About living out of the comfort zone
If Luxembourg is my father, India is definitely my mother. I’m back in a country that is so broad and so diverse that it would take a few lives to discover all it has to offer.
But this time I’m in a totally different place, state of mind and situation. I didn’t come here alone, thats a big change and I came to such a remote village in the North East of India, Assam. Here I am by far the only foreigner miles around and my white skin and different manners and looks capture a big interest anywhere I place a foot. I live in an indian family, and when I mean I live with them, no western term can come closer to how close I actually live with them. I share a room with them and even a bed sometimes and I eat all my meals with one hand, even the slippery curry is not slipping that much anymore.
All meals are cooked on fire, and a hand pump provides water to shower or even brush your teeth. I thought I went far out of my comfort zone before, well there seem to be a whole new level to that too.
I’ve been home to Europe for 4 months and was teaching yoga, did some journalistic work but in my mind I was never off the road. Once you’re in this travelling mode it’s very difficult to come out of it and I can hardly imagine what some of my traveller buddies had to go through once they tried to settle down in their old life again. For me there seems to be no way back for now. I’m not saying I won’t settle down back in Europe or even back in Luxembourg at a given point in time, but i also still don’t have any plan like that in any corner of my mind either.
Right now, I’m sitting on the floor next to big bamboo trees, surrounded by lush nature, sounds of children playing and occasional goats , pigs or cows randomly passing by. Day in day out it’s the same rituals going on ; getting up at sunrise at about 6am with the roosters, teaching yoga to kids here in the village, eating with my indian family, chats about the school they are building or visiting friends and drinking rice beer (a smoked alcoholic brown drink that has a fantastic taste like nothing I’ve tasted before). Then Yoga again in the evening before the sun sets around 4pm ( yes 4pm every day… ) and then we sit around the fire to eat mainly rice.
3 weeks in and I still wonder how this people actually live like that every day, but the thing is ; they just do. They don’t ask many questions, they don’t even have the concept of “problems” like we have in the west. They just live life day in day out and hope for the best.
Everything is slow… extremely slow. To get some wifi connection to upload this article I have to drive to a bridge about a kilometre from here and get the right spot to capture the 4G waves. Other than that, internet is back to 1990’s where downloading a single image was a overnight task. Same goes for any other activity… having a hot shower for example: go to the pump and pump water, then make a fire to heat the water, then fill into a bucket , then shower… There is just nothing quick, but on the other hand everything is always possible in a way or an other and everyone always helps me out.
I still feel extremely privileged and grateful. Grateful that I get to experience all these different lives in my one life, that every place I go to has a different impact on me and that I can stay there, help the people around me and when the time has come I can move again. We’ve been here for 3 weeks now and soon we’ll move to another place. No idea where it will be, but right now I’m somewhat longing for the beach, so lets see which beach is gonna come up.
Until then I’m busy with yoga, fundraising for a new public school here in Dimow and helping out how ever I can by inviting volunteers to join the project or writing texts about what’s happening here.
(More on my first fundraiser for LMT Public School here)
Life is easy when you allow it to be, even if the slowness of this place sometimes drives me a bit nuts, I still enjoy the fact that i don’t have to hurry for anything or to be anywhere.
Almost 2 years on the road and it still feels unreal sometimes, but this life is the one I chose and I will go on with it as long as it’s possible and where ever it will lead me. I have my backpack, I have love and commitment on my side and I still have a lot of energy to give and get.
Happy new year 2017 to everyone!