you is so important for our future generations.
Jason Harvey. Some people still can’t believe that women are capable of being surgeons…however, thank God that some doctors defend their female colleagues.
Prof. Juliane Feller. If you want to do medical research, you just need to start somewhere and then it might grow faster than you think.
Laura & Ryan. Sometimes it is unreal how coincidences happen and you listen the right radio channel just on time while you become a local “celebrity. ^^
Annie. From the outside, I can’t hide that I am a white girl, but I hope one day I will be recognized to be multicultural from the inside.
Youwen. Magic has no age limit.
Hong. Paying for your brother’s education and giving him a place to live is already something very unique. But welcoming a stranger to your home and making them part of your family, is something very special. Hong, you are an incredible good friend and when is the next time karaoke?
Pham Ngoc Quang. Unfortunately, not all countries can go traveling due to visa restrictions. I am very lucky with a German passport to be able to enter nearly all countries around the world without any problems. It is a privilege. I will try to help out wherever I can, so that all people who want to go traveling can fulfill their dreams.
Doctors at Hospital for Traumatology & Orthopaedics in HCMC. Being a doctor is not about earning a lot of money but about a passion you have. I don’t have words to describe how impressed I am with the work of the doctors I have met in Vietnam. Every day, they find the strength to get up in the morning and to help hundreds of people in a sufficient way, I would love to establish in Germany. Although that they have less resources and a lot of them even work for free as volunteers for up to 5 years, they always try their best for the patients.
Children at Hospital for Traumatology & Orthopaedics in HCMC. A small step is better than nothing as already a bottle of milk can make so many children smile.
Nicole Bobo. Best friends are there for each other – even if you are living on the other side of the world.
Zac. The Brazilian fever did not just invade my heart with all the love for the Brazilian culture and people. Even though we were losing a lot, we are still a great team!
Martin. From time to time you need to go dancing till the morning sun.
Mohammed, ääähm I mean Philipp ^^. Definitely eat scorpion and laugh for a long while in Thailand – hahahahahahahahahahaha
Adam. Don’t be too critical with yourself and smile every day for yourself and your friends around you. Life is just so precious!
Mati. With reggaetón comes so much joy and energy – let’s dance again!
Marta. Love it, that there are more crazy people like me out there, who prefer to travel and make their time to fulfill their dreams!
Fabian Eduardo. An inspiration how you can combine working, studying and caring for your family.
Luis. Take your time to meet friends even if you are a workaholic.
Larissa (@compviagens). Traveling around the world with fun, joy and happiness is so much easier and greater if you are around! Yes, a perfect couple with barely any arguments, enjoying traveling together 24 hours, open for any new ideas and different cultures does exist! Fred and Larissa, you are the perfect friends and part of my own family forever! <3 “Life is a journey” – Therefore, it doesn’t matter where you are, you are always traveling.
Fred (who is so much more than just the driver!). Right here and right now life is beautiful, so it isn’t always necessary to reach higher and for better. If I could get just half of your discipline in getting up for work at 3 am in the morning, so that we can go sightseeing for the rest of the day, I would be able to succeed so much more in life. You are an inspiration for everybody.
Camila (@omelhormesdoano). For love you learn another language and move to another country, to be near each other and create a future together.
Lizz, Megan & Shoshana. You can’t decide where you are born but you can decide what you think about that country, how and where you want to live. Girls are having the same opinions about love all over the world.
Gui (@queroviajarmais). If you teach other people what you have learned, they will listen, learn and later on give it back to you and help you to get stronger.
Cris (@raizesdomundo). Even though you love and enjoy traveling, you need a place where you feel home.
Fabian Mauricio. The only dangerous thing about Colombia is to lose your heart to a Colombian. Your family is always going to be your family – no matter what!
Emanuelle. If you really want to and believe in it, you risk and do everything for love.
Davi. No matter how long you haven’t seen each other, for true friends the feelings and conversations are the same as where they ended last time.
Marina. You shine as bright as the stars when you have an honest laughter.
I am very grateful for all the things I have learned with you guys. You changed me to the person I am today. THANK YOU!