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Tour du monde en autostop - Jeremy Marie


 Travel Diary : My conclusions of this world tour

5 and a half years after leaving Caen by hitchhiking, I came back with an accomplished dream.

What are my impressions? What do I conclude of this long journey, of those encounters with the populations, of those face to face with contemporary issues, at social, cultural or politic level? What does this world tour gave me? And what about hitchhiking?

All those questions that many people asked me when I came back, I only can answer it from now. I needed time to think, to meditate about those years full of life. All the emotions following the arrival transformed today in a happy memory. I entered a time of transition between two periods of my life.

It is time for me to build a bridge between my abilities to share, and what the reality can accept from me.


Some lessons

About myself
It is not wrong to say that this long journey alone led me to know myself a bit better. Constantly facing situations, often forced to go over my limits, to face my fears, I slowly identified them.
Identified them, and fought them.

I realized that at the beginning of my journey, my strongest worry was to have to face the unknown, and especially unknown people. Encounters after encounters, my fear disappeared and became a curiosity to fill. I had no reason to fear so much for myself, a simple common sense was enough. In the opposite, the people I was approaching all had something to teach me, but I had to approach with the will to listen.

I concluded here:

That serenity can be acquired in the disappearance of fear.
That fear disappears in the acquisition of knowledge.

I also discovered myself in the encounters. I like to question, to learn, to entertain and to share knowledge. Here is for me an important key of the social exchange.

So, this journey help me to identify myself, and this important introduction was necessary to not modify my vision of the others.

From 23 when I started, to 29 when I ended, I grew up and learned a lot

I could use this way of traveling in every country I traveled, without any exception. The concept of hitchhiking might be unknown in some places, but the fact to help each other exists everywhere, as it involves human feelings.

The difficulty was often to overcome the language barrier, so it was just a simple communication limit. I had to identify this problem to find a solution to it.

Once again, the key of the success was to interact with the local population. Everywhere I found people with good intentions that accepted to translated my letters, explaining the concept of hitchhiking with words that would be more meaningful in their own language.

The fact to help each others exists everywhere. The only barrier was communication. The letters down below were translated by locals, explaining in their own language the concept of hitchhiking

From the moment I could ask my request, the people could answer positively or negatively. To find a vehicle to go further was at the end only a question of time. I was going more or less quick, depending of the country. New Zealand, Chile, Malaysia were easy to hitchhike. United States and Italy were not. All depends of the culture, the circumstances, the environment, the situation. There are many parameters, but everywhere, I found people who helped me.

The world
Hitchhiking was a very efficient way to meet the local population of the countries I crossed, without any censure. I collected opinions of everyone, which help me to have a global idea of the world.

The Zoulous in South Africa, the Aymaras in Bolivia, the Aboriginals in Australia. All those ways of thinking surprised me by the diversity of consideration they gave to life and to Earth. It wasn't only one way of thinking, the one with which I grew up, but an incredible number. My western view of the world was not complete. Even my opinion about myself had to be reconsidered. For a Kenyan I was Muzungu, for a Thai I was Falang, for a Colombian I was Gringo.

I understood that it was natural to consider the world at his own image, but that I could also be dangerous to accept it as a fact. Protecting its own culture is one thing, to impose it to the neighbor is another. I discovered the History of the World that was made of wars, conflicts, genocides, acculturation, killings.
I also discovered that people with good will, people working in the shadow to rebuild, to help, to share.

In the middle of all those encounters, I realize that most of the people I met were able to use their good intention to accomplish something , to help someone, or at least they had been able in the past. But unfortunately, some were losing this ability, to go towards a more hateful, violent path.
I concluded here:

That ignorance was facilitating the creation of an environment of fear.
That fear leads to violence, conflict and destruction.

And that the opposite was also true.


A certitude


Today, I am not afraid anymore, because I understand the bases of cultures that were before foreign to me. Colombia will inspire to me an hospitable land. Iran, a millenarian culture.
Knowing, understanding, helps me to not judge with ignorance and by cliche.

My biggest lesson of this world tour remains here:

« Learning from each others is the best way to tolerate each others and
to live in peace”

But the path is still very long. At different scales, the general ignorance is often cultivated. Though, EVERYONE is able to question and to seek the right information. It is only by adopting this attitude that we will contribute to elevate to conscience of the populations, and so to tolerate each others...

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