'Travel is your life, not....'
'Just an escape'
It's not so often that you meet people that enthuse, energise and motivate you. When it happens, they make an imprint on your soul. They arouse your inner self and awaken those hidden, sometimes supressed thoughts and feelings about life...who you are, your perspective in'The Life' and what you want to achieve from 'The Life'
3 days ago, I met by chance, Michal from Poland. He arrived in a Police car, at the Pharoan hotel. (My friends and I like to sit here, as it is at the foot of the Theban Hills as it is a great place to watch the sunset) A young, blonde, bearded man was escorted in while Police Officers, unloaded his bicycle and belongings. It soon became apparent that all was not well....
As soon as things settled down and after hearing a little of this young mans situation, I went to say hello and offer some words of comfort.
Michal was Polish and was on a personal mission, to travel from the most Northern part of Norway to the Southernmost point of Africa. He had been cycling for 8 months and had arrived in Luxor that day. His story is for him to tell
2 days later, we arranged to meet and have a cup of tea. I was just in awe of anyone that could cycle this great distance alone, endure hardships and still keep smiling!
We sat in a coffee shop opposite the Colossi of Memnon, immediately I felt at ease as I quizzed him about his intrepid journey. This was a very intelligent man, that had planned his journey down to the visa requirements and how many KM he should cycle a day, to obtain that personal, inner goal.
He had backpacked many times in the past, but did not feel he was connecting with the people. He knew his way around train stations, bus stations and taxi ranks, but it was missing something. He happened across some cyclists and joined them. Then it all clicked.....the connection was made. From here, he designed and built his own bicycle and set off on his epic journey.
As we spoke, Michal jumped up out of his seat and exclaimed 'Excuse me, it's another traveller from Poland!' He ran excitedly to greet 'Lucas Vegan'
He gushed about meeting Lucas 2 times previously on the road and this was now the 3rd time. 2 Polish cyclists heading in the same direction, but finding their own way, the bond was clearly visible, as well as the independence.
Lucas shared some of his experiences, as he had been cycling for almost 20 months..I sat with my hand under my chin, motionless and speechless.
What on earth are the chances of 2 Polish guys, cycling for months/years meeting up at the Colossi of Memnon, at a small restaurant? Michal was staying there, thanks to CouchSurfing while Lucas had stayed in a field last night, LITERALLY opposite where Michal was staying.
Whatever the reason. I was just incredibly grateful to be a part of the reuniting of Poles....
I hope you read Michals' story and realise what a focused and intrepid traveller he is....In my brief meeting with him, I was both inspired and moved by his attitude and drive....I could go on all night, but it's not my story to tell.
In the words of Michal 'Travel is your life and not just an escape'.........
- Canon unknown