I returned a year ago from the long journey from Cape Town to Havana.
since three months i live in Berlin. I have a home, I attend an intensive German course, I work.
Am I travelling?
Technically, no, I do not think that is enough to live in a city or country other than of origin to say that you are on the road. If the migration is permanent or meant to last a long time, it is in fact a transfer.
However, beyond the rhetoric of “life is a journey (and travel is to live twice)” (Omar Khayyam) if I am not actually on the road, at least I am moving.
Usually you can call it travel when there is a movement more or less continuous for a period shorter or longer, but as everyone knows, every journey involves an inner change, and so a movement of the spirit. That motion and displacement are to coexist in order to fall in the category of travel is not written in the definition, on the contrary, contemplates both possibilities: physical and metaphorical journey.
At this point depends on the personal character and how each of us knows how and wants to travel in his own mind, in daily lives, in territories and the world.
That said the question of whether or I am or not travelling I say yes, I am forever.
I change speed, ways, mates, routes, scenery, but I do not think I ever stopped for too long.
Even in this case, adjectives and characteristics known to be related to travel around the world are applicable to inner journeys.
The speed, for example, is determined by the amount of stimulation I receive from the outside, which accelerates the thought combining images, visions, fantasies. Or landscapes, which are more the territories of culture and diversity that I love to explore.
For example Germany is a European Country, and I thought I knew enough to want to prefer to travel in Africa or South America, I am surprised by the nuances that I get learning the language, by how the Germans deal with social problems, by their different mindset (beyond the clichés that tend to trivialize the details), for the climate. Yes, the climate. We read books, you will hear in the bar the old story that people in the north is colder than the Mediterranean countries. But before these three months in Germany I did not know exactly what it meant to be cold, to feel cold.
The language school deserves a chapter. Each lesson is a journey.
The current class of the second module of the first level of Integrationkurs is composed of a Brazilian jazz saxophonist, two Turkish girls, one Moroccan cook, a French-Serbian theater lighting technician, three Italians unemployed, a Spanish video artist, a pregnant Lebanese, an Australian, a Ghanaian funny little boy, a Polish Barbie and a Polish mechanic, a Chechen with a broken arm,no hair and long beard. No more Cameroonian teacher but two German ladies are trying to teach this tricky language to this mix of people and colors. Just call the register and you traveled halfway around the world. If someone does a gesture with his hand to attract attention, another may believe that the lesson is over.
Mind trips, business trips, tourist trips, fantastic trips, long trips and short.
As the camera is not the photographer, a book is not a writer, not the journey makes the traveler. You become, but in my opinion you cannot be born. At most we grow travelers, attracted by parents and friends with the motors on, feet on the street, and buttocks on a seat.
I am travelling and when I realize I am, when, as now, I have the time (and desire) to say it, I realize that my journey is made of long stages, the slow time, human relationships. Sure, I wish I could enrapture in front of Machu Picchu more often, but when I try to resolve the internal conflicts that lead me to always seek elsewhere what appears to be missing around me, I embrace the belief that being travelers is one of the possible ways of being, condition that nourishes itself with the constant desire to go.