Our friends know that we are not big fans of festivities, especially the ones you are supposed to be willing to celebrate (from birthdays and anniversaries to religious holidays…) but in the passage from one year to the next one there is something of a ritual, something symbolic – even if for many people we know the real new start is September. Anyway. Most of the time intimate and full of expectations (get rid of them!), the countdown to January 1st midnight is taken for something it’s not. We all know that nothing changes from the last day of the closing year to the first day of the new one.
So (and this is where our wishes begin) maybe we should start to consider time in a different way, opening our views to a non-linear idea of time. Because:
By gaining greater knowledge of how others think, we can become less certain of the knowledge we think we have, which is always the first step to greater understanding(Julian Baggini)
And if there is something that our trip is teaching us is to be open to meet the other, to listen to her/him, to let her/his experience change yours. We have a tendency to resist this, like if we needed to hang to what we know, to what we have because it makes us feel safe. The good news is that there is nothing to hang on to. So better let go. And go. (Thanks, Geoff!)
Go, yes: our second wish is kilometers. For everybody. But let them be slow: walk, cycle, jump on local trains, go hiking even if it’s just your neighborhood. Do not close yourself in a car because it will take you away from the world. What we love about cycling is that you can listen to sounds, smell your surroundings, hear people talking to you and start to chat. Be nomad, be it just a bit. Keep your mind and your senses open. Notice details. Say hello to strangers – Mery loves this and traveling by bike like we do allows her to say hello to everybody and she’s really happy!
Kindness. Given and received. Again: this trip is teaching us a lot. The kindness we are receiving from complete strangers is just unbelievable, sometimes overwhelming. It makes us feel so happy and so lucky and it’s something we want to share every time we can. And it also leaves us with just this wish: more and more kindness, for everybody, given and received.
And the more people we meet the more we realize that the ways you can live your life are so many and so different. It’s not about the “live your dream” rhetoric, it’s more about: go out, take a look around, meet people and listen to their stories. Sometimes it can be inspiring, others challenging but they all tell one thing: your life can take directions that you couldn’t predict five minutes before. And that’s big, that’s enormous. And contagious. Also because it’s not (just) about the individual – that our western societies push too much – it’s about the connections you can create, the chance to find like-minded new friends that will support each other with mutual help, founding grassroots communities spread over all geographies.
Wishes? Maybe not. Maybe just tips, a tiny part of experience that we try to put in practice everyday, to keep learning, to keep sharing, to keep growing up.
Happiness and peace to you all.