After seven months of adventure together in Asia, it is time to introduce you to my friends - Tiphaine, Adam, Thomas and Vasilis - the crazy team I'm travelling with.
• Tiphaine is my French partner in crime, she took a gap year from her studies in artistic communication to explore Asia with us.
• Adam is American, he's been on the road for a while now. This year, he brought together four of his friends who wanted to travel on the same adventure in Bali.
• After two years of working in Malta, Thomas felt like it was time to travel further and live new experiences. Asia sounded like the right place to start.
• For Vasilis, this Greek sunshine had never been out of Europe, so he decided to explore what was out of his comfort zone.
I met all of them during my Erasmus year in Malta and we decided to meet-up again two years later to travel together. After five months in Southeast Asia, we split for a month (so that everyone can get a taste of solo traveling) and reunited where it started; Indonesia (well, most of us).
I have the opportunity to be surrounded by talented people on this trip. We are a group of creatives in different fields, inspired and elevated by one another. This combination of experiences & skills pushes us all upward - allowing us to create bigger projects together (like The Lost Years on Instagram and Youtube or The Chance Project website).
Over the past few months I have realized how much my friend circle affects my creative work. The only other time I've ever felt this way was in Malta, where we all met. Coincidence ? I don't think so.
Besides their creativity, each of them want to make a difference in the world and that's what makes them special. They are travelling the world today because they haven't settled for what society told them to do. Instead, they've taken the risk to follow their intuition, their passions, and to chase their dreams.
They say you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with? Then I'm lucky I've spent a year with these four.
You want to know more about them ? Here is my first interview:
What is the most important thing in your life right now?
- The most important thing in my life at the moment is continually trying to realize how special this moment in our lives is. It never gets easier to realize the enormity of this adventure we’re on and how improbable it is that five lives spread across the globe have converged into one amazing story in Asia.
Time is of the essence and, yet, soon, this entire journey and all the memories will be lost in time. I just want to remember every detail of it while it lasts.
- It’s definitely the hardest question. Beside my family being healthy, the most important thing for me, right now, is to be free. Free, independent, self-sufficient, able to take my own decision without anyone else around me, just not giving a shit about others and do what I really want. I realize how incredibly lucky I am to be able to move to another continent, to live there and to travel around without any difficulties and I say thank you everyday to be able to do that and being free to live this experience.
- Since the virus outbreak, priorities have change. The most important thing right now is everyone I know to be healthy and strong. Sticking close to the people I love, since I am far away from country, these would be my friends Lo, Tiph, Thomas and Adam. Difficult times but we will overcome the situation together. Never lose faith.
- Travelling while being surrounded by friends that inspire me everyday with their creativity and push me to go outside of my comfort zone by always trying new things.
What’s your talent?
- Communication : When travelling I discovered that I was quite good at creating easily a link with people I don’t know and put them at ease.
- I do not recognize any talent on me. What I am keen on thought is motivating people to break their comfort zone, start traveling and live a life off the hook. I do that by making my videos and hopefully they will work out for the most.
- I could easily answer this by telling you my talent is writing. I think that was what you expected. But recently, someone I met told me I have a knack for bringing people together and I prefer to have a reputation for this – whether it is true or not. I like the idea of connecting people to other people and ideas. It seems like a more relevant virtue than having a passion for writing.
- I’ve been well thinking about this question and I think my best skill it’s always being surrounded by artistic, creative, kind, helpful friends. I attract good people who become my friends after. It’s been 3 years now that when I take a time to have a look around me, I realize who really are my friends and how pure and loyal they are. I don’t know, maybe I attract good people, but I’ve always been grateful to find these kind of friends on my way (France, Belgium, Asia) and I really think this is my best skill. Ok if you are a really good journalist, singer, photographer, you’re the best in your field, but what if you don’t have anyone around you to support how my friends support me in any situation ? At least I can say, my karma about my friends is the best.
What is your mantra ?
- Definitely my favorite one: Comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there.
- Recently, I’ve been driven by the existence of time and that the clock is forever moving – but more-so the idea that time drives us. And along with that, how the world has evolved through time. I’m constantly inspired by photographs and memoirs about places I’ve been – to see the transformation that has taken place. To be able to see how places have changed through time; it makes traveling to the places we’ve been seem more important – because 100 years from now, we won’t be able to see the world we see now.
The source of my inspiration from time comes from two quotes – both with different sentiments. This quote from Paul Bowles focuses more on the time spent immersing yourself in where you are:
“He did not think of himself as a tourist; he was a traveler. The difference is partly one of time, he would explain. While the tourist usually hurried back home at the end of a few weeks or months, the traveler, belonging no more to one place than the next, moves slowly, over periods of years, from one part of the Earth to another.” – Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky
The other, from Paul Theroux, focuses on the essence of the evolution of a place:
“There is so often an experiment with time. In third world countries I felt like I had dropped into the past, and I never accepted the notion of timeless anywhere. Most countries had specific years. In Turkey it was always 1952, in Malaysia 1937; Afghanistan 1910 and Bolivia 1949. It is twenty years ago in the Soviet Union, ten in Norway, and five in France. It was always last year in Australia and next week in Japan. Britain and the United States were the present – but the present contains the future.” – Paul Theroux, Kingdom by the Sea
• Live your life like every moment is the first one
• Keep moving forward ;)
- The less you care, the happier you will be. Clear, simple, effective.
What is your dream?
- My dream (besides one day having my own Wikipedia page, selfishly) is to start something to benefit others in need and grow it into something important and worth people’s time. I have no doubt that on the track I’m on and with the people I’m surrounded by, that will come to fruition in my lifetime.