Kasper and I decided to do 8 months of travel, a break to go back to school; yes, I said 8 months of school. Finally, at 26 years old I can say it, travelling, I believe, is a type of school, without diplomas and bureaucracies.
When I started with this project I never thought it could have been so powerful and intense. Traveling doesn't only dive into a culture but depending from the ways of travel, it can really change your perspective and mind. We decided to travel experiencing living in a country. So in Peru we stayed 2 months in a apartment shared with other people. In Cusco we experienced the same in a community-house, and now we are in Brazil, Salvador sharing the apartment with two beautiful locals, learning about their life and culture. This really gives a feeling of connecting more with local life and understanding our surroundings a bit deeper. And in the end showing us that we are really all the same no matter where we live or where we are from. Facing similar issues, but in different ways.
Our project Nûna Moves is also a lot about re-connecting with communities and families to learn from them. This is part of our education, the school of travel. But of course all this moving around can sometimes make you feel a bit disconnected...
How to make your trip "cosy" like home.
To feel good during travels it is necessary to find a place to feel at home. It can be just bringing on your travels your favorite book, downloading your favorite music or looking for the best coffee in town that reminds your friend's coffee shop.
It can be anything that can make your feel comfortable in a new space. This process was so important for us. When I arrived at the airport in Lima, Peru my family went to pick us up at the airport, it meant so much to me. What do you miss after traveling for so long? The hugs, the affection from your friends and family. Having someone waiting for you in every city is wonderful and we always made sure that it could happen in almost every country. When we arrived at the Malecón in Miraflores, Lima, Franco was waiting for us, ready to play with us. He didn't know us but, Kasper contacted him months before and they wrote for a while. When we met him, we were all so excited to see him and this just made us feel welcome. In Huanchaco my dear friend Jussupa was there with his open arms waiting us in Chocolate, my favorite cafeteria in the whole world. In Cusco the sweet Kat was there in her yoga studio to hug us when we arrived. In Salvador the brother of my new friend picked us up and Niama was there, all smiley, waiting for us. I love this. I love connecting with the people of the local communities as they were my family. This made our adventures start in a special way. Always.
Since the beginning my eyes were shining very often, staring at wonderful breathtaking landscape, fantastic moments, unique scenes. Traveling for months put you in a situation of discovery, and breaking the daily routine is a good exercise for the eyes. The experience of looking at something new, different, makes you totally disconnect from screens and technology. The need of checking phones and notebook, is not a need anymore. Once in a while I believe it's healthy and balancing to step out of your small "safe" space, to travel out of your country and experience how small that space you are used to actually is. I believe that most of the time that's the moment in your life when you understand how big the world is and how amazing it is; and you start to give to it its real value.
4th month of traveling
After the 4th month the travel, it might start feeling a bit strange; missing "home" even more. Missing friends. Especially when when internet connection is maybe even hard to find and your best friend is giving birth in the other side of the world. Yes, I don't say that it has been always easy. New people don't replace the closest friends and family for sure. Traveling is a challenge especially in a couple. Not because you only spend a lot of time together but also because practical difficulties and unpredictable things can happen any time... Any time 😊 And keeping the balance, the focus on yourself and also the couple relationship is an interesting journey. But I will definitely dedicate another article to this.
Learning new skills
Traveling is a school because no one can teach you in a 'normal' school how to manage a situation where no one speaks your language and your phone is stolen. You want it or not and (especially in South America) you will learn the language fast and...You will enjoy it! No one will give a degree in a foreign language, but being able to bargain at the local market with special local skill is kind of the same. You learn, if you are ready and you want it; to be part of a local community that has different rules. You will meet indigenous people that are an open book and tell you stories that you have never read anywhere and that´s the beauty of the unique experience.
Your body learns to adapt, always, if you ask for it.
This has happened to us many times, when we've gotten sick. When you ask your body how to deal with it, you gain so much strength (can't hide that traditional ancestral medicines also helped us a lot all the time).
When you travel you will notice a lot of changes in your body and sometimes it doesn't allow to always be 100% full of energy. Sometimes you might feel tired a day that you haven't done a lot. Every day new inputs, new people, new places tire you a lot - even if you don't realize it.
The food is something amazing, such a big part of our human story and I still don't understand how this is not one of the main subjects at school. There will always be someone that will teach you how to cook a traditional dish, it's amazing! We tried now so many dishes that I had to write them down not to forget. Street food is most of the time the best, until now one of the best I tried was in Brazil.
Thoughts and Feelings
You learn how to deal with your thousands thoughts, feelings and adventures that you would love to be able to tell to your best friend any time. How? With a journal and with meditation (everyone can call it in many different ways) and sometimes when possible: Skype. 😊 It is magical to be able to learn so much about yourself and when your travel you have the chance to experience that connection.
Traveling is a journey about yourself. It teaches you how to deal with everyday life in different rhythms, cultures and places with other beings. And I love it.