The Why“If you love somebody, let them go...”
1: Love (or the lack of it)
First the cliché part; I had the most beautiful life companion one can imagine. The girl I spend my university time with is one of the most fascinating persons I have ever met. I am really grateful for all the time we were allowed to spend together. We conquered the challenges live gave us with fascinating ease. Until a couple of weeks ago. Some things happened which could not be conquered by us. That made her decide to part ways.
I was left alone in a home we once shared with no job, no study and, as I felt, no future. I felt put aside by my ex-girlfriend and did not know how to cope with this situation. But she had taken the steps she needed in order to fulfill her passions and dreams. This is what I admired most in her. Now it is easy for me to blame her on breaking up with me. But this is, I believe, her way of granting me absolute freedom. It is up to me to take the full advantage of this situation. I have decided to step in and do what I have always wanted to do, take my stuff and walk away.
Where should I go? Santiago or Rome are two of the first destinations to pop up. But these places mean nothing to me. If feel no connection with them. There is only one place on this earth I feel compelled to walk to. One place which made me both love and hate. One place which turned my life upside down. One place which both fascinates me and scares me at the same time. There is only one place I really feel the need to walk to. Too bad this place is on the brink of Europe and Asia. But nevertheless, I will be walking to Istanbul.
As I did my research on walking from Holland to Istanbul I encountered the book Walking the Woods and the Water (2014) by Nick Hunt. He, and Patrick Leigh Fermor before him, went before me. They both walked across Europe and made me realize this idea of mine might actually work out. On the back of the book it says: ‘An old-fashioned adventure’. This is what I want.
There are two types of regret. One is regret of what you have done and shouldn’t have. The other is regret for what you should have done, but didn’t. I do have regret on some things I have done in the past. But I will never forgive myself I have regret about things I have not done. The situation I am in currently gives me so much options, so many ways to fulfill my souls’ purpose ( I do believe I have one), I really had to dig deep to understand what I needed to do. I could go studying again, I could try hard to find a job I really like, a new girlfriend which I want to share my life with. But all these things can wait. I won’t regret them if I do not go after them now.
There is only one thing I will regret if I do not act upon it now. I will never forgive myself if I do not take this opportunity to experience an ‘old-fashioned adventure’. One has to have a goal, and I do have one (Istanbul). But the ultimate goal is to have the courage to walk away and take every day as it comes. To live the life to the fullest and discover if this kind of life is for me. If I do not make it, I will never regret the trying. If I stay, I will never forgive myself for not daring.
4: The Goal
Yes, one can walk away and burn all the bridges. But that is not what I intend to do. Walking for the sake of walking will not give me the satisfaction I need. There has to be a thread in the journey. As I graduated in the Religious Studies and am undertaking a sort of pilgrimage, one can easily guess the purpose of my trip. I want to discover if religion is, in the current age of secularization, still able to connect and aid people.
I will try to eat and sleep with as many religious organizations along my route as possible. In doing so I will prove religion is not about disclosure and violence, but about hospitality and love. About hope and forgiveness. Visiting different sanctuaries every day, I try to show religion is still able to provide shelter and comfort for those who are seeking it. I hope to show that in that, all religions are the same.