Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France and Spain
As this is my first diary entry it is likely that many people will read it. So I take the opportunity to say: I am definitely a mom kid and luckily I (what a coincident) have the best Mom in the world. No matter if I went to school, work or on holiday. No matter what age I had, what grade I was in or what bad thing I have done. She was always standing in front of our family’s house waving to me for saying good-bye to me; have a nice day. These lines are for you Mom because you only rarely get the attention you deserve. I love you and I’m proud of you.
I was born here in West Germany and we never moved out of our first house. My childhood was very carefree. I was alot in the nature and really hated school, except natural science. I guess this place I call home, or especially my family, is my only constant in life. I wonder if I’m the way I am because of this constant. Risking things like this Africa trip or my naive Faroe adventure seem to be much easier for me as I know that (in worst case) I can always come back to this safe spot or ask them for help. I can’t tell you the answer if it subconsciously changed me to someone who takes more risks in life or if I’m just like this. But I really appreciate the circumstance that I have this constant in my life. Just to say it in advance: My family is against my Africa travels but they also know that I gonna do it anyway, so I got their support. No worries Mom, I can take care of myself & yes Dad, I still got health insurance.
This dream of traveling in a van came up after I surfed for the first time (in my life) in the Faroe Islands. The goal of the Faroe trip was sailing there, coming from Amsterdam. Just a friend, me and a small sail boat. The trip turned out to be very hard especially because we had some fights. I decided to do my next trip alone, no matter where I go.
I was really attracted by this minimalistic life style and a life close to the ocean. So, after I bought my T3 I gave this life a test run in the Balkan. I lived in it for 1.5 months and straight had an engine failure. It took me half a year to fix and prepare the van. I found out that this car is not made for living in it long-term. So I renewed every single cable, build in solar, 230v electricity, did some paintwork, put in a safe and repaired the broken furniture. During the time of fixing I became very unhappy. It felt like I’m stocked in time with doing just big back steps. One reason was that I quit my flat in Münster, where I lived 2,5 years. I moved back to my parents place to safe money and to have a better place for the repair. The moving out from my Münster flat was really emotionally to me. This city made me a grown up. I met really awesome people here. When you take that look in the rear mirror of your car, with all your personal belongings on the back seat, and your former home Münster is getting smaller and smaller as you move on, you think of all the moments you had in this town. Of all the people you met and laughed with. Maybe I’m a little bit too melancholic but it felt like the ending of the TV series Scrubs to me. It felt like a good period of my life was just over by this moment. I remember myself fighting against tears during the one-hour way back to my parents place.
After my van was ready for Africa (6 month later) I left. Mom was waving to say good bye (picture). You might not think this but I didn’t plan the route, I just went for it. No Google, no Trip Adviser. Only one desire: In all those months I haven’t seen the ocean but missed it so bad. I decided to take the shortest way to the coast. On my way to the Netherlands I had an internal conflict with myself. Is this really what I want? To travel alone to Cape Town? I mean I fixed that car for half a year and now, where I finally reached my goal of leaving, I actually felt unhappy. On top of this the nights were freezing cold, as I started in April. Life is strange sometimes, isn’t it? Now I got what I wanted but still unhappy. When in the Netherlands I started with helping out in a surf shop (free photo work for them) and I then traveled further through Belgium, France and Spain. The further I drove the more I got the feeling that this is actually what I want. But I fairly have to say that my first month was really really lonely. No social contact at all. I was always a little shy; never the cool kid back in school. So getting in touch with strangers was something I had to learn. I missed home on the first days like crazy. But the beautiful nature of the Normandy, Brittany and the Spanish coast lines made me forgot this from time to time, luckily. I had to drive until Biarritz to find my first friends on this trip (4.000 km). We had such a great time with surfing, dancing and laughing at the beach. It felt like we are the only outsiders in this nice French town. Like wild gypsies who are sitting at a table in a rich peoples gourmet restaurant. I am really thankful for what I was able to experience with you guys. (Love you Vik, Fati, Flow, Marcus, Lenaic and Zac). This was when my trip changed from “What am I doing here?” to “What a new and awesome life boy!”. It gave me hope and I kept on going with this trip. Now, 8 month later, I can say that it was a excellent decision to keep on going.