I think I would call myself an activist in regards to my efforts of saving our planet earth. My last flight was years ago. I enjoy spending time in waste bins, riding my bike like a rebel and living a somewhat simple lifestyle. So how come I’ve decided to take (a) flight to Asia despite being so conscious when in normal day-to-day life?
For a long time, I wanted to see Bangkok and to find out more about the street-cuisine there. I am a big fan of fresh food and I myself enjoy cooking quite a lot. There are some nice spots in Vienna that I go to on a regular basis just to fulfil my cravings for very spicy, very tasty Thai food. So, with all of the regulations introduced to tackle the fast spread of the virus known as Covid-19, I have decided to take advantage of low airplane fares and to get away. Getting away was only one of my motives, but I will go into detail about that later on. So let me now explain why I have decided to book a seat.
Flight = flight?
One does not book a journey for the sake of booking a journey. What you actually pay for is the anticipation you might have: How is my journey going to be? What am I going to see? Will it be as epic as the one my favourite travel blogger just had? Will I find the right spot for the instagram picture that will finally make me a famous idol? The bigger the distance, the bigger you will get that awesome sense of freedom and uncertainty. Everybody loves that! So with having all that uncertainty back home (I am currently in between studies and not sure how my next year will turn out) to deal with, I have just decided to, well, flee. Flee as in flight, I empowered myself by thinking “Fuck y’all, I do not need you!”. As soon as I sat in my very uncosy seat 26D, I finally had that powerful feeling of liberty again.
A soothing feeling, I have to admit. So, there I was in Thailand, equipped with three pairs of underwear and my nice pink swim short, I was ready for my next big thing. Not only have I eaten some of the best food of my life: I made new friends, dived down to 30 metres, had some astonishing views both in Bangkok from a tower and on Koh Tao at a fine viewpoint and I could really deal with different “problems” than I had to deal with back home: Why is it so hot and why does that (plastic) bottle of water suddenly cost 7 and not 6 Baht like it did before? Instead of finding a way to (finally) getting financially independent and working for my application for my studies (which is hard for me, because I will apply for a graphic design study and I need a portfolio) and therefore my own self-belief, I have decided to go to the other end of the world where all my worries just evaporate into big shiny rainbow no-worry cloud.
And so my thinking process started. I need to mention again the fact of the start of covid-19: The whole world is about to shut down and hibernate. Even at the scuba schools, the outbreak of the virus was hot topic. I found myself surrounded by people worrying, trying to get plane tickets, discussing possible further restrictions.
Reality hits you hard.
Slowly, I have started to realise that there is one thing I cannot deny, no matter where I am. And that is myself. I know that I am a person, who likes to travel and to be far away. Like that one travel to Ukraine I made that summer, I most certainly enjoy being away from home, completely on my own and far off the beaten tracks. But being away when I feel like having business to do at home, this is not me, at all. In times like these, I am not the one who hides on an island and sits it through.
I am the one who is at home, within my own social surroundings. Of course, being the super cool travel dude who is always down to get down may sound very nice, but, there is a thing, that, I believe, is even cooler: It is the feeling of accepting how I think and feel and therefore to act accordingly. It is about knowing my own strength and values.
So I went back home. Because of the fact that there was not a single flight to Vienna, I took the opportunity of an official repatriation flight, organised by Germany, into Frankfurt and continued my way home using a night train. Those 24 hours of travel had left me with a lot of time for reflecting. I knew that I would have to socially distance myself for two weeks with being obliged not to see anybody and to stay at home. Even more time to think. With being locked away and having the time to read articles (namely the one from Wolf about happiness and climate saving), I slowly started to sum up a misconception of mine: No matter how far you run, no matter how hard you try, you may not escape who you are and how you are designed. Easy, right?
I took a step further and decided to do something I wanted to do for a long time: I went for a hike. I own a neat little willow-made backpack. With that on my back, I feel very much like a nature’s boy, like a shepherd. When I use it I feel very happy, because I think that it fits my personality and my look very well. And for my hike, of course, I would only pack it with stuff that is supposed to suit that backpack’s appeal: An apple from my local farmer’s market, fresh freegan nuts mix in small glass (eco-friendly, what else), a woven blue and light-grey headband from a free-of-charge place, my keys and water. Took my bike (of course) and made my way there.
Awesome. Total enjoyment. I walked and walked and walked and walked and then stopped. I wanted to trigger a certain event: In my head, I have decided to compare an escape into nature with an escape to a foreign country. Suddenly I stopped, because I saw some cherry trees in full blossom. But it was not the trees that got my attention. It was the bees. I heard them very clearly, without any noise. Being in nature; could get a glimpse of its beauty with any form of concrete pollution. What I then did was to sit down and embrace that moment to the fullest. This is when I realised that planes and bees is not a reality I can live on.
Images from: https://pixabay.com/de/photos/biene-kirschblüte-frühling-obstbaum-2237205/
About the author
Hi! My name is Adrian and I have decided to share some of my thoughts here. Enjoy! ;)
(*) If not stated otherwise, all my texts may be copied, adapted and distributed without the need of mentioning both origin and author. No responsibility will be assumed when using it, though.