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les plus beaux matins du monde...

Traveling...     "Staying is to exist. Traveling is to live." Gustave Nadaud

Every journey begins in the imagination: whether it is a slow preparation, or an furtive interpellation, it fits like a seed that fertilizes the womb of our dreams.

A magazine, a book, a story, a film, a formal or informal discovery trigger gestation more or less long.

From the child becoming an explorer in his garden shed to the elderly discovering the world with BBC or National Geograhic, everyone goes through the virtual tour.

What follows is a slow maturation, during which we imagine, building what we are going to discover. Whether it's a walk on the customs path in Britain, living on the farm and milking goats in the Drôme, meeting Bishnoi in the Rajasthan desert, a ride in the Mongolian steppes, the journey begins in the head .

Once closed the door of the safe home begins the confrontation to a new reality that will shake our habits, our prejudices, our frame of reference and assumptions that we have taken so long to develop.

My favorite quote :

" You say you love flowers, you cuts them

   You say you love animals, you eat them

   You say you love birds, you put them in a cage

   When you say you love me, I'm afraid "

    jacques Prevert

My favorite links

For their actions

  1. http://www.colibris-lemouvement.org/

  2. http://www.visionofhumanity.org/

  3. http://www.hrw.org/fr

  4. http://www.madeinrespect.org/

  5. http://www.survivalfrance.org/

  6. http://playingforchange.com/

  7. http://seedfreedom.in/

  8. http://www.plus-pres-plus-sain-plus-juste.org/

  9. http://www.ektaparishad.com

  10. https://www.walkfree.org/

  11. http://rsf.org/index2014/fr-index2014.php

To be informed

  1. http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/

  2. http://www.hoaxbuster.com/

  3. http://lafabriquehexagonale.com/

  4. http://www.pesticides-non-merci.com/

  5. http://www.goodplanet.info/

  6. http://www.robindesbois.org/en/

Better on the road than never...

We are then invited to:

  1. change our relationship to time, abandon the rhythms of work, the city stresses.

We do not know what day it is, there is no difference between week days and Sundays, often because there are countries where people never stop working ... Time no longer flows in the same way. Feel like gone  a little or a long time.

  1. change our eating habits, pay attention to the water we drink, what we touch and absorb. Replace croissants, bread jam coffee in the morning with tea, soup, eggs, fried rice, a plate of fresh fruit. Even our sleep is different.

  1. relax, let go, while being more attentive than usual to everything happening around us.

These are holidays, but often we rise earlier than when working, because there is so much to see, so much to do .... The ascent of the volcano is at 3:00 am if we want to be there for the sunrise, the full moon puja takes place only at the full moon, late at night, and access to the small temple requires a grueling march of several hours, the safari starts at 6:00am etc ...

  1. do unusual experiences both in relation to others and in relation with ourselves: we are no longer leader or subjected. We are no longer the same in travel, we do things, think things that we do not do at home. Some discomfort, some pain disappear.

We link more easily, we open more easily, as if some barriers fell down, which makes us more vulnerable, but also more responsive.

We feel momentarily be different as we only discover a hidden side of our personality.

Revisit some of our values or certain prejudices that parasitize our perception of the world : all Buddhists are not soft non-violent vegetarian, all Indians are not followers of Gandhi, all Americans are not invaders cowboys or mercenaries of capitalism, all Muslims are not fundamentalists bounded, all poor people are not as sad and unfortunate people etc ...

The risk is to stay on our postions, keep the filter of our culture, and simply check if what we see corresponds with the idea that we had, positive or negative.

This is what differentiates the traveler and the tourist: the first manages to forget or put aside anything that can prevent him from apprehending (capture) to make available what is to take (unexpected), the second simply compares what he knows and what is expected (predicted).

The traveler feeds authenticity and unexpected, temporarily suspending the filters of his origins. He focuses on activities and traditional crafts, take everything that is to be seen in the moment, accepting the frustration when nothing happens. While the tourist needs to be impressed, he takes for authentic some ethnic dance organized for him, do not accept not to see all that is expected, knowing that it is not because it is written that there are leopards in the reserve he will inevitably meet one.

This is also what differentiates the traveler and the "new backpackers" who walk around everywhere with their tablet to stay in touch with their original environment, who require wi-fi, burgers, beer, pastas and pizzas wherever they go up to pollute the remotest corners of the world with their lifestyle.

"The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see." Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Hence the tendency of tourism offices and other tour operators offering only things expected: folk dances have nothing to do with a village festival, rituals, "traditional" massage, minorities have nothing of ethnic, crafts that has nothing to do with reality or native utility, organized safaris in closed private reserves to ensure the presence of the big five, meetings with local people who are employees of a tourism business or seeking secondary salary, remains of a past which if they are interesting in historical, architectural, and cultural, are not necessarily all of great interest .

  1. The traveler, in his quest, is facing his identity construction outside his usual landmarks.

In a journey we are first confronted with ourselves in a situation of existential fragility, far from "home", far from what do our strength, to face the unknown. Vulnerability exploited by some tour operators, guides, casual friendships, unscrupulous.

Hence the interest of not being alone.

Traveling alone limited to facing oneself, depriving the traveler sharing hedonistic, enclosing him in a form of rumination soul.

Traveling with group hide one's face and dilutes the face to  the other. It is difficult to be fully present to what happens when in a group. The group still playing a role of third party or screen.

The ideal is to be two: family couple or not. It gives the chance to share, compare, while having the opportunity to individualize.

Traveling by two built or destroyed, strengthens or exacerbates, because it confronts that we actually do. It invites intimacy, complementarity, sharing, negotiation. It is producer of friendship. When is a married couple it can help to transcend the purely affective and emotional complicity in deep, it can also reveal links based  only on appearances and sweep "dis-illusions" ....

  1. Traveling suppose to find a youthful innocence, where we momentarily forget what we know, what we have learned or what we are persuaded to take what comes, without however forgetting what one is .

How many people imagine discover the daily life of people or be "in phase" with a culture or country disguised as native, or spending 8 hours in a bus or a train, eating on the edge of a sidewalk , passing months through a city or region ?

Immersion is not the fact of mixing with people, but the ability to be penetrated by what you discover, sometimes fuliginous.

This involves the ability to see, hear, smell, taste, touch and be touched (physically and psychologically), as authentically as possible.

This is the eroticization time of travel, the time when all our senses are in alert to capture what we perceive.

It is from this way that it is possible, even necessary, to step back in order to capture what happens.

With a sketchbook or watercolors, a camera, a notebook, or simply mindfulness, it becomes important to understand what is given to see, hear, feel. Capture a shared moment.

This differs from those who filming everything all the time, never taking time to be present to what is. They are just filming, remaining outside of the experience.

This also differs from those who come into a complete fusion, enclosing themselves in an illusion of integration in which they can eventually forget themselves or lost tehmselves.

Shoot someone is not to press a button, but to create a relationship which will culminate in a single image full of meaning, even if the encounter is ephemeral.

Learn to detach from what happens to capture the essence while still under the influence of what is happening. Become the observer of the spectator and spectacle, the active observer of the scene and action. Distancing capacity often lacking with those who mix beauty of a landscape children's smiles, friendliness of the people, and sympathy (always disinterested!) of a guide, to get lost in a blind fusion.

  1. Travel is also coming back: return "home" with less a priori and more thrills, more experienced before departure. Before expectations giving way to travel souvenirs.

The first time back, we are in another world, the world between the two, which gives us the impression of gliding. A little there, and not quite here.

We are looking for moments, flavors, reminiscent expressions there. We are irritating about things or people from here who are not like there, listening to the music that has been reported from there. The elsewhere still resonates in the head, in the body.

We are still in wonder when everything went well or frustration when expectations were not met.

It takes some time to "land", to go from the opening and tend to forget oneself to return home with the roles, obligations, habits temporarily set aside.

Tastes, flavors, smells, colors, who had replaced those of the house, gradually fade.

Then comes the time for claims for those who were disappointed or cheated, sharing for those who were satisfied.

Sort photos, edit movies, telling to relatives or colleagues, write the travel book validate the memory, while providing calm of something that ends.

Write, sort, share memories make it possible to strip memories to retain only the essential that we integrate as part of ourselves, so that after each trip,we are never the same.

Until the day when we feel again the need to leave, impregnated by nomadic virus, intoxicated by that need to be confronted with a thrilling and exciting elsewhere.  A.P.

"Travelling without meeting each other, it is not traveling, it's moving." Alexandra David Neel.


©A.P - 2014

  1. Puce Special thought for Benjamin Vanseveren (Morocco 2005), Aurélia Lacroix (Cambodia 2007), Hanna Charlotta Backlund (Thaïlande 2008) Ophélie Bretnacher (Hungary 2008), Jérémie Bellanger et Fannie Blancho ( Bolivia 2010) Cassandre Bouvier et Houria Moumni (Argentina 2011) Stéphanie Foray (Malaysia 2011) Khuram Shaikh et Victoria Alexandrovna (Sri Lanka 2011), Stefan Ramin et Heike Dorsch (Marquises 2011), Laurent Vallier et ses enfants (Cambodge 2011) Claude and Gérard Dubois (Costa Rica 2011) Laurence Canut (India 2012) Ophélie Begnis (Cambodge 2013), Sarah Groves (India 2013), David Green (India 2014) Harry Devert (Mexico 2014), David Miller et Hannah Witheridge (ThaÏlande 2014), Hervé Gourdel (Algéria 2014), une touriste Russe et une touriste Allemande (Kenya 2014), Sophie Collombet (Australia 2014), Anne Cécile Pinel (Croatia 2014), Helene Derouault (Equateur 2015), Fred Nietenf R.F Wolbeek (Brasil 2015), Dean Lucas et Adam Coleman (Mexico 2015), Laura Pâmela Viana (Brasil 2016) Akim Boukstbbouma (Thaïlande 2016) four French tourists attacked including two rapes (Koh kut Thailand 2016), Narumi Kurosaki (France 2016) Hannah Bladon (Israel 2017) Sophie Lionnet (London 2017), Louise Lavergne (Belgium 2017) Louisa Vesterager Jespersen et Marie Ueland (Morocco 2018), Miriam Beelte (Thailande 2019) travelers who had the misfortune to travel in the wrong place and meet the wrong people. Rest in peace.