3 years ago a new chapter in my life began. I left Germany for a world trip I was planning to do for about 3 years.
3 years later I’m writing you from Crete, Greece, sitting on a hill top terrace with a 180 degrees view over the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. The terrace depends to the house I’m house sitting since 2 weeks. I’m full of love and happiness and enjoying the beauty of life.
The first thing, which comes in my mind when I think about the last 3 years and one of the things a lot of people asking me is:
How I financed that all.
Many people told me, they would love to do what I do, but they can’t finance that. If you were reading my blog in the beginning, you know that I was saving and working hard to have enough money to survive for around 3 years. What an illusion. I left Germany with around 20.000 EUR, which I spent in the first 18 months of traveling. I just enjoyed life and spent the money I was working so hard for, without any regrets. I started getting nervous, when I came to the point, I needed to touch the last 5.000 EUR. I felt very quickly while traveling, that I wanna go on with full time traveling, so I was asking myself, how to go on with this, when the money is gone. And then it was gone. I just arrived back in Germany the first time after 18 months of traveling with an empty bank account. But I wasn’t worrying at all, somehow I knew there is no need to worry. I got some money from the unemployment agency in Germany, I was working a bit and after a couple of weeks I was ready to go on traveling. Still I was struggling with this situation and my family asked me many times, how I will go on like this, without having any savings. I still have no savings. Today my bank account tells me I have 358,60 EUR left and I just think. Oh wow, still!?
I met Katha, a 20 something year old girl from Germany in Mexico, while she already had a flight ticket to Colombia in her pocket. She had a left over of 50 EUR to go on traveling from there. She bought from another 50 EUR some artisan Mexican clothes, she wanted to sell in Colombia. I followed her on Facebook and she made it with this budget 7 more months from Colombia down to Peru, before she went back to Germany. My experience by now is, that the universe somehow gets aligned as soon as you follow your dreams. I don’t know how this works out, but it works out. As long as I’m following my heart, everything I need for that comes on a natural way in my life. If it is money, love, a friend, a place to sleep… Just everything!
To finish the money topic, I have these 350 something EUR and the material things I already own. Which is very less. Nothing more, but there was no point in the last 1,5 years I needed to starve. I always could pay my expenses and the less I’m worrying about that all, the less I need to worry about it. It’s like magic!
What brings me to all the angels I met on my way. A lot of times, people opened their doors to their homes for me to share, without wanting anything else than my friendship.
This started from the very beginning of this trip.
In Beirut, Lebanon, I met Carla. I was sitting in a Cafe with all my luggage, searching on my laptop for a new accommodation. She came over from her table and just asked me, if I wanna sleep in her house. Me, a complete stranger! She became a friend for a life time in these days. My crazy, curly sister. She visited me again a couple of weeks later in Nepal. From the first moment we met, I knew somehow, I know her way longer than I could imagine in that moment. She is a soul sister. I truly believe that.
Another beautiful soul, who showed up only a couple of days later in Nepal, was Eddy. We went to the same secondary school in our child hood, but we never got in touch in that time. I wrote him before I started my trip, because I knew he was living in Nepal. I asked him, if I could come over for a visit and he happily invited me. I love him from the bottom of my heart and I love to see him happy, growing his business in Nepal with his loving nepalese wife Anjali. Just yesterday we chatted and he wrote: „Isn’t it just crazy that all our time in Germany we never talked to each other… Everything in life is timing!“ So true my friend!
Also Lucian, Eddy’s friend who also lived in my home town, and his girlfriend Jess from Australia, I met in Nepal and we all together got a kind of family constellation. Lucian and Jess’ life is such a inspiring story, which reminds me on the beauty of life. In Nepal they had a remote house in the mountains of the Annapurna region. In solitude and they lived a really basic and happy life. 2,5 years later they are married, got a baby, live in Australia, Lucian got an amazing job offer and the company even payed for the crazy expensive resident visa. They wanna go on traveling as a family, but for now they wanna spent time with their baby in their beach house in Australia.
And then their is David. My Irish brother, who I met in a hostel in Mexico in my very first days after arriving. 3 months later we rented an apartment together in the historical center of Mexico City and we lived there with his boyfriend for 4 months. Now David is back in Ireland and his boyfriend Yadin also moved their. I visited David twice last year in Ireland and it’s hard to not have him anymore around me all time.
In my time in Mexico and in all the other countries I’ve visited by now, I met a lot of amazing, inspiring people, who will always have my love. It would be too much to mention them all.
But one other miracle time I had in Mexico, was the time I broke my foot. I needed to do a visa run after 6 months being in the country and I decided to combine that with a little backpacking/couchsurfing adventure on the Caribbean coast around Cancun/Playa del Carmen. I got hosted from Jorge, who was living in a family owned apartment in Playa del Carmen, which he shared with anybody who needed a place to sleep. There were days we have been 8 to 10 couchsurfers sleeping at his place. We were lying everywhere on the floor, on the couch in his bed. It was real fun. And then I broke my foot while walking on the street on a sunny day next to Jorge. It was a big drama. The Red Cross did a mistake with my x-rays and they told me, that nothing is broken. One week later with pain, I went to a little island hopping trip to Cozumel and after a night of dancing salsa (with my broken foot) I woke up with a terrible pain. I went to a hospital where a couchsurfer, I was in contact with, was working as a doctor. He checked everything again and I got this big shoe and crutches. The doctor, Omar is his name, invited me to sleep in his house for that night and another doctor, a friend of him, offered me to take me the next day back to the main land in his car with the car ferry. Thankful about this offer, I said yes. And in this crazy situation it got more crazy. I was sleeping well protected that night in a apartment with 3 doctors and 2 nurses and the next morning Alejandro, who will be forever my „Doctor Feel Good“ showed up in this T-Shirt and escorted me to the main land, where Jorge was already waiting for me. I wanted to go back home to Mexico City, but Jorge and the other couchsurfers asked me to stay and offered me to take care of me. So they were carrying me up and down the stairs, brought me food. Carried me to the beach, helped me with having a shower and so on… Unbelievable. Really, I still can’t believe, how incredible this all was. Naturally I felt sorry for them, doing all that for me and I was apologizing and thanking them all the time. Aaron, one of my couchsurfer angels said once to me (I was again apologizing, when he carried me to the beach). „Tanja, stop apologizing all the time! I’m so thankful that I can do that for you. I’m healthy, strong and it is my pleasure to carry you. Maybe one day I need that help and somebody needs to carry me. And then I can thankfully take this help in the knowledge, I did the same for somebody else before.“ Yes, indeed it was a crazy time and I’m very thankful for that experience.
Then I came back to Asia. To Koh Phangan, Thailand. And destiny was leading me to a house in the jungle. I rented it for one month and found myself in a group of people who got immediately family for me. My jungle family. It was a group of 4 houses and we were a mixed international constellation of expats from different backgrounds. There was Skye from the States with his girlfriend Elena from Spain. Cees from Holland, who was the Papa of our group and Mei from China. Crazy Mei. And me. We cooked dinner for each other, went to the beach together, had a lot of talks and just enjoyed our company. They all are still living on Koh Phangan and I often think about joining the neighborhood again. Skye told me yesterday in a long phone call, they call it „the golden times of the neighborhood“, the time we’ve all been together. After a visa run to Malaysia, Skye and Elena invited me to live in the ground floor of their house and so we had 2 more beautiful months together. They all encouraged me so much to go on with my photography and my vision of a traveling photographer. I love them all and I know we will have a reunion. Whenever, wherever!
And the last person I want to mention here, I met 3 weeks ago. Giorgos, my new greek brother. I contacted him 4 weeks ago from Germany over (what do you think?) Couchsurfing, because I couldn’t find an affordable room to rent. I like to use Couchsurfing, when I come to a new place to orient myself and get some informations about the area. We didn’t write much. When I saw his couchsurfing profile, I was sure, we’ll have a good time together. On the way in the bus to my final destination Rethymno, I already had the feeling, I’m again coming home. And Giorgos told me later, he said to his friend, while waiting for me at the bus station, that he had the feeling, a friend is coming home. And so it was! From the first second everything was just perfect. Every of his friends I met, saw me as one of them. He offered me to stay the rest of my 3 months in Crete in his apartment, what I’m going to do in the time I’m not traveling around. 10 days ago his friends, a couple Spiros and Vaso, went to a 2 weeks vacation and asked me, if I want to live in these days in their house. They left me their car, their house, their cat and they just knew me from around 4-5 days we spent together. The house is in solitude on a little hill, just outside of the town Rethymno and I can use the car to explore the island. It couldn’t be more perfect.
While having this opportunity, I decided to go for some days in silence and do a little Meditation retreat by myself. I finished it yesterday and I had 6 days of calming my mind, focusing on my spiritual practices and enjoying the silence.
And another beautiful thing happened to me these days. Since a long period without any romantic relationship, I finally spent a beautiful week together with Lucas, a greek guy from Athens. It was a very intense time with him and I don’t know how our love story will go on, but I enjoyed every second of it and I’m excited what will happen. I will visit him in some weeks in Athens and who knows how life is going on for me. I don’t!
But something I really feel and live with every breath. It’s my love! Love for the beauty of life, love for my family, love for my friends, love for the ways, which life is leading me to go, love for myself. I’m full of love. I’m made out of love and I spread as much love I can spread. Love is the key to everything! In Lenny’s words: Let Love Rule!
I hope to meet you on the road my friends!
With all my love, Tanja
Note: In November I’ll be back in Germany for working some weeks with my Langos family and after Christmas I’ll go on traveling. On the search for other soul brothers and sisters, new experiences, new things to try, to get lost to find myself again and to see the beauty which is surrounding me. To just enjoy my life in its fullest! The destination is still not sure yet. Peru/Ecuador/Bolivia, Guatemala – traveling Central America, visiting Carla (Lebanon) & Eddy (Nepal) and my Thai family on Koh Phangan… In September I want to book a flight for end of December and I will keep my eyes open for the right intuition to book the ticket for my next adventure.