I often wonder what really made me leave to Greece that spring of 1999. The person I was at that time was not one to take risks. Quite the contrary. Was it a risk to go to Greece? Yes! Do I regret it? No.
Looking at the sea today, the thought came to my mind, that if I hadn't accepted that invitation to go to Greece, I might not be where I am today, I might not be doing the work I am doing and I would surely not be the person I am now. Για πολλούς λόγους, η Ελλάδα θα είναι πάντα ειδική...είναι ένα "δεύτερο" σπίτι.
I am not saying that that adventure was the only responsible factor. All the other steps taken after that contributed to the person I am and led me to the career I am currently building. In those steps I include all the mistakes done along the way, all the successes (proud to say they were many) and all the travels and experiences coming from them and which enriched my life.
Then, I couldn't help thinking of the trip I made to India. I discovered an incredible country. One goes to India with definite ideas of what it is and once there all the pre-conceived ideas are simply wrong. I found my self in a country so welcoming, people with such a philosophy of life (and here I am using the larger meaning of the word) that once again I felt like being "home".
I will never forget those children I met in that village in Andhra Pradesh and their wonderful smile or the way they were touching my hair because they had never seen hair that colour and wanted to know how it was possible, what it felt like once one touched it. One of the best experiences I had during that wonderful discovery of India.
I don't even regret having used a motorickshaw, although I several times felt like it was the end seeing the way the driving rules are...heuh...what might be the appropriate word? Ignored?!!! Yet, that is one experience one should really not miss out on if going to India!
There was also that incredible trip to Brazil, to Salvador in the state of Bahia. Estar em Salvador foi como estar em casa...sensação incrível! The "Pelourinho" in Salvador is the reminiscence of the portuguese culture with that zest of life which is so proper to Brazil and its mix of cultures.
There, we discovered that incredible programme that aims at taking children out of the streets. The group "Olodum" has a school where children can learn how to play drums (among other things, music being "le fil conducteur"). (Olodum is famous for having taken part in one of Michael Jackson's songs and video). Seems like something very simple, but the programme is quite complex when one thinks of all it brings to those children and it has achieved unbelievable results.
I couldn't conclude this post without talking about Italy and Uganda. Both these countries are important to me for many different reasons. Uganda, brings bitter-sweet memories, so you will forgive me if I don't talk much about it.
As for Italy, for many years I thought of going there, but life was always taking me to other countries, to other continents. Peró, per diversi motivi (che non appartengono in questo blog), l'Italia é sempre stata molto importante per me. Ed un giorno, sono andatta in Italia (Lisa, non ridere se dimentico una lettera!). Diciamo che...é un paese che vi fa vivere le vostre aspettative...durante tutto il tempo che ho passato in Italia mi sembra come se fosse stato in un "roller-coaster"...phheeewww!
All the above, is a good conclusion on why I enjoy so much to travel, to go to new places, to discover different ways of life which are completely opposite from the way I live mine. Most especially, all the travels (and the ones mentioned above are only a few among all those I undertook. Yet, I leave those for another post, for another subject) were important steps in my life.
"Broaden your horizons if you want to succeed in life" my father always told me. I surely will never regret to have taken the decision to go to Greece...that was only the beginning!