My name is Florian, I’m from Germany.
After high school I began studying Molecular Biotechnology, but stopped after three years, without a degree. The perspective of a secure job in a laboratory or the pharmaceutical industry, a career, lots of money, were not so tempting for me. I didn´t really know what I wanted out of life and what to do with my time and actually, got pretty depressed.
I left Europe and visited my brother for five months in Cameroon. I had done some smaller trips before in Europe, but Africa was something new. It changed my perspective of the world and was the catalyst for my desire to see more of the world. I was not thinking of short holidays, but rather a long journey.
A journey requires money, and so I worked for over two years in various jobs and was quickly caught up in normal everyday life. I had everything I thought I needed for life – a job, an apartment, a circle of friends. I still wasn´t satisfied. I wasn´t happy and it felt like something was missing.
The idea of working in the same job all my life, five days a week, 30 days holiday a year, just to earn enough money to afford living, was not enough for me.
So in May 2012 I packed my bags and started to cycle. I wanted to see something of the world, to have some adventure, I wanted to be free. I wanted to find my way, to find out more about life and myself. Who am I? What do I want? And Why?
About this journey
The reasons for this journey were more or less all of a selfish nature. But after a few months I realized, this journey is not just about me, one man and one bike – it’s about one world and all the people who live in it. Each encounter makes people a part of my journey and not only I, but also they, can learn something.
In the beginning the most difficult thing for me was to understand and accept the hospitality of people.Why should they invite a stranger for food and often a place to sleep and reject any payment, even if they are significantly poorer? I felt bad because I thought I could give nothing in return, at least not in the way I had learnt.
In Germany everything has its price, everything you get requires something in return, usually in the form of money.
I´d never heard of the buddhist principle of dāna, give just for the sake of giving, without expecting anything in return.
It was later that I became aware of the fact that I definitely give something back. I tell these people about my journey, share time and experiences with them and will stay in their memories.
Since then, I understand that we humans are all connected to each other, we are all one and the same. I know now that I don`t necessarily have to return something to a person directly, the universe will be in balance anyway.
But I don`t only want to give something back to the people who invited me, I can do more. I noticed that many people are fascinated by my journey.To break out of the normal rhythm of life (birth-school-work-family-retirement-death) and to try something else, to live his dream of being free, that is what many people think about. I can inspire other people and encourage them, I can show them what is possible if you just want it. Everyone has the potential to make something extraordinary.
I can share my experiences and adventures and report that the world is not as dangerous and bad as it often seems. It is only a distorted image, created by the media or our fears, that makes us think that. I can actively participate to change this world for the positive.
This blog is just one form of influence. I started to share my journey through presentations in schools or universities, with friends, other cyclists and with anyone who is interested. I show pictures and videos, tell my experiences to try and motivate people to live their dreams and to start thinking differently. I want to show everyone that it is only you who can change something.
Today I know and have the feeling that this trip is not only for the taking, but a give and take in the same way.