On Friday, January 20, 2023, I set foot on Belgian soil and my solo cycling adventure (S3 part 1) in Southeast Asia (Vietnam/Cambodia/Thailand) has come to an end.
Cycling Adventure 15 (CA15) is my path of personal growth that started in 2021 (S1) and on which I will cycle 15 km in 40.075 years in different countries of all continents of the world. By getting to know the 'world' better, I want to 'grow' as a person and experience the impact of the rapidly changing digital world on people and their culture.
The digital world is still a long way off, especially in Vietnam and Cambodia. Everyone has a mobile device and that's it. Maybe that's why I was able to experience an enormous peace without stress there. It was a blissful feeling that is hard to describe. It reminded me of my childhood in the 80s when we romped outside every day in the summer and crawled into the trees. If I compare that with the hustle and bustle and stress that I experience at home, it makes a world of difference. I have often wondered, and all the more so after this experience, what the benefits of digitization are. What is the added value we have here? We should supposedly work less hard because automation takes the tasks away from us, but is that really the case? What I personally experience is that only administration is added, only now it ends up in the mailbox instead of the mailbox.
So three weeks alone away from home is a special experience for me. Occasionally I struck up a conversation with someone, but otherwise it was silent. I didn't have to talk unless only with 'myself'. At those moments a lot went through my head and I got solutions for certain issues that I got stuck on at home. Before I started CA15 I never spent 1 day alone but now I couldn't miss being alone anymore. I can recommend it to everyone to spend a few days alone with 'yourself'.
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I have seen how people live in simplicity, without any kind of materialism. When I compare that to what I own, my intention is to be even more aware and grateful for it. I'm going to try to think more about things that are relevant to me. For example, if I can take a hot shower at home or eat a nice meal. Although this is my intention, I realize how quickly I can get back into the issues of the day where everything is taken for granted.
I will always remember what Pol Pot did to the people of Cambodia. I find it very unfortunate and incomprehensible that people in different countries of the world are oppressed and murdered by dictators and that this is still tolerated. Because of the events in which Pol Pot has eradicated intellectuality and knowledge in his country, I realize even more that it is a 'luxury' to be able to continuously educate and learn myself in order to become 'richer' as a person.
Along the way I have been confronted with a number of problems for which I have always found a solution. I'm a little proud of the fact that I always kept calm. This will undoubtedly help me to deal with problems differently at home and at work and to worry less. There is a solution for every problem.
Have I now 'grown' as a person? I think so. My view of the world has widened a bit and my awareness has sharpened. I am extremely grateful that I was able to experience this. But I realize that I still have a serious way to go and come back from this cycling adventure full of energy and desire to make the best of it.
I would like to thank everyone for the messages on my blog and through other channels. That gives me great pleasure.
On Sunday, July 2, 2023, I will depart for the second part of S3 from Geneva, Switzerland, and cycle 1500 kilometers south towards Rome, Italy.