A couple of days ago I wrote (something like) this in my diary:

I have always found it difficult to undertake new things. In the end there’s only one reason for this; I am afraid of being rejected. I’m afraid of being not good enough, of being judged. This fear of rejection tells me a lot about who I am. I hold quite high standards for myself, regarding everything. Now this attitude of mine is reflected in the deep fear of being rejected or judged by others.

The real goal of my trip is not discovering religion in Europe or even reaching Istanbul. The real goal of my trip is to learn to open my heart. This has been said to me, but only now rings as really true. Studying religion would only be a means to this end. It requires me to knock on unknown doors and put my trust in people whom I do not know. I have to trust in their goodness, when I do not even fully trust my own.

Meeting Annika has been a great lesson in this for me. She took the initiative to talk to me, no expectations, and look what came from it. The same thing has been happening under my eyes for 4,5 years as Anouk would never discard someone without first getting to know them. In this, I gladly take her as an example and know she is still dear to me. I keep learning from all that happened and can only be grateful for it.

These two people have shown me to trust in the goodness of others, while I have a hard time doing this because I do not trust my own goodness fully.

I thought I should push myself to discover the religion in Europe more, so that my heart might open that way. I wanted to force a change in the core of my being by forcing encounters with others. But now that a couple of days have passed, I think differently about it.

Why would I want to find religion in Europe anyway? It came to me only as a 4th reason to walk. I thought I needed a theme for my trip. I wanted to let this trip count, I wanted it to be something special. I thought that I needed to meet many people so I could post pictures of them on Facebook. That would show how great this adventure was. I thought that if I did not use the couchsurfing network and partied every night, people would find my trip lame.

I now see that by just writing to you and doing what I do, I inspire too. Just being who I am and doing what I love to do should be enough, shouldn’t it? Because I don’t want to be part of this kind of travelers hype. I am glad to hear that you find something in the stuff I write, but even that is not my goal. I like writing and as long as I feel like it, I’ll post something for you to read. But I am walking to Istanbul and take life however it comes. The good and the bad.

And those two people? You can admire people without wanting to be like them, I guess.

So please tell me: Is this last part just an escape from trying something different, or should I really not force myself? Both sides somehow sound possible to me. Do we have to become more than who we are? And if so, do we let that happen naturally, or do we force the process of change a bit?

P.s. there will be something about religion on here soon. But there is so much I’d like to share with you, some things just have to wait for the book. 😉