Archives for October 2012

Vom semi-nomadischen Lebensstil

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard

Ein semi-nomadisches Leben, immer auf Reisen, ein Dasein als Vagabundin – viele Leute sind überrascht wenn ich ihnen von meiner gewählten Lebensform erzähle. Die meisten Menschen, die ich kenne, wollen Wurzeln schlagen, sich etwas aufbauen, in einer (sebstgewählten) Gemeinschaft leben.

Ich hatte immer schon den Wunsch unterwegs zu sein, zu Reisen, zu Verweilen, eine Landschaft, Stadt oder Region zu erfahren und dann wieder weiterzuziehen auf der Suche nach neuen Eindrücken und Impulsen. Viele Jahre war das Reisen für mich die wichtigste Nebensache der Welt – jede Möglichkeit zu einer Reise ergreifen, bei Dienstreisen möglichst immer ein Wochenende “dazu” nehmen, und im Urlaub dann möglichst lange wegfahren.

Doch ich bekam nie genug. Zwei Monate Südostasien, später fünf Monate Indien – und es gibt immer mehr zu sehen. Gleichzeitig fange ich durch das viele Reisen auch an, anders auf Dinge zu sehen. Mich interessieren große Zusammenhänge und kleine Details und ich will immer weniger im Eilschritt durch die Gegend fahren, sondern länger auch manchmal Wochen an einem Ort bleiben. Langsam reisen heißt nicht nur weniger Orte in einer bestimmten Zeit zu besichtigen, sondern auch viel zu Fuß oder mit dem Rad unterwegs zu sein.

“Ich will, dass mein Leben nur mehr aus Reisen besteht” – was ich eigentlich schon lange wusste, wurde mir auf meiner fünfmonatigen Indienreise so richtig klar. Ich will nicht elf Monate an EINEM Ort sitzen, um dann das 12. Monat möglichst viel von dem sehen, was ich in den  Monaten davor versäumt habe. Ich will mein Leben an unterschiedlichen Orten verbringen – dabei kann ich durchaus temporär Wuzeln schlagen – so wie jetzt in der Türkei, wo ich noch bis kurz vor Weihnachten in einem hübschen Häuschen im Wald bleiben werde.

Dann werde ich ca. 6 Wochen in Österreich verbringen. Denn auch das ist mir wichtig – den Bezug zu den eigenen Wurzeln nicht verlieren. Aber im Februar wird mich der Wind und die Reiselust sicher wieder weitertreiben.

Finanziert wird das ganze aus einer Mischung aus Arbeiten (Online und am “Wegesrand”) manchmal auch gegen Sachleistungen (wie Essen oder Wohnen) und Sparsamkeit (was natürlich in Ländern mit einer niedrigeren Kaufkraft auch leichter ist…)

Wie lange mir dieses Leben Freude bereitet, steht in den Sternen. Derzeit ist es mir vor allem ein Anliegen in der Natur zu leben, und möglichst viel Zeit im Freien zu verbringen – und ich bin sehr dankbar, dass sich derzeit immer wieder gute Gelegenheiten bieten, diesem Anliegen nachzugehen. Alles andere wird die Zukunft weisen.

Granatapfelzeit

Endlich - die Granatäpfel sind reif

 

Ein Gruß von der lykischen Küste in der Türkei.

Seit ich im April zum ersten Mal dieses Jahr da war (insgesamt bin ich dieses Jahr schon vier Monate in der Türkei) freue ich mich auf die Granatäpfel. Im Frühjahr bewunderte ich die weißen Blüten, und im Verlauf des Sommers konnte ich beobachten wie die Früchte langsam an Farbe und Größe zunahmen.  Jetzt sind sie endlich reif und überall zu sehen. Auf den Bäumen, den Märkten oder bei den kleinen fahrenden Lebensmittelhändlern. In vielen Lokalen gibt es jetzt den ersten frischen Saft, der so intensiv ist, dass er mit Wasser oder Orangensaft gemischt eindeutig besser schmeckt. Und der fast schwarze dickflüssige Granatapfelessig wird überall eingekocht. Diese Frucht und ihre Produkte sind eine Geschmacks- und Farbenexplosion – eine wahre Wonne.
Und für den Fall, dass ich jemals herausfinde, wie man diese kleinen Samen zeitökonomisch aus der Schale bringt, dann fange ich auch an damit herumzuprobieren – vielleicht eine Granatapfel Orangen Marmelade  oder dieses tolle persische Fleischgericht mit Walnüssen und Granatäpfeln – hmmm.

Pomegranate time

 

Finally - the pomegranates are ripe

Greetings from the Lycian coast in Turkey.

Since I’ve been here in April for the first time this year (In total I’ve been in Turkey now for over four months) I look forward to the pomegranates. In spring, I admired the white flowers, and over the summer I could observe as the fruit slowly increased in size and color. Now they are finally ready and can be seen everywhere. On the trees, the markets or from the small traveling grocers. In many places, there is now the first fresh juice that is so intense that it’s clearly better to mix it with water or orange juice. And the almost black syrupy pomegranate vinegar is cooked all over. This fruit and its products have a taste and color explosion – a sheer delight.

 

And in the event that I ever find out how these little seeds can be brought out of the shell in a timesaving way, I am going to play around with it – maybe a pomegranate or orange marmalade or this great Persian meat dish with walnuts and pomegranate – yummie

Five months in India – a small personal summary

Full Moon rising at the southern tip of India – Kanyakumari

 

Prenote: This article has been written in spring 2012 after my return to Austria from India. Unfortunately I found the time only now – almost five months later – to translate it in English.  This translation is also the first step towards a revival of my website – watch out!

 

India is like a lucky bag-. One – no, endless numbers of new worlds are opening up. Each city is different, where ever you go, there are always new and fascinating landscapes, and friendly people everywhere – at least in most places, Indians and loads of  travelers. I cannot count the number of nocturnal and sometimes very profound conversations I had.
This country attracts different travelers than Southeast Asia, there is less drinking and many people who stay longer, look for far more than running through the attractions. Through these many conversations I not only learned a lot about the country; I also saw a variety of different lifestyles and the search for it. Sometimes, however, I had the feeling that this country is just a projection, a playground for travelers to experience themselves – and I was no exception as well.
These encounters, the traveling around by bus and train – an impressive, tight, friendly and colorful experience, the variety of smells, noise, colors, dirt and dust – an assault on the senses (I know it’s a cliche but it’s true) , this incredible and touching experience nature in Hampi (of course) but also in the mountains of Western Gats, or the desert in Rajasthan or the sea in Kerala. All this and much more were the source of five brilliant months, I had in India.

 

P1030729 (Large)

Wedding in Bikaner

 

The entry was gentle – relaxing on the beach, instead of a metropolis to start with, like so many other travellers suffering then weeks under the culture shock – and the idea did pay off. I wanted to like the country and did so from the very first second, with all its contradictions. Nevertheless, there are always those moments where you can just palm your face – dirt and pollution, incredibly dusty bureaucrats, antediluvian attitudes to gender issues, poverty, diseases and more. And then again the variety and colors, these full and dirty streets, the immense number of merchants and small businesses, the narrowness …… but also a fascinating nature in all varieties and shades, temples in all shapes and colors and and and and and … I think of India not as a country but a continent which can explain this diversity a bit. And each state with its own culture, language, gods and landscapes is a country. And yet there is a common cultural basis – as in Europe. India was like a grab bag – an attack on all the senses, sometimes positive sometimes negative.

 

The Indian everyday life (of course, with the luxury of a western tourist) became normal for me in these five months and the culture shock when returning home seems almost greater than five months ago, when I entered India palefaced and very excited. I now enjoy the luxury of warm water, drinking water from the tap, heated homes and broadband Internet. And yet all seems a bit anemic and clinically. Why is everything so perfect and clean but yet so gray and empty? The colorful life remaining on my computer’s hard disk with its nearly 35 GB of photos.

 

P1020993 (Large)

Lonely beach in Kerala

 

I also intended to practice yoga during my stay in India. After a few hours of internet research, I realized that the offer is too confusing to find something reasonable without concrete tips.But what I did find is a renewed and deeper access to Nature . In some places (especially Hampi and Kodaikanal in the Western Gats), I felt a very deep connection with nature. I formally merged in it, admired the richness and incredible details. And not to forget sunrises and sunsets, full moons in incredible colors or just deep dark night, in an unprecedented intensity. I took this back home – during my walks here, I realize that I experience the nature around me in a different way, with an ability to enjoy weather, the greenery and the upcoming spring in a more mind- and joyful way.

 

Spiritually seen, the five months were an exercise in developing trust. If you travel to India without trust can, you can’t be happy, I believe. Confidence to sit in the proper bus, even though you have no idea where it is going, trusting in the own ability to differentiate (in yoga viveka) with which people it is good to get involved with and which not. But also in longer term to learn not to mess this great opportunity to travel so far just to think about my future all the time, but to trust that everything will somehow result (and that’s what happened, but more about that later)

 

P1000358 (Medium)

Morning athmosphere in Madurai (Tamil Nadu)

 

I left Austria without great expectations and just wanted to take my chance of being able to do such a long trip. And India seemed the perfect opportunity. I’ve never been there, and as an avid yogini going to the birthplace of yoga, seemed somehow appropriate. These five months have been just a great time. I have seen and experienced so much, in an amount not seen for years. And I think I am again grown a little bit. On the latter, I will be able make good use in the future … but more on that another time.

Finally here the trip in a nutshell:

The first weeks were devoted to the arrival. First in Agonda (Goa) chilling at the beach and then in Hampi, this wonderful scenery, which has touched my heart. Later traveling around – temples and mosques in Badami and Bijapur, modern urban feeling in Bangalore. In Kerala I visited the colonial city of Cochi and then up in the mountains. Kumily and Munnar – hills with extensive tea and coffee plantations, clear air and cooler climate. I love the sea, but in the mountains there is something warming my heart. Christmas and New Year I spend almost alone in a small guest House by the sea. I enjoy the solitude and read a lot. After a short resocialization period in a busy Guest House just a few miles further, I take the plane to Rajasthan, where I travel with at high pace. Eight locations in four weeks give us indeed a good idea of this state – at the end, however, I feel overwhelmed by the multitude of impressions, and will get sick shortly after my arrival in Goa – the next destination of my trip. A second visit to Hampi has not only an article on the outcome but I find my peace again, while I dive there in nature. The last month I spend again in the south, a week at sea, the beautiful sunrises and sunsets on the southernmost tip of India and three weeks in the mountains at 1,700 meters above sea level, where I don’t want to leave because I learned to appreciate this simple life at a high altitude with a really good view and a fantastic community.

Later I published an article, about traveling alone as a woman in India.

 And here the route on google maps:

India 2011 -2012 auf einer größeren Karte anzeigen