I have been home for a while now, and is still trying to digest the experiences I have had over the last 140 days, traveling around the world. I honestly think it will take a long time, before I truly realize how important a thing this has been to me. What follows, is a bit long post about what I feel in my head these days. It has taken me a long time to figure out how to write it, but I think this is it.
First of all, I would like to thank everyone, who have made this possible for me. I have met, hung out, partied, emailed, talked and trained with hundreds and hundreds of people along the way, and each and every one of you has had an influence on me. The help, friendship and hospitality, I have experienced from you everywhere in the world, has blown me away and I cannot describe, how much it means to me. I also had immense support from everyone I know at home, which has played a big role in realizing this project.
I will now get settled here at home and then get started with all the projects, things and ideas, that have spun off this whole experience. This might be the end of the trip, but the effects of it will echo throughout my life (and maybe yours) for years and years to come. First of all, I have an open invitation to anyone, who wants to come to Denmark to visit and train. There are already quite a bit of people I have met on the trip, who are planning to come by, so my gym will be busy :)
I am also working hard on writing my book from the trip. It is a very big task, and it will take a while, before it is finished. There are just too many good stories from the gyms around the world, that would be a waste not to tell, I think. I have been taking notes over the last five months, and now I am writing every day and trying to put everything together. Apart from the story of the trip itself, I am trying to write about, how I made the trip and lifestyle possible, the preparations, long term decisions and thoughts behind it. I am excited about writing a book, something I never thought of doing, but it makes sense right now and it will be interesting to have for the future.
Having visited a lot of places around the world, where people are training with very little equipment and very basic facilities, I have decided to help them out. Already having shipped a lot of gi’s to Moldova and Dominican Republic, I got the idea to organize it more. I am currently working on a website, that will be a tool for those of us who has too much, to help them who has too little.
The last project, I am working on, is still too good an idea to reveal. It is a big project and will take some time for me to get going, but I promise it will be good and everyone will be able to benefit from it. You will definitely hear about it in the near future ;)
I don’t think that this trip has changed me much. There are not many things, I have changed my view about. What I do feel, is that it has strongly reinforced what I believe in. In some way, I went out to confirm some things to myself, and I found what I was looking for. I feel vibrantly full of love from great friendships, believe in the good in people and know, that the world is indeed my oyster and definitely not a bad or dangerous place. I just got an upgrade on all my skills (BJJ, human and emotional) and feel like a Christian version 2.0 :)
I hear from many people, that they are somewhat afraid to travel. Afraid to go places, they think are dangerous. They prefer the comfort of their own place, where they don’t have to take any chances. Or maybe just going to a place with the same language and culture. On this trip, I have been to the ghettos of eastern europe, a russian military country that does not exist, the poor neighborhoods of India, the favelas of Brazil, the kidnapping capital of South America, a druglord’s hangout in the Dominican Republic, the jungles, the radioactive and earthquake threatened streets of Tokyo and I could go on. Guess what, the worst thing that happened to me, was food poisoning from barbecue hotwings in a Borneo food court. Do not be afraid to explore the world. Go out there and see for yourself, that it is not dangerous and it might contain experiences you will cherish for the rest of your life. Or believe the media paranoia hype and die without trying!
There are no borders in this world. Any dividing and separation of people on this planet are man made. It is not real. There is no difference between us. Friendships, love, adventure, experiences and lives you can live are EVERYWHERE. No matter, where I have gone, I have met fantastic people. I have made more friends in five months, than I could possible do at home in a lifetime, and there seemed to be no limitations to where I would find these. Your next best friend or experience of a lifetime can be anywhere in the world, not just in your own little bubble.
We might seem different on the outside, coming from different countries, races, religions, beliefs, cultures or even another BJJ team (!!), but when we are on the mat, clapping hands and ready to roll, it is so obvious, that there is NO difference.
Now go have some adventure before it is too late, it is waiting for you out there.