Today I’m “celebrating” my 104th day since I moved to Portugal for a period of six months to do a research and work on a project. The initial plan changed and now I’ve decided I will stay here for the whole year. Why is my main reason to extend? Well, it’s not just about the weather and the sea (which I have to say I deeply enjoy – and you can see it clearly in my daily Instagram photos), but it’s about the research of my main subject and working on projects, which I manage to do also on “long distance” so thank you civilization for the internet and all the brilliant minds to create programs which allow us to connect while we are thousand miles away. And thank you for the classic posts and postmen, who are kindly transferring physical subjects across the globe.
I’ve done thousands and thousands of pictures and shot many GB of video material (oh, I just remembered I have to buy new external disc!) but I won’t share everything with you, otherwise you would die. Trust me. So below you can see some recent Instagram photos, just for the taste, and you can see everyday something new up there.
What was happening since my last blog entry? I’ve been exploring Portugal, especially the places which are not very well known and touristic. My decision to travel here by my car was the best ever, so I am very flexible and can access many areas which have never even heard of a public transport. I’ve also been to the capital Lisbon couple of times and I did my fair share of tourism, but it didn’t impress me as much as the other natural beauties of the landscape and smaller medieval villages. I guess I got a little bit bored of the big capitals, especially European ones, so I’m searching for new inspiration outside the paved roads and concrete horizons.
What else have change? I started to enjoy fresh fruit and oat meal for breakfasts (yes, that is completely new for me) and I drink green tea Mate every day when I wake up. I have coffee just when I meet people outside. I still love it, but after a cup of green tea, I feel much better. In the evening I make myself some white tea China white snow bud or red tea Fermosa finst oolong. And I love to put ginger and some honey in every tea, often also half a lemon. This is the reason why I’m still searching for a good tea shop around my place, since I brought all my teas from Slovenia and they are quickly disappearing. Thinking of tea makes me realize that the travelers in the past had the same passion: bringing teas from overseas and discovering new places. Somehow I can understand and connect with the philosophy.
The perception of time is still the same for me, I was always a little bit lost in it, but I always find ways how to keep up with the world (usually it means that I need to slow down). But the interesting thing is, that I started to feel my urges to travel everyday and it’s a good experience for me to stay a year in one place. I think I will manage. Portugal still has a lot of corners to discover and get lost. I also started to think more about settling down, maybe stay in one place forever… Well, this will definitely happen but I hope I can always manage to get up, pack and go on adventure just for a short period if possible. Being away so long is hard, especially since I miss my partner, my family and friends. But new connections are happening every day and I find comfort in new faces and new places. Like always. I think there might be a little bit of gypsy blood in me.
Last week I had my 24th birthday and I can’t believe how fast everything went on. I visited 48 countries, finished primary school, high school, did my bachelor and now finishing my master, got a job of my dreams and left it (which was the best decision ever, since new more exciting things followed), had many successful exhibitions and screenings of my art work, got madly in love and still in a relationship for more then 3 years, found my passion and inspiration in life and already figured out what I want to do in my life and what are the next steps to achieve it. But most of all I am happy that I had a pleasure to travel to the most remote places and found myself – this was the best gift ever and being able to know your deepest feelings, emotions and limits is the real blessing. Being able to live with yourself, be alone for some time and never be boring on your own, now that’s a skill, which is the basic element of happiness. Now I can truly understand all the great men in history (Buda, Ghandi, Jesus, Edison, Aristotle, Picasso… list goes on and on), which found happiness and revelation in solitude and then returned back to civilization in all their glory and shared the love and wisdom.
My three favorite quotes connected with this topic are:
“To have passed through life and never experienced solitude is to have never known oneself. To have never known oneself is to have never known anyone.” ~ Joseph Krutch
“A man can be himself alone so long as he is alone … if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.” ~ Arthur Schopenhauer
“Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of genius.” ~ Edward Gibbon
But if you do some research you can find millions of experiences through history and see that what this world really needs is focus and time to know ourselves. Modern media suggest every day that we need to be in a group all the time, and it’s a smart advertising. This way you create dumb masses without their own opinion. So, good job mass media. Anyway, I would suggest to anyone to at least try to travel on your own and you will see that you will not find just amazing places but also amazing inner self which will then grow also on the outside and you will be forever happy.
Stop. Look around you. Is this what you planned when you were a kid full of imagination, hopes, inspiration and wishes? The clock is ticking fast, think again… There’s always time for a change. Until the last hour.
Portugal, December 2014