Even if you have convinced yourself long ago that you are destined to reach the ends of the world in a 3,6×2 mts. camper van.
Even if you do it the right way – with your family on-board, with a monthly salary arranged (at least for now) and with your child’s education fixed.
Even if you have talked about this with parents and friends, people who may appreciate your courage but still are worried that they will not see you for a long time.
In any case, when the time comes to hit the road your stomach feels squeezed.
December 21st, the shortest day of the year on the northern hemisphere. We first kissed goodbye my wive’s parents and sister, people who adore our child more than anybody else. I hardly kept my tears that moment.
It’s already dark and we are still in Thessaloniki. Now we should pay an ultimate visit to my parents as well.
How do you say goodbye in such cases? My choice was to avoid dramma and pretend we will meet soon. I just said “see you”, without hugs and kisses and closed their front door behind me. What might they thinking that moment?
“Shall we see him again?”
“Where are they going now? Are they going to make it?”
It doesn’t matter now. If you take such monents literally, you probably pull the handbeake and say, let’s leave it for next year.
In our case, we were already outside our house and our comfort zones the three of us. It was May 1st, 2018 when we gave back the keys of our apartment and started living on four wheels.
We stayed in the same region, where we had lived for 6 years, and then we travelled to Greece In the following months, we lived in Athens, in Peloponnese, in Crete and in 15 more Aegean islands before returning back to Thessaloniki. And then to Epirus for a month. And back.
How many people have we hugged and kissed all the previous months while everybody was insisting with the same question: “why don’t you stay home a little bit more?
But we couldn’t. “Back home” is the worst option for us. On 9.9.18 we kissed officially goodbye many people, including the Mayor of Thessaloniki, our hometown. It was 9 years before, on 9.9.10 the day we had returned from our previous dream trip. So we left to Bulgaria and then Romania, Moldova and Ukraine. A two-month trip from Rodope to Carpathian mountains, from there to Transnistria and Odessa. But we still had to return back for two professional obbligations.
Back to Thessaloniki together with the same good oold friends and family.
So here were are late evening driving out of Thessaloniki again for Turkey and central Asia this time. Without the slightest idea where we were suppsed to spend the night.
30 kilometres from town, we entered St. Basil village to camp next to the Koroneia lake. Looking our for a place a young guy approached me.
“Are you Greek?”, was his first question. I immediately realized he was young nationalist with a lot of hate inside, like so many people in my country after a 10-year long financial crisis that devastated human lives and moral.
It doesn’t matter what he told me about Turks and Germans. What’s the difference? Most important is the our trip around the world started for good.
For a second time actually…