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Currently travelling from Cartagena (Colombia) to Ushuaia (Argentina).
What I honor most in life is the present moment. I believe in the power of inner peace and I deeply value the senses of Wonder and Awe.
I was born on a snowy evening in the town of Bern, in Switzerland. My father is from Belgium and my mother is from Colombia. My family is spread all across Italy, Belgium and Colombia.
I grew up and lived so far in 10 locations :
⇣ Bern, Switzerland
⇣ Kingston, Jamaica
⇣ La Paz, Bolivia
⇣ São Paulo, Brazil
⇣ Brussels, Belgium
⇣ Aix-En-Provence, France
⇣ Barcelona, Spain
⇣ Guadalajara, Mexico
⇣ Madrid, Spain
⇣ Medellín, Colombia
« All my life one of my greatest desires has been to travel - to see and touch unknown countries, to swim in unknown seas, to circle the globe, observing new lands, seas, people, and ideas with insatiable appetite, to see everything for the first time and for the last time, casting a slow, prolonged glance, then to close my eyes and feel the riches deposit themselves inside me calmly or stormily according to their pleasure, until time passes them at last through its fine sieve, straining the quintessence out of all the joys and sorrows. »
✍ Nikos Kazantzakis
« The highest to which man can attain is Wonder; and if the prime phenomenon makes him wonder, let him be content; nothing higher can it give him, and nothing further should he seek for behind it; here is the limit. »
✍ Johann Wolfgang Goethe
« You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength. »
✍ Marcus Aurelius
« When you talk you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen you may learn something new. »
✍ Joseph Patrick McEvoy
Outsider Storyteller Minimalist Animal & Plant Enthusiast
Being a Third Culture Kid : In Between Worlds.
A way of life that has shaped significantly the core of who I am :
• Within the Third Culture Kid community, distaste for the « Where are you from ? » strikes a common chord. It is indicative of the confused identity that comes innately with a TCK status. TCKs make an average of eight major moves before graduating from high school. It is what separates TCKs from immigrants or casual travelers, because instead of developing their identity and worldview in one locale and then leaving, they develop these characteristics while in constant transit. That is why people can be former expats or former foreign service officers, but never a former Third Culture Kid. TCKs take their world with them wherever they go.
• TCKs grow up in a genuinely cross-cultural world. While expatriates watch and study cultures that they live in, third culture kids actually live in different cultural worlds. TCKs have incorporated different cultures on the deepest level, as to have several cultures incorporated into their thought processes. This means that third culture kids not only have deep cultural access to at least two cultures, this also means that thought processes are truly multicultural. That, in turn, influences how TCKs relate to the world around them, and makes TCKs' thought processes different even from members of cultures they have deep-level access to, a phenomenon known as cultural jet lag.
• Third culture kids are often tolerant cultural chameleons who can choose to what degree they wish to display their background.
• Their experiences among different cultures and various relationships makes it difficult for them to have in-depth communication with those who have not experienced similar conditions.
• As third culture kids mature they become adult third culture kids (ATCKs). Some ATCKs come to terms with issues such as culture shock and a sense of not belonging while others struggle with these for their entire lives.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
I learn something new with every Couchsurfing experience.
Stayed with 175 hosts in 40 locations :
Norway, Singapore, Hong Kong, Mainland China, Nepal, Indonesia, Australia & Tasmania, New Zealand, United States, Mexico, South Korea, Russia, Latvia, Belgium, Iceland, Denmark, Turkey, Sweden, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Ireland, Scotland, Serbia, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece & Crete, Croatia, Slovenia, Germany, France, Lithuania, Estonia, Georgia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru.
Hosted 144 guests (in Barcelona, Madrid, Brussels and Medellín) from 52 locations :
Lithuania, Italy, Brazil, South Korea, Canada, Poland, United States, Chile, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, Australia, Peru, Egypt, Germany, France, Argentina, Spain, Mexico, Japan, Ukraine, Venezuela, Finland, Reunion Island, Czech Republic, Belgium, Latvia, Russia, Serbia, Malaysia, Wales, Netherlands, Turkey, Philippines, Bulgaria, Romania, Colombia, Slovakia, Uruguay, Vietnam, New Zealand, Portugal, Algeria, Albania, Taiwan, Dominican Republic, Singapore, England, Belarus, New Caledonia, Nigeria, Iran.
• Honest, straightforward human beings • street art • off-grid living • Buddhism • Sufism • The Cosmos • Science • bilateral talks (I don't handle well multilateral talks) • The Ger (Mongolian tent) • learning the exact position of constellations, planets and stars in the night sky • skinny dipping in turquoise waters • meditation • campfires • national parks • abandoned locations, defunct amusement parks • The Himalayas and the Andes • discovering new ecosystems • the moorland landscapes (el páramo) • dark chocolate, Icelandic yoghurt (Skyr), kimbap, tropical fruits • dumpster diving • pillow talk • harmonica, piano • geological oddities • Women • Hare Krishna temples • thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes • bonsais • snow • tropical rain • swimming, kayaking, trekking, , sailing • Spring • books with illustrations, books that have the power to change peoples lives for the better • anthropology • puppet theater (my favourite being the Gabriadze Theater in Tbilisi, Georgia) • TED talks • documentaries • painting and drawing • oriental calligraphy • skin art • scoutism • Islamic art • Japanese and Greek cuisine • bodyweight training • hitchhiking • herbal teas and infusions • high protein, low carb, low sugar, low fat diets • stand up comedy shows • poetry• guerrilla camping • ancient lighthouses • car-free movement • Where's Wally • black and white photography • walking the streets of Tokyo cauz it doesn't remind me of anything •
I love, and at times, envy animals. For the animal, happiness consists in enjoying life in the immediate present, not in the assurance that there is a whole future of joys ahead of him.
I especially adored travelling around Norway, Tibet and the Himalayas, New Zealand, Mongolia, Japan, Iceland, Scotland and Greece.
Narrow minds devoid of imagination, theories cut off from reality, empty terminology, usurped ideals, inflexible systems, snap judgments, clubbing, alcohol, over-consumption, wedlock, crowded spaces, cigarette smoke, fried/oily/processed food, etc.
Music, Movies, and Books
Bob Marley, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, The Black Keys, Daniel Norgren, The White Buffalo, Tycho, The National, Dan Michaelson and the Coastguards, The Strokes, Burning Spear, Radiohead, The Congos, Boards of Canada, Keith Richards, Muddy Waters, Nicolas Jaar, Calle 13, Orishas, Wax Tailor, R.L. Burnside, Culture, Timber Timbre, Yann Tiersen, Aphex Twin, Toots & The Maytals, Helios, Peter Tosh, Fauve, Black Uhuru, The Gladiators, Johnny Cash, Pearl Jam, Groundation, Four Tet, Miles Davis, Dezarie, Lee Perry, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Bob Dylan, Damien Saez, Philip Glass, Kings Of Convenience, Mark Knopfler, Charlie Parker, Bon Iver, Iron & Wine, Beirut, Buena Vista Social Cub, Tom Waits, Lou Reed, First Aid Kit, Sigur Ros, Shurik'n, Akhenaton, Django Reinhardt, Interpol, Marilyn Manson, Alice In Chains, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Summer Heart, Audioslave, Chopin, Debussy, etc. Roots Reggae, Bluegrass, Ambient Electronica, Folk, Hard Rock, Blues & Jazz from the early 1900's.
Wes Anderson, Emir Kusturica, Joel & Ethan Coen, Terry Gilliam, Woody Allen, Martin Scorcese, Hayao Miyazaki, Ridley Scott, Quentin Tarantino, Sidney Lumet, Christopher Nolan, Darren Aronofsky, Werner Herzog, Tim Burton, Pixar Studios,...
Game of Thrones, Lost, Boardwalk Empire, House of Cards, True Detective, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, The Wire, Six feet Under, The Sopranos, Orange is the New Black, Cosmos : A Space Odyssey, Narcos.
Rumi & Shams, Hafiz, Constantine P. Cavafy, Arthur Rimbaud, Cormac McCarthy, Philip Pullman, Haruki Murakami, Stefan Zweig, Albert Camus, René Barjavel, Bernard Weber, Mooji, Hermann Hesse, J.R.R. Tolkien, Alessandro Baricco, Sogyal Rinpoché, Rabindranath Tagore, Rainer Maria Rilke, Daniel Kehlmann, Jostein Gaarder, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Louis Ferdinand Céline, Thích Nhất Hạnh, Franz Kafka, Robert M. Pirsig, Aldous Huxley, Nikos Kazantzakis, Henry David Thoreau, Alan Watts, Eckhart Tolle, Miguel Ruiz, etc.
➟ Currently reading : https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/33843382?shelf=currently-reading
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Managed to avoid a bullshit job, a pointless existence and a spiritually bankrupt life, so far.
✿ Me and my family withstood the most powerful hurricane of the 20th Century, Gilbert levelled Jamaica in 1988, with winds up to 295 km/h.
✿ Took the most dangerous road trip in the world, the infamous Yungas road in Bolivia. It starts at 3500m in La Paz and winds steeply down into the Bolivian Amazon, the Yungas. This mesmerizing yet perilous narrow dirt road has claimed many lives and is used daily by heavily armed drug traffickers.
✿ Explored the Cerro Rico Potosí mine. It is one of the largest and deepest silver mines in Bolivia and in the world. Temperatures within the mine range from - 20°C to 50°C deep underground.
✿ Crossed over The Andes, from Bolivia to Chile, going as high as 6000m.
✿ I was a Carajas Scout for 4 years in Brazil. An unforgettable experience.
✿ Jumped off a plane at 4000m in Empuria Brava, Cataluña.
✿ I became completely silent for 3 weeks in 2001.
✿ Visited the S-21 prison and the Killing fields in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
✿ Obtained my scuba diving license (PADI) in Kho Tao, Thailand.
✿ Almost froze to death alone at -30°C with -60 % of oxygen near Everest base camp at 5150m. Only wolves were roaming the area. But what a glorious experience it was.
✿ Contemplated the Nugget Point Lighthouse in New Zealand. One of the most dramatically beautiful and poetic places I've been to. My " end of the world " feeling became absolute and enveloping here.
✿ Witnessed the physicality of a tibetan debate at Séra monastery in Lhasa, Tibet.
✿ Hitchhiked 3.753 km through the Red Desert, from Darwin to Melbourne in Australia, in under 72 hours with only 3 rides.
✿ Attended a secrets society magical ritual in eastern Slovenia.
✿ 101 hours spent on an old wooden train in winter, from Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia to Moscow.
✿ Fell in love.
✿ Some more experiences I won't forget anytime soon :
• Contemplated an approaching thunderstorm in Cappadocia, Turkey.
• Observed in awe a swarm of hundreds of imperial eagles flying above me in Svaneti, Georgia.
• The unique feeling of being present at Ground Zero in Hiroshima, Japan.
• Experienced an amazing Noche de Brujas in Bogotá with my family.
• Went trail running, up to 3200m , in the mesmerising Cocora Valley in Quindío, Colombia.
• Contemplated Peace at Quilotoa crater lake in Ecuador.
My last great adventure lasted for 38 months from 2010 to 2013, uncovering eastern Asia, Oceania, Iceland, Ireland, Scotland, Sweden and central Europe. I had the occasion to engage with some awe-inspiring and captivating human beings. This introspective journey taught me how to be happier and deepened my capacity to love.
️ Explored 66 countries so far (I might be carrying the DRD4-7R gene).
Teach, Learn, Share
Sometimes things come and go. Better take the attitude "I don't mind" more than "I prefer" or "I don't care". I don't mind, everything comes and goes. Like this you find immense freedom and space, so much space you don't even have to be a traffic police of thoughts, everything can come and go. This is the secret, it's simple. If you pick up any of these thoughts then you have to look on for healing and more healing... The Self does not need healing. It's ever perfect. If you don't identify with the body and the mind, you won't get stuck, like Space isn't stuck. You will stay fresh and unpolluted. Everything is passing. Can you fall in love with a cloud ? How long will that marriage last ? Does the Ocean remember its waves ? Everything is passing, let it pass. Find that which is not passing, use Time to find the Timeless.
« The traveller has to knock at every alien door to come to his own, and one has to wander through all the outer worlds to reach the innermost shrine at the end. »
• Rabindranath Tagore
« Fall in love in such a way that it frees you from any connecting. Love is the soul's light, the taste of morning, no me, no we, no claim of being. »
• Djalâl ad-Dîn Rûmî
« There's a strange frenzy in my head, of birds flying, each particle circulating on its own. Is the one I love everywhere ? »
• Djalâl ad-Dîn Rûmî
« A good traveller is one who does not know where he is going to, and a perfect traveller does not know where he came from. »
• Lin Yutang
« The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. »
• Alan Watts
« There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self. »
• Ernest Hemingway
« To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,
To gain all while you give,
To roam the roads of lands remote,
To travel is to live. »
• Hans Christian Andersen
« People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong.
Why not try and see positive things,
to just touch those things and make them bloom ? »
• Thích Nhất Hạnh
« For what it's worth: it's never too late to be whoever you want to be.
There's no time limit, stop whenever you want.
You can change or stay the same; there are no rules to this thing.
We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it.
And I hope you see things that startle you.
I hope you feel things you never felt before.
I hope you meet people with a different point of view.
I hope you live a life you're proud of.
If you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again. »
• F.S. Fitzgerald
« Be a Loner. That gives you time to wonder, to search for the Truth. Have holy curiosity. Make your life worth living. »
• Albert Einstein
« He who would travel happily must travel light. »
• Antoine de Saint-Exupery
« Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest. »
• Leo Babauta
« Being an outsider to some extent, someone who does not "fit in" with others or is rejected by them for whatever reason, makes life difficult, but it also places you at an advantage as far as enlightenment is concerned. It takes you out of unconsciousness almost by force. »
• Eckhart Tolle
« Watch any plant or animal and let it teach you acceptance of what is, surrender to the Now.
Let it teach you Being.
Let it teach you integrity — which means to be one, to be yourself, to be real.
Let it teach you how to live and how to die, and how not to make living and dying into a problem. »
• Eckhart Tolle
« All good trips are, like love, about being carried out of yourself and deposited in the midst of terror and wonder. »
• Pico Iyer
« The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. "Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does." They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted. »
• Aldous Huxley
« The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude. »
• Aldous Huxley
« In this world, there are things you can only do alone, and things you can only do with somebody else. It's important to combine the two in just the right amount. »
• Haruki Murakami
« A man needs a little madness, or else... he never dares cut the rope and be free. »
• Nikos Kazantzakis
« Throughout my life my greatest benefactors have been my travels and my dreams. Very few men, living or dead, have helped me in my struggles. »
• Nikos Kazantzakis
« When I encounter a sunrise, a painting, a woman, or an idea that makes my heart bound like a young calf, then I know I am standing in front of happiness. »
• Nikos Kazantzakis
« I have been a rover, I have walked alone, hiked a hundred highways, never found a home. Still in all I'm happy. The reason is, you see, once in a while along the way, Love's been good to me. »
• Johnny Cash
What I Can Share with Hosts
We can do fun activities together, like going into nature, cycling, hiking, camping, hang out in chill out places, attend cultural events ; I can also show you how to learn the exact position of constellations, planets, stars, etc.
Feel free to share what you wish with me. I will particularly enjoy to hear about the story of your life, about the places where you grew up, your passions, dreams and everything else in between.
I don't smoke or drink alcohol.
Countries I’ve Visited
Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Chile, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, England, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Mongolia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Scotland, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City State, Viet Nam
Countries I’ve Lived In
Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, France, Jamaica, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland