An Unhurried Journey

"Not hurrying, the purposeless life misses nothing, for it is only when there is no goal and no rush that the human senses are fully open to receive the world." -Alan Watts

The Journey Is Over

Ladies and gentlemen, this is it. The Unhurried Journey, after almost four years, is over.

I started in November 2019, leaving my home with a grand plan to see more than half of the world overland. Little did I know. One relationship, one pandemic, and one Dahab later, I have not seen nearly as much as I thought I would.

The cliche is true. Life gave me what I needed, not what I wanted. This journey, right from the beginning, wasn’t really about travelling. It was about life.

Lots of it happened – life. Looking back, it is clear how travelling was merely a fertiliser, a fast forward button, where all the things that needed to come about for my growth unfolded.

Slowly, through partnership, studies and work, life took on a different shape. A home, routine, stability. Now, this is what I need to grow. But there was a part of me that wasn’t finished, couldn’t let go just yet. A part which knew there was still a bicycle in Istanbul. A bicycle that I parked there more than two years ago, a short trip to Egypt becoming much more. A bicycle symbolising something unfinished. So I went back.

And while there was beauty in this trip, a return and deep dive into my favourite country, its people and nature; while I am rewarded for the hardships with many a picture floating up nowadays, back home, sweeping the floor, cooking, doing the laundry, stopping for a moment to bask in what I have lived, only now truly able to appreciate it; while I was rewarded for the mountains, the elevation gain, the cold and the heat and the rain with a revelation, with the last missing piece of the puzzle, emerging out of nowhere, out of everywhere, taking me high up, I know. It’s over.

What being all alone in my tent in some forest, what standing at the side of the road with my thumb out, what being invited into a local’s home once gave me, it can no longer.

Travel will always be a part of my life, but the journey is over. This journey. Beginnings and Endings. The end of one thing is but the beginning of the next.

Raphael

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